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raconteur

February 23, 2009

Have you ever met a really gifted storyteller? Someone who can not only weave an interesting tale, but whose oratory skills make even the most mundane anecdote exciting?

I’m always a sucker for a good story, and I’ve met a few people over the course of my life who could talk for hours without boring me in the slightest. My grandfather is one—his accounts of World War II and his experience as a Navy seaman never fail to captivate me.

What I’ve noticed, however, is that a gifted writer is not necessarily a gifted storyteller, at least in the verbal sense. For example, I can write a decent story at a moment’s notice, but ask me to make one up or account a true story out loud and an invisible hand seems to cue the snoring.

Telling a story out loud is nothing like reading one in a book, which I suppose is why I’ve never enjoyed audio books. Stories written and distributed on paper seem meant for reading silently (except for children’s books), while verbal stories have a different texture entirely.

When I was little, my father used to read THE POLAR EXPRESS to my sister and I every Christmas Eve. He used different voices for each of the characters, and my favorite was hearing him call “All Aboard!” when he got to the part where the train is waiting in front of the main character’s house. I will always love THE POLAR EXPRESS, but never so much as when my Dad is reading it.

Are there any stories you prefer to read out loud? And do you know someone who is an amazing storyteller? I want to know.

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. May 14, 2017 10:23 pm

    Alkaizaam-informataon found, problem solved, thanks!

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  1. ersatz « Sam Tamlyn

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