Library Ed. Blackstone Audio 1996
CS ISBN $49.95 Eight cassettes
A.S. Byatt is not for the lazy reader, or listener, as the case may be. This work (two novellas) is a cornucopia of delvings into Darwinism, Romantic poetry, Platonism, mysticism and, of course, entomology, all woven creatively into the workings of the book’s structure, characterizations and conflicts. Proven professional Nadia May (aka Donada Peters and Wanda McFadden) with her dry, raspish, British voice rises predictably to the challenge. Hers is a gifted storyteller’s voice, perfect for a tale of Victorian England, full of expectation and interest in the wonderments of what she has to say. Her characterizations of both males and females of varied social registers are excellent, as is her ability to transmit clearly the tonal subtexts of Byatt’s clause-laden, gracefully qualified sentences. The pace of the narration, however, is too fast to be as enjoyable to the listener as it appears to have been to the narrator. Still, it’s a delightful performance for those willing to pay attention. P.W. ©AudioFile, Portland, Maine [Published: OCT 96]
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