Retail pak Dove Audio 1998
CS ISBN 0787101087 $20.00 Four cassettes
This 1841 exercise in pathos and villainy defines "Dickensian" in all its fascinatingly repulsive excess, containing as it does one of the most celebrated scenes in all Victorian fiction--the death of Little Nell. The abridgment heard here excises many of the author's tedious redundancies (he was paid by the word) while retaining most of what makes Dickens Dickens. Scofield, one of the giants of the British stage, turns the redaction into a lesson in actor's tact. He has decided to meet the melodrama head on but with the utmost control. He gives us the lush narrative intimately, as if reading to us at our elbow, and engraves the characters with all the vividness of an aural Daumier or Hogarth. He pulls out the stops on heaviness and gloom without actually becoming bogged down by them, his warmth and love of the material keeping him buoyant. In addition to his histrionic acumen and artistry, he possesses one of the most distinctive and exciting voices of the English-speaking world. It would be a pleasure to hear him read the London phone book. Warning: Sensitive listeners should purchase a box of Kleenex to keep handy before playing this recording. Y.R. Winner of AUDIOFILE Earphones Award ©AudioFile, Portland, Maine [Published: MAY 98]
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