William Hootkins, like a skilled conductor, creates a charmed reading that explodes with a symphony of contrasts. Oh, it starts easily enough with a certain playfulness of tone--Ishmael's surprise at Queequeg and the frothy bluster of Captains Peleg and Bildad. But the reader soon plunges into deeper seas. The almost childish voice of Ishmael, as if on a skylark, alternates with the later excitement of the chase. The enthusiastic study of the parts of the whale contrasts with the darker innuendos on God; the colorful excitability of Stubb butts up against the diabolic indifference of Ahab's Fedallah. Over all, the mad ruminations of Ahab himself, initially undervoiced, like a recurrent theme, build to a mounting crescendo. Hootkins, exercising perfect control, orchestrates all these voices into the symphonic whole that is Melville's dark masterpiece. P.E.F. Winner of AudioFile Earphones Award 2006 Audie Award Winner © AudioFile 2006, Portland, Maine [Published: FEB/ MAR 06]
Trade Ed. Naxos Audiobooks 2005
CD ISBN 978-9-62634-358-6 $126.98 Nineteen CDs
DD ISBN Vol I, $44.44; Vol II, $44.44
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