Retail pak Penguin Audiobooks 1996
CS ISBN 0140863079 $23.95 Four cassettes
Infamous Thief and Serial Bigamist Marries Own Brother! No, this isn't a tabloid headline, but one of Moll Flanders' many adventures. Moll is a delicious, challenging role, and Frances Barber takes it on with obvious relish. As a first-person narrative, the story adapts wonderfully to the audio format: Barber sometimes laughs throatily at her own escapades, adding to the intimacy and naturalness of the reading. Barber also produces other characters' accents faithfully and is especially good with her working-class landlady and her Scottish highwayman husband. This eighteenth-century romp is leavened, as always in Defoe, with serious moral reflections, and when it comes, Moll's repentance seems as heartfelt as her earlier joie de vivre. Although the abridgment is expert, the post-production on this recording could be cleaner. T.M. ©AudioFile, Portland, Maine [Published: SEPT 97]
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