Trade Ed. Audio Partners 2006
CS ISBN 1-57270-068-8 $39.95 Ten cassettes
CD ISBN 978-1-57270-563-0 $37.95 Twelve CDs
Patricia Routledge’s newest rendering of Brontë is not simply a reading, but a fully realized dramatic performance. With consummate artistry she creates each character to sound perfectly faithful to the author’s vision. Hindley’s drunken rants, Cathy’s fury, and Heathcliff’s untamed passion combine to stab us like powerful tragedy. Even the primitive Joseph, whose Yorkshire dialect makes him practically unintelligible in print, lives and is, more importantly for us, clearly discernible. Routledge’s pacing, too, has a magically dramatic quality that simulates a stage performance or early radio theater. In keeping with the tempo of the story, she shifts imperceptibly from Ellen Dean’s involved but calmer tone of narration to the almost painfully intense fury of the dialogue. If there is a better reading of Brontë’s great classic, I have not heard it, nor can I imagine how it could be done. P.E.F. Winner of AudioFile Earphones Award © AudioFile 2007, Portland, Maine [Published: JUN/ JUL 07]
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