Thursday, May 5, 2011

"The Most Dangerous Game" by Richard Connell

Source: SFFaudio Podcast (mp3)
Length: 54 minutes
Reader: William Coon

The story: On his way to a hunting trip in Brazil, Sanger Rainsford falls off his boat near the mysterious Ship Trap Island. As a hunter, Rainsford is well-trained in survival. Not to give too much of the plot away, but he'll have to use every trick he's learned in hunting when he meets the wealthy General Zaroff at the island's lone residence.

Alternately titled as "The Hounds of Zaroff", this story appears in hundreds of literature textbooks as an example of Man vs. Man conflict. Besides the obvious appeal of the exciting plot, the story is interesting for the way Connell both contridicts and supports Zardoff's "might makes right" philosophy. The initial reaction and selective application of this philosophy by Rainsford is what separates man from beast, but still allows us to survive in a often dangerous world.

Rating: 9 / 10

The reader: From his amateur work at Librivox to his present status as a professional narrator, William Coon has always produced great readings. Here, he applies his feel for narration to bring out the excitement in an already gripping story. Coon's skill with characterization shows in the voices he adopts for the cold, foreign Zaroff and the heroic Rainsford. According to SFFaudio, this recording is the only free unabridged recording of the story, though it has been adapted countless times for radio plays and movies.

3 comments:

As the Crowe Flies and Reads said...

This is the first short story I remember reading. I was in middle school at the time and as soon as I finished it, I turned it over and started reading it again. It completely gripped my young imagination at the time, but I've not gone back to read it as an adult.

jesse willis said...

There is another recording, on Audible, but it is the only FREE recording. There are also several audio drama productions.

Listener said...

I can remember when I first read this story too. It's great to hear that it holds up so well to my memories.

Jesse, I've fixed the statement in the text. Thanks for the great podcast!