- Hardcover: 292 pages
- Publisher: JournalStone (November 17, 2014)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1940161711
- ISBN-13: 978-1940161716
- Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.8 x 9 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars See all reviews (38 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #7,447,897 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Out of Tune Hardcover – November 17, 2014
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Top Customer Reviews
Holy cats, am I glad I did. Just about all of the stories in this volume are EXCELLENT. One or two were a little weaker than the others, but even those were enjoyable. There was one where I spent half the story disappointed because I thought I knew where it was going, and then there was a twist at the end and I'd had it all wrong, and I was delighted. While I was reading, I kept thinking "this is my favorite in the collection," and then I'd get to the next story and say "no, THIS is my favorite in the collection!"
If I had to call out a few favorites, they'd be as follows:
David Liss - "Sweet William's Ghost" - I should have had no connection with this story. I'm not a gym bunny. I don't have a dead fiancé. I don't know the song it's named for. And yet this story stuck with me even as I read the rest of the book. Something in the voice, in the telling, was so clear that I couldn't forget the story as I moved on to the others. It was outstanding.
Lisa Morton - "Tam Lane" - I'm a historian, and the history in this one was powerful. Not that it's a true story, of course, but that the history of the world in the story leaps off the page. Even the architecture comes to life along with the characters. I wouldn't have minded a bit if it had been twice as long.
Jeff Strand - "John Henry, the Steel Drivin' Man" - How do you take a story as well known as John Henry's and fit it into a book of otherworldly stories? Ask Jeff Strand, because he's done it. That the story takes off from what we know and leaps onto another plane is a testament to his talent. It's well-written, it deepens the legend, and it's just enjoyable.
Please know that I could have written a capsule review for any of the stories in this book, and it would have been full of praise. That I have selected these three in no way diminishes the others; the ENTIRE BOOK is good. Grand kudos to Jonathan Maberry for putting together a collection of stories based on music that delights even a non-musical person like me. It is a phenomenal assemblage, and I highly recommend the book.
Edited by Jonathan Maberry, this anthology features many authors I was already familiar with, which was good, but also some new to me authors, like Seanan McGuire and Del Howison. (I mean, who the hell is this guy? He is the author of my favorite story in the collection: "Black is the Color of My True Love's Hair.") That story was followed closely in my favorites list by Seanan McGuire's "Driving Jenny Home." One thing I've always loved about anthologies is that it's a great way to find new authors and obviously this method is still working for me to this day.
Each story was followed up by notes as to the folk ballad on which the story was based. I found them to be interesting while also shedding some light as to the origins of the songs.
I listened to the audio version of this book and there were two narrators. I'm sorry to report that I did not care for the female narrator at all, but I enjoyed the male voicing just fine.
Out of Tune is a lovely anthology with a lot of variety and new blood to offer. I highly recommend it!
*Thanks to Christopher Payne of JournalStone for the free audio version he provided.*
I am one of those oddities who absolutely LOVES anthologies, probably because of my exposure to MZB's Sword & Sorceress anthologies when I first started getting seriously into skiffy. Short stories are how I've discovered most of my favourite authors. My favourite was probably Hollow is the Heart by Simon R. Green, but it wasn't the only enthralling tale in the bunch. They are all worth reading at least once. And I'm pretty sure I'll be re-reading at least half a dozen of them.
My only gripes are a) Mr. Maberry didn't include a story, and b) it wasn't twice as long.
I love Jonathan Maberry's work, and this is the first anthology of his I have read. It's clear he's also a very capable editor, because the quality of the stories was uniformly high, and they hung together as a theme quite well, despite beign very different stories. All are stories based on classic folk ballads, and notes about the underlying ballad are presented at the end of each story, which is a nice touch.
Hard to pick a favorite, honestly, becaue most of the stories were very good. Jeff Strand's entry, based on the ballad of John Henry, is hilarious, as expected. Hollow is the Heart was quite creepy, as was Fish Out of Water. Driving Jenny Home was haunting and sad. None really stood out as stories that should have been left out.
There were 2 narrators, one male and one female, and for some stories I had a hard time with the female narrator's annunciation. Her character voices were always well-done, and a short passage proves she's got an excellent singing voice, but her "narrator voice" was flat, and not well-articulated much of the time, which made her at times hard to understand, and failed to engage me in the story. By the end, though, it really didn't bother me anymore, so it may have just taken some getting used to. The male narrator was excellent.
I definitely look forward to reading more anthologies edited by Jonathan Maberry! This is definitely recommended, especially for folks interested in folk tales.
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