Library Ed. ISIS Audio Books 1996
CS ISBN $54.95 Six cassettes
It’s difficult to imagine a reader who could bring this tedious and melancholy tale to life. Certainly Judith Whale is not the person for the task. Brookner’s latest revolves around George Bland, a retired Englishman as excruciatingly dull as his name suggests. He’s captivated by Katy Gibb, who disrupts his routine with her pure animal magnetism, and her impure motives. The story is primarily George’s internal monologue, and a male narrator would perhaps serve the material better. However, even Katy’s predatory half-American, half-English inflections are flattened by Whale’s clipped and careful reading. Brookner’s novel, with its static situations and monotonous accumulation of detail, is ill-suited to audio, and the listener is kept at even greater remove because of the reader’s dispassionate presentation. T.M. ©AudioFile, Portland, Maine [Published: NOV/DEC 97]
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