Beneath the Ice

Castleman, Seth. Beneath the Ice
(audio cassette or CD) approx. 70 mins.

Talk about eclectic! Starting with the familiar No News newly couched in Yankee setting, right through ancestral tales, to a contemporary urban story “noire," Castleman held my attention, and kept me wondering what was coming next. I don't know that I've ever heard a tape which showcased different styles of telling, and types of stories as effectively as this one.

Good use was made of music and sound effects, and Castleman knew which stories to use them with and which to leave entirely to his words and voice.

All of the stories on the tape were written or adapted by the teller. I don't want to spoil them for you by describing them in too much detail. I will say that the tape offers humour, sometimes broad, sometimes wry' , observations on life, and an eerie ghost story. Castleman uses a variety of dialects and vocal techniques to create his characters, and has a theatrical, rather than traditional, storytelling style. I became totally immersed in each story and finished the tape wanting to hear more. Recommended for older children and adults.

Order from Seth Castleman, Box 461, Woodacre, CA 94973. Tel: 415488-1003.

The Second Story Review, Vol 3, No. 2, June 1998

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