The Classic Tales Podcast
Unabridged. Professional. Classic. 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 Gothic castles of Eastern Europe, 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. Winner of w3 Gold Award by the Academy of Interactive and Visual Arts-2021 Winner of Independent Audiobook Award for "Scaramouche", by Raphael Sabatini - 2021 Society for Voice Arts and Sciences nominee - Podcast category 2019

Antony Ferrara heats his quarters like an inferno, collects brain-eating beetles, and wears an Egyptian ring. So, why does Cairn suspect him of killing a swan? Sax Rohmer, today on The Classic Tales Podcast.

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We won a podcast award! The Academy of Interactive and Visual Arts has awarded The Classic Tales Podcast with a Gold Award! Juried by some titans from the top media firms, (Disney, Conde Nast, Microsoft, etc.), I share this honor with Trevor Noah’s Daily Show Podcast, MTV’s Official Challenge Podcast, Broadway Podcast Network and a few others. Only the top 10% of those who entered were awarded the Gold Award. We are super psyched about that.

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Today’s story is from the creator of the Fu-Manchu series, Sax Rohmer. It was originally titled, The Brood of the Witch-Queen. I think that the unfortunate title is the reason that this book is not more well know today. That, and the ending isn’t super great. Just putting that out there right now. But H.P. Lovecraft compared this book with Bram Stoker’s Dracula, and many critics of the time considered it one of Rohmer’s best. I’ve taken the liberty of releasing it as Knight of the Necropolis. Hopefully ol’ Sax isn’t turning too much in his grave at that.

One of the things that really draws me to classic Halloween monsters is that they are steeped in literature. Obviously, Dracula and Frankenstein immediately come to mind with their respective baddies. There are many werewolf short stories, from Kipling’s The Mark of the Beast, to Murryat’s The White Wolf of the Harz Mountains. Alexandre Dumas even wrote a full length, lack luster novel about a werewolf, clumsily translated as The Wolf Leader. I’m told Steinbeck also wrote a werewolf yarn.

Mummy tales also abound in short fiction. Among the best are Conan Doyle’s Lot No. 249, Louisa May Alcott’s The Ring of Thoth, and H.P. Lovecraft’s Imprisoned with the Pharaohs. Among the less successful is Bram Stoker’s novel Jewel of the Seven Stars.

Now, today’s story isn’t perfect by any means. It’s not high literature. But when I read it, I felt that it really delivered the same feeling that I get when I watch the original movie of The Mummy, with Boris Karloff. It’s set up as a series of adventures where we can eventually piece together the identity of that devotee of ancient sorcery: Antony Ferrara. The similarities to Dracula are evident. Nobody believes in Egyptian sorcery, there’s only one scholar who’s studied enough to stop him, etc.. But what can I say, when it comes to magic rings, brain-eating beetles, vampires, ancient curses, Egyptian mummies, and the like, I’m always up for it. I hope you are, too.

And now, The Knight of the Necropolis, Part 1 of 8, by Sax Rohmer.

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Direct download: CT_753_KnightoftheNecropolis_Part1of8.mp3
Category:Literature -- posted at: 12:37am MDT