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Gather ‘Round the Sound

Holiday Stories from Beloved Authors and Great Performers Across the Globe
Length: 1 hr and 12 mins
3 out of 5 stars (66 ratings)
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Publisher's Summary

Gather 'Round the Sound: Holiday Stories from Beloved Authors and Great Performers Across the Globe

2017 has been a monumental year for Audible, having just celebrated our 20th anniversary, a milestone that would have never been possible without our wonderful and loyal listeners. One of our major commitments is bringing new and diverse audio experiences to our members, so this year, as our gift to you, we pulled together a collection that reflects a little bit of everything we've been up to recently: a surprising and heartwarming documentary, a selection of stories from our partners around the world, and even some improvised comedic carols we hope will make you laugh as much as they did us.

The lineup includes:

Zip Code 12345

This mini-documentary centers around a peculiar holiday tradition at General Electric's headquarters in Schenectady, NY. For two decades, GE has been receiving thousands of letters from kids - children who think they're reaching Santa Claus. And every year, a handful of GE employees give up their December lunchbreaks to respond to each and every letter.

An Aussie Night Before Christmas, by Yvonne Morrison, performed by Magda Szubanksi

This rollicking rewrite of the famous old poem 'Twas The Night Before Christmas gives the original version a hilarious Aussie twist. Magda Szubanski, Australia's most trusted personality, caries this incredibly fun romp. Kangaroos pulling the sleigh, a beer for Santa, and all the over-the-top Australian lingo, it's everything you'd expect.

The Music Coming from the House, by Paulo Coehlo, performed by Daniel Frances-Berenson

In this magical story from the author of The Alchemist - the master of the modern parable - a disguised king visits a poor village, and what he sees through the window of a house changes his life, and those of the occupants.

The Signal-man, by Charles Dickens, performed by Simon Callow, Dan Starkey, and John Banks

For literature lovers, the holiday season needs a little Dickens. We dug up a story of his that you may not be familiar with, originally published in the Christmas edition of a Victorian short story periodical. Of course, ghosts are involved in this 19th century work told by Simon Callow (Outlander) and Dan Starkey (Dr. Who).

A Very Improvised Holiday Musical

What would the holidays be without some carols? Vern, a New York City-based improv troupe, performs a few improvised holiday songs.

©2017 Audible Originals, LLC (P)2017 Audible Originals, LLC

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

End strong... not a chance

excellent until the end. oh my word, my ears are bleeding. skip the last bit and you should be fine. merry Christmas everyone!

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    2 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

couldnt listen to all of it

didnt enjoy the stories. stoppex listening. dont recommend it. not my cup of tes. others might like it

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
  • Tom
  • 2017-12-21

Glad it was free...

Kudos for performances, some serious vocal talent in all the content.
As far as the content it’s self I’m still shaking my head wondering what happened.
Letters to Santa, very heart warming.
Aussie Xmas, fun. Beyond that I’m not sure what happened.
Love Dickens but there no Xmas warm fuzzies with one.
The last story/skit/improve, kept waiting for the funny but it was a no show.
Love my Audible but next time check north of your board on our public radio for some prime stuff.
Marry Christmas and no hard feelings eh?!

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

the Signalman was a real highlight of course.

The story about GE was really touching too. It would make a nice Christmas dinner story.

I could have done without some of the other acts, but it was a lovely freebie and nice to listen to while I sewed some Christmas gifts. Thank you Audible!

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Gratitude for holidays

Thoroughly enjoyed this compilation of holiday stories. Insight to the varied stories that happen world wide. Happy Holidays and from me Merry Christmas 😊💫

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    2 out of 5 stars
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  • Phillip
  • 2017-12-12

WHAT WAS THAT!

The end was GOD awful! It started out OK and then went down hill and never came back.

15 of 16 people found this review helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
  • Catherine Puma
  • Alexandria, VA
  • 2017-12-12

There's a reason this is free

Having stories from the US, Australia and the UK were cute, but the poorly put together portions of this piece prevent me from ever wanting to listen to this again.

The Zip Code 12345 story goes on for way too long and is narrated in a weak imitation of Serial/This American Life type of podcast, which is highly jarring and prevents listeners from getting into the actual story.

Also, STOP LISTENING as soon as the last improv Christmas carol skit begins. Every bit of it is awful and not worth it, like the worst of SNL and office holiday parties vomiting all over a fake Christmas tree.

The Charles Dickens story was great, but it was an extreme disservice to the story to include it with this mismatch disaster. Last year's Christmas stories were 1,000X better.

29 of 33 people found this review helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • ZOE R
  • 2017-12-12

Holidays

Good to listen to some stories and especially because it was free. Thank you audible

10 of 11 people found this review helpful

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    1 out of 5 stars
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  • AmazonDenizen
  • 2017-12-12

Why?

What possessed you all to make this? The selections are random, far too eclectic for a coherent collection, and the one at the party is just weird. Maybe keep the Aussie Night Before Christmas and then add to it David Sedaris' Six to Eight Black Men and make a collection of Christmas pieces from around the world that are actually Christmas pieces. The use made of the particular Dickens and Coelho selections for Christmas purposes was tangential at best, maybe, only maybe, parabolic. Just using a famous author doesn't constitute coherence in the collection. Again, why did you make this? Not worth listening to even as a freebie.

10 of 11 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • R. Losciale
  • 2017-12-10

touching and amusing collection of Holiday storie

especially loves the Zip Code 12345 piece...reminded me why we honor Christmas! thank you, audible!!

21 of 24 people found this review helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • RodR
  • 2017-12-10

Starts great, gets really bad on the last two bits

The 12345 story was fun and inspiring.
The King story was touching.
The Dickens tale had nothing to do with Christmas.
The musical skit lasted about twenty seconds after they started singing, skipped through it at ten second intervals and all of it was terrible.

31 of 36 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Frank
  • United States
  • 2017-12-10

A Merry Thank You Audible Staff!

I loved the GE story .....it brought to mind the "Yes Virginia there is a Santa Claus" story and when all is dark and dreary and the task of family obligations and such looms high, it is nice to sit back and enjoy (and remember) what Christmas is all about .

56 of 66 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Denise Frank
  • 2017-12-10

Neat

Nice collection though in honesty the caroling part made my head hurt. The GE Christmas letter tale was heart warming. The Dickens tale unique. Thank you

34 of 40 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Shrimp Ramen
  • 2017-12-11

Festive Smattering of Fun

Only spaced out for the Dickens short story, whereas the other three selections held my attention. Felt buoyed by a bit of season's cheer by the end, so served its purpose nicely.

18 of 21 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Margaret Morse
  • CHICO, CA, United States
  • 2017-12-10

Holiday enjoyment

Was great holiday entertainment. Family enjoyed the Australian version of Night before Christmas. Over an enjoyable listen and addition to my audible collection. Thank you.

22 of 26 people found this review helpful