Monday, August 22, 2016

Poe, Read by Rathbone and Price

If you're a fan of weird fiction, you surely venerate, if not regularly read, the work of Edgar Allen Poe. Almost single-handed, he invented the modern horror story and the modern detective tale. If you don't feel like reading (or re-reading) some of his classics, then you might enjoy listening to them. And if you're going to listen to Poe, you might as well listen to Poe read aloud by such masters as Vincent Price and Basil Rathbone. Price, of course, was the star of dozens of horror films throughout his career. He was typecast early on, but it didn't seem to bother him. His voice is of course also immortalized in Michael Jackson's Thriller. Even people who aren't necessarily into old movies probably know the face and voice of Mr. Price from the Tim Burton film Edward Scissorhands. Rathbone is not as well-known by name, but he's famous for being what most people think of when they think of Sherlock Holmes. He portrayed the fictional detective 14 times on film, and many more on radio. He was also known for swashbuckling roles. Quite often, he was cast as a villain. He wasn't the horror movie icon Price was, but he was probably a more well-rounded performer. Spotify has uploaded a virtual "greatest hits" of Poe, read by these extraordinary actors who certainly have the voice for it. This fall, as the days shorten and autumn storms rage outside, I intend to spend at least one evening before the fire with these recordings.

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