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Download The Short Stories of Ambrose Bierce, Volume 1 Audiobook (Unabridged)

Extended Audio Sample The Short Stories of Ambrose Bierce, Volume 1 (Unabridged), by Ambrose Bierce
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (2,554 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Ambrose Bierce Narrator: Charton Griffin Publisher: Audio Connoisseur Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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Horror and the supernatural are the background of Bierce's short stories. His style is marked by vivid description, grim situations, and sardonic twists of fate. In terms of technique, he was far ahead of his time and his short stories are among the very best in American literature.

Ambrose Gwinnett Bierce (1842 1914?) was the tenth child in a family of thirteen born on a simple farm in Meigs County, Ohio. He joined the Union army as a private and distinguished himself in many engagements throughout the War Between the States, including the horrific battle of Shiloh. By war's end, he had been commissioned a major. But Bierce despised war and grew to see in it nothing but pain and wasted lives. He moved to San Francisco in the 1870s and drifted into a career as a journalist and then as a writer of short stories. To his friends he was known as Bitter Bierce. A well-traveled and troubled man, he constantly relived the horror of war, and was obsessed by the specter of sudden death. Disappearing into Mexico in 1913, he was never seen again.

Included in Volume 1 is The Moonlit Road, one of the most unforgettable ghost stories ever written. Other examples in this volume of his power to chill are Beyond the Wall, An Adventure at Brownville, and An Inhabitant of Carcosa. An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge draws on Bierce's war experiences and the ever-present reality of death. Masterpieces of this genre include One of the Missing, Parker Adderson, and A Baffled Ambuscade.

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Listener Opinions

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 by Mark Peebler | 2/17/2014

    " Enjoyed it very much, especially books I & VII. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Nate | 1/23/2014

    " This could have easily been a five-star review, but Caesar's obvious exaggerations, tall tales and outright lies get a bit obnoxious after a while. These things range from his troops engaging in huge battles and taking literally no casualties to his hilarious exaggeration of enemy numbers (thanks to my friend Bryn for that particular illumination.) That's definitely a problem, but the rest of the book is so entertaining and informative that it's really not that big of an issue. Plus, the notes liberally sprinkled throughout the translation do a great job of calling Caesar on his bullshit and also treat the Gauls with respect, particularly Vercingetorix. A big surprise I did enjoy while reading this book is how accessible and entertaining it is. There's always some kind of conspiracy (real or imagined) being cooked up by the Gauls and Germans, there's tons of tense military movements and engagements ranging from small skirmishes to pitched battles in the open to sieges and the style of writing itself is engaging and never particularly dry. I'm not really sure if the credit for goes to the translator or Caesar himself. Speaking of the author, I definitely got some insights into his personality that I didn't before. He was an intensely ambitious guy, and was utterly willing to fabricate reasons to exceed his position as governor of a few provinces in Gaul. His reasoning for his invasions of Britain were particularly flimsy and comical. He definitely tries to portray himself as reasonable and just, but he also was basically using the entirety of Gaul as a massive career boost and cash cow. Overall, it's not a pretty picture of the man that gets painted. His personality aside, this book makes clear what made him such a success in the field. The system by which Roman soldiers were conscripted into the legions at the time formed strong bonds between them and their commander, as their commander was the one paying them and not the state itself. This kind of thing is going to engender a particular kind of loyalty and these guys were willing to follow Caesar anywhere. Another huge strength he apparently had was his speed; in this book he's constantly taking no time in figuring out his plans and then marching his army into battle way before the enemy expects them. So yeah, it's kind of a trade-off between his sketchy motives and his extensive knowledge and skill with military matters. The overall story of the actual conquest is particularly complex; it's not like your average run-of-the-mill conquest of the William the Bastard variety where the conquering force just swoops in and occupies the conquered, it was more like Caesar constantly engaging a multitude of different tribes all over Gaul and Germany for different reasons over a long period of time and then after years of that reaching something like a decisive victory with the siege of Alesia, which is a great climax for the book. The complexity and pure sprawl of the siegeworks the Romans put up is seriously impressive. The multitude of Gallic person and place names gets a bit confusing after a while but the book has a great collection of appendixes which include a glossary, maps, and other good stuff. All in all, a surprisingly accessible and entertaining story of how Caesar really first came to power and an intriguing if somewhat shallow and totally biased portrait of the man himself. I'm excited to read his account of the civil war, cleverly titled The Civil War. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 by Yago de Artaza Paramo | 12/27/2013

    " Great first person account of Cesar's campaings. A must for anyone interested on the roman army. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Stupac | 11/24/2013

    " Even though this is clearly a propaganda piece, it has been hailed as the most valuable piece of ancient military history. It reads much like a journal and gives great first hand insight into the operations of a post-Marian Roman army, the most efficient military force of its day which is surprisingly like modern military forces. Caesar gives details on the daily operations, from gathering supplies, building fortifications and bridges, artillery, scouting, ambushes, transportation, garrisons, putting down rebellions, and, of course, battles. The book also gives insight into the man himself who would eventually cause the destruction of the republic, this episode in his life propelling him into popular politics. Caesar certainly plays himself (while trying to appear humble of course) and the bravery and skill of Roman soldier up, so I'm certain the casualty reports and other instances are skewed. Surprisingly though Caesar gives a good amount of information on the various tribes and political confederacies that he encounters in Gaul, Germany, and Britain, seeming to honestly acknowledge the strengths and weaknesses of his enemies and allies. I'd recommend this book to anyone who has an interest in classical history, particularly military related. "

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