Free Podcasts of Classic American and British Thrillers


Drjekyllandmrhyde_2Among the growing collections of free audio book podcasts, you’ll find a large number of "thrillers"
that grew out of the American and British literary traditions. It’s perhaps safe to say that the volunteers who record these books like a good, fear-inducing read. But who doesn’t?

The list of suspenseful novels available as free podcasts starts with the "monster novels" of 19th century Britain. These novels, which frequently offered a roundabout commentary on the anxieties produced by a society in the midst of rapid industrialization and widespread colonial involvement, include Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein (1818), Robert Louis Stevenson’s The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll & Mr. Hyde (1886), and Bram Stoker’s Dracula (1897). Meanwhile, across the pond, America was producing its own distinctive thrillers. In the trove of free audio books, you get Washington Irving’s classic 1820 short story, The Legend of Sleepy Hollow (listen here or here) as well as Edgar Allan Poe’s great short tales: The Tell Tale Heart (1843), The Raven from 1845 (listen here or here), and The Cask of Amontillado (1846). (Amazing that he wrote all of these before he died at 40.) Lastly, we’d also point you to the famous ghost story, The Turn of the Screw (listen here and here), written by one of America’s greats, Henry James.

You’ll note that some of these podcasts come from Librivox, and that’s because Librivox, with the help of volunteers, has quickly put together a strong collection of audio texts from the public domain. If you like audio versions of the classics, then you’ll want to spend some time reviewing their catalogue, and, in the meantime, enjoy these suspenseful tales.

P.S. If you haven’t seen it before, check out our recent favorite: The War of the Worlds on Podcast: How H.G. Wells and Orson Welles Riveted A Nation

See Open Culture’s Podcast Collections:

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Open Culture was founded by Dan Colman.