Tim O’Brien and the Art of Storytelling

Another great longread on the Atlantic about the way a story must be told, written by Tom O’Brien, made me want to say a few words about the book I haven’t finished yet but already know it well deserved its place in the school curriculum.

I’ve been reading (well, in fact, listening to) The Things They Carried and it is absolutely amazing. Not the war thing, not the terror and fear and death and disgust thing, but the way he narrates those stories, the way they capture the reader’s attention, and you no longer care what is true and what is imaginary, you just know that until you hear the ending you will not be able to put the book (the earphones) down.

“That’s what stories are for. Stories are for joining the past to the future. Stories are for those late hours in the night when you can’t remember how you got from where you were to where you are. Stories are for eternity, when memory is erased, when there is nothing to remember except the story.”

In addition to the brilliance of the prose itself, Bryan Cranston‘s performance is incredible, I wish he would narrate something from Dickens or other guys sticklers to volume. Strangely enough, Tim O’Brien himself doesn’t strike me as a great reader (and I wish I could unsee his outfit).

Audiobooks Read by Famous Actors


Colin Firth, surprisingly, doesn’t sound very promising, but Susan Sarandon does, and I nearly wish I hadn’t read The Snow Queen before I learned there was an audiobook narrated by Claire Danes. I don’t believe it’s a coincidence that her husband, Hugh Dancy, had previously narrated By Nightfall 🙂

I’m also very excited about Bryan Cranston (aka Walter White, my what a powerful voice he’s got) reading whatsoever, though I’m not a huge fan of war stories, and there is Bridge to Terabithia narrated by Robert Sean Leonard. As a goodreads member puts it, imagine Wilson telling you a bedtime story!