Library Ed. BBC Audiobooks America 2009
CD ISBN 978-0-7927-6360-4 $74.95 Six CDs
Stephen Thorne’s ascetic approach and ability to animate Brookner’s introspective character study adds interest to an otherwise static account of a London pensioner whose social life consists of discussing the weather with strangers and visiting his cousin’s widow. There is little dialogue, but Thorne makes the most of his mannered portrayals of the characters: Paul Sturgis, to whom inoffense is a life in itself; pretentious cousin Helena, as lonely as Paul but determined to seem busy and in demand; and jaunty Vicky, the American Paul meets in Venice, whose breezy speech disguises her opportunistic nature. Most incisive is Thorne’s depiction of Sarah, an ex-lover who rejected Paul years before, now querulous and bitter. Their conversations enliven a stark narrative. B.V.M. © AudioFile 2010, Portland, Maine [Published: JUNE 2010]
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