The Classic Tales Podcast

B.J. Harrison

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. read less
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Episodes

Ep. 932, Bartleby, the Scrivener, by Herman Melville VINTAGE
Yesterday
Ep. 932, Bartleby, the Scrivener, by Herman Melville VINTAGE
The life of a scrivener is an existence resigned to the handwritten copying of law documents. One day something clicks in Bartleby, and his simple reply to everything is: “I prefer not to.” Herman Melville, today on The Classic Tales Podcast.  Welcome to this Vintage Episode of The Classic Tales Podcast. Thank you for listening.  A Vintage Episode is released every Tuesday. If the show has helped you find comfort, peace, or a quiet place to mentally rest, please help us to help more people like you by going to http://classictalesaudiobooks.com, and becoming a supporter. New stories are coming your way on Friday.  Keep an ear open for our Kickstarter for The Golden Triangle – the seventh novel in the Arsène Lupin series. We’ll let you know when we’re ready to kick off.  Today’s story was published anonymously in 1853. Melville was in a bit of financial straits at the time, since his last two novels, Moby Dick and Pierre, didn’t sell well at all.  Melville's major source of inspiration for the story was an advertisement for a new book, The Lawyer's Story, by James A. Maitland. This advertisement included the complete first chapter, which started: "In the summer of 1843, having an extraordinary quantity of deeds to copy, I engaged, temporarily, an extra copying clerk, who interested me considerably, in consequence of his modest, quiet, gentlemanly demeanor, and his intense application to his duties." Melville biographer Hershel Parker said nothing else in the chapter besides this "remarkably evocative sentence" was notable. It's never directly addressed why Bartleby acts the way he does, and the author has left it open to interpretation. Many critics posit that his behavior is due to depression.  And now, Bartleby, the Scrivener, by Herman Melville Follow this link to become a monthly supporter:   Follow this link to subscribe to our YouTube Channel:   Follow this link to subscribe to the Arsène Lupin Podcast:   Follow this link to follow us on Instagram:   Follow this link to follow us on Facebook:
Ep. 929, Doing Clarence a Bit of Good, by P.G. Wodehouse
10-05-2024
Ep. 929, Doing Clarence a Bit of Good, by P.G. Wodehouse
It is a fact universally known that the contract of “I’ll do absolutely anything for you” becomes null and void once the one professing undying devotion is shamelessly jilted. Or at least, one would suppose... P.G. Wodehouse, today on The Classic Tales Podcast.  Welcome to The Classic Tales Podcast. Thank you for listening.  The Vintage Episode for the week is “The Canterville Ghost”, by Oscar Wilde. Be sure to check it out on Tuesday.  If you’ve found a special value in this show, please become a monthly supporter, and help us to continue discovering and producing these enchanting stories.  Please go to http://classictalesaudiobooks.com and become a monthly supporter for as little as $5 a month. As a thank you gesture, we’ll send you a coupon code every month for $8 off any audiobook order. Give more, and you get more! Thanks for pitching in.   Go to http://classictalesaudiobooks.com and become a supporter today.  Today’s story is another in the series of P.G. Wodehouse short stories found in the volume My Man Jeeves. Reggie is at it again. I hope you like it.   And now, Doing Clarence a Bit of Good, by P.G. Wodehouse. Follow this link to become a monthly supporter:   Follow this link to subscribe to our YouTube Channel:   Follow this link to subscribe to the Arsène Lupin Podcast:   Follow this link to follow us on Instagram:   Follow this link to follow us on Facebook:    Follow this link to follow us on TikTok:
Ep. 927, Rallying Round Old George, by P.G. Wodehouse
03-05-2024
Ep. 927, Rallying Round Old George, by P.G. Wodehouse
Monte Carlo is the worst/best place to go on a bender. Until you wake up in a park and make the news the next day…. P.G. Wodehouse, today on The Classic Tales Podcast.  Welcome to The Classic Tales Podcast. Thank you for listening.  The Vintage Episode for the week is “Bernice Bobs Her Hair”, by F. Scott Fitzgerald. Be sure to check it out on Tuesday.  If you enjoy the show, please become a monthly supporter, and help us continue to highlight these amazing stories.  Please go to http://classictalesaudiobooks.com and become a monthly supporter for as little as $5 a month. As a thank you gesture, we’ll send you a coupon code every month for $8 off any audiobook order. Give more, and you get more! It’s a great way to help us keep producing sparkling audiobook content.  Go to http://classictalesaudiobooks.com and become a supporter today.  Today’s story is the another in a series of P.G. Wodehouse short stories found in the volume My Man Jeeves. Reggie is very similar to Bertie, but Reggie’s valet is very different, as you’ll discover. I hope you like it.   And now, Rallying Round Old George, by P.G. Wodehouse. Follow this link to become a monthly supporter:   Follow this link to subscribe to our YouTube Channel:   Follow this link to subscribe to the Arsène Lupin Podcast:    Follow this link to follow us on Instagram:   Follow this link to follow us on Facebook:   Follow this link to follow us on TikTok:
Ep. 925, Absent Treatment, by P.G. Wodehouse
26-04-2024
Ep. 925, Absent Treatment, by P.G. Wodehouse
Bobbie Cardew can’t remember anything – ever. Can Reggie rescue him from his household woes? P.G. Wodehouse, today on The Classic Tales Podcast.  Welcome to The Classic Tales Podcast. Thank you for listening.  The Vintage Episode for the week is “Rikki-Tikki-Tavi”, by Rudyard Kipling. Be sure to check it out on Tuesday.  If you enjoy the show, please become a monthly supporter, and help us continue to highlight these amazing stories.  Please go to http://classictalesaudiobooks.com and become a monthly supporter for as little as $5 a month. As a thank you gesture, we’ll send you a coupon code every month for $8 off any audiobook order. Give more, and you get more! It’s a great way to help us keep producing sparkling audiobook content.  Go to http://classictalesaudiobooks.com and become a supporter today.  Abraham Lincoln famously said, “If you give me six hours to chop down a tree, I’ll spend the first four sharpening the axe”. That’s the philosophy I’m taking with our Kickstarter for The Golden Triangle. I’ve got the artwork done for the four boxed sets, and they’ll be creeping into the store soon. You can pick them up early, or get them all as a package deal when we launch the Kickstarter. Keep an ear open for the latest developments! Today’s story is the first of a series of P.G. Wodehouse short stories found in the volume My Man Jeeves. It contains three Jeeves stories, and several others that are in the similar vein, but with different characters. A young Wodehouse was still feeling out his characters at this point, working out the kinks, and polishing his style. I hope you like them.  And now, Absent Treatment, by P.G. Wodehouse. Follow this link to become a monthly supporter:   Follow this link to subscribe to our newsletter and join us on Zoom for the Classic Tales Book Club:   Follow this link to subscribe to our YouTube Channel:   Follow this link to subscribe to the Arsène Lupin Podcast:   Follow this link to follow us on Instagram:   Follow this link to follow us on Facebook:   Follow this link to follow us on TikTok:
Ep. 924, The Machine Stops, by E.M. Forster VINTAGE
23-04-2024
Ep. 924, The Machine Stops, by E.M. Forster VINTAGE
The earth's surface is no longer habitable, and all humanity is sequestered beneath the ground, couched in isolation and contentment. The Machine provides the needs of humanity. But what happens when the Machine stops?  E.M. Forster, today on The Classic Tales Podcast.  Welcome to this Vintage Episode of The Classic Tales Podcast. Thank you for listening.  A Vintage Episode is released every Tuesday. Please help us to continue producing amazing audiobooks by going to http://classictalesaudiobooks.com, and becoming a supporter. New stories are coming your way on Friday.  Keep an ear open for our Kickstarter for The Golden Triangle – the seventh novel in the Arsène Lupin series. We’re getting ready with boxed sets, special editions, and more! We’ll let you know when we’re ready to kick off.  E.M. Forster, largely known for his novels such as A Room with a View, Howard’s End, and A Passage to India, also delved in the realm of science fiction, and he was no slouch. Today’s story is often heralded as one of the greatest science fiction stories of all time, and was included in the Science Fiction Hall of Fame, Volume 2.  Versions of this story have often made their way into film, including George Lucas’ THX 1138 and the original Logan’s Run film from 1967 bear similarities to it. Even the Pixar film Wall-E depicts a future where the world in uninhabitable, and humanity is dependent upon machines for survival.  And now, The Machine Stops, by E.M. Forster.  Follow this link to become a monthly supporter:   Follow this link to subscribe to our YouTube Channel:   Follow this link to subscribe to the Arsène Lupin Podcast:   Follow this link to follow us on Instagram:   Follow this link to follow us on Facebook:
Ep. 920, The Yellow Wallpaper VINTAGE, by Charlotte Perkins Gilman
09-04-2024
Ep. 920, The Yellow Wallpaper VINTAGE, by Charlotte Perkins Gilman
What does our nervous heroine see in the yellow wallpaper, that no one else can?  Charlotte Perkins Gilman, today on The Classic Tales Podcast.  Welcome to this Vintage Episode of The Classic Tales Podcast. Thank you for listening.  A Vintage Episode is released every Tuesday. Please help us to continue producing amazing audiobooks by going to http://classictalesaudiobooks.com, and becoming a supporter. New content is still coming your way on Fridays.  Keep an ear open for our Kickstarter for The Golden Triangle – the sixth novel in the Arsène Lupin series. We’re getting ready with boxed sets, special editions, and more! We’ll let you know when we’re ready to pull the trigger.  And it’s time for the Classic Tales Book Club to meet again! Keep an eye on your inboxes today for our monthly newsletter which will contain the zoom link. Our zoom meeting will be on Wednesday, April 10th at 4:00 Pacific time, 7:00 Eastern. We’ll talk about the satirical nature of Gulliver’s Travels, and the power of satire. See you then! Follow the link in the show notes to subscribe to our newsletter, and get the zoom link later today.  Charlotte Perkins Gilman was raised by her three aunts – one of which was Harriet Beecher Stowe. Apart from The Yellow Wallpaper, she is also known for writing Herland, the story of a lost civilization populated entirely by women.  And now, The Yellow Wallpaper, by Charlotte Perkins Gilman.  Follow this link to become a monthly supporter:   Follow this link to subscribe to our newsletter and chat with us on Zoom:   Follow this link to subscribe to our YouTube Channel:   Follow this link to subscribe to the Arsène Lupin Podcast:   Follow this link to follow us on Instagram:   Follow this link to follow us on Facebook:
Ep. 919, A Voyage to Lilliput, Part 1 of 3, from Gulliver's Travels by Jonathan Swift
05-04-2024
Ep. 919, A Voyage to Lilliput, Part 1 of 3, from Gulliver's Travels by Jonathan Swift
How can Lemuel Gulliver escape from the Lilliputians? They’re only six inches tall – should be a cinch, right? Jonathan Swift, today on The Classic Tales Podcast.  Welcome to The Classic Tales Podcast. Thank you for listening.  The Vintage Episode for the week is “The Yellow Wallpaper”, by Charlotte Perkins Gilman. Be sure to check it out on Tuesday.  If you enjoy the show, please become a monthly supporter, and help us continue to highlight these amazing stories.  Please go to http://classictalesaudiobooks.com and become a monthly supporter for as little as $5 a month. As a thank you gesture, we’ll send you a coupon code every month for $8 off any audiobook order. Give more, and you get more! It’s a great way to help us keep producing sparkling audiobook content.  Go to http://classictalesaudiobooks.com and become a supporter today.  I’ve been having fun designing the specials for our Kickstarter for the next Arsène Lupin book – The Golden Triangle. Things are moving along nicely. Keep an ear open for when we pull the trigger, hopefully in a couple of weeks!   And it’s time for the Classic Tales Book Club to meet again! Keep an eye on your inboxes on Tuesday for our monthly newsletter which will contain the zoom link. Our zoom meeting will be on Wednesday, April 10th at 4:00 PM Pacific time, 7:00 PM Eastern. We’ll talk about the satirical nature of Gulliver’s Travels, and the power of satire. See you then! Follow the link in the show notes to subscribe to our newsletter, and get the zoom link on Tuesday. Mark Twain is quoted as saying that, “a classic is a book which people praise and don’t read”. Gulliver’s Travels likely fits into this category for a lot of us. We’ve seen the Max Fleisher cartoon, or the Ray Harryhausen film in the 70s, or the film with Jack Black in 2010. But we’ve probably never read it. Or we tried, and gave it up. So, what is the lasting appeal of this difficult book? Gulliver’s Travels was originally published in 1727. Swift’s novel is a satire of British monarchy and Imperialism. He succeeds in taking the mundane, or something we largely take for granted, and pushing it to the extreme to show its absurdity. This goes for everything from governments to our own physical bodies. And yeah, nothing is safe, so get ready for some bodily functions we’d rather not talk about to come front and center.   Gulliver records his travels to several different lands of adventure. Instead of going through the entire book now, we’ll tackle them one voyage at a time. Then we’ll take a breather. This first stint will be the first part of the book – A Voyage to Lilliput in three parts. Gulliver travels to the land of Lilliput, as well as a land of giants, and also visits the dystopian world of the Houyhnhnms (hoo-IH-nims), among others. I hope you like it. And now, A Voyage to Lilliput, part 1 of 3, from Gulliver’s Travels by Jonathan Swift. Follow this link to become a monthly supporter:   Follow this link to subscribe to our newsletter and join us on Zoom for the Classic Tales Book Club:    Follow this link to subscribe to our YouTube Channel:   Follow this link to subscribe to the Arsène Lupin Podcast:   Follow this link to follow us on Instagram:   Follow this link to follow us on Facebook:   Follow this link to follow us on TikTok:
Ep. 918, Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge, and A Horseman in the Sky, by Ambrose BierceVINTAGE
02-04-2024
Ep. 918, Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge, and A Horseman in the Sky, by Ambrose BierceVINTAGE
What knavery occurred during the Civil War at Owl Creek Bridge? Ambrose Bierce, today on The Classic Tales Podcast.  Welcome to this Vintage Episode of The Classic Tales Podcast. Thank you for listening.  A Vintage Episode is released every Tuesday. Please help us to continue producing amazing audiobooks by going to http://classictalesaudiobooks.com, and becoming a supporter. New content is still coming your way on Fridays.  Keep an ear open for our Kickstarter for The Golden Triangle – the sixth novel in the Arsène Lupin series. We’re getting ready with boxed sets, special editions, and more! We’ll let you know when we’re ready to pull the trigger.  Ambrose Bierce actually fought in the Civil War. Known as the “Devil’s Lexicographer”, he was known for his sharp wit and biting satire. He wrote several stories set during the Civil War, and also delved into the ghost story genre with great success. H.P. Lovecraft and Stephen Crane, among others, were influenced by his work. He was last known to join Pancho Villa’s revolutionary army as an observer in October 1913. He was never heard from again.   And now, An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge, and A Horseman in the Sky, by Ambrose Bierce.  Follow this link to become a monthly supporter:   Follow this link to subscribe to our newsletter and chat with us on Zoom:    Follow this link to subscribe to our YouTube Channel:   Follow this link to subscribe to the Arsène Lupin Podcast:   Follow this link to follow us on Instagram:   Follow this link to follow us on Facebook:
Ep. 917, Green Tea, by Sheridan LeFanu
29-03-2024
Ep. 917, Green Tea, by Sheridan LeFanu
Why is Reverend Jennings so distracted when he gives his sermons? Is it just because he’s partial to green tea? Sheridan LeFanu, today on The Classic Tales Podcast.  Welcome to The Classic Tales Podcast. Thank you for listening.  The Vintage Episode for the week is “An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge, and A Horseman in the Sky”, two stories from Ambrose Bierce. Be sure to check it out on Tuesday.  If you enjoy the show, please become a monthly supporter, and help us continue to highlight these amazing stories.  Please go to http://classictalesaudiobooks.com and become a monthly supporter for as little as $5 a month. As a thank you gesture, we’ll send you a coupon code every month for $8 off any audiobook order. Give more, and you get more! It’s a great way to help us keep producing sparkling audiobook content.  Go to http://classictalesaudiobooks.com and become a supporter today.  I’ve been having fun designing the specials for our Kickstarter for the next Arsène Lupin book – The Golden Triangle. I have the artwork done for the pins and the cover, now it’s on to creating the boxed sets and other bonus goodies. I’ve got a lot to do, and I want to get it all ready so we can hit the ground running. Keep an ear open for when we pull the trigger!   Today’s story is from a collection entitled: Through a Glass Darkly, by J. Sheridan Lefanu, originally published in 1872. It’s a collection of five stories that include the vampire classic Carmilla, and the mysterious The Room in the Dragon Volant.  LeFanu was one of the foremost writers of the ghost story in his time, and helped to shape what is now considered Victorian fiction.  App users can hear The Room in the Dragon Volant in its entirety. It’s over three hours long! It’s located in the special features for today’s episode.  And now, Green Tea, by Sheridan LeFanu. Follow this link to become a monthly supporter:   Follow this link to subscribe to our newsletter and join us on Zoom for the Classic Tales Book Club:   Follow this link to subscribe to our YouTube Channel:   Follow this link to subscribe to the Arsène Lupin Podcast:    Follow this link to follow us on Instagram:   Follow this link to follow us on Facebook:    Follow this link to follow us on TikTok:
Ep. 915, The Prussian Officer, by D.H. Lawrence
22-03-2024
Ep. 915, The Prussian Officer, by D.H. Lawrence
Why does the Prussian officer pick on his orderly so much? Seriously, what’s eating the guy? D.H. Lawrence, today on The Classic Tales Podcast.  Welcome to The Classic Tales Podcast. Thank you for listening.  The Vintage Episode for the week is “Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves”, from the Arabian Nights. Be sure to check it out on Tuesday.  If you enjoy the show, please become a monthly supporter, and help us continue to highlight these amazing stories.  Please go to http://classictalesaudiobooks.com and become a monthly supporter for as little as $5 a month. As a thank you gesture, we’ll send you a coupon code every month for $8 off any audiobook order. Give more, and you get more! It’s a great way to help us keep producing sparkling audiobook content.  Go to http://classictalesaudiobooks.com and become a supporter today. I’ve been having fun designing the specials for our Kickstarter for the next Arsène Lupin book – The Golden Triangle. Boxed sets, special editions, enamel pins – I’ve got a lot to do, and I want to get it all ready so we can hit the ground running. Keep an ear open for when we pull the trigger!   Today’s story is about two soldiers – an officer and his orderly. The officer is a little older, comes from a wealthy family, has squandered his inheritance and must make a living in the military. He’s angry and ornery all the time.  This orderly is the opposite – he’s young and sensitive. His name is Schöner, which means “more beautiful” in German. I hope you like it.   And now, The Prussian Officer, by D.H. Lawrence. Follow this link to become a monthly supporter: Follow this link to subscribe to our newsletter and join us on Zoom for the Classic Tales Book Club:   Follow this link to subscribe to our YouTube Channel:   Follow this link to subscribe to the Arsène Lupin Podcast:   Follow this link to follow us on Instagram:   Follow this link to follow us on Facebook:    Follow this link to follow us on TikTok:
Ep. 913, The Wrong Shape, by G.K. Chesterton
15-03-2024
Ep. 913, The Wrong Shape, by G.K. Chesterton
Can Father Brown solve a murder in a curious household? G.K. Chesterton, today on The Classic Tales Podcast.  Welcome to The Classic Tales Podcast. Thank you for listening. The Vintage Episode for the week is “The Million Pound Bank Note”, by Mark Twain. Be sure to check it out on Tuesday.  If you enjoy the show, please become a monthly supporter, and help us continue to highlight these amazing stories.  Please go to http://classictalesaudiobooks.com and become a monthly supporter for as little as $5 a month. As a thank you gesture, we’ll send you a coupon code every month for $8 off any audiobook order. Give more, and you get more! It’s a great way to help us keep producing sparkling audiobook content.  Go to http://classictalesaudiobooks.com and become a supporter today.  The Classic Tales Book Club was so much fun! It was great getting to know you, and talking a little shop. I think next time we’ll have some giveaways, so keep your schedule clear for the second Wednesday in April.  I’ve been having fun designing the specials for our Kickstarter for the next Arsène Lupin book – The Golden Triangle. Boxed sets, special editions, enamel pins – I’ve got a lot to do, and I want to get it all ready so we can hit the ground running. Keep an ear open for when we pull the trigger!   G.K. Chesterton was a pioneer of the detective story. Many consider his creation of Father Brown the equivalent to, if not an improvement on, Sherlock Holmes. The window that a man of the cloth has to the dark secrets of crime is indeed fascinating and very effective in solving crime. One thing I noticed in today’s story is Chesterton’s use of racism as a plot device. This story will land differently on twenty-first century ears than it did when it was written in 1911. I don’t want to say much about it other than there are some racially charged terms in the story today – just a heads up.  And now, The Wrong Shape, by G.K. Chesterton. Follow this link to become a monthly supporter:   Follow this link to subscribe to our newsletter and join us on Zoom for the Classic Tales Book Club:   Follow this link to subscribe to our YouTube Channel:    Follow this link to subscribe to the Arsène Lupin Podcast:   Follow this link to follow us on Instagram:   Follow this link to follow us on Facebook:    Follow this link to follow us on TikTok: