Book pak Books on Tape 1994
CS ISBN 0736628207 $168.00 Twenty-one cassettes
[Editor's Note: The Following is a combined review with NORTH AND SOUTH and LOVE AND WAR.]--Listening to John Jakes's North and South trilogy read by Michael Kramer is a great thrill. The 2,000-page trilogy is a multigenerational, geographical extravaganza, ranging from Lehigh Station, Pennsylvania in the North to South Carolina in the South, from Manhattan in the East to the San Fernando Valley in the West. Throughout the Civil War saga, Kramer never falters in his presentation of more than forty characters--men, women, and children; black and white; aristocrats and slaves. Northerners and Southerners from all walks of life are portrayed with unerring accuracy and complete authenticity. During the Indian wars on the plains of Kansas and Missouri, soldiers with European accents fight alongside Yankees and "Southrens" under historical figures such as General George A. Custer. In the Reconstructionist period George Hazard vacations in Paris and speaks with Monsieur Levie, who has the charming accent of a French person speaking English. The Irish accent of Constance Hazard rings true, as does the Southern dialect of the Mont Royal aristocracy. Every aspect of spoken life spanning the fifty-year period from 1840 to 1890 is flawlessly delivered by Michael Kramer. It's hard to get a happy ending out of the Civil War, but with skill and imagination John Jakes manages to accomplish a bittersweet one. M.D.H. (c) AudioFile 2002, Portland, Maine [Published: FEB/ MAR 02]
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