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Author Topic: PC Giant: The Curandero And The Swede: A Tale From The 1001 American Nights  (Read 24025 times)

stePH

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Finished this in bed last night.

A good story and a good reading, cut off at the knees by the worst recording in Escape Artists history.  I was unable to listen to it anywhere except in bed with my wife already asleep, so I had to split the listening across three sessions.

PLEASE for the love of BOB don't let this happen again.
« Last Edit: October 25, 2009, 03:06:59 AM by stePH »

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stePH

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Isn't this PodCastle #75?

The Giants have their own numbering system, and this is the fifth Giant. I cut the number because it was that or truncate the title, which I try to avoid.

Looking back at my podcast directory I see that:
"Moon Viewing at Shijo Bridge" was PodCastle #29.
"Hell is the Absence of God" was PodCastle #40.
"Bright Waters" was PodCastle #47.

The "Giants have their own numbering system" only started with the fourth, "Captain Fantasy and the Secret Masters".

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Yargling

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Fantastic story(ies). Awful, horrible recording of a great reading. After awhile, I just heard the reading without hearding the noise too much, and it was great. But please, please, PLEASE record future stories better - or filter out the noise.



Talia

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WOW. That genuinely was an amazing story. And like others as it progressed I noticed the errant audio less and less.

Really very moving. Folktale-ish, in a story within a story within a story way. Full of the colorful details and entirely human elements that, for me, just really make a story, drag me in.

Wonderful.

Also, I would add, regardless of the recording's fault, the READING was perfect. Exactly the way a rambly uncle would sound!

I highly recommend those who had a hard time with the audio to give it another try and hang on. It's well worth it.
« Last Edit: October 26, 2009, 02:09:44 AM by Talia »



Biscuit

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Isn't this PodCastle #75?

The Giants have their own numbering system, and this is the fifth Giant. I cut the number because it was that or truncate the title, which I try to avoid.

My bad. I totally got the numbering system out of whack.


stePH

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I highly recommend those who had a hard time with the audio to give it another try and hang on. It's well worth it.

I finished it, and it is a good story, but I can't fault those who give up because the sound quality is really shit.

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Kaa

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Yep. Tried to listen on the way to work in the car, and between the lethal amount of hiss and the narrator whispering his reading, I couldn't hear a damned thing. This may be the first escape artists podcast I don't listen to simply because I hate straining to hear.

Too bad. From the comments above, it sounds like the story itself was quite enjoyable.

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Poppydragon

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Another one who's given up due to sound quality, I normally listen in the car but couldn't make anything out, tried at home in a quieter setting and still struggled. Hope that it can be re released with better sound as the comments made by those who could hear it sound really positive.

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kagillogly

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Thank goodness I wasn't the only one who noticed the unlistenable audio.  I turned it off after 5 minutes.  Is there any way this story could be remastered or just rerecorded?  I'd love to listen to it, but won't do so as-is.

I concur.  Can the hiss be remastered out?  I was so happy today, knowing that I'd get to listen to a Podcastle Giant on the long commute home.  I was so disappointed that I couldn't hear the story.  This is the first time I was unable to struggle through audio problems.  What a shame for the author. 



Heradel

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I found the following settings helped dampen the hiss, though it did clip the voice a bit.


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Ventzi Zhechev

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I would like to also post my wishes for this episode to be remastered. This is the first time I have been unable to listen to an EA episode because of sound quality—and I’ve been listening from the very beginning.

I usually listen to audiobooks and EA stories before going to bed as a way to relax and such audio quality—especially on a Giant episode—is simply unacceptable. The noise was so distracting that I often found myself not listening to the actual reading and just thinking my own thoughts on the background of the white noise.

So please, do remaster the episode. All your listeners will appreciate it!



lunastrixae

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I'm sorry to voice a complaint for something that is free and labor intensive. Just another to add that I could not get through more then a few minutes of this recording. Because of the hissing, low reader voice volume and echo I just couldn't stand it for a long episode. Really, it should have been held back and re-recorded. I so look forward to the long episodes, and not being able to hear one was pretty disheartening.




DKT

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So please, do remaster the episode. All your listeners will appreciate it!

FTR, we hear this, too, and are seriously considering it. It's not something that can happen immediately due to time, but we are really thinking about it, and we really appreciate everyone who's posted something like this. It helps us know whether or not it's something all you listeners want. Right now, it sounds like it's something you do want, even if it takes a little bit of time to make it happen.


stePH

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So please, do remaster the episode. All your listeners will appreciate it!

FTR, we hear this, too, and are seriously considering it. It's not something that can happen immediately due to time, but we are really thinking about it, and we really appreciate everyone who's posted something like this. It helps us know whether or not it's something all you listeners want. Right now, it sounds like it's something you do want, even if it takes a little bit of time to make it happen.

Count me as another vote in favor.  I'd love to listen to this story again, but not that recording.

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eytanz

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Let me start with an audio quality comment - I was luckily to be listening to this story while on a walk outside of town. Yes, I had to press my ipod's "30 second rewind" button every time a car drove by, but overall, I could hear the entire thing, which I don't think I could have done anywhere where there was a background noise.

As for the actual story - well, the story itself was great. Really great. I really loved the multi-layering of the story, how each sub-tale introduced a different aspect of American history and interwove them into a cohesive whole, forming the American present. It is a rare, yet wonderful, story where the final point - stories shape who we are more than actions - is not just said, but actually demonstrated by the very story we were listening to.

And yet -- And this is a big, yet personal, "and yet" -- and yet, it does not really work for me. Because, I am *not* an American. This story isn't about shaping my cultural heritage, it's about shaping someone else's cultural heritage. All the "we"'s in the above paragraph were a lie - I am not included. And this was brought very much to life by the fact that my actual history - the history of my country, my people - shows up in the story. My culture, my past, the right and wrongs committed to and by my parents, are a cautionary headline in a newspaper you show to a ghost so that the two of you can agree that hey, America may be built on a past of violence and bigotry, but at least we're not those guys, right? And just like that, it all came down crashing around me, and I suddenly realized - why am I buying into this? Why am I buying into a discourse that tells me that the lines of racism are drawn between distinctions like black, white, Mexican, native American, when none of those categories mattered to me when I grew up - and trust me, racism was everywhere in my upbringing, but the categories were very different. Why is it that I am listening, over and over, to a media that tells me that American issues and troubles are more important than my own?

And then I calmed down, and realized that the story is called "a tale from the 1001 american nights", and that at least it's honest about it's perspective. And it is a wonderful story, on many levels.

But yeah. It's never a lot of fun to discover that you've been reduced to a footnote in someone else's story.



cdugger

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Well, it seems that everybody liked this story.

Guess I'll have to be the odd man out.

Once you get going with a story-within-a-story, you start to lose me if it isn't exceptional. This story was not exceptional.

By the time it got back around to the Swede, I had lost why he was there. Oh, yeah! Those little crawly things under his skin.

THEN, we get back to the guy getting married! I forgot about him completely.

Circles inside circles works for Aikido. Not story telling.

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Sgarre1

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Circles inside circles works for Aikido. Not story telling.

Borges, Jan Potocki and many others would disagree, but to each their own!



Unblinking

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As others noted the audio quality in this was just terrible.  Add me to the vote for re-mastering or re-recording this.  Nobody can really enjoy a story to its full potential if they have to strain to hear over the noise.  And, being a writer, I'm sympathetic to the poor author.  Granted, he got paid for it, but it's too bad for him that so few people will listen to this version just because of technical problems.

That being said, I realized about 10 minutes in that I've read this story before in F&SF.  I already gave them feedback on it, so I'll repost it here:
Quote
I had a fair-to-middlin' reaction to this, between the "love it" and "hate it" reactions exhibited by others.

The Good:
I read the whole thing mostly because the narrator's voice was compelling enough to interest me. Otherwise I would've skipped ahead after a couple digressions. The tall tales reminded me of the book "Big Fish" which I very much enjoyed. The ending was reasonably good once I got to it.

The Bad:
The digressing random storylines were okay, but I think they went too far. At one point in the story, one of the characters in a digressing story starts digressing on a totally unrelated story. At that point I almost put it down. The story easily could've been trimmed back to half its length without losing anything and made way for another short. I liked "Big Fish" better because I felt that the tall tales really enhanced the overall story arc, but here they were used to the extent that they obscured it.

Of course, in this case "made way for another short" doesn't apply.  I said that in F&SF because I wish they'd spent that extra page space on another short story instead of having this one be much longer than it needed to be.

This strikes me as a story that would not be particularly well-suited for audio because of all the meandering subjects.  When I read it in F&SF, I had to flip back and forth to figure out which trail I was picking up on again.  I can't do that for audio (at least not easily), so if I'd missed a transition sentence or something I'd be totally lost.



Sandikal

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I think this is one of those stories I would need to read rather than listen too.  I was listening to it on my iPod in the car with an FM transmitter.  Those things don't really work well here in the OC because we really don't have any empty FM stations.  Add the difficulty of the audio quality to the hiss of the transmitter and I was completely unable to follow this.  I gave up.  I don't know that a better quality recording would make much difference for me though.  It seemed like it needed to be on the printed page.



yicheng

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I wasn't bothered all that much by the sound quality.  It sounded like a bad microphone, but it wasn't totally unlistenable.

The story was simply amazing!  The imagery was vivd, and the words just pull you in.  There's a kind of Tom-Waits-like American-gothic flavor with this that I love.  Normally I lose track of nested stories (i.e. a story of someone telling a story), but this one kept me hooked and didn't lose me at all.  It makes want to buy the book and see if the other stories were as great as this one.  The narration was also very good, despite the bad recording.  I found the accents (especially the curandero) to be natural and spot-on, without feeling unnatural or going to exaggeration.