Narrator Pablo Schreiber's pacing, tone, and timbre are spot-on as he delivers this often brutal story. This classic novella centers on the exploits of the enormous dog Buck, who is taken from his Southern California home and ends up in the wilds of the Yukon. Schreiber narrates with exquisite restraint. The harrowing adventures of this iconic animal in the primitive wilds of... Read More
Anna Bentinck valiantly works to keep Thomas Hardy's early story of love and deception consistently compelling. An unconventional narrator, Bentinck takes pauses in unusual places, injecting a note of spontaneity into Hardy's occasionally hard-going descriptive passages. Hardy's story is highly character driven, and while Bentinck's style doesn't quite make the most of the... Read More
Nicholas Boulton can narrate an extended dialogue and make it seem indisputably between two people. He does so in this collection of Gogol stories, for which he produces a wide array of voices and characters. He takes full advantage of opportunities to inhabit the characters. In typical British fashion, he uses a skillful range of accents to indicate class differences. In many... Read More
Regal, haughty, with a pinch of sly wit, Emma Thompson's delivery is perfect for Jane Austen's 1815 masterwork. Young, rich, and headstrong Emma Woodhouse lives in the lap of luxury with her wonderfully addled father. Her world is one of elegant dances, afternoon teas, and, especially, intricate and sometimes convoluted matchmaking. Isabella Inchbald (as Emma) and Alexa Davies... Read More
Narrator Adam Sims expertly guides the listener through the complex relationships Henry James sets up when European cousins Eugenia and Felix come to America to meet their relations. Sims's soft cadence couples well with James's prose, and his vocal characterizations distinguish the characters clearly. He captures the European brother and sister especially well. Felix's... Read More
Philosophy is often presented in a dry and dull manner, but that isn't the case when it's delivered by narrator Mark Meadows. In this version of Kierkegaard's masterpiece, Meadows uses good pacing to give the listener an intricate treatment of the biblical story of Isaac's near sacrifice by his father, Abraham, and what this story may mean in the realm of faith in a higher... Read More
Nicholas Boulton's narration of the first Russian novel is an excellent match of voice and text. Lermontov's novel concerns the interactions of two Russian officers serving in the Caucasus in the 1830s. The main character, Pechorin, is a Byronic hero and quite politically incorrect. The antagonist is Grushnitsky, who competes with Pechorin for the affections of Princess Mary.... Read More
Andrew Cullum's narration enlivens Defoe's historical novel about the 1665 plague in London. While Defoe was not an eyewitness, he re-created a realistic picture of the period through his own research. The novel relies heavily on the first-person narrator, who recounts his observations during the plague. Because of this, there is not much opportunity for Cullum to do vocal... Read More
This is a listen for anyone who wants to hear an updated version of the classic work by Homer. It's also for fans of Claire Danes, who does a superb job narrating the much-praised translation by Emily Wilson. Danes brings a restrained but inviting enthusiasm to what could easily have been a dry, difficult reading. Wilson succeeds in staying true to Homer's story of the journey... Read More
Melville is among the more difficult titans of American literature, and this audiobook does little to make his shorter works more accessible. The narratives are easy enough to follow on the surface, but the real meat of these stories is below the surface, and the clear but rather affectless narrations don't help to open them up. Michael Lackey, who delivers "Bartleby, the... Read More
Actor Constantine Gregory demonstrates his many talents in this remarkable performance of Dostoevsky's novel. The title literally means demons or devils; the plot concerns a group of individuals who are possessed by the demons of their own lives and ideas. This long work reflects the author's views on how Western European ideas were influencing Russia. As with much of Russian... Read More
Laurel Lefkow gives an elegantly understated narration of Dreiser's timeless novel of ambition, pride, and social class. Lefkow's pacing adeptly mirrors Carrie's tentative exploration of city life. Dreiser's exquisitely rendered details of every strata of social class will resonate with the economic realities of today's world. Lefkow's subtle shifts in vocal inflection and... Read More
Reading Plato on the page, we tend to forget that the DIALOGUES were just that, works designed to be read aloud in an age when if you wanted a copy of a book, you had to have it made. David Rintoul, as Socrates, and an able supporting cast perform these pieces as theater, with real people discussing issues that concern them. Particularly in the APOLOGIA, Socrates's speeches... Read More
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