Digital audio retailer eMusic recently announced a partnership with McSweeney's Quarterly Concern, the literary magazine founded by Dave Eggers in 1998, to release a series of audiobooks based on essays previously featured in the magazine. A new audiobook, McSweeney's Notes from the Field, will be available exclusively from eMusic every three months.
The first installment, themed "Close Calls and Dangerous Propositions," includes Jonathan Ames reading "Bored to Death," Jessica Anthony reading "The Death of Mustango Salvaje," Keith Pille reading "Journal of a New COBRA Recruit," Jack Pendarvis reading "The Big Dud," and Claire Light reading "Pigs in Space."
"We're still learning about this audio stuff," says McSweeney's publisher Eli Horowitz in an interview on the eMusic Web site. "Everything we do, we do it before we understand it, and that's how we start to understand it.... We got this mic for $100 off the Internet and sent it around to the people wherever they were and they recorded it directly into their computers using Garageband or whatever."
Members of eMusic can download a free mp3 of the audiobook, which runs over three hours; memberships begin at $9.99 per month.