Two Plays For Voices

Written by:
Neil Gaiman
Narrated by:
Brian Dennehy , Bebe Neuwirth

Unabridged Audiobook

Release Date
January 2004
2 hours 4 minutes
''The joy for me is knowing that somebody can have this strange audio experience. They're getting something as good as you get from radio.'' - Neil Gaimen

Produced by the Sci-Fi Channel and Seeing Ear Theatre - these two plays are adapted for voice by Neil Gaiman from two of his short stories (both stories can be found in Smoke & Mirrors).SNOW GLASS APPLES: Once upon a time there lived a young princess with skin as white as snow, with hair as black as coal, with lips redder than blood. Most people think they know what happens to this young unfortunate girl. Most people are wrong. Tony-award winning actress Bebe Neuwirth (Chicago, Sweet Charity, and TV's Cheers) stars as a wise Queen who wants nothing more than to reign over her kingdom peacefully but is forced to match wits with an inhuman child who has an unnatural taste for blood.

Full Cast List:
Bebe Neuwirth as the Queen ; Martin Carey as the Huntsman; Mark Evans as the Prince; Merwin Goldsmith as the Lord of the Fair; J.R. Horne as the Archbishop & Friar; Alissa Hunnicutt as the Maidservant; Randy Maggiore as a Soldier; Kate Simses as the Princess; Nick Wyman as the King

MURDER MYSTERIES: In this mystery noir set in heaven's City of Angels before the fall, the first crime has been committed. It is an awful one. While the angelic hosts labor to create the world and its workings, one of their number is mysteriously slain by one of their own. Raguel, Angel of Vengeance, is mandated by Lucifer to discover both motive and murderer in this holy dominion that had so recently known no sin.

Full Cast List:
Brian Dennehy as Raguel ; Anne Bobby as Tink's Friend ; Christopher Burns as Saraquael ; Thom Christopher as Lucifer ; Ed Dennehy as Zephkiel ; Michael Emerson as Narrator ; Traci Godfrey as Tinkerbell Richmond ; Evan Pappas as Phanuel
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great time with the book written by Neil Gaiman.

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Good short stories and well read with good production values. I recommend. Not for Children!

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Rick O

Somewhere in the dusty corners of my brain, I'm convinced that I'd read another adaptation of the first story: "Murder Mysteries", maybe in comic book form? At any rate, it was great to hear performed in the old radio-drama style, with the full cast and the foley effects. The riff on Snow White, "Snow, Glass, Apples" was the more entertaining of the two, as the pacing was faster and there was less introspection. Both were worth hearing, and both Brian Dennehy and Bebe Neuwirth did excellent jobs narrating. Thanks to their short length and immersive production, the pair of stories is a good "audiobook starter kit" to give to people to try to get them hooked on the format.

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Dana Livermore

Neil Gaiman is one of my recent discoveries and I have yet to find a story of his I have not liked. These plays are fun and inventive, though with less "Douglas Adamsish" humor than, say Anansi Boys, but I like the twist on a familiar tale and idea that each represent. At times the sound effects were less than effective, but the actors were top notch. I wish there were more than two.

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Regan Wann

This is a selection of two stories from a larger work (I think they're both from Fragile Things) that have been dramatically fleshed out for audio. I really enjoyed these versions and thought they were excellent listens. Short, but really enjoyable.

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C. Allison

This was a suprise for me. Honestly, I tend not to go too much for the "redefined" fantasy. But, this was a good one. My chief complaint would be that it was so short. Both, stories were rather haunting-in a chilling way. The imagery of the beating heart in the "Snow White" story really was powerful. The author used perspective masterfully, and brought the conclusion of the story to a satisfying ending. The second story used an excellent plot structure, that had a hard-hitting conclusion. There are few that can use "Heaven" as an adequate stage for commentary on earthly things. As cautioned in previous reviews, these are not stories for children. Albeit short (only two cds), these are highly recommended.

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Marty Dixon

This set consists of two fairly short stories, but they were pretty interesting. Snow Glass Apples was a great twist on a classic story, and I thought it was done with a very clever vein. Murder Mystery had an interesting plot, but the very end left me a bit lost. However, both are certainly worth listening to. The one note I would have would be that there are some "adult" situations described in both stories. I think it is unfortunate, as those segments really don't add much to the story. Just something to be aware of if you listen to these on a drive with your children.

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Large cast and sound effects make for a very nice production. The 1hr average length is excellent for a quick commute and great for a quick return. I found the Murder Mysteries story the more mature of the two. Snow glass apples was an interesting fairy tale with a vampiric edge. Both are for a mature audience.

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I've read Snow Glass Apples before, but had forgotten about it since it was a few years ago. Listening to it again was just as enjoyable. This is a great twist on a classic fairy tale with a lovely shade of gothic horror thrown in. Murder Mysteries was, if possible, even better. The sound effects add a haunting quality that made me want to shake my head to clear out the images when I was forced to take a break from listening. The story is poignant - a thought-provokingly different spin on the subject of angels. Excellent stories, excellent narration.

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Any fan of Neil Gaiman knows that his view of the world of fantasy is most definitely different from the way Disney presents it. His take on 'Snow White' in this audio is a truly eerie story certain to give any listener pause. Familiar characters are turned upside - no 'happily ever after' formulas here. The second piece is one I would describe as a sort of 'noire' story of angels and murder. I highly recommend this book for those looking for stories that challenge your imagination.

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Well done, and well presented. Enjoyed the twist in "Snow Glass Apples." "Murder Mysteries" is compelling, and the twist is even less expected. Be aware, that these stories are NOT appropriate for children.

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