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by | Read by William Dufris, Christine Marshall, Todd Mundt

Contemporary Culture • 2 hrs. • Unabridged • © 2005

THE NEW YORKER--a weekly started in 1925--has long stood at the pinnacle of magazine publishing. Having garnered the most awards and attracted or spawned the finest writers, it "resonates throughout the culture," writes Ben Yagoda in ABOUT TOWN: THE NEW YORKER AND THE WORLD IT MADE (Scribner 2000). Now--for the first time ever--you can hear the dazzling prose read out loud. Stories, essays, criticism of books and movies, all unabridged, can be downloaded from, burned onto discs, or loaded into an MP3 player. Pieces bundled from the magazine and published as books--the humor collection Fierce Pajamas comes immediately to mind--have been sold on audio in the past, but this is the first airing ever of the flagship magazine-and virtually in real time. (The print version arrives Friday, Saturday, or Monday in the New York region. Recorded selections are up on the Web for download on Wednesday.) "It's one of the fastest-selling subscription products," says audible Executive Vice President Brian Fielding--this despite its relatively high list price (watch for discounts) of $12.95 a month, or $69.95 for the year. "We've been offering downloads of magazines and newspapers since before the year 2000," Fielding continues, listing THE WALL STREET JOURNAL and THE NEW YORK TIMES. Unlike these esteemed publications, the magazine is an evergreen, he says. Customers frequently order back issues. Doubtless this is attributable to the time spent selecting just the right pieces to record and to the careful choice of readers. "It was a tricky business finding the correct voice," says Pamela Maffei McCarthy, deputy editor of THE NEW YORKER. She herself listened to many performers as part of the screening process. "We want to be somewhere in between the completely brisk journalistic tone and something more theatrical." Working with audible staff, McCarthy settled on the team of William Dufris and Christine Marshall of Cumberland Center, Maine, which alternates with Todd Mundt, who works solo out of Ann Arbor, Michigan. Mundt is a consummate professional, refined but not effete, the American version of the BBC. The two-person team sounds better, though, inasmuch as they provide a greater variety of tones to match a magazine so various itself. Dufris is passionate but never over the top. Christine Marshall's voice is lush and feminine. THE NEW YORKER is the first periodical offered by audible to regularly employ more than one reader. Whether you admire THE NEW YORKER or detest it, there is no question that its availability at is a triumph for those who love recordings of the spoken word. Long a poor cousin to the music business and often dismissed as the province of anti-intellectuals, the business of selling recorded prose is here embraced by the classiest magazine in the country, if not the world. "It seemed a perfect match," McCarthy says. "It's certainly not a medium that we've stood away from on the grounds that it was inappropriate." Benjamin Cheever © AudioFile 2005, Portland, Maine [Published: DEC 05/ JAN 06]



Digital Download • • 2005

DD ISBN $5.95

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