Jorge Luis Borges has been called the greatest Spanish-language writer of our century. A selection of Borges' dazzling fictions are gathered in this audiobook, brilliantly translated by Andrew Hurley. These enigmatic, elaborate, imaginative inventions display Borges' talent for turning fiction on its head by playing with form and genre and toying with language. Together these incomparable works comprise the perfect compendium for all those who have long loved Borges, and a superb introduction to the master's work for those who have yet to discover this singular genius.
Selections include: "Borges and I", "The Garden of Forking Paths", "Man on Pink Corner", "The Library of Babel", "Death and the Compass", "The Lottery in Babylon", "The Maker", "The Zahir", "The Encounter", "The Circular Ruins", "Shakespeare's Memory", "August 25, 1983", "The Immortal", "Parable of Cervantes and the Quixote", "The Story from Rosendo Juarez", "The Aleph", and "Dreamtigers".
Please note: This audio edition includes selections from the paperback edition. The stories included are unabridged.
No way to select stories?!
The recording is fine. What’s horrible about this audiobook is that it’s a collection of short stories and the whole book is only one track. Want to navigate to a specific story? Oh wait, you don’t even know what stories are there! How many are there?! At the end of the day, I would not advise spending $16 on this audiobook.
Bad Production Ruins a Great Piece of Literature
Don't get me wrong I love Borges and have enjoyed reading his work for nearly 40 years.
The problem is with this recording.
1) The Music – The music played between chapters is obnoxious, unnecessary and extra loud, so turning the volume up for the spoken part means being blasted by this childish pseudo-spooky music.
The producer implies that it's audience too stupid to comprehend the nature of Borges' writings and needs the music to get in the mood and/or is unable to grasp the end of one story and the beginning of the next. Perhaps the producer doesn't feel that the book is long enough and needs to be padded out with gratuitous music. This brings me to my next point.
2) Length - The book is laid out in one long uninterrupted 5-hour and 14-minute “song”. There is no way to go to specific stories. This might be fine in a continuous story, where the listener would be unlikely to jump around, but it makes selective reading of these stories impossible.
3) Narrator - I don’t know who the he is but, his broad nasally mid-western accent and amateur theatrical flourishes doesn’t contribute to the joy of listening to this book. Why not someone with a Argentine accent?
It’s too bad, because a writer such as Borges deserves a much better treatment.
Storytelling at it
Jorge Luis Borges, is the master of storytelling. Roberto Bolano believed it and I agree. I have read each of these stories more than once, some of them many times and was pleased to find them available on itunes. Borges has been called the "world's librarian" and that feels right. Pulp fiction slides easily up against spiritual introspection, revelation and science fiction. Fans of The Gangs of New York, Mark Twain, Billy The Kid, Eastern Philosophy, The Arabian Knights, Pulp Fiction, Science Fiction, Mythology, Love and classic storytelling will not be disappointed. This book has been inspiring to me as a writer but perhaps more importantly as a reader and a listener.