A few years back, I was browsing LibriVox when I came across the audiobook for G.K. Chesterton’s The Man Who Was Thursday. Having binged on G.K.C’s essays and short stories at the time, I was eager to check out his longer works, so I streamed it and found myself hooked from the get-go. Had I just read the opening poem on page, I would’ve admired its lyrical quality and moved on to the first chapter. But listening to it narrated by Zach Brewster-Geisz left a delightfully indelibly impression, and I wound up replaying it.
When I was faced with reading an excerpt from my story “Bunsen Burn” for On Fire, the first thing to spring to mind was, Gosh, wouldn’t it be great if Zach read it? Taken with the idea, I reached out to him, enquiring if he’d consider doing it, and to my utter joy, he was gracious enough to grant the favor.
While nothing can beat holding a book in your hand, I’m not a purist about it and enjoy eBooks; ultimately, it’s the story you’re there for, but before discovering Zach’s work, I was iffy regarding audiobooks; however, his eloquent narration eased me into the format. My awe of his skill deepened the more I explored the medium as I perceived how regardless of a book’s quality, sometimes poor narration can put a damper on your enjoyment.
Finding a trove of his work on LibriVox was a delight, if you’re a Sherlock Holmes fan, you’re especially in for a treat. Recently, I listened to Murray Leinster’s Nightmare Planet solely because he read it, and his narration of Chapter Three of Wuthering Heights, one of my favorite books, is something I often return to.
The thing I love most about Zach’s reading is the way he doesn’t simply recite the text but performs it with élan, pouring personality, passion, and pizzazz into the telling, making it a rich experience.
Zach has also done voiceover work for Audible and is an accomplished actor, performing both on stage and screen. His performance as Bottom in A Midsummer Night’s Dream was acclaimed by The Washington Post as “the production’s chief acting asset… [Brewster-Geisz] conjures up a wonderfully idiotic and self-aggrandizing Bottom, complete with hilarious walk-like-an-Egyptian movements in the play within the play.” He is on the faculty at the National Conservatory of Dramatic Arts, Washington DC’s only accredited actor-training studio, and is the co-proprietor of The Siegfried Ølsson Band, a YouTube comedy series. You can find out more at www.zachbg.com.