Retail pak Soundelux 1999
CS ISBN 1559352973 $17.95 Two cassettes
The Pulitzer Prize-winning writer returns with this deftly executed montage of small-city life in Northampton, Massachusetts. As hometown to both Smith College and a struggling working class, Northampton embodies the classic contrast of town and gown. Kidder's warm, subtly humorous approach highlights the odd coexistence of these opposites: of intellectual feminists and beat cops, of obsessional careerists and struggling workers. The strength of Daamien Krall's narration lies in its clarity and deliberate enunciation. But his deliberation often slips into a clumsiness that undercuts the gentle ironies of Kidder's style. Krall certainly conveys the writer's warmth. Yet his unrestrained enthusiasm is largely misplaced here, particularly when it manifests itself in attempts to characterize each voice. High-end nonfiction demands a measure of detachment and sophistication. In the end, Krall isn't equal to the task. J.F.M. © AudioFile, Portland, Maine [Published: FEB/MAR 00]
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