A quest, a war, a ring that would be grounds for calling any wedding off, a king without a kingdom, and a little, furry “hero” named Frito, ready – or maybe just forced by the wizard of Goodgulf – to undertake the one mission which can save Lower Middle Earth from enslavement by the evil Sorhed…Luscious Elfmaidens, a roller-skating dragon, ugly plants that can soul-kiss the unwary to death – these are just some of the ingredients in the wildest, wackiest, most irreverent excursion into fantasy realms that anyone has ever dared to undertake.
A Parody of J.R.R. Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings.
The Great Depression never ate the country alive. WWII refuses to put out its raging fires. Every major city across 50 states has been blown sky-high by blitzing. This is 1952, America. The only choice the denizens of a war-torn Los Angeles have left is to plunge into the deep dark of the metro tunnels and make a new life in the ruins of the subway rails below – with elbow grease, neon, and blood. In the crumbling catacombs beneath Hollywood, an ex-private eye named Jim “Jimbo” Maynard scours the dead, dark underworld for payoff on a gamble gone wrong, but stumbles instead on a subterranean metropolis divided by vice, vendettas, mysteries, and murder plots. In order to hunt down the butchers of two seemingly unrelated corpses, Jim will come up against warring mob bosses, backstabbing bookies, mad inventors, tin titans, bootleg rum-running, corrupted coppers, and electromagnetic revolvers. Welcome to The Hollywoodholes. Welcome to your chrome coffin.
Colonial New Guinea, 1906. A small group of mostly German nudists live an extreme back-to-nature existence on the remote island of Kabakon. Eating only coconuts and bananas, they purport to worship the sun. One of their members, Max Lutzow, has recently died, allegedly from malaria. But an autopsy on his body in the nearby capital of Herbertshöhe raises suspicions about foul play. Retired British military police officer Will Prior is recruited to investigate the circumstances of Lutzow’s death. At first, the eccentric group seems friendly and willing to cooperate with the investigation. They all insist that Lutzow died of malaria. Despite lack of evidence for a murder, Prior is convinced the group is hiding something. Things come to a head during a late-night feast supposedly given as a send-off for the visitors before they return to Herbertshöhe. Prior fears the intent of the “celebration” is not to fete the visitorsbut to make them the latest murder victims.
Read by Gerard Doyle.
In Tokyo, 16-year-old Nao has decided there’s only one escape from her aching loneliness and her classmates’ bullying. But before she ends it all, Nao first plans to document the life of her great grandmother, a Buddhist nun who’s lived more than a century. A diary is Nao’s only solace – and will touch lives in ways she can scarcely imagine. Across the Pacific, we meet Ruth, a novelist living on a remote island who discovers a collection of artifacts washed ashore in a Hello Kitty lunchbox – possibly debris from the devastating 2011 tsunami. As the mystery of its contents unfolds, Ruth is pulled into the past, into Nao’s drama and her unknown fate, and forward into her own future. Full of Ozeki’s signature humor and deeply engaged with the relationship between writer and listener, past and present, fact and fiction, quantum physics, history, and myth, A Tale for the Time Being is a brilliantly inventive, beguiling story of our shared humanity and the search for home.
Read by the Author.
Damn Yankees: Twenty-Four Major League Writers on the Worlds Most Loved (and Hated) Team
Love them or hate them, the New York Yankees have been an American institution for nearly a century. With their rich history and colorful cast of characters, the Yankees never fail to inspire or provoke. In this exciting compendium, some of today’s most acclaimed writers – including Pete Dexter, Colum McCann, Roy Blount, Jr., Dan Barry, Jane Leavy, Charles P. Pierce, J. R. Moehringer, Daniel Okrent, Frank Deford, Bill James, and many more – step up to the plate to take their cuts. The result is a collection of original essays as idiosyncratic and expansive as the team that has inspired them: ruminations on Babe Ruth’s gravestone, Derek Jeter’s swing, and the upper-deck vantage of the Oldest Living Yankee; dual allegiances; mortal rivalries; and every other subject that spans from
the hilarious (the Yankee wife-swap of the ’70s) to the sublime (the grace of Catfish Hunter). Superbly written, deeply insightful, and full of both passion and humor, Damn Yankees is a completely fresh look at baseball’s most enduring franchise by a Murderers’ Row of writers as stacked as that of the 1927 Yanks.
Read by various.
PETE ROSE HOLDS MORE MAJOR LEAGUE BASEBALL RECORDS THAN ANY OTHER PLAYER IN HISTORY. He stands alone as baseball’s hit king having shattered the previously “unbreakable” record held by Ty Cobb. He is a blue-collar hero with the kind of old-fashioned work ethic that turned great talent into legendary accomplishments. Pete Rose is also a lifelong gambler and a sufferer of oppositional defiant disorder. For the past 13 years, he has been banned from baseball and barred from his rightful place in the Hall of Fame– accused of violating MLB’s one taboo. Rule 21 states that no one associated with baseball shall ever gamble on the game. The punishment is no less than a permanent barring from baseball and exclusion from the Hall of Fame. Pete Rose has lived in the shadow of his exile. He has denied betting on the game that he loves. He has been shunned by MLB, investigated by the IRS, and served time for tax charges in the U.S. Penitentiary in Marion, Illinois. But he’s coming back.
Read by various.
Russell Mullins has left intelligence work. When his wife died of cancer, Rusty quit the Secret Service to repurpose his life. He joins a private protection company in Washington, DC, and is assigned to guard Paul Luguire, a Federal Reserve executive and chief liaison with the US Treasury. Mullins and Luguire form a strong friendship. So when a police detective calls in the middle of the night with word of Luguire’s suicide, Mullins doesn’t buy it. His doubts are reinforced by Amanda Church, a former Secret Service colleague now in the Federal Reserve’s cybersecurity unit. She uncovered a suspicious financial transaction initiated by Luguire only days before his death. He authorized the transfer of unrequested funds from the Federal Reserve to a regional bank. Even stranger, after Luguire’s suicide, Amanda finds the transaction has been erased from Federal Reserve records; the regional bank now shows the money wired from an offshore account in the name of Russell Mullins. Someone is setting Rusty up. And when the bank president is murdered, Mullins rockets to the top of the suspect list.
Read by Keith Szarabajka.
It is December 6, 1941. America stands at the brink of World War II. Last hopes for peace are shattered when Japanese squadrons bomb Pearl Harbor. Los Angeles has been a haven for loyal Japanese-Americans – but now, war fever and race hate grip the city and the Japanese internment begins. The hellish murder of a Japanese family summons three men and one woman. William H. Parker is a captain on the Los Angeles Police Department. He’s superbly gifted, corrosively ambitious, liquored-up, and consumed by dubious ideology. He is bitterly at odds with Sergeant Dudley Smith – Irish émigré, ex-IRA killer, fledgling war profiteer. Hideo Ashida is a police chemist and the only Japanese on the L.A. cop payroll. Kay Lake is a 21- year-old dilettante looking for adventure. The investigation throws them together and rips them apart. The crime becomes a political storm center that brilliantly illuminates these four driven souls – comrades, rivals, lovers, history’s pawns. Perfidia is a novel of astonishments. It is World War II as you have never seen it, and Los Angeles as James Ellroy has never written it before. Here, he gives us the party at the edge of the abyss and the precipice of America’s ascendance. Perfidia is that moment, spellbindingly captured. It beckons us to solve a great crime that, in its turn, explicates the crime of war itself. It is a great American novel.
Read by Craig Wasson.
He thought his final assignment would be simple: Transport a package from Japan to Amsterdam. But for Orlando’s mentor, Abraham, the job was not at all like he expected and ended up haunting him. Seven years later, Quinn and Orlando know something is up when Abraham asks for a favor. At his age, he should be sitting on a beach, enjoying his retirement, not working. After he tells them of his search for the last package he ever delivered, they help him unravel the truth, but soon realize they can’t simply look for answers. They must also protect the package, no matter the cost. They just need to find it first.
Read by Scott Brick.
Ordered to hold an abandoned army post, John Dunbar found himself alone, beyond the edge of civilization. Thievery and survival soon forced him into the Indian camp, where he began a dangerous adventure that changed his life forever.