Trade Ed. Harper Audio/ Caedmon 2009
CD ISBN 9780061720963 $12.99 One CDs
Listening to ESSENTIAL THOREAU is like listening to a rap artist's remixed version of an old song. The familiar song, while recognizable, is greatly altered to suit the new musician's style. American poet Archibald MacLeish, who died in 1982, reads excerpts from Thoreau's journals as if he were reciting lines of lyrical odes. The sentences flow with a song-like feel and pace, and it’s tempting to stop paying attention to Thoreau's observations and instead tune into the lilting rhythm of MacLeish's reading. The performance of this work would have been improved had MacLeish varied his pace more and lingered longer over more of Thoreau's words. Too often MacLeish's attention to the musicality of Thoreau's writing overpowers the ideas behind them. R.L.G. © AudioFile 2009, Portland, Maine [Published: MAY 2009]
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