Saturday, July 25, 2009

Updating the Dated

Many of you have sent me kind notes over the past many months requesting that my earlier audio programs be released on CD and in down loadable formats. We've been working on that and if you go to the Bookshelf page of this website you'll see that The Free Fall of Webster Cummings has recently made the transition as well as The End of the Road. My publisher and I have made the decision to release my first two books of commentary, As Far As You Can Go Without A Passport and Small Comforts, as a one volume compilation to be titled It's Just Like I Told You: Twenty-Five Years of Comments and Comic Pieces. Most of this material appeared originally as commentary on NPR's All Things Considered starting in 1984.

It has been interesting if not entirely excruciating to go back over this material. I'm reading it again with an eye toward culling some of the stuff that probably shouldn't have been there in the first place and some of the stuff that was appropriate at the time, but reads as dated and naive now. It's a squirmy task. Everything in those books was heartfelt once, but like the the sentiments you might find in your old high school literary magazines, it's not necessarily something you want to share with the world -- again. I also plan to add some commentary I've done since my All Things Considered years to demonstrate, I suppose, that I did learn a little something about something since 1984. Or at least since high school. Definitely since high school.


Blogger Angelswatch said...

Thank you. That is so nice of you to do. Will be great to hear again. I use to have the whole series on audio but lost them all since moving. Use to listen to them all day long while a trucker driving from sun up to sun down making the day fly by. Started to get worried though after listening so many time felt as if part of the gang back in Wanted to go party with them but florida was so far away.
The technique you use is speaking makes the audios humorous and easily visualized in that theater going on inside my head.
Always pictured you as older, somewhere in late 60's or 70's i don't know why. But young or old i know myself and many others are so happy to have discovered your works.

5:51 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have discovered your books this summer having heard you and seen you in Berkeley on "Wait, Wait". I am recovering from surgery and have been quite laid up and the comfort of your books was welcome. You have the voice of my late father, including his shirt I think. You are my age, in fact we were born a year apart in the same city. Like me you are a parent at two phases of life. I can't decide if you write like my old friend or a long lost relation. Either way, thanks, I've enjoyed meeting your perspective.

Tracey, CA

1:59 PM  
Blogger Dave said...

Great to hear. As an aside, a couple years back, I went through the laborious task of converting all my End of the Road cassette tapes (I had the full collection) to digital files so I could listen to them on my MP3 player (if that's illegal, um, please erase this post). One thing I noticed was that the tapes skipped around a bit in terms of chronological order --that is, a tape published in 1991 might have a story that predates some of the stories from a tape published in 1990. I actually tried (somewhat successfully) to map out the correct order when I transferred them to digital. Which means, of course, that I am obsessive and have too much time on my hands. Had a great time listening to the stories again, though.

My analog to digital version is a little rough in places, though. Would love to have more professionally produced digital copies of all the stories. Uh... no pressure.

11:36 PM  
Blogger Angelswatch said...

Ok tom, vacation is over. Enough of having fun with kids and family, time to get back to your Ever see a kid on Christmas Eve with the anticipation on their face awaiting the next morning ? I know i am not the only one that opens their browser and first thing they look at is the rss feed to see if you posted anything new. Had you a chance to see the sad pitiful face when noticing nothing new i am sure you would post something everyday. Also Like Dave said above I also with you'd offer the audio versions down-loadable in mp3. Payable either as membership or pay as download. Just think how much more you could just sit at home instead of trudging daily through the snow collecting maple syrup...lmao

7:49 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I also have and listen to all your CASSETTE TAPES. Some day I'm going to have to replace my '98 Volvo and get a car that does not have a tape deck. I would love to have ALL your books on mp3 so I can listen to you on my iPod. (My Walkman died years ago.) I love listening to you on Wait Wait...

11:29 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh...great. Just when I've completed my 10-year project of replacing all of my deteriorating Bodett tapes, backing them up to a less vulnerable format, and cataloging decide to sell downloads?!?! Grrrr...

Still, I can't be too angry, Tom. Your stuff is priceless. In 1988, I was a poor, recent college grad who for some reason had to buy this book on tape called Small Comforts. (I'd never heard of you, or your work before this.) Thus, began my 21-year admiration of your work. Along the way, there were gaps. Believe it or not, I just discovered the existing of The Better Part of the End Of The Road. (It made the American Odyssey series make much more sense.)

I look forward to seeing the rest of the End of The Road stuff!

3:58 PM  

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