Friday, September 18, 2009

The Wild Things

October 1st is also the release date for Dave Eggers' much-anticipated novelization of the Maurice Sendak classic, Where the Wild Things Are. Blackstone is very excited to present the accompanying audio version. Dion Graham, who gave a magnificent rendering of What Is the What (currently the only other Eggers novel available in audio), narrates with a playful but ominous style that reflects the novel's exploration of pre-adolescent confusion and angst. The novel expands quite a bit on the Spike Jonze film version, digging deeper into the frustrated psyche of nine-year-old Max, whose yearning for untrammeled freedom takes him on an adventure to an uncharted island of giant, child-like creatures.

Twisted Tree

Four years ago Kent Meyer's penned The Work of Wolves, a much-admired novel about the epic conflicts found in the tiny town of Twisted Tree, South Dakota. His new novel returns to that setting to explore the tragic effects of a serial killer's visit to this dusty, forlorn locale. The narrative is divided into a dozen or more unique voices and we have accomodated that by bringing an all-star group into our Ashland and LA studios. Ray Porter and Dion Graham happened to be visiting town during the sessions, so we were able to add their contributions to those of Traci Svensgaard, Tai Sammons, Paul Michael Garcia, Malcolm Hillgartner, Anthony Heald, G. Valmont Thomas and myself. Mark Bramhall, Cassandra Campbell, Robertson Dean and Lorna Raver chimed in from LA. The writing is so compelling that every reader asked if he or she could record the whole thing! The release date is October 1st. If you love Raymond Carver, Cormac McCarthy and Andre Dubus, don't fail to pick this up.

Republican Gomorrah

Max Blumenthal's wry skewering of the Religious Right has shot up to #48 on Amazon and hit the New York Times' Bestseller List. We've just acquired the rights and will attempt to set a production record in hustling this out for download, retail and library distribution. William Hughes just wrapped up Andrew Sorkin's monumental Too Big Too Fail (a co-pub with Penguin Audio) but he won't get much of a break, since he'll be heading into the studios tonight to do this one. Bill is a poli-sci professor here in Ashland with a real gift for narrating (and probably the most amazing ear for accents and mimicry I've ever come across). He picked up an AudioFile Earphones Award for The Next 100 Years and turned out a stunning rendition of Steve Lopez's The Soloist. Between Blumenthal's pithy, hyper-observant exposé and Bill's knack for dry wit, this will be a fun listen.

The Amityville Horror

A whole generation of readers was kept up nights by this "true story" of a family's struggle against a ghastly series of hauntings in their "ideal" suburban home. (Remember Jody the Pig? Shudder!) Ray Porter, who brought a perfect blend of camp and creep to Richard Matheson's Hell House, will be narrating. We should be releasing this within a month or so on Audible, hard release to follow. Get ready to relive your nightmares!