“No blades will kill it. Iron. Bronze. Silver. Gold. We have tried them all. If you wish to kill Grendel, you must do it with your hands.”

As Beowulf stands before him, King Hrothgar further describes the giant man-devouring beast that kills his people every night. Stunned, a thane whispers, “Beowulf. No blades? Then how…”

“Shhh,” Beowulf replies in low tones. “Fate often saves an undoomed man if his courage holds.”

Beowulf: The Only One is an hour and twenty minutes long. Unlike movies about Beowulf, this storyteller’s version honors the original classic tale. Shot through with surging 12-string guitar music mapped precisely onto the story’s battle action in real time, it’s Odds Bodkin’s latest spoken-word tale. The character voices created by this master storyteller bring you close to every hope and fear.

Experience it today. Grab the download here and enter the dark, windy world of the Vikings.

Or get it as part of the Mythic Adventure Collection of Odds Bodkin’s epics along with The Odyssey, The Myth of Hercules, David and Goliath, The Hidden Grail and Viking Myths. Save over $50 on hours of imagination entertainment for teens and adults.

Listening samples for every tale.

A Childhood Dinosaur Storytelling Epic

Imagine you’re four to seven years old and you love dinosaurs. You’ve seen movies like Land Before Time and The Good Dinosaur, but there’s not much else other than books full of dinosaur pictures and fluffy cartoons where nothing happens. You’re still a little too young for Jurassic Park. Still, you love T-Rexes and Stegosaurs because they’re so huge, and you don’t mind dinosaurs who talk like people because, well, you’re a kid.

Still, with all that, nothing has prepared you for The Little Proto Trilogy, once your parents buy it for you. Suddenly you’re in a sonic world of dinosaur sounds, voices and 12-string guitar music. And these dinosaurs don’t just talk, they have endearing personalities and even sing songs. They’re funny, at least the civilized ones. They’re named Tex, Colette, Old Wrinkles, Bump, Ankles, King Geoffrey and Plessy. But your favorite voice, the young hero of all three adventures, is Little Proto.

He’s a Protoceratops. He’s not very big, but he’s gutsy, funny and compassionate.

As Proto grows up, he befriends Old Wrinkles the Triceratops, although Proto’s never quite sure if his wise mentor really is the Vanished One-Horned King of the Great Migration herds. King Geoffrey the T-Rex has sworn off eating dinosaurs as long as he has plenty of fish brought to him. Despite King Geoffrey’s aloof manner, he burps horribly and has terrible bad breath. The two old dinos, former enemies, now grumpy old friends, save Proto’s life more than once in the tales.

But Proto’s best friends are Plessy the Plesiosaur, who lives in the sea and swims up Big River to play with the boys, Ankles the Ankylosaur, who wants to swim but can’t because of his armor plates, and Bump, the Pachycephalosaurus. Proto meets Bump just after Proto escapes the winged thieves of Pteranodon Gorge. Bump has a bone dome on top of his head and likes to bump things with it. He’s an orphan, and so Proto’s mom and dad have adopted him and he’s like Proto’s silly brother. They all live together in the Sea Forest, a protected world of peaceful dinosaurs. But things don’t stay peaceful for long, just like in real life.

If you’re that kid whose parents buy The Little Proto Trilogy (no CDs, just mp3s), you won’t know or care that the stories are Parents’ Choice award-winning storytelling audios. You’ll just enter a world of pure imagination and you’ll fall asleep listening to them, over and over again.

PS: at 3 hours and 20 minutes across all three tales, it really is an epic. Hear a sample and buy it here.

A “TRANSCENDENT AND EFFORTLESS GIFT”

It’s four hours and ten minutes long and sticks with kids all their lives. I still perform it, although not in one sitting. It’s The Odyssey: An Epic Telling. No, it’s not Homer’s verse in ancient Greek or a scholarly translation to English, but as a Dartmouth classic professor once wrote, “it’s the closest thing we have to a genuine Homeric performance.”

The reason? Scholars think that Homer, the great Singer of Tales from 700 B.C., created character voices and played music as he performed. In my case, it’s a 12-string guitar and Celtic harp, not a lyre, but the effect is the same. An epic imaginative experience.

As I do each year, this past September I performed the story’s first scenes at Loyola University Maryland for the Classics and Honors students. Before I went onstage, two tall young guys passed me in the hall, not knowing who I was. One said to the other, “I hear this one is actually fun.”

Let’s hope, I thought, and twenty minutes later went out with my Taylor guitar and sat down before two hundred college students and faculty. Seventy-five minutes later I exited my quasi dream state and the show was over.

Upon my returned home, I received a forwarded message from Martha Taylor, Chair of Classics at Loyola. A freshman student had sent the following email.

“I also wanted to talk about how fantastic the Odds Bodkin performance was! I didn’t know what to expect and I was completely blown away by the whole thing. The way he told the stories was so captivating! With all of the sounds he was able to make, the unique voices of each person, and intricate guitar playing…it was unbelievable. I was hanging on each and every word and if possible I would have stayed all night long. I can’t wait to go next year if he comes to Loyola again!!! With all of the sensory details he provided it really was as if I was there, during ancient times, transported to 700 B.C. in the “Belly of the Beast” so to speak. I absolutely loved his Polyphemus voice, the old man/priest in Apollo’s temple who gave Odysseus the brandy, the men who accompanied him during the travels, the people in the lotus flower scene within the ivy of the sickly-sweet perfumed island–everything! The way he created such a vivid scene made imagining a transcendent and effortless gift. While I don’t think I blinked for five minutes straight because I was in complete awe of his talent and skill, other times I would close my eyes for a brief moment to fully picture it.”

I guess it was fun, I thought.

You can find the full-length recording of the tale here.

Who’s buying Odds Bodkin downloads? Smart people, from all over the world.

Who’s buying Odds Bodkin downloads? Our last nine delightful customers ordered from…

 

Knoxville, Tennessee

Brooklyn, New York

Center Ossippee, New Hampshire

Ojai, California

Amsterdam, Netherlands

Boca Raton, Florida

Portland, Oregon

West Lafayette, Indiana

Queensland, Australia

 

They purchased these mp3s…

 

The Takeover Before Christmas: A Rock and Rock Story

Beowulf: The Only One

The Little Proto Trilogy

Gentle Tales of Nature

The Crane Wife: A Tale from Japan

Paul Bunyan Tales

The Little Proto Trilogy

The Mythic Adventure Collection

Gentle Tales of Nature

 

Visit Odds Bodkin’s Shop. Grab some bardic storytelling. It’s amazing stuff. One man, a thousand voices. Just ask these nice people from all over the world.

Want to save? Grab a bagful of Magic Coins.

Someone Who Loves Me Just Sent Me a Bag of Magic Coins!

The bag of Magic Coins arrives as an email from the Head Gnome. In the email is a gift message from a certain someone who loves you, so you know who asked the Head Gnome to send it.

Magic Coins? Sent by the Head Gnome?

What’s this?

Read on and find a link to the secure https site of Odds Bodkin the Storyteller. And in your email there’s mysterious number. A unique numerical code.

Click on the link and you’re at Odds Bodkin’s Shop, a treasure trove of stories to listen to and imagine. Award-winning stories. Funny. Charming. Scary. Moving.

If you’re a kid, you soon discover that they are mesmerizing, too.

Fill your cart with titles and proceed to checkout. How do you pay? Just type in your Magic Coins code and discover that your coins are worth more than ordinary dollars. The more Magic Coins in your bag, the more you can buy.

You save on everything. You get great stories.

And you’ve been given a gift by that certain someone who loves you.

THE HARVEST: STORIES OF THANKSGIVING Coming Up. Free Admission!

Featuring a new collection of tales and free to the public, these shows are coming up November 2nd at 6 pm at Ossippee Public Library in Ossippee, NH and on November 4th at 1 pm at Scarborough Middle School in Scarborough, ME, sponsored by Scarborough Library.

These three stories from around the world are filled with music on Celtic harp, 12-string guitar and African thumb piano. Each explores traditional harvests and how people felt about them and features character voices, vocal effects and audience participation.

Great for kids, adults and families, the show includes a Swedish tale, a Togo story and a hilarious Italian fairytale. Come catch some Odds Bodkin magic to welcome in the Thanksgiving Season!

To learn more, visit https://www.oddsbodkin.net/calendar/

Plus, in Suffield, CT, you can catch the last SPOOKY TALES FOR YOUNG FAMILIES show of the season at Kent Memorial Library in Suffield at 1 pm!

WHAT HAPPENS NEXT? SPOOKY TALES FOR HALLOWEEN in WARNER, NH this Saturday

What happens when a waltzing girl begins to disappear before all the dancers’ eyes? Flickering in and out of existence? Does it have to do with the tall stranger who’s shown up at the dance, the one who declines to remove his gloves? The one whose horse stands outside with its hot hooves sinking through the steaming snow?

What happens when a banshee appears in a train’s smoke and chases another train? One filled with mothers, babies, cowboys and gold miners? On a day when the trestle up ahead across the Colorado River might be washed out?

And how much help does a naughty little boy who’s been cursed by a witch never to grow need to find a mysterious singing apple? Especially when it’s guarded by another witch who commands an army of horsemen?

Find out all this and more this coming Saturday afternoon at Warner Town Hall in Warner, NH at storyteller Odds Bodkin’s Halloween show, FUN SPOOKY TALES FOR YOUNG FAMILIES. Music on guitars and Celtic harp, fun character voices and wild sound effects bring these stories to life.

Sponsored by Schoodacs of Warner.

Tickets $10.

Showtime: Oct. 29th at 3 p.m. at Warner Town Hall, Warner NH

SPOOKY TALES SHOWS at NH Libraries This Week! Free to the Public.

What other storytelling show is spooky but let’s you howl like a steam train’s whistle? Or thunder your hands in rhythm as supernatural horses chase a little boy? For Halloween, it’s FUN SPOOKY TALES FOR YOUNG FAMILIES coming up this Thursday and Friday in New Hampshire.

Thursday, Oct. 26 at 6 p.m. you can hear them at Bethlehem Public Library in Bethlehem, NH.

Friday October 27 at 3 p.m. you can hear them at Dunbarton Public Library in Dunbarton, NH.

Music on 6 and 12-string guitars and Celtic harp. A ghostly train tale from Colorado, a scary story from French Canada, and a wild adventure fairytale with witches from Italy make this kid-tested show tons of fun. Appropriate for young children.

Both shows are free to the public!

FUN SPOOKY TALES at WARNER TOWN HALL in NH October 28th

If “Imagination is more important than knowledge” as Einstein said, then pulling children from screens and urging them to use this natural human gift is a key parenting tool these days. Spoken word storytelling, especially with live music, hyper-stimulates kids’ minds, urging them to imagine. This builds neural networks that mature into creativity as they grow up.

With all that said, these are fun stories, too. Spooky, but child-manageable. The Banshee Train, The Girl Who Danced with the Devil and The Little Shepherd are the stories in this one-hour show. Music on 6-string guitar, 12-string and Celtic harp add to the enchantment.

This coming Saturday, October 28th at 3 p.m. I’ll be performing Fun Spooky Tales for Young Families. The show is sponsored by Schoodacs of Warner. Grab a great coffee or tea there and then step next door to the Town Hall!

Tickets are $10. Hope to see you there!

HAULING OUT THE SIX-STRING GUITAR

It’s some of the fastest bluegrass flat-picking I’ve ever done, this music on the 6-string guitar. Haven’t had cause to tell The Phantom Train of Marshall’s Pass in a couple of decades, but since I’m exhuming the corpse of this tale and adding new fictional flesh to it, the music needs to be re-crafted, too.

Been at it for weeks now, since I’m making a live recording of my ghost and horror stories at Grendel’s Den this coming Sunday the 29th, and the Phantom Train is waiting along with the other tales.

It’s the story of Edward Malloy, the guilt-ridden engineer who drives his passenger train over the Great Divide in Colorado. Long ago, drunk at a switch in Pennsylvania, he let a train take the wrong rails in a snowstorm. A hundred souls died. Now he’s the engineer, and he’s seeing things during his night run, things no man should see.

Come enjoy this hellaciously entertaining story, along with others, at Grendel’s Den in Cambridge MA. Seating begins at 5 pm. Grab yourself a stiff drink and some spooky specialty menu items and prepare to be creeped out. At least I’ll do my best.

 

Heartpounders: Halloween Tales of Horror

Sunday October 29th at 5 pm at Grendel’s Den, Cambridge MA

Tickets are $15 tables and $10 at the bar.

ADULT HORROR STORIES RECORDING EVENT at GRENDEL’S DEN

Years ago I made a recording called Dark Tales of the Supernatural and sold it on cassette. When I switched over to CDs and then to digital recordings (www.oddsbodkin.net/shop) I left it out. Mostly due to production values.

Over the years I’ve received numerous requests for it, and so this October 29th at Grendel’s Den in Cambridge, MA, I’ll be recording a new version live.

Lycanthropes and wraiths, not to mention the Devil––both imitated by a fool and as a very real presence on the dance floor––comprise the four horror stories in this show. Plus the origins of Halloween, going all the way back to the Druids of ancient England and Julius Caesar’s comments about them in 55 B.C.

First, Rose Latulippe and the Devil, a French Canadian story deceptively scored with lovely Celtic harp music, even as Rose dances closer and closer to the elegant man with claws in his gloves. Unaware that her body parts are falling away, she just keeps dancing.

Next, The Storm Breeder, a classic New England ghost legend about how Jonathan Dunwell of New York received the hideous burn scar across his neck in the shape of a gripping hand. Wind, whiplashes, horse gallops and driving 12-string effects weave in and out of vivid characters in this tale.

In Eastern Europe they’re werewolves, in Russia, werebears, but in China, they’re werepanthers. In The Panther Boys, two fine young sons are cursed to take the skins of seven men of their village by turning to supernatural night cats. Kill they do, but the tale turns terrifying when their father realizes they must come for him next. This tale is told with creepy, wind-blown alto recorder and panther screams.

Last comes Treasure Trove, a tale from Russia’s serfs. It’s too dark and brooding even to begin to describe, other than there’s vodka, a funeral and hoof-prints of the Cossacks. That and it features a human devil.

HEARTPOUNDERS: Halloween Tales of Horror begins at 5 pm Sunday October 29th at Grendel’s Den on Harvard Square. Spooky specialty foods and drinks will make it even more fun for these adult storytellings, all scored throughout with original music.

Come be part of a live recording event and enjoy some imagination entertainment for Halloween!

Tickets are $15 table seating and $10 at the bar.