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Saturday, December 17, 2011

The World's Greatest Stories

I love reading.  I read as much as real life allows.  I even panic a bit if I don't have a book "waiting" for me.  It is totally unheard of for me not to have some sort of reading material nearby.

I also have not yet gotten aboard the Nook/Kindle train.  I still like to feel my books and all the other stuff that goes with holding a book. 

But above all, I love a good story.  Although, if I am honest, sometimes any old story will do, if I am just trying to escape for a bit.

Do you remember how great it was when your mom or dad would read you a story?  I have a vivid memory of my mom reading me a Casper the Friendly Ghost book every time we would go to our dentist's (Dr. Lingle) office.

I also have very fond memories of story time with the library lady while I was growing up.  Sitting on the floor in front of her....jockeying with my classmates to see if I could get just a little bit closer....her reading the book upside down so we could see the pictures the whole time she was reading.

In high school, I competed in Speech, as a Storyteller.  I was even the Rum River Conference Champ in Storytelling one year.  Woot!  Woot!  (Or whatever the kids are saying these days...)

The point I am trying to make is that I appreciate a good, engaging story.  I understand how hard it can be to use voices....and remember what voice you used with which character.  Here, look at some of my notes....

I had sloppy cursive writing, but, note the part about "more definition in voices".  If you are going to have character voices, you have to make sure people can tell them apart....and that you do them the same every time.

So, when I got the chance to listen to The World's Greatest Stories by George W. Sarris as part of a TOS review, I was kind of excited.

First, let me say, that after listening to the first story, I decided that I sort of hate George Sarris.

Okay, I don't really hate him.

I am just really, really jealous of his gift. 

I know....I know......that is not really very Christian of me, is it? 

He is just soooooo talented.  Really, really talented.

I used to attempt to tell a great, engaging, entertaining story with this.....

Mr. Sarris uses this....

Totally trumps the Grimm Brothers, huh?

I got to listen  to Volume One: The Prophets.  We sat down as a family one night after supper and..... just.....listened.  Rainman and I were sort of mesmerized.  We could not believe that all the different voices came from the same guy.  He is that good.

His narrator voice is smooth, and manly and....I don't know....buttery....can that be used to describe a voice?

Here, don't just take my word for it....listen....see?????

Mr. Sarris has a lot of "voice" experience.  He has done work for companies like Burger King, Duracell, Pizza Hut, UPS, AT&T and American name just name a few....seriously...that is just a few of them!  I am sure we probably have all heard his voice before. 

But, never like this.  I mean not to be a "bad" Christian or anything, but who knew that the Bible could be so interesting?

The kids sat still and listened.  Really listened.  It started out as "I am only here because Mom said I have to be" kind of listening...but morphed into shushing the little kids so they could hear what happened next.  Some of the bigger kids already knew some of the stories we listened to, but thought it was neat to have a more "alive" version of the stories.

Mr. Sarris uses his imagination to bring the characters to life with various accents and dramatics, but the text is taken word for word, from the Bible.  There are some sound effects and music thrown in that remind me of the old radio theater shows I used to listen to....or like a Garrison Keillor type radio drama.

My personal Bible is the New International Version (NIV) but I know some people who prefer the King James Version (KJV).  The beauty of The World's Greatest Stories is that you can order his CDs in either form.

He has a total of 6 CDs available:

Volume 1-  The Prophets (I have this one)
Volume 2 - The Life Of Christ
Volume 3 - Beginnings
Volume 4 - Joshua and Esther (this clip is a sample in King James Version)
Volume 5 - Joseph and His Brothers
Volume 6 - Defeating Giants (David and Goliath)

Each CD is about 1 hour long and costs $7.95 and can be ordered here.  Shipping is free if you order 6 CDs.

I am not really a "gushy" kind of person, but I really loved this CD.  It made me remember when my Mom and Dad would sit us down after dinner for family devotion and Bible reading time.  Nothing against my Dad, but after a long day of hitting the books or navigating through the rough waters of drama, and then one of my mom's dinners, sometimes (most of the time) I would struggle to stay awake as my Dad read from the Bible. 

I know I wouldn't have fallen asleep if I had been listening to one of these CDs...even after eating one of my mom's great dinners.  It makes listening to Bible stories fun....and you can't help but learn a few things along the way.  You know how I feel about sneaky it!

If you have an older car or van that doesn't have a CD can also get all of the volumes on cassette tape!  We have used the stories as we sit around after dinnertime.....before the T.V. gets turned on for the night.  But, these would be great to listen to when you are running errands or on road trips.  I am bringing ours on our next road trip up north.  I can almost guarantee that it will entertain the whole family!

Mr. Sarris also does speaking engagements.  So, give him a call if you have an event coming up that needs a dynamic, entertaining speaker.  Believe me, if you have the chance to see/hear him won't want to miss it.  In the meantime, he offers a few of his talks on his website, although these are only available in CD form. 

The topics include:  Impacting the Culture: Changing the World; The Two Most Important Things a Father Can Do; Bringing Scripture to Life Through Storytelling; Homeschooling As A Team Effort - The Father's Role; and Waiting on the Lord for a Life Partner.  These CD's are $4.95 and if you want to hear an excerpt of them, just click here.

Don't just take my word for it, go take a look at what other TOS crew members thought of the World's Greatest Stories.

I received a copy of Volume One: The Prophets as well as a Sample CD with both NIV and KJV for free in exchange for an honest review of this product.