- By David M. Kinchen
Shelly Reuben has just informed me that the audio book edition of The Man With The Glass Heart was published by Blackstone Audio Books on July 1, 2013. The 3-disc CD audio book — wonderfully read and realized by Carrington MacDuffie — has a list price of $13.95. Also available on Amazon.com, probably the most convenient way to buy. Ordering information from Blackstone: >Learn More
I marveled at MacDuffie’s numerous voices on this audio book. She’s simply wonderful, worthy of Shelly’s fable. She reads the narrator’a part, that of the road gypsy Panache, as well as Benjamin Pencil, the man with the glass heart in his wheelbarrow. Her rendition of The Woman with the Breeding is perfect, with just the right amount of menace, and you’ll laugh along with the cackling voice of The Laughing Man. Her realization of Panache’s father is perfect, too. If you have the book, you’ll have to have the audio book! Blackstone has published four other titles by an author whose creativity and imagination has to be read — and heard — to be fully appreciated.
I’m reprinting my review of the book version below:
BOOK REVIEW: ‘The Man With The Glass Heart’: A Fable You Should Just Absorb: Don’t Try to Intellectualize It
December 16, 2012
Fable: A short narrative in prose or verse which points a moral. Non-human creatures or inanimate things are normally the characters — “The Penguin Dictionary of Literary Terms and Literary Theory (4th Edition, 1998)
Normally, but not always: F. Scott Fitzgerald’s “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button” is a fantasy or fable and all the people in this story of a man who was born old but grew younger are humans. Perhaps the fable most people are familiar with — because they studied it in school — is George Orwell’s “Animal Farm” and of course, there’s “The Little Prince” by St. Exupery. O’Henry’s stories are often cast in the form of fables or fantasies and I know Shelly Reuben is a big fan of William Sydney Porter — O’Henry. William Faulkner won the 1955 Pulitzer Prize for his 1954 World War I novel “A Fable”, viewed by many as a precursor to Joseph Heller’s “Catch-22”.
Shelly Reuben’s “The Man With The Glass Heart” (Bernard Street Books, 218 pages, $12.00, also available in an eBook, from Amazon.com and other sites) is a book you should read with an open mind and no preconceptions. As T.S. Eliot advised in “The Love-Song of J. Alfred Prufrock”: “Oh, do not ask, ‘What is it?’/ Let us go and make our visit”.
I’ll depart from my usual reviewer’s practice and use the description Shelly Reuben has written for the back cover:
Not since The Little Prince fell in love with a rose has a book captured the magic of a world where love longs for what it cannot have, recovers what it has lost, and the unimaginable flutters with luminescent wings out of crystal caves. Panache, an exuberant road gypsy, is on her way to the mountains. Benjamin Pencil, The Man With The Glass Heart, has no use for mountains. But their paths cross, their lives intertwine, and Benjamin follows her up, up, up, to where hills are smothered in poppies and a man can reach out and write his name in the sky. As they travel, they first encounter the beautiful but predatory Woman with the Breeding, a collector of hearts who tries to add Benjamin’s exquisite heart to her pitiable hoard; the malicious Man who Laughs, who lives only to create fear and kill dreams; and unpredictably Panache’s iconoclastic, unreliable, and utterly irresistible father. Papa plays his saxophone with the same wild abandon with which he lives his life, and cautions Panache that if the mountains are in a man, he will go there … and that mountains are in the man with the glass heart. It is in those mountains that they meet the melodious laughing bird. Melody, with her irresistible song and aquamarine eyes, lures Benjamin to an Arabian Nights world where hypnotizing creatures dance and sing late into the night. At what peril does Benjamin Pencil follow the melodious laughing bird? To what end? Can real hearts be broken? Is a shattered heart the end of all love? Or can it be a new beginning?
Link to my story about the audio book publication:http://www.huntingtonnews.net/66707
I just received this message from Shelly:
“I have just learned that The Man With The Glass Heart was nominated as the August selection for The Freedom Book Club.
“I don’t know which good angel recommended it, but I love the idea that if enough people vote for it, my book will get more exposure and, hopefully, more readers.
“So, with apologies for sending you this less-than-personal form letter …
“Would you consider clicking the link below and casting a vote my way…if you enjoyed “The Man With The Glass Heart”?
About the Author
Shelly Reuben has written eight novels. Her first, Julian Solo, was nominated by the Mystery Writers of America for an Edgar Award and by the Libertarian Futurist Society for a Prometheus Award. Her novel Origin & Cause was nominated for a Falcon Award by the Maltese Falcon Society of Japan. She also writes two newspaper columns and regularly contributes short stories to the Forensic Examiner. A Chicago native, she lives in New York City. The Man with the Glass Heart is her first fable. For David M. Kinchen’s reviews of her books, use the search engine at the upper right hand of www.huntingtonnews.net.
About the Reader
Carrington MacDuffie is a recording artist and spoken-word performer whose voice acting has been featured in several independent films. She has a background in vaudeville and spent many years singing, writing, and producing multimedia performances for her pop band. Her one-woman spoken-word show has been staged across the western United States.