Library Ed. Blackstone Audio 1997
CS ISBN $32.95 Four cassettes
Not one of Gaines’s major novels, Catherine Carmier, a brief tale of dysfunctional black families in rural Louisiana, still deserves a better reading than it gets here. D. M. Green, articulate at the word level, is too often emotionally flat overall, narrating both ordinary and climactic events with the same lack of dramatic intensity he uses to read “This book is continued on the other side of this cassette.” What’s needed are pauses, shifts in volume, distinctions among characters. (Without the occasional “he saids” and “she saids,” listeners will be hard-pressed to know who is speaking.) Most of all, we need a narrator’s commitment to the characters’ struggles to make sense of their lives. Instead we get an even, very even, reading that ultimately becomes boring. T.H. ©AudioFile, Portland, Maine [Published: OCT 97]
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