We carry three types of audio productions by Jim Weiss:
- Jim’s audio performances of works written by other authors
- Retellings of classic novels or plays by other authors, in his own words
- And Jim’s own original stories, drawn from history, mythology, biography, and folk tales
When Jim performs works written by other authors (such as My Father’s Dragon by Ruth Stiles Gannett), these are unabridged. Jim reads aloud the originals of these books, providing a variety of voices for all the characters.
When Jim retells a story written by another author (such as his version of A Tale of Two Cities), the words “abridged and unabridged” don’t apply. These aren’t word-for-word performances, but Jim’s own creative retelling of the story. For these books, we say "As told by Jim Weiss" on the cover art and product description. Jim’s creative retellings convey the essence of the originals, often including parts of the original, while making the book more accessible to today’s audience and for young listeners. At the end of most of his recordings, he encourages the listener to read the original piece or more stories by the author. This approach follows the classical method (as described in The Well-Trained Mind) in which a child is exposed first to simpler, age-appropriate versions of the classics to whet her appetite for the originals when she’s ready to read them.
Jim’s own stories, drawn from history, mythology, biography, and folk tales, are deeply-researched, entertaining, kid-friendly originals, both written and performed by Jim. The recordings Abraham Lincoln and the Heart of America, Egyptian Treasures: Mummies & Myths, and Sweet Dreams would be examples of this type.
If you have specific questions about any particular recording, contact our customer support team here.
Note: occasionally, even in the unabridged versions, a word or two will be omitted. Some books written 100 years ago contain words that are now considered offensive (referring to someone as looking like a "Red Indian" for example, or calling a Black boy “a little colored boy”). In his reading, Jim skips these words, or replaces them; the change is so unsubstantial that the book is still considered "unabridged." If you are concerned about archaic or offensive language, please pre-read the book you intend your child to read.