The Extraordinary Adventures of Arsene Lupin, Gentleman Burglar

Arsène Lupin is a Master of Disguise, Art Aficionado, Antique Expert, Gentleman and Burglar. He also mops the floor with Sherlock Holmes from time to time. Created by Maurice Leblanc, Lupin was inspired by several other similar fictional characters of his day who were often a force for good, but usually on the wrong side of the law. He has been the inspiration for many books, films and television programs, including The Pink Panther films and the popular television show White Collar. They are mystery stories, where impossible crimes occur, and Lupin is famous for leaving no clues behind. With his swagger and gallic panache, Lupin sticks it to the man, usually a bovine millionaire or clueless aristocrat. 

Lupin was featured in 20 novels and 28 short stories by Leblanc, with the short stories collected into book form for a total of 24 books. The first story, "L'Arrestation d'Arsène Lupin", was published in the magazine Je sais touton 15 July 1905.

At the end of the first…

Download The Classic Tales Direct to iOS devices!

I love The Classic Tales, but I only have an iPad. I’m on the road, and I’d like to download an audiobook for the ride home. Does this sound familiar? Now, with a little help from some friends, you can download any title from The Classic Tales website without a computer.
Let’s face it, iPads, iPhones and iPods are great, right? But when it comes to audiobooks and music, Apple doesn’t like you to get your stuff from anywhere else. And so if you try to download an mp3 file, or an m4b audiobook file while using Safari on your iOS device, it will start streaming it in a window. No download options available. Nope. And even if you could download it, iTunes won’t recognize it.
Now, with a little finagling, we can set it up so that you can buy an audiobook from The Classic Tales website, download itand play it on your iPad, iPhone or other iOS device. These are the two things we’ve got to do: Download the file and Play it. Now, to do this, we need to pick up a couple apps at the good ol’ App…

Sir Arthur Conan Doyle All November! - Free Release Through The Classic Tales Podcast

During the month of November, we have all been enjoying stories from The Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes, by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle.

 These are the first three stories in the series, Silver Blaze, The Yellow Face, and The Stockbroker's Clerk.  B.J. knew we hadn't had mysteries in a while, and we needed a break from all the horror stories.  I am delighted, as I truly enjoy following Holmes and Watson on their adventures.  All of these stories are masterfully written.  They are complex, witty and often break the pattern of a basic mystery.
Sir Arthur Conan Doyle was born in 1859 in Scotland.  He was a multi-faceted man.  After a rough childhood dealing with an alcoholic and insane father, he was educated at a Jesuit school in England, where he had trouble adjusting to the rigid lifestyle. About these experiences, he wrote, "Perhaps it was good for me that the times were hard, for I was wild, full blooded and a trifle reckless. But the situation called for energy and application …

Edgar Allan Poe's "The Cask of Amontillado" Free Release Through The Classic Tales Podcast

What better way to cap a Halloween Scare Fest than with a strange murder confession from Edgar Allan Poe, as B.J. Harrison brings us "The Cask of Amontillado," a tale of murder by wine. Or rather, the promise of wine.

As you may remember, this was the first story B.J. recorded for The Classic Tales Podcast. If you still have your old audio copy, it should be fun to compare it to today's production so you can see how far B.J. has come.

"The Cask of Amontillado" is one of Poe's most popular stories, published in 1846 in the magazine Godey's Lady's Book, which was at the time, the most widely read magazine.  Many critics consider this a 'perfect' story.  It may well be the perfect crime, unless the whomever Monrtesor is telling this story to goes to the authorities!

In looking around the web for interesting takes on this story, I ran into two different productions.  One of them is a rap song, evidently produced to get school kids introduced to…

We Interrupt The Classic Tales Blog for SCULPTURE!

As some of you may know, one of  B.J.'s many talents is scenery sculpture and scenic painting.  And Halloween is showtime!  Here are some pictures, plus a little narrative from our guide through literature about B.J.'s latest  adventure outside books!  He promises more when the park opens tonight. Hands down, my favorite is the blue gargoyle which so freaked out the patron!

Here is B.J.:

 Well, here are some photos of some of the work I'm doing right now. Apart from the Classic Tales Podcast, David Copperfield and another audiobook I've commissioned, I'm working at Evermore Theme Park. This is preliminary work for a 30 acre theme park, which will be the largest Haunt in the US. It will be in Pleasant Grove, Utah. A good friend of mine, Cory Clawson, sculpted these pieces. They are cast of fiberglass and polyurethane. I painted the gargoyles to look like blue granite. The shrouded woman has a bronze patina. The client wanted them to look really aged. I used …

Bram Stoker's "The Squaw." - Free Release Through The Classic Tales Podcast

B.J. Harrison and The Classic Tales continue the Halloween Fright Extravaganza this week with a Bram Stoker's short story called "The Squaw."  B.J. found this story when he picked up a book of short stories on a recent trip to the Shakespearean Festival with his wife.  I wonder if they slept that night.

It is a story of a couple in the midst of their honeymoon who join forces with a colorful American cowboy in their tour of Germany. Jokes turn into accidents, and accidents engender thoughts of hate and revenge in the mind of a black cat. By the time the party tours the medieval torture chamber, tensions run very high, indeed.

You know Bram Stoker best as the author of Dracula, the vampire who wanted to move from Transylvania to England.  But if you are a fellow avid listener of The Classic Tales, you also know him as from his short tale,  Dracula's Guest. Dracula's Guest was originally slated to appear in the novel, but was cut and later released as a short story…

William Hope Hodgson's "The House Among the Laurels" - Free Release Through the Classic Tales Podcast

Friday's latest installment of Fear in The Classic Tales was William Hope Hodgson's "The House Among the Laurels."  This story is part a chapter from a larger book called Carnacki.  Carnacki is also the name of the lead character, a ghost hunter.  In this story, our hero and his aids must investigate the horrific tales surrounding an Irish mansion. Once the blood begins to drip, people begin to die...

A big shout out to listener Vincenzo Bonitatibus for suggesting the week's author to B.J. Harrison

 Hodgson was quite a character.  For a while, he owned a gym, where he trained cops.  He was also on stage with Houdini at least once, and put the cuffs on the magician.  Later Houdini claimed that Hodgson has purposely sabotaged the cuffs so they were particularly hard to open. 

Hodgson spent much of his youth at sea, first as an apprentice and later as a mate.  His time at sea not only inspired many of his stories, but was also the cause for his interest in fitness. …