Trade Ed. ISIS Audio Books 2003
CS ISBN $54.95 Six cassettes
It’s possible, isn’t it, that a child could be born a kind of genetic throwback, not one generation or two simply, but maybe thousands? What would happen to such a child in our modern, fast-paced world? Would he, could he, adapt? Now, enter Ben, Doris Lessing’s great experiment in genetic manipulation. He is huge, strong, totally unfamiliar with all modern institutions. His racial memory has skipped over many thousands of years, and he seems to belong nowhere on Earth. Though his plight invites our sympathy, Lessing’s prose is stark, blocky, mechanical, like the hero of her story. Martyn Read’s narration, too, is controlled, almost totally expressionless, except for the many characterizations that leap into rich and varied life. Read’s vivid renderings of character thus become the one spot of color in a story otherwise difficult to listen to and difficult to bear. P.E.F. © AudioFile 2004, Portland, Maine [Published: FEB/ MAR 04]
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