Trade Ed. Harper Audio 2005
CD ISBN $29.95 Six CDs
DD ISBN $20.97
James Shapiro’s blunt American tones sound raw compared to the elegant enunciations of most Shakespeare recordings, but he conveys better than anyone the vigor, bustle, and commercial necessity of so much of Shakespeare’s life and work. Focusing on a single productive year, a dramatic one in English history, Shapiro has the advantage of a cohesive narrative, something missing in most Shakespeare biographies. This tight abridgment mixes critical analysis, political and stage history, and Shapiro’s own wonderful readings from HENRY V, JULIUS CAESAR, AS YOU LIKE IT, and HAMLET, accompanied by a selection of scenes from their stage productions. Of these, Shapiro’s readings, if not the most dulcet, remain the most persuasive and satisfying. D.A.W. Winner of AudioFile Earphones Award © AudioFile 2006, Portland, Maine [Published: APR/ MAY 06]
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