Book pak BBC Audiobooks America/ Chivers 1998
CS ISBN 0792722337 $54.95 Six cassettes
These twelve stories dramatize the everyday lives of assorted characters from all over the U.S. All are living on the edge of poverty; they're down but definitely not out. In one story, an unhappy daughter living in a trailer must face her alienated mother after they are thrown together in a freak accident. In another, a young girl defends an older woman against bigots in a Southern town. All the characters, struggling for decent lives, command our respect. In telling about them, the author has wisely left her readers free to interpret the stories as they wish. But this technique may be more successful in print than it is on tape. On tape the narrator, for better or worse, conditions the response. C.J. Critt, for instance, has been consistently accurate in her interpretation of the Kingsolver novels for Recorded Books. But Paula Parker, narrating this collection, fails to grasp the understated power of Kingsolver's prose. Except for one story, in which she captures beautifully the voice of a feisty Mexican-American woman, her reading is too histrionic for literary fiction. J.C. ©AudioFile, Portland, Maine [Published: OCT/NOV 98]
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