Library Ed. Recorded Books/ Clipper Audio 2004
CS ISBN 1841978698 $59.75 Six cassettes
Two novellas and two short stories by the popular writer of travel literature and exotica may surprise the author's fans with their darkness and blunt sexuality. In the ironic title piece, for instance, a 60-year-old artist revisits a Sicilian resort where, as a youth, he engaged in a sordid affair with a languid, self-centered German countess. He knows his lover/benefactress is older than he but is shocked to discover that she has forty years on him. Her gay traveling companion--and pimp--is her plastic surgeon. In elegant and graphic prose, we get blow-by-blow descriptions of the decadent lovemaking that sparks the hero's (and our) attraction/revulsion. To serve up this fare, the young-sounding Nathan Nolan adopts a melancholy, humorless, and monotonous tone that flattens the resonance out of the text. He ignores the authorial voice in the other stories as well, concentrating on the superficial, which he delivers with admirable clarity, if not with depth. Y.R. (c) AudioFile 2004, Portland, Maine [Published: AUG/ SEP 04]
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