Aphrodite's Nosegay; Stories of Men and Women Wherein Love Sometimes Enters (audio-cassette) by Susan Klein. Self-produced, 1992.
You know those little red cinnamon hearts that you see around ValentIne s Day? The ones that seem sweet at first but then, with their peppery bIte, remind you of the other sides of love? Well, this tape is like those hearts. It has stories of love but watch out for the pepper. Side one starts out telling of the traditional Rapunzel, retranslated and adapted by Klein. a tale of highs and lows, love and loss, maturation and independence, and simply told.
The next story, called The 13th, is Sleeping Beauty, told in the bold and brassy voice of the 13th Sister Wisdom, the one who was not invited to the feast because there were only twelve golden plates. Your vision of the sleeping palace and all the characters therein will never be the same after hearing this tale.
Side two begins with a poem, reminiscent of cowboy poetry in style and tone, and, indeed, set in the days of the old West. It seems that a certain lady, Ruby by name, having lost her scruples and seeing the need for a sporting emporium, opens an establishment which she calls "The Salon of Dubious Decorum." Despite its success, Ruby still longs for the love of one special fellow. When not one but three delectable, males present themselves, Ruby must make a decision.
The story of Sir Gawain and Lady Ragnall, titled by Klein A Brittle Enchantment, is included and the tape wraps up with the wry New England story of spinster sisters Edith and Bessie. Klein's professionalism, her skill at knowing when to let her calm telling carry the story creates an experience that envelops listeners and lets them fully enter the story. Story and telling are seamless. This tape is for adults, but if you'd like your children to experience Klein's artistry, look for other stories on her website.
Available Susan Klein, Ruby Window Productions , Box 214 Oak Bluffs, MA 02557. 508-693-4140 or on-line http://www.susanklein.net [checked ok June 2014]
The Second Story Review, Vol 3, No. 4, March 1998