Book pak Books on Tape 1998
CS ISBN 073664282X $24.00 Three cassettes
Barrett Whitener is one of my favorite narrators. Even when he doesn't quite connect with his text, I can always enjoy his pleasant voice, pristine enunciation and intelligent interpretation. Here he approaches a novella by one of the leaders of the Eastern European literary renaissance that preceded the Soviet breakup. Americans may know the Czech-born Kundera best as author of THE UNBEARABLE LIGHTNESS OF BEING. Evidencing the influences of Joyce, Mann and Kafka, IDENTITY typifies Kundera's lachrymose fatalism, here applied to romantic love in Paris. Such wintery fare could easily turn either boring or depressing in the wrong hands, but here it gives Whitener a chance to display a new maturity, a profound, intuitive epiphany, revealing the book's emotional and philosophical resonances. He makes these intense, closely observed incidents and characters absorbing despite a somewhat awkward translation. All in all, a work of unusual interest is given its due. Y.R. Winner of AUDIOFILE Earphones Award ©AudioFile, Portland, Maine [Published: JUN/JUL 99]
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