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The Classic Tales Podcast

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Fiction
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Every week, join award-winning narrator B.J. Harrison as he narrates the greatest stories the world has ever known. From the jungles of South America to the Mississippi Delta, from Victorian England to the sands of the Arabian desert, join us on a fantastic journey through the words of the world's greatest authors. Critically-acclaimed and highly recommended for anyone who loves a good story with plenty of substance.

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Every week, join award-winning narrator B.J. Harrison as he narrates the greatest stories the world has ever known. From the jungles of South America to the Mississippi Delta, from Victorian England to the sands of the Arabian desert, join us on a fantastic journey through the words of the world's greatest authors. Critically-acclaimed and highly recommended for anyone who loves a good story with plenty of substance.

iTunes Ratings

1436 Ratings
Average Ratings
1215
111
42
33
35

Great podcast.

By doc_celt - Mar 27 2019
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Another good reason to look forward to Fridays.

Weekly treat

By Britt Neff - Mar 02 2019
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I look forward to your podcast every week! Many thanks!

iTunes Ratings

1436 Ratings
Average Ratings
1215
111
42
33
35

Great podcast.

By doc_celt - Mar 27 2019
Read more
Another good reason to look forward to Fridays.

Weekly treat

By Britt Neff - Mar 02 2019
Read more
I look forward to your podcast every week! Many thanks!
Cover image of The Classic Tales Podcast

The Classic Tales Podcast

Updated 1 day ago

Read more

Every week, join award-winning narrator B.J. Harrison as he narrates the greatest stories the world has ever known. From the jungles of South America to the Mississippi Delta, from Victorian England to the sands of the Arabian desert, join us on a fantastic journey through the words of the world's greatest authors. Critically-acclaimed and highly recommended for anyone who loves a good story with plenty of substance.

Rank #1: Ep. 608, The Inimitable Jeeves, Part 1of7, by P.G. Wodehouse

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How can Jeeves help Bertie’s friend Bingo Little get out of the soup? P.G. Wodehouse, today on The Classic Tales Podcast.

Welcome to The Classic Tales Podcast. Thank you for listening.

The Classic Tales Podcast is listener supported. Thank you so very much to all of you who have gone to www.classictalesaudiobooks.com and become financial supporters. There are several options to support the podcast, starting at $5 a month. Each of your offers of support comes with a monthly “thank-you” code. Use the codes for any audiobook download, and grow your library of classics. Everybody wins! And we get to keep the podcast going strong. Again, thank you so much! 

And if you’re in the mood for more hands on stuff, we also have our merchandise store, where you can order t-shirts, hoodies, tote bags and other merchandise sporting your favorite Classic Tales covers.

And you can also check out our new innovation: The Hybrid Audiobook by clicking in the link in the show notes.

Thank you again for your generous support.

Today we celebrate the end of the 20-year freeze of the public domain. Four days ago, The Inimitable Jeeves entered the public domain, along with two Agatha Christie novels, and works by Edith Wharton and many, many others. And going forward, every year more will be released, and soon the works of Steinbeck, Hemingway and others will be free to produce through the podcast. It’s gonna be great!

It’s been so fun to revisit my old friends Wooster and Jeeves.

And now, The Inimitable Jeeves, part 1 of 7, by P.G. Wodehouse

Tap here to go to www.classictalesaudiobooks.com and become a financial supporter!

Tap here to purchase Huckleberry Finn – the first Hybrid Audiobook

Tap here to go the The Classic Tales Merchandise store!

Jan 04 2019
40 mins
Play

Rank #2: Ep. 630, The Importance of Being Earnest, Part 1 of 4, by Oscar Wilde

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Who is the owner of the mysterious cigarette case? The answer is anything but simple. Oscar Wilde, today on The Classic Tales Podcast.

Welcome to The Classic Tales Podcast. Thank you for listening.

The Classic Tales Podcast is listener supported. If you’ve enjoyed The Classic Tales over the years, please consider becoming a supporting member. Making a monthly donation really helps us to create a support flow we can count on. If you can step up with just $5/month, that really helps us out. Go to www.classictalesaudiobooks.com and become a monthly supporter. You’ll get a monthly code good for $8 toward any digital audiobook download, as a ‘thank you’ gift. It’s a great deal, and a great feeling. Thank you so much.

And for those of you with the Classic Tales App, check out your special features for more Meditations of Marcus Aurelius - just enough to wet your whistle. In the app, tap on the box with a bow on the left when you play the episode. That’s the special features area. 

If you’re a regular listener of The Classic Tales Podcast, perhaps you've heard me read a passage that really stands out to you. One of the limitations of podcasts as a format is that there has not been a great way to save those brief moments for yourself or share them with other people in your life that would enjoy them.

That's why I'm excited to announce that I’m experimenting with a great new tool, Airr, that lets you save and share the best moments of Classic Tales episodes. Their app lets you capture the moments that stand out to you while listening, and then send these clips to your friends or share them on social media.

Airr is a free, iPhone app that is currently in private beta. Now, this isn't a paid sponsorship or an ad of any sort. Instead, the founders are working with me to give Classic Tales listeners early access to the app, which launches publicly this August. You can sign up for early access through the link, which I will also link in the show notes.

And, perhaps most importantly, I want all of you to share your favorite moments from Classic Tales with me! If you use Airr and tweet your favorite moment from the latest episodes @bjharrisonaudio, you might just appear on a Classic Tales episode. Each week, before the story begins, I’ll shoutout the fan who submitted my favorite moment, read their accompanying tweet, and play their clip on the show!

This week we are doing a play that I have adapted into the audiobook format. I’ve done this before with Shakespeare’s Hamlet and Coriolanus. I think I’m finally hit my stride. I’m very happy with the way this turned out. I hope you enjoy it.

And now, The Importance of Being Earnest, Part 1 of 4, by Oscar Wilde.

Tap here to go to www.classictalesaudiobooks.com and become a financial supporter!

Tap here to get early access to the Airr app, and share your favorite snippets of the episode with your friends! Share on Twitter @bjharrisonaudio, and your clip might be on the show!

Tap here to purchase Huckleberry Finn – the first Hybrid Audiobook

Tap here to go the The Classic Tales Merchandise store!

Hear us on roku:

Jun 07 2019
48 mins
Play

Rank #3: Ep. 577, The Secret Adversary, Part 1 of 9, by Agatha Christie

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Tommy and Tuppence are two old friends who are having some hard luck after the war. But once they form the company of Young Adventurers, LTD, adventure comes knocking. Agatha Christie, today on The Classic Tales Podcast.

Welcome to The Classic Tales Podcast. Thank you for listening.

The Classic Tales Podcast is listener supported. Go to www.thebestaudiobooks.com and find out how you can become a financial supporter for only $5/month.

The second portion of The Hunchback of Notre Dame is making its way to our supporters. You can become a supporter, and enjoy a monthly installment of this epic adventure for only $5/month. You’ll also get a coupon code for 8 dollars off anything in the store! The month-to-month $5 contributions really help keep us afloat. It’s tough to sell something that is expensive to produce, but available for free. I have tried to keep the podcast going with the listener in mind. I’ve always shied away from putting ads in the middle of the episode, or pelting you with a ton of ads at the beginning or end. Once the story starts, I want to keep you in the moment.

This is the only way we raise funds to keep the show rolling. And you get so much in return. So, if you enjoy the podcast, please step up and support it. It’s a great feeling and it’s a terrific value. Thank you for your support.

And if you’d like to go the a la carte route, you can pick up the Enchiridion episodes of The Hunchback of Notre Dame for $5 each at the website.

The Tommy and Tuppence stories are a lesser-known vein of books and stories by Agatha Christie. Probably because they are overshadowed by her other titan sleuths, such as Hercule Poirot and Miss Marbles. It is also one of the rare occasions where Ms. Christie embarks on a story of adventure and espionage. With her typical catchy prose and dialogue, The Secret Adversary is the first of the series, sets up the adventures of Tommy and Tuppence: a dynamic duo who do not disappoint.

And now, The Secret Adversary, Part 1 of 9, by Agatha Christie

Tap here to go to www.thebestaudiobooks.com and become a financial supporter!

Jun 01 2018
1 hour 6 mins
Play

Rank #4: Ep. 594, The Circular Staircase, Part 1of9, by Mary Roberts Rinehart

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A spunky spinster and her niece and nephew rent a nice country house for the summer. But when shots ring out at three in the morning, their vacation takes a tragic turn . Mary Roberts Rinehart - today on The Classic Tales Podcast.

Welcome to The Classic Tales Podcast. Thank you for listening.

The Classic Tales Podcast is listener supported. I’ve gone through and created many more options to support the podcast, so if you can swing more on the monthly side, or want to give us a single donation, you can find an abundance of options at www.classictalesaudiobooks.com.

And just so you know where your donation money is going, today I we had a dental emergency. My daughter had a really bad cavity that needed immediate attention. I don’t know how you guys are, but when you’re already tight, something like a dental emergency can be really, really stressful monetarily. But since we’ve had a recent uptick in contributions at the website, I was able to pay for my daughter’s dental work because of your donations.

So while it’s fine to get your audiobooks at the bigger stores, when you support The Classic Tales Podcast and Audiobooks, you help to make my daughter’s smile a little brighter. And daddy breathes a little easier. Thank you so much for your support. The website again is www.classictalesaudiobooks.com

I’ve read several stories and novels in an attempt to really get a good story to do next. I have a ton of ideas, but I always look for something that really speaks to me. After weeks of study, I found it. Mary Roberts Rinehart was a bestselling Golden Age Mystery writer, predating Agatha Christie by several years. She is actually known as the American Agatha Christie. The Circular Staircase, the story that begins today, pioneered the “Had I but known” style of mystery, where a first-person narrator laments his or her action, which precipitates another unfortunate series of actions. It’s great fun where you have a fun character with a disdainful opinion of detectives.

Ogden Nash parodied the Had I But Known school in his poem: “Don’t Guess, Let Me Tell You”

Had-I-But-Known narrators are the ones who hear a stealthy creak at midnight in the tower where the body lies, and, instead of locking their door or arousing the drowsy policeman posted outside their room, sneak off by themselves to the tower and suddenly they hear a breath exhaled behind them,

And they have no time to scream, they know nothing else till the men from the D.A.'s office come in next morning and find them.

...

And when the killer is finally trapped into a confession by some elaborate device of the Had I But Known-er some hundred pages later than if they hadn’t held their knowledge aloof,

Why, they say, why Inspector I knew all along it was he but I couldn’t tell you, you would have laughed at me unless I had absolute proof.

And now, The Circular Staircase, Part 1of9, by Mary Roberts Rinehart.

Tap here to go to www.classictalesaudiobooks.com and become a financial supporter!

Sep 28 2018
57 mins
Play

Rank #5: Ep. 640, The Four Just Men, part 1of4, by Edgar Wallace

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How does a vigilante group styling themselves The Four Just Men raise the stakes against an inflammatory act of Parliament? Edgar Wallace, today on The Classic Tales Podcast.

Welcome to The Classic Tales Podcast. Thank you for listening.

The Classic Tales Podcast is listener supported. If you enjoy listening to The Classic Tales, please consider becoming a supporting member. It helps support the podcast, and it’s a great way to build out your library of classics. By making a monthly donation of just $5, you’ll receive a corresponding thank-you code for $8 discount off any audiobook order. Donate $10 a month or more, and you get a $17 discount. You win, and we get to keep going strong. Go now to www.classictalesaudiobooks.com and become a member today.

You can also purchase our app, or shop for t-shirts and other merchandise. Links can be found in the notes to today’s episode.

If you have the Classic Tales App, check your special features for more Meditations of Marcus Aurelius.

We’d also like to thank Spotify for being a partnering sponsor.

This week we have another sponsor: AudioFile Magazine. They have an amazing podcast that highlights the best of the best in audiobooks. Their episodes are frequent, and run around 5 minutes long. Continue listening after the story to hear an entire episode of their podcast: Behind the Mic with AudioFile Magazine

The Hunchback of Notre Dame is coming along. I’m running a little behind this week. It’s tricky to try and sneak in a few hours to record over the weekend. I’m going to release this in two shots, as a Part One and Part Two, since it runs around 20 hours. So keep an eye open for Part One.

Please make sure your membership status is current, as I will be sending the completed audiobook out to all current financial supporting members.

Today’s story is Edgar Wallace who co-wrote the groundbreaking story of King Kong with Merriam C. Cooper. Wallace was a prolific author, and at the time of his death, was known as “The King of Thrillers”. 

When Wallace finished writing The Four Just Men, he was sure he had a hit. The problem was, nobody else thought so. He couldn’t get it published. So, he self published it, and decided to advertise the novel on an unprecedented scale. He came up with a bold advertising gimmick: a £500 reward was offered to any reader who could guess how the murder in the novel was committed. Wallace was working for The Daily Mail newspaper at the time, and here he published the serialized version of the story along with the competition.

Well, it didn’t work out quite like he’d anticipated. While the book did well, it didn’t do that well. Furthermore, Wallace wasn’t quite as clever as he thought. Some people were guessing the ending. After three months, Wallace still hadn’t recouped his advertising investment, and he had more contest winners than he was planning for. So, the official list of winners kind of went unpublished, which kind of made a lot of people lose trust in The Daily Mail, which is really a bad thing when you’re, you know, a news source.

In the end, Wallace had to borrow £5,000 from his boss, so the newspaper could save face with their readers. Wallace’s working relationship with the paper soured after that, when it became evident that Wallace was in no hurry to pay the money back. But while the publishing of The Four Just Men was a bit of a fiasco, it did establish Wallace’s name as a writer.

The reason I chose this story was because while I was reading it, I was constantly fighting with myself. This was Wallace’s intention. Of The Four Just Men, he said, “The most lawless of us would hesitate to defend them, but the greater humanitarian could scarcely condemn them.” We aren’t supposed to be completely for or against them.

The story takes place before the two World Wars, when anarchists were big news in Europe. Today, we would likely dub them terrorists. They are vigilantes, who seek their own version of justice from the world. I hope you like it.

Warning: there are a couple offensive racial epithets in today’s episode, including the “n” word. 

And now, The Four Just Men, part 1 of 4, by Edgar Wallace.

Tap here to go to www.classictalesaudiobooks.com and become a financial supporter!

Tap here to get early access to the Airr app, and share your favorite snippets of the episode with your friends! Share on Twitter @bjharrisonaudio, and your clip might be on the show!

Tap here to purchase Huckleberry Finn – the first Hybrid Audiobook

Tap here to go the The Classic Tales Merchandise store! 

Aug 16 2019
1 hour 15 mins
Play

Rank #6: Ep. 562, Love Among the Chickens, part 1of6, by P.G. Wodehouse

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Famous bombastic borrower Stanley Featherstonehough Ukridge is convinced that his complete ignorance of farming gives him a particular advantage in the subject. And he persuades his wife and his mild-mannered chum to start a chicken farm with him. P.G. Wodehouse, today on The Classic Tales Podcast.

Welcome to The Classic Tales Podcast. Thank you for listening.

This episode of The Classic Tales Podcast is made possible by our listeners who have gone to www.thebestaudiobooks.com and become financial supporters. We couldn’t do this without you.

So, I had a listener send me an email, and he was like, “Ok, let me get this strait – for 5 dollars a month, I can get Emma, like all the parts, and a credit for $8 off anything in the store? How long do the credits last?” I could see that he was maybe looking for a “catch” – smart guy! I replied and said that the credit is issued as a monthly coupon code, and it is good for a year from the time of its release. And also that, yes, you can have all of Emma and an 8 dollar code for 5 dollars a month. He’s now a financial supporter. Thanks, Will!

Financially supporting the podcast not only helps us keep the podcast up and running, it also helps to grease the Harrison Family’s wheels. I remember when I was an art student, and I learned about what freelancing was. My initial reaction was, “That’s the dumbest thing ever! Who would do that?” Well, 22 years later I still do it. And the trickiest part of working as a freelancer is keeping a steady stream of funds. See, even if I do the work, sometimes the mail breaks down, or hurricanes hit, or things get miscommunicated. It’s just the nature of the freelancing beast. And so having a monthly resource I can lean on from time to time really helps when the road gets bumpy. And sometimes things can get pretty bumpy. Thank you so much.

To learn how you can be a financial supporter of the podcast, click on over to www.thebestaudiobooks.com. And if you ever need more time to download your items or run into any trouble, simply respond to any of the emails we send out connected with your order. All the responses come to me, and I’ll get you squared away in no time. Again, thank you so much.

Today’s story is the first part of a new P.G. Wodehouse series! I’ve been kicking this title around in my head for a while now. When I listened to an audio version of it, I thought, “You know, this could be really funny with a little twist.” Also, a satirical book featuring a bombastic blowhard who thinks that his absolute lack of experience makes him uniquely qualified…. well let’s just say I thought this was a strangely timely tale. I hope you like it.

And now, Love Among the Chickens, part 1 of 6, by P.G. Wodehouse 

Tap here to go to www.thebestaudiobooks.com and become a financial supporter!

Feb 16 2018
1 hour 2 mins
Play

Rank #7: Ep. 597, The Colour Out of Space, by H.P. Lovecraft

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After a meteorite strikes near a farmhouse outside of Arkham, strange things begin to happen. While the scientifically minded speak of discovering a new element, locals sense something more sinister is in the air. H.P. Lovecraft, today on The Classic Tales Podcast.

Welcome to The Classic Tales Podcast. Thank you for listening.

The Classic Tales Podcast is listener supported. I’ve gone through and created many more options to support the podcast, so if you can swing more on the monthly side, or want to give us a single donation, you can find an abundance of options at www.classictalesaudiobooks.com. Each donation comes with a monthly “thank-you” code.

This week, we are taking a departure from our murder mystery, and going to another part of New England – Arkham, Massachusetts. You have probably noticed that there is a bit of a black hole with some of the previous episodes of The Classic Tales Podcast. Though we are currently in the middle of season twelve, only seasons 1-4 have been released as complete collections. Why is this? Well, because to format the new audio, correctly label the files, write and record new opening and closing credits is not at the very, very top of my list. It’s there, just not at the top. Got to put out too many fires first.

And so, we are opening the archives and releasing a story that was originally released in July 2016 as a two-part episode. I’ve combined both of the parts into one for today’s episode. This story was actually one of Lovecraft’s own favorites. I hope you enjoy it. We’ll resume the mystery of the circular staircase next week.

And now, The Colour Out of Space, by H.P. Lovecraft.

Tap here to go to www.classictalesaudiobooks.com and become a financial supporter!

Oct 19 2018
1 hour 25 mins
Play

Rank #8: Ep. 586, The Mysterious Key and What It Opened, part 1of2, by Louisa May Alcott

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Louisa May Alcott is back with “blood and thunder”. She gives us a tale of a boy with mysterious secrets and suspect agendas - today on The Classic Tales Podcast.

Welcome to The Classic Tales Podcast. Thank you for listening.

The Classic Tales Podcast is listener supported. Go to www.thebestaudiobooks.com and find out how you can become a financial supporter for only $5/month. Thank you so much for all of our friends who have become supporters, sent us encouraging emails, and left stellar reviews. We’ll keep on plugging away, and

When Louisa May was 19, she took a job as a companion to a young woman, sister of James Richardson, a lawyer in Dedham, Massachusetts. The old gentleman described the job as requiring some light housework, but that she should be regarded as one of the family. The reality was that the light housework was rather heavy, the sister was rarely seen, and Mr. Richardson attempted to woo with poetry an unimpressed young Louisa. When Louisa protested and delivered an ultimatum, the situation worsened. After seven weeks of drudgery, she left. She was paid four dollars, which the outraged Alcotts returned. Louisa May later wrote about the incident in “How I Went Out to Service”. Doubtless this event fuelled much of the anger and frustration that burns bright in many of Louisa’s “blood and thunder” tales. The first of which, entitled “Pauline’s Passion and Punishment”, won a contest that paid her one hundred dollars for its publication. Her “blood and thunder” tales sold for fifty to seventy-five dollars each. They were published under the pseudonym A.M. Barnard.

I can just see Jo from Little Women reading this story aloud to her sisters, maybe before she got the message to “write what you know”. If you liked the first of Alcott’s “blood and thunder” tales that we did back in January, The Mysterious Key and What It Opened shouldn’t disappoint.

And now, The Mysterious Key and What It Opened, part 1of2, by Louisa May Alcott.

Tap here to go to www.thebestaudiobooks.com and become a financial supporter!

Aug 03 2018
1 hour
Play

Rank #9: Ep. 629, The Undertakers, by Rudyard Kipling

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What is the secret desire that needles the reptilian mind of the Mugger of Mugger-Ghaut? Rudyard Kipling, today on The Classic Tales Podcast.

Welcome to The Classic Tales Podcast. Thank you for listening.

The Classic Tales Podcast is listener supported. If you’ve enjoyed The Classic Tales over the years, please consider becoming a supporting member. Making a monthly donation really helps us to create a support flow we can count on. If you can step up with just $5/month, that really helps us out. Go to www.classictalesaudiobooks.com and become a monthly supporter. You’ll get a monthly ‘thank you’ code toward any digital download, to help to expand your library of classic audiobooks. It’s a great deal, and a great feeling. Thank you so much.

 People are picking up Pride and Prejudice tote bags, and t-shirts of The Count of Monte Cristo. Check out our merchandise store! Links can be found in the episode’s details.

And for those of you with the Classic Tales App, check out your special features for more Meditations of Marcus Aurelius - just enough to wet your whistle. In the app, tap on the box with a bow on the left when you play the episode. That’s the special features area.

This week, we hear from Rudyard Kipling. Today’s story comes from the second of his Jungle Book stories.

Not sure if it’s super well known or obvious, but Kipling was a bit of a racist and misogynist. He truly believed that the white man was superior. You can see it in his writing in his attitude toward the indigenous people of India, and the way he depicts the women in this story.

When I run into stuff like this, I don’t think it’s right to ignore it. I also don’t want to cut out the objectionable parts, and pretend that these things didn’t happen. They did. And I think if we look at them and talk about them, it helps to keep them from recurring. I also think it helps to keep these attitudes from gaining acceptance through the revisiting of these pieces.

And now, The Undertakers, by Rudyard Kipling.

Tap here to go to www.classictalesaudiobooks.com and become a financial supporter!

Tap here to purchase Huckleberry Finn – the first Hybrid Audiobook

Tap here to go the The Classic Tales Merchandise store!

Hear us on roku:

May 31 2019
1 hour 1 min
Play

Rank #10: Ep. 621, The Hand of Fu-Manchu, part 1of7, by Sax Rohmer

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Why has Sir Gregory Hale kept to his room for two weeks in such a paroxysm of frantic paranoia? Sax Rohmer, today on The Classic Tales Podcast.

Welcome to The Classic Tales Podcast. Thank you for listening.

The Classic Tales Podcast is listener supported. Making a monthly donation really helps us to create a support flow we can count on. If you can step up with $5/month, that really helps us out. Go to www.classictalesaudiobooks.com and become a monthly supporter. You’ll get a monthly ‘thank you’ code for any digital download. It’s a great deal, and a great feeling. Thank you so much.

You can also purchase t-shirts and stuff at our merchandise store, and check out the Hybrid Audiobook - the audiobook that’s embedded in a printed book that I’ve invented and patented. Links can be found in the episode’s details.

And for those of you with the Classic Tales App, check out your special features for more Meditations of Marcus Aurelius - just enough to wet your whistle. In the app, tap on the box with a bow on the left when you play the episode. That’s the special features area.

Today we begin our series of The Hand of Fu-Manchu, by Sax Rohmer. It is the third in the Fu-Manchu series, and you can pick up the first two titles at our website for under $8 each.

Now, before we jump in, I really need to say a word about the material. The Fu-Manchu series is basically built around the racist idea of a Yellow Peril. This term is used to express Western fears about East Asian Immigration, and builds on the fear to concoct an idea that someday the East Asians may get too much political and economic power – too much for the existing people in power, that is.

Sax Rohmer was quite a craftsman, using many devices from Sherlock Holmes and other popular detective stories, and integrating them with the contemporary British fear of the immigrants from the East. Seriously, by the time you’re a few minutes in to any Fu-Manchu story, you’re steeped in some serious Chinaphobia.

That being said, you may wonder why I chose to do this title? The reason is that I really think this needs to be looked at and talked about. When we brush racist history under the rug, or try to ignore it, it doesn’t make it go away. It empowers it. It enables it. And we really shouldn’t pretend that it didn’t happen. In coupling his page-turning popular writing with literally vilifying an entire race of people, The Fu-Manchu series brought Chinaphobia into the mainstream. We shouldn’t be okay with that.

And so, as you run into some objectionable stuff today, talk about it with your friends. Point out the problems with your kids. Let’s see where we were, and clean this out of our culture through honest and informed discussion.

If you’d like to learn more, check out Dr. Fu-Manchu and the Rise of Chinaphobia, by British educationalist and writer, Sir Christopher Frayling.

And now, The Hand of Fu-Manchu, part 1 of 7, by Sax Rohmer.

Tap here to go to www.classictalesaudiobooks.com and become a financial supporter!

Tap here to purchase Huckleberry Finn – the first Hybrid Audiobook

Tap here to go the The Classic Tales Merchandise store!

Hear us on roku:

Apr 05 2019
54 mins
Play

Rank #11: Ep. 607,The Harbor Master, by Robert W. Chambers

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Could there really be a man with gills like a fish, which haunts the harbors in the North? Robert W. Chambers, today on The Classic Tales Podcast.

Welcome to The Classic Tales Podcast. Thank you for listening.

The Classic Tales Podcast is listener supported. Thank you so very much to all of you who have gone to www.classictalesaudiobooks.com and become financial supporters. There are several options to support the podcast, starting at $5 a month. Each of your offers of support comes with a monthly “thank-you” code. Use the codes for any audiobook download, and grow your library of classics. Everybody wins! And we get to keep the podcast going strong. Again, thank you so much.

Today’s story is found in the first five chapters of the book, In Search of the Unknown, by Robert W. Chambers. The book contains several stories like the one we will hear today, about scary creatures that show up when you least expect it.

I figured we’d round out the year with a good monster story. Couldn’t hurt, right?

Thanks for supporting the podcast.

And if you’re in the mood for more hands on stuff, we also have our merchandise store, where you can order t-shirts, hoodies, tote bags and other merchandise sporting your favorite Classic Tales covers.

And you can also check out our new innovation: The Hybrid Audiobook by clicking in the link in the show notes.

Thank you again for your generous support.

And now, The Harbor Master, by Robert W. Chambers

Tap here to go to www.classictalesaudiobooks.com and become a financial supporter!

Tap here to purchase Huckleberry Finn – the first Hybrid Audiobook

Tap here to go the The Classic Tales Merchandise store!

Dec 28 2018
1 hour 4 mins
Play

Rank #12: Ep. 561, The Hanging Stranger, by Philip K. Dick

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Something simply out of the ordinary turns into an unspeakable horror. Philip K. Dick, today on The Classic Tales Podcast.

Welcome to The Classic Tales Podcast. Thank you for listening.

This episode of The Classic Tales Podcast is made possible by our listeners. Many, many thanks to all those who have gone to www.thebestaudiobooks.com and become financial supporters. We couldn’t do this without you.

The Enchiridion series of Emma, by Jane Austen continues this month. If you came late to the show, and you don’t have all 3 parts of Emma that we’ve done so far, please send an email to support@thebestaudiobooks.com, and we’ll set you up with a link to all parts we’ve released so far. Even if you just became a member, I’d love for you to have the whole story. Send us an email and we’ll hook you up.

If you’re a monthly supporter, you’ll receive a healthy portion of Emma every month until its completion. Please click on over to www.thebestaudiobooks.com and become a supporting member today. You can subscribe for $5 or $10 a month and receive the monthly members-only content of The Enchiridion, and get coupon codes for up to $17 dollars off any of our titles. It’s seriously a great deal, and a fantastic way to expand your library of classic audiobooks.

Today’s story is from science fiction titan Philip K. Dick. It was originally published in Science Fiction Adventures Magazine in December 1953. I’d like to note that many of the understated opinions and prejudices found in this story are products of the time. The hero of the story is verbally abusive to his wife and children, and even gets physical with his kids. The fact that this story is produced by The Classic Tales does not mean that we condone these behaviors or prejudices. Parents, it might be a good chance to talk with you kids about how far we’ve come!

And now, The Hanging Stranger, by Philip K. Dick

Tap here to go to www.thebestaudiobooks.com and become a financial supporter!

Feb 09 2018
41 mins
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Rank #13: Ep. 576, The Crystal Egg, by H.G. Wells

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In an aging bric-a-brac shop, a certain crystal egg has suddenly become so important, the shop owner has declared it not for sale. For, only he knows the crystal egg's mystifying secret. H.G. Wells, today on The Classic Tales Podcast.

Welcome to The Classic Tales Podcast. Thank you for listening.

The Classic Tales Podcast is listener supported. Go to www.thebestaudiobooks.com and find out how you can become a financial supporter for only $5/month.

This week, the second portion of The Hunchback of Notre Dame will begin making its way to our supporters. You can become a supporter, and enjoy a monthly installment of this epic adventure for only $5/month. You’ll also get a coupon code for 8 dollars off anything in the store! The month-to-month $5 contributions really help keep us afloat. It’s tough to sell something that is expensive to produce, but available for free. I have tried to keep the podcast going with the listener in mind. I’ve always shied away from putting ads in the middle of the episode, or pelting you with a ton of ads at the beginning or end. Once the story starts, I want to keep you in the moment. This is the only way we raise funds to keep the show rolling. And you get so much in return. So, if you enjoy the podcast, please step up and support it. It’s a great feeling and it’s a terrific value. Thank you for your support.

And if you’d like to go the a la carte route, you can pick up the Enchiridion episodes of The Hunchback of Notre Dame for $5 each at the website.

A quick note about todays story: please keep in mind that this bit of visionary fiction was written 121 years ago, in 1897. The mainstream technological advances at this time included the invention of Bayer’s Aspirin, Marconi’s wireless, Diesel’s Engine, and Edison’s Kinetoscope, the precursor of the movie projector. These things were not mainstream, just barely invented. Queen Victoria was still on the throne, and the world got around with horses and buggies. It seems like the world of iPhones, internet, computers, email, space travel, sustainable energy, and crypto currency belongs on another planet. But while living in this horse and buggy world, Wells crafted today’s story.

And now, The Crystal Egg, by H.G. Wells 

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May 25 2018
48 mins
Play

Rank #14: Ep. 639, The Rival Mechanicians, by Lydia Maria Child

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What misfortune occurs when an ancient watchmaker pits his two protégés against each other? Lydia Maria Child, today on The Classic Tales Podcast.

Welcome to The Classic Tales Podcast. Thank you for listening.

The Classic Tales Podcast is listener supported. If you enjoy listening to The Classic Tales, please consider becoming a supporting member. It helps support the podcast, and it’s a great way to build out your library of classics. By making a monthly donation of just $5, you’ll receive a corresponding thank-you code for $8 off any digital audiobook download. You win, and we get to keep going strong. Go now to www.classictalesaudiobooks.com and become a member today.

There are many other ways you can also support the podcast, through purchasing our app, merchandise, or telling your friends about us. Links can be found in the notes to today’s episode.

If you have the Classic Tales App, check your special features for more Meditations of Marcus Aurelius. That’s still a thing.

You and also rate and review us at Spotify or Apple Podcasts. 

And the items in our FREE category have been changed, so head on over to the website for some free audiobooks.

The Hunchback of Notre Dame is coming along. I’m actually using a combination of several translations to record this audiobook, as I’m using three at the same time. The one from J. Carroll Beckwith is the main one, but I’m also using the traditionally used anonymous translation as well as another audio version for additional reference. I have around four more hours to record.

Please make sure your membership status is current, as I will be sending the completed audiobook out to all current financial supporting members. 

Today’s story is by Lydia Maria Child, who lived from 1802 to 1880. She was best known for her stand against slavery and for her promotion of the rights of Native Americans. The musical version of her Thanksgiving poem, “Over the River and Through the Woods”, is still sung by children today.

Her story, “The Rival Mechanicians” has been lauded as one of the finest science fiction tales from the first half of the nineteenth century. The Western Literary Messenger declared it to be “above praise”, when it was first published in 1847.

There are so many diverse and profound elements to the story, however, I think I’ll let it speak for itself.

And now, The Rival Mechanicians, by Lydia Maria Child.

Tap here to go to www.classictalesaudiobooks.com and become a financial supporter!

Tap here to get early access to the Airr app, and share your favorite snippets of the episode with your friends! Share on Twitter @bjharrisonaudio, and your clip might be on the show!

Tap here to purchase Huckleberry Finn – the first Hybrid Audiobook

Tap here to go the The Classic Tales Merchandise store!

Hear us on roku:

Aug 09 2019
43 mins
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Rank #15: Ep. 609,The Inimitable Jeeves, Part 2of7, by P.G. Wodehouse

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How can Jeeves help to keep Aunt Agatha from hounding Bertie to marry, when he’s turned frosty about a certain scarlet cummerbund? P.G. Wodehouse, today on The Classic Tales Podcast.

Welcome to The Classic Tales Podcast. Thank you for listening.

The Classic Tales Podcast is listener supported. Thank you so very much to all of you who have gone to www.classictalesaudiobooks.com and become financial supporters. There are several options to support the podcast, starting at $5 a month. Each of your offers of support comes with a monthly “thank-you” code. Use the codes for any audiobook download, and grow your library of classics. Everybody wins! And we get to keep the podcast going strong. Thanks again for your generous support.

I don’t know if I’ve mentioned it, but do you know why you don’t hear a whole bunch of credits at the end of the show? That’s because this show is a bit of a one-man band.

Where other podcasts and shows have artists to come up with the artwork, producers to choose the content, directors to direct and actors to narrate the piece, copywriters to write any additional copy, proofing editors to proof the audio against inconsistencies, audio engineers to mix the audio, marketers to load the podcast and announce the show on social media, and run the website, well, here at The Classic Tales, we just have one person to do all of that. Just lil’ old me.

And we have just started our 13th season.

So if you’re wondering why you don’t hear of any amazing sponsors or partners, that’s because there aren’t any.

And when you subscribe to pay $5 or $10 a month. That money doesn’t go to some corporate account we’re hiding on the sly. If there’s any left over after covering the expenses of the podcast, I buy groceries with it. Seriously, I do. I did it today.

Thank you so much for supporting the podcast, and my efforts to bring these amazing stories to life.

And now, The Inimitable Jeeves, part 2 of 7, by P.G. Wodehouse 

Tap here to go to www.classictalesaudiobooks.com and become a financial supporter!

Tap here to purchase Huckleberry Finn – the first Hybrid Audiobook

Tap here to go the The Classic Tales Merchandise store!

Jan 10 2019
43 mins
Play

Rank #16: Ep. 610,The Inimitable Jeeves, Part 3of7, by P.G. Wodehouse

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Will Bertie’s scheme to help Bingo Little come off without a hitch, or are there many more spring-ready hitches hiding in the bushes? P.G. Wodehouse, today on The Classic Tales Podcast.

Welcome to The Classic Tales Podcast. Thank you for listening.

The Classic Tales Podcast is listener supported. Thank you so very much to all of you who have gone to www.classictalesaudiobooks.com and become financial supporters. There are several options to support the podcast, starting at $5 a month. Each of your offers of support comes with a monthly “thank-you” code. Use the codes for any audiobook download, and watch your library of classics bloom and grow. Everybody wins! And we get to keep the podcast going strong. Thanks again for your generous support. 

I had the opportunity last week of chatting with Rob Walsh, podcasting guru and executive at Libsyn, the largest podcast hosting company. We took a look at my statistics, and it seems that The Classic Tales Podcast is in the top 5% of all current podcasts. Like, all of them. There are 639,000 currently updated podcasts, and mine is in the top 5%. Congratulations for listening to a winner!

Rob also mentioned that the largest genre of new podcasts is business podcasts. I asked what he meant. He said that the podcast is to businesses what websites were 13 years ago. Everybody needs one, and everyone’s getting one. It gives your business a voice, and creates a unique space where you can engage with your clients and customers.

Your clients love to hear how you develop your product, or come up with your ideas. They’d love to hear to describe your creative process, or how you overcame crazy obstacles. Hey, I know content creation, and I can help make it happen.

So if you’d like to have a podcast for your business, let me help you. I can help to develop, write, record and set up your very own podcast. And the kind folks at Libsyn have worked out a deal with me where if you hire me to help to set up your podcast, you can get your first TWO months of podcast hosting free.

Maybe you’re a writer wanting to expand your readership. Maybe you’re a new company with an amazing product. Maybe you’d like to polish your brand with added sophistication. Podcasting can take you to the next level, and I can help you get there.

If you would like me to develop a podcast for your business, please send me an email at: bj@thebestaudiobooks.com. Only a limited number of slots are available. I’d love to work with you.

And now, The Inimitable Jeeves, part 3 of 7, by P.G. Wodehouse

Tap here to go to www.classictalesaudiobooks.com and become a financial supporter!

Tap here to purchase Huckleberry Finn – the first Hybrid Audiobook

Tap here to go the The Classic Tales Merchandise store!

Jan 18 2019
1 hour 5 mins
Play

Rank #17: Ep. 588, Deathworld, Part1of6, by Harry Harrison

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Jason dinAlt is a psionic gambler who uses his erratic abilities to tip the odds in his favor. He is made an offer he can’t refuse by a man who is waging a war – not with another army, but with a planet. Harry Harrison - today on The Classic Tales Podcast.

Welcome to The Classic Tales Podcast. Thank you for listening.

The Classic Tales Podcast is listener supported. Go to www.classictalesaudiobooks.com and find out how you can become a financial supporter for only $5/month, and get a monthly coupon code for $8 off any digital audiobook.

We have some new developments at the website. First of all, you can find us also by going to classictalesaudiobooks.com! So if that’s easier to remember, feel free to update your browser bookmarks. www.classictalesaudiobooks.com

We’ve also updated our website! I’ve been working on this for a long while, now, and we finally have a brand new look. I still need to redo the store side of things, and we’ll get there eventually. I really like how clean it is, and the artwork for each of the titles really has a chance to shine.

So visit us at www.classictalesaudiobooks.com and see what all the fuss is about. I think you’ll like it!

And now for something completely different…

Today’s story was originally released serially in the magazine Astounding Science Fiction in 1960. Harry Harrison was originally an illustrator, and worked on two series for EC Comics: Weird Fantasy, and Weird Science. He was also the main writer for the Flash Gordon comic strip during the 1950s and 1960s. He wrote under many pseudonyms as a science fiction writer, and eventually became known for his Stainless Steel Rat series, and for his novel Make Room! Make Room! This latter was the inspiration behind the Charleton Heston film Soylent Green.

But his best-known work is contained in fast-moving parodies, homages, or even straight reconstructions of traditional space-opera adventures. Deathworld is an excellent example of this parody style. For while it is written in the style of the sci-fi pulp hack, there is also a streak of deeper meaning to the discerning reader. His work often juxtaposed the thinking man with the man of force.

And now, Deathworld, part 1of6, by Harry Harrison.

Aug 17 2018
59 mins
Play

Rank #18: Ep. 635, The People of the Black Circle, part 1of4, by Robert E. Howard

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Will Conan the Cimmerian help Yasmina avenge her kingly brother’s death? Robert E. Howard, today on The Classic Tales Podcast.

Welcome to The Classic Tales Podcast. Thank you for listening.

The Classic Tales Podcast is listener supported. If you enjoy listening to The Classic Tales, please consider becoming a supporting member. It helps support the podcast, and it’s a great way to build out your library of classics. By making a monthly donation of just $5, you’ll receive a corresponding thank-you code for $8 off any digital audiobook download. You win, and we get to keep going strong. Go now to www.classictalesaudiobooks.com and become a member today.

If you have the Classic Tales App, check your special features for more Meditations of Marcus Aurelius.

If you’d like to share a snippet of today’s show with your friends, join us in beta testing the Airr app. Links can be found in the show notes.

We also have a merchandise store where you can get shirts and tote bags with your favorite Classic Tales Covers. Again, links are in the show notes.

And check us out on Spotify – our new podcast partner.

We’re still chipping away at Hunchback. It’s on its way. Be sure you don’t miss is, and become a monthly supporter. Once it’s ready, I’ll send an email out to all of our current supporters. If you’ve let your membership lapse, be sure and resubscribe.

And by the way, the only reason I’m being skittish about announcing a release date for Hunchback is simply because I don’t know how much more of my time I can throw toward it. I’m not trying to be like an enigmatic jerk, but at this point, it’s kind of what I can commit to. I can get it done in the near future, send it out to the supporters and move on.

I hope you don’t mind. If you have any suggestions, feel free to send me an email at support@thebestaudiobooks.com

Today we are dipping our toe into the world of Conan the Cimmerian. Now, I decided to do this book for a couple reasons.

1) Howard’s Conan series was a very important chapter in the history of fantasy. Many authors continued the series after Howard’s death – over 50 novels and dozens of short stories of Conan were written by authors other than Howard.

2) This method of story telling, using the cycle of the hero and using larger than life archetypal characters, is something that we have largely moved away from. I’ll explain it in Star Wars:

         So, in the original trilogy, you had the archetypal characters: The hero, the damsel in distress, the adventurer, the evil villain. This collection of characters are seen in millions of stories, and resonate with something deep within us. This is how storytelling has been done for centuries. This Conan story is a fantastic example of this method.

Today, we tend to demand that our characters are more nuanced, complicated, and multi-faceted. The stories that follow the same traditional pattern, using the archetypal characters, seem to not do too well. And so this Conan story is an interesting look at how it used to be done, and hopefully if parts ring a bit shallow, we can realize that we’ve become more developed in our storytelling nowadays.

And now, The People of the Black Circle, Part 1 of 4, by Robert E. Howard.

Tap here to go to www.classictalesaudiobooks.com and become a financial supporter!

Tap here to get early access to the Airr app, and share your favorite snippets of the episode with your friends! Share on Twitter @bjharrisonaudio, and your clip might be on the show!

Tap here to purchase Huckleberry Finn – the first Hybrid Audiobook

Tap here to go the The Classic Tales Merchandise store!

Hear us on roku:

Jul 12 2019
1 hour 7 mins
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Rank #19: Ep. 631, The Man Who Lived Backwards, by Charles F. Hall

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Where, (and when) does Dr. Nikolai Rostof disappear to while teaching a classroom full of children? Charles F. Hall, today on The Classic Tales Podcast.

Welcome to The Classic Tales Podcast. Thank you for listening.

The Classic Tales Podcast is listener supported. If you’ve enjoyed The Classic Tales over the years, please consider becoming a supporting member. We really need your help right now. Making a monthly donation really helps us to create a support flow we can count on. If you can step up with just $5/month, that really helps us out. Go to www.classictalesaudiobooks.com and become a monthly supporter. You’ll get a monthly code good for $8 toward any digital audiobook download, as a ‘thank you’ gift. It’s a great deal, and a great feeling. Thank you so much.

And for those of you with the Classic Tales App, check out your special features for more Meditations of Marcus Aurelius - just enough to wet your whistle. In the app, tap on the box with a bow on the left when you play the episode. That’s the special features area.

If you’re a regular listener of The Classic Tales Podcast, perhaps you've heard me read a passage that really stands out to you. One of the limitations of podcasts as a format is that there has not been a great way to save those brief moments for yourself or share them with other people in your life that would enjoy them.

Join us in beta testing the Airr app, and sharing your favorite Classic Tales moments with your friends on social media. Share your AirrQuote with me on my twitter feed, @bjharrisonaudio, and I might give you a shout out and feature you on the podcast! You can find a link to the Airr app in the show notes for this episode.

We’re also on Spotify, who has recently featured our show on one of their curated podcast playlists, “Mind Massage”. Check us out on Spotify!

And now for something completely different.

I am heading out of town with my family this week, and so we’re bringing you a rare story from the vaults.

C.S. Lewis wrote, in his preface to The Great Divorce: “I must acknowledge my debt to a writer whose name I have forgotten and whom I read several years ago in a highly coloured American magazine. The unbendable and unbreakable quality of my heavenly matter was suggested to me by him, although he used the fancy for a different and more ingenious purpose. His hero traveled into the past and there very properly found raindrops that would pierce him like bullets and sandwiches that no strength would bite because, of course, nothing in the past can be altered. If the writer of that story ever reads these lines I ask him to accept my grateful acknowledgment.”

Lewis was wrong about the story appearing in an American magazine. In fact, it appeared in a short-lived British Magazine, Tales of Wonder. And it’s small wonder that the author’s name slipped Lewis’ mind. He published two stories for this obscure magazine in 1938, and then disappeared. Today’s story is the first, and the one that Lewis referred to as influencing his writing in such a unique way.

This recording was originally released in 2011, in Season Five of The Classic Tales Podcast.

Rest assured, we will return to The Importance of Being Earnest next week. 

And now, The Man Who Lived Backward, by Charles F. Hall.

Tap here to go to www.classictalesaudiobooks.com and become a financial supporter!

Tap here to get early access to the Airr app, and share your favorite snippets of the episode with your friends! Share on Twitter @bjharrisonaudio, and your clip might be on the show!

Tap here to purchase Huckleberry Finn – the first Hybrid Audiobook

Tap here to go the The Classic Tales Merchandise store!

Hear us on roku:

Jun 14 2019
51 mins
Play

Rank #20: Ep. 619, The Dead and the Countess, by Gertrude Atherton

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Why are the dead suddenly restless in a quiet graveyard in Brittany? Gertrude Atherton, today on The Classic Tales Podcast.

Welcome to The Classic Tales Podcast. Thank you for listening. 

The Classic Tales Podcast is listener supported. The monthly donation really helps us to create a support flow we can count on. If you can step up with $5/month, that really helps us out. Go to www.classictalesaudiobooks.com and become a monthly supporter. You’ll get a monthly ‘thank you’ code for any digital download. It’s a great deal, and a great feeling. Thank you so much.

You can also purchase t-shirts and stuff at our merchandise store, and check out the Hybrid Audiobook - the audiobook that’s embedded in a printed book that I’ve invented and patented. Links can be found in the episode’s details.

And for those of you with the Classic Tales App, check out your special features for more Meditations of Marcus Aurelius - just enough to wet your whistle. In the app, tap on the box with a bow on the left when you play the episode. That’s the special features area.

Today we continue our theme highlighting some of the masters of the ghost story.

Gertrude Atherton was a prolific American author, who lived from 1857 to 1948, and frequently set her novels in her home state of California.

She wrote novels as well as short stories, supernatural horror stories, essays, and articles for magazines and newspapers on such issues as feminism, war, and politics. Today’s story is elegant in so many ways. I hesitate to say more than that. I was thrilled when I discovered Gertrude Atherton. If this is your first introduction into her work, I hope you enjoy it.

And now, The Dead and the Countess, by Gertrude Atherton.

Tap here to go to www.classictalesaudiobooks.com and become a financial supporter!

Tap here to purchase Huckleberry Finn – the first Hybrid Audiobook

Tap here to go the The Classic Tales Merchandise store!

Hear us on roku:

Mar 22 2019
39 mins
Play

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