Book pak Recorded Books 2001
CS ISBN 1402507909 $75.00 Eight cassettes
Amy Tan's fiction is built upon pairs, dualities, and contrasts: daughters and mothers, native and immigrant, American and Chinese, present and past--a rich interplay of themes, narrative forms, and voices that is perfectly matched in this reading. The two readers' voices and performing styles together express the richness and range of characters, settings, and situations that the novel encompasses. Tan contributes the necessary authorial command and lack of affectedness to the historical passages, while Chen has the stamina and flexibility to deliver the extended dialogues on which the novel so much depends, slipping easily back and forth between immigrant Chinese and California girl voices. The book's slow first half, with its seemingly endless succession of Alzheimer's symptoms, merely prepares the way for the wondrous, masterful unfolding of the historical narrative that dominates the novel's second half, set in China after the fall of the emperors, in the last century. Tan's richly detailed story of ink-making and bone doctors, and a woman who must choose between two suitors, is storytelling in its oldest and truest form--a tale of mothers and daughters, wives and widows, a story of generations past rediscovered, and its lessons learned, in the generation present. D.A.W. © AudioFile 2001, Portland, Maine [Published: JUN/JUL 01]
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