Trade Ed. Penguin Audiobooks 2003
CS ISBN 0142800228 $25.95 Four cassettes
CD ISBN 0142800236 $29.95 Five CDs
The U.S. Exploring Expedition of 1838-1842 discovered the continent of Antarctica, surveyed the Columbia River, and charted newly discovered islands all over the Pacific Ocean. Philbrick uses journals from the expedition's troubled commander, Charles Wilkes, as well as many of its crew. Frequent musical interludes set the tone of coming chapters without distracting from their content. Dennis Boutsikaris follows the author's lead in presenting the story as an exciting adventure tale rather than a dry collection of historical facts. Without artifice, Boutsikaris's voice reveals the crew's frustration in coping with their captain's insecurities, mood swings, and inconsistent leadership. The narrator's command of sailing terms enables the listener to infer their meaning, and his pacing conveys the author's enthusiasm for his story. R.P.L.
(c) AudioFile 2004, Portland, Maine [Published: APR/MAY 04]