Home > Reviews > A review of Kevin Sorbo’s audiodrama, “The Fall of the House of Usher”

A review of Kevin Sorbo’s audiodrama, “The Fall of the House of Usher”

Our wonderful pal Rhonda in Georgia purchased and listened to Macabre Mansion’s new audiodrama CD, “The Fall of the House of Usher.” Here is her great review. Thanks, Rhonda!

“The Fall of The House of Usher:”  A review!

This audiodrama is based on a short story written by Edgar Allan Poe. The main characters are Roderick Usher, his sister Madeline, her doctor, and the narrator, who is an unnamed childhood friend of Roderick.

Kevin plays the narrator, and through his first person descriptions brings the listener into the strange and Gothic world of Roderick and the eerie mansion known as The House of Usher. Special effects provide a spooky backdrop to the story of a man on the brink of insanity who seeks solace in the only friend he has left in the world, a friend he has known since childhood.

Once the friend arrives at The House of Usher, he realizes all is not as it seems and is slowly drawn into Roderick’s nightmare. Part of the nightmare is Roderick’s obsession with the health of his sister, Madeline. She is dying of a mysterious illness, and Roderick really doesn’t seem to care. Soon, she dies, and Roderick begs his friend to help him bury her in a vault located directly below the friend’s sleeping quarters. The friend agrees (a decision he soon regrets).

Days later, the friend hears noises in the night and is unable to sleep. Roderick checks on him and the two spend the rest of the stormy night awake.

The friend reads a book to Roderick, hoping to keep him somehow occupied, but, the friend hears noises coming from the vault and soon realizes that Madeline is not dead, as she appears in the doorway. The friend then leaves the house and moments later The House of Usher is no more.

I really thought the cast did a marvelous job bringing this horror story to life. I was really surprised by how much Kevin’s narration drew me into the story, but, then again, Poe always wrote his stories in first person narrative.

As I listened to the story unfold, I was reminded of a Gothic soap opera I watched in the 1960s called, “Dark Shadows.” I could just imagine The House of Usher being similar to the Collinwood Estate with all of its eerie sights and sounds. The special effects, such as the sounds of wind, moans, and creaks really brought an extra dimension to the story and kept me on the edge of my seat until the very end.

The cast is as follows: Kevin Sorbo as the Narrator, Jim O’Rear as Roderick Usher, Bonita Friedericy as Madeline Usher, and John Billingsley as The Doctor. Everyone involved is to be commended for a job well done.

I know Kevin is particularly proud of this project since a portion of the proceeds benefit A World Fit for Kids, and I was proud to support the cause by purchasing a copy. I encourage all of Kevin’s fans to do the same!

I read Edgar Allan Poe stories when I was in high school and somehow this story escaped me. But, thanks to a friend, I was able to get a link to the short story and read it.

For anyone who is interested, the link is as follows:


It can be downloaded in a PDF format if you wish. I would recommend reading it while you are listening to the CD. I think it will really bring (the story) to life.

Here is the link to purchase Macabre Mansion’s “The Fall of the House of Usher:”

Check out Macabre Mansion’s latest vid of a few excerpts:


(Images and video courtesy of Macabre Mansion; collage by Jan)

  1. November 10, 2010 at 6:45 am

    I´m really curious about the CD and would love to help WFIT. Going to have it soon.
    Great review, RHONDA, thank you for posting, Jan!

    TRADUÇÃO: http://kevinsorbo.forumotion.com/only-kevin-sorbo-f1/sorbowriter-cia-como-me-tornei-fa-de-kevin-sorbo-t161-500.htm#27894

  2. teresa
    November 10, 2010 at 6:26 pm

    thanks Rhonda ¡¡

    • Val
      November 11, 2010 at 7:58 pm

      Hey Rhonda, loved your review – fantastic, I’m absolutely proud to be your friend. What a wonderful way to show how much you love and respect Kevin’s work.

  3. Lori
    November 10, 2010 at 8:09 pm

    I too loved listening…Poe has always been one of my favorite writers. I especially like reading his work during the “Halloween”season. “Usher” is a really good story but my all-time favorite is “Tell-tale Heart.” Gives me goose-bumps all the time.

  4. November 12, 2010 at 10:20 pm

    Hi really enjoyed reading your article and was wondering On the TV show "Hercules: The Legendary Journeys," in which episodes does "Hercules" (Kevin Sorbo) get gagged?

    • Linda JC
      January 2, 2011 at 1:04 pm

      The episode you are looking for with Hercules seen “gagged” was a made for TV movie called “Hercules and The Amazon Women.” It was the first Hercules movie before the series started. It is included in the boxset. The “gagged” term (for your info) was when the women took him captive, they gagged him with a black leather strap! LOL.

      For more info, go to http://www.wikipedia.org and type in “Hercules and The Amazon Women.”

  5. Marilea Price
    November 13, 2010 at 9:57 pm

    Well if Kevin Sorbo’s voice hadn’t already won my attention, your review and the reference to ‘Dark Shadows’ would have pulled me in (& has too) center stage.

    • Rhonda
      November 18, 2010 at 11:41 pm

      Thanks! Glad you liked the refernce to “Dark Shadows”-the similarities,to me anyway,were so amazing that I had to mention it!

  6. Anne
    November 16, 2010 at 3:27 pm

    Thanks, Rhonda, for an interesting review. I enjoyed reading it and hearing the excerpts from the finished product. I hope to get a copy of the CD as soon as I can. Kevin sounded great in the role of the Narrator. 🙂

    “The Fall of the House of Usher” is one of my favorite Poe stories and, of course, the project is for a cause I support.

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