Pseudopod 052: That Old Black Magic

By John R. Platt

Read by George Hrab

Magic and I have never exactly been what you’d call the best of friends.

I’ve had plenty of opportunities over the years to try to make the relationship work. I joined a coven, did all the research, bought myself all of the accoutrements of the trade, even had business cards printed up.

But no matter how much knowledge I amassed, when it came to actually performing magic, I was a dud.

Mark Junk
August 24th, 2007 8:19 am

This is my fav so far. George did a great job on the story. He had me cracking up! Thanks for a great start to my morning!


August 24th, 2007 11:19 am

I agree with MJ:)…If it weren’t for George, the story would’ve otherwise been “bleh!”

August 24th, 2007 11:20 am

In the interest of honesty and balance, I have to say the exact opposite of what Mark Junk posted, otherwise without anything nice to say, I would have followed grandma’s advice and remained silent. George Hrab’s attempt to channel the young Woody Allen in his portrayal of a feckless nebbish Harry Potter got on my nerves. In his his intention was to be funny, then it went over as well as Shadows and Fog. The story itself didn’t appeal to me. Only my respect for Hrab and Pseudopod kept me listening to the end, and that respect has been marred.

Horace de Saint-Aubin
August 24th, 2007 3:11 pm

I agree, the reading made me feel as though the reader were trying to hurry to a punchline that wasn’t quite there. The story itself was not all that bad, but only by a hair. Horror and comedy are very hard to do well, I can understand that, but still definately one of my least favorite episodes to date.

August 24th, 2007 6:28 pm

I have to agree with Mr. Saint-Aubin–the narration felt a bit rushed, as though Mr. Hrab just wanted to get it over and done with. A more laconic, world-weary voice might have been more effective. Still, it was a pretty good punchline at the end.

Mark in St. Louis
August 24th, 2007 8:23 pm

I don’t know if I can say it was my favorite, but once I got over the Woody Allen impression, I really enjoyed this one.

August 25th, 2007 8:38 pm

Not a bad episode. I thought George did a good job on the voices and being that this was a light piece, the use off the Woody-esq voice was a nice touch.

August 25th, 2007 10:29 pm

I absolutely adored this one. The reading was fantastic, and though it was comedic, I give it an A. Keep entertaining us, Pseudopod.

August 27th, 2007 12:33 pm

I love the incongruency of a nebbish black mage. Well done!

August 28th, 2007 4:09 pm

I’ll echo that the narration was great, better in fact than the story.

August 29th, 2007 10:21 pm

There was absolutely no reason to go with a lousy Woody Allen impression for the main character’s voice. None. It was irritating, grating, and served no purpose but to repeatedly yank me out of a completely mediocre story.

August 30th, 2007 8:31 pm

I enjoyed the Woody Allen impression. It worked for me. The story was OK, but the reading made it better.

August 31st, 2007 9:58 pm

I loved the story and the reader as well

Bright Eyes
September 12th, 2007 4:54 pm

I was, at first, put off by the narrator. Then, after the scene was set and the story gained momentum, I was fully enjoyed it.

3.5/5 bloody apples from me. :)

September 21st, 2007 10:58 pm

It sounded like it would have been a good story but I just couldn’t take the Woody Allen impression.

Dave (aka Nev the Deranged... or is it the other way around?)
September 25th, 2007 7:56 pm

I was also initially annoyed by the voice… but as the story went on, it absolutely fit, and in the end, sold the story. Without the voice, I don’t think I would have enjoyed it as much.