Retail pak Harper Audio 2002
CS ISBN 0060527099 $39.95 Seventeen cassettes
When A. S. Byatt's Booker Prize-winning novel was made into a mediocre film, some critics argued it simply didn't work as a movie. One might also argue that it doesn't make a good audiobook. POSSESSION has a complicated structure--with poems, letters, and journal entries as well as conventional narrative--that's difficult to follow in audio, but these challenges can be overcome. The downfall of this production is that, as brilliant as POSSESSION is, many parts of the novel are eminently skippable. This is easy and guilt-free with the paperback, but impractical with a tape. And while Virginia Leishman reads dialogue well, her overall delivery is too languid, drawing out Byatt's already excessive prose. D.B. (c) AudioFile 2003, Portland, Maine [Published: FEB / MAR 03]
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