Anthologist Penzler has chosen gripping yarns of literary distinction, juicy with irony and suspenseful fun. Particularly noteworthy: Harlan Ellison delightfully hams up his own "Soft Monkey." David Warner gives him a run for his money with "The Unique Hamlet," one of Vincent Starrett's Sherlock Holmes pastiches. In contrast, Stephanie Beacham's interpretation of Ruth Rendell's "New Girl Friend" makes its ending exceptionally creepy. One can guess the climactic twist of F. I. Anderson's "Infallible Godahl" early on, but one continues to listen to hear all of David Birney's urbane, delicious nuances. Only Lukas Haas, listlessly reading Jack London's brief "Leopard Man's Story," fails to deliver. Mischievous, canny and graceful writing, deliciously read. Y.R. Winner of AUDIOFILE's Earphones Award (c)AudioFile, Portland, Maine
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