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Thursday, November 13, 2008

Audio Clip - Neil Gaiman's "Murder Mysteries"

I first heard the audio version of Neil Gaiman's short story "Murder Mysteries" while hanging out at one of my favorite Second Life haunts, called aptly enough The Haunting Hour (which has since moved to a large island and been rechristened October Country), where one can listen to old radio shows as well as audio renditions of contemporary stories like "Murder Mysteries." I've liked Gaiman since first reading his novel Neverwhere and so was eager to hear this audio rendition of another of his stories.

I quickly became mesmerized by the tale of the first murder - no, not the one between Cain and Abel, but an even earlier crime - the pre-creation murder of a seraphim that occurred in the city of angels before man or the earth was ever formed. This is a tale of two murders, actually - and the reminisce of an angel named Raguel, christened the angel of vengeance by a pre-fallen Lucifer himself. Raguel's prescribed duty is to suss out the murderer among the angels. Eventually Raguel finds the guilty party and brings down a most vengeful retribution upon the angel, a retribution so extreme that it ultimately kills Lucifer's fealty to God.

Eons later in present day L.A., a now earthbound Raguel wanders a park in the pre-dawn hours and encounters an Englishman sitting on a bench. The Englishman, in town to visit a former girlfriend, is also the narrator, and it is from his perspective that we hear Raguel's recount of the seraphim murder, which is also a tale of a love gone wrong. Of course, the narrator believes the grizzled, weary man is delusional, but the story is entertaining, so he sits and listens and soon becomes mesmerized. Until, he is forced to face his own horrendous secret and realizes that the old man is more than he supposed. And he soon discovers that the angel of vengeance is still on the watch for those deserving of punishment.

The stellar audio cast includes Brian Dennehy as Raguel, Michael Emerson (Lost) as the Narrator (BTW, Emerson's wife, Carrie Preston, plays the flame-haired waitress, Arlene, on HBO's True Blood), and Thom Christopher as Lucifer. Other cast members are Evan Pappas as the flamboyent first angel Phanuel and Christopher Burns as the tragically lovelorn Seraquel.

Below is an excerpt clip (Windows MP3). You can read the full story in Gaiman's anthology Smoke and Mirrors.

- MP3


Sharon Cullars Coffee Talk at 11/13/2008 08:42:00 PM Permanent Link     | | Home


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