Longer listens: Neil Gaiman, plus the Prize Winner's daughter.

Published October 3, 2005 5:25PM (EDT)

It's a good time to be alive for people who can't get enough Neil Gaiman. The cult comic book writer turned literary giant's latest novel, "Anansi Boys" -- a cosmic rollick set in the same farcical universe he created in the award-winning "American Gods" -- was released on Sept. 20. (Click here to read our own Laura Miller's review.) Then last Friday, Sony released "Mirrormask," a lavish fantasy film co-written by Gaiman and his longtime creative partner Dave McKean. Still need more? Check out these selections from Salon's audio archive. Both are radio adaptations of short stories from Gaiman's 1998 "Smoke and Mirrors" collection, originally produced by the Sci-Fi Channel and Seeing Ear Theatre and now available in a two-disc set titled "Two Plays for Voices." The first, "Murder Mysteries" (Real Audio 11:40), features Brian Dennehy as the (now fallen) angel charged with the detective work on the first ever crime committed in the Kingdom of Heaven. Will Dennehy ever find a more perfect role? The second, "Snow Glass Apples" (Real Audio 9:40), features Bebe Neuwirth (aka Dr. Lilith Sternin-Crane from "Cheers" and "Frasier") as the wicked queen of "Snow White" fame telling her sordid version of the classic fairy tale.

Not a member of the Neil Gaiman fan club? Don't despair. The Salon audio archive also offers this little gem: a recording (Real Audio 5:04) of Terry Ryan reading from her memoir "The Prize Winner of Defiance, Ohio." The movie adaptation now in theaters features Julianne Moore as Terry's mother, Evelyn, a housewife who, in defiance of her husband and her priest, turns a considerable profit by entering dozens of small-time contests. (See Stephanie Zacharek's review here.) My personal favorite of Evelyn's winning entries is this cautionary jingle for Burma Shave: "Hairpin turn/ hot rod ditched/ lost control/ his whiskers itched."

-- Ira Boudway

By Salon Staff

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