Book pak Books on Tape 2002
CS ISBN 0736683801 $112.00 Fourteen cassettes
Far less compelling than his MCTEAGUE, Frank Norris's THE OCTOPUS ultimately rewards listeners patient enough to learn about the wars in California, circa 1900, between the railroad industry and the wheat farmers. The "octopus" is the strangling railroad, which ultimately wins. For most audiophiles, however, the verbose prose will cause minds to wander. Adding to the burden is the word-perfect but absolutely drama-less reading by Jonathan Reese, who makes no distinctions among characters and few between narration and dialogue. He reads sentences well but seems little involved in their substance, that is, in the stories they tell. In sum, this is a disappointing audiobook. T. H. (c) AudioFile 2002, Portland, Maine [Published: AUG/SEP 02]
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