Retail pak HighBridge Audio 2000
CS ISBN 1565114280 $29.95 Six cassettes
Abe Ravelstein, the title character, is Bellow's thinly disguised recreation of his friend, the luminous, exasperating, iconoclastic literary critic and crank, Allan Bloom. Although described as a novel, Ravelstein is threadbare in the plot department. It is instead a portrait of a vivid, unpredictable intellect through the eyes of his patient, adoring friend, Chick. Lacking as it does much of a linear thread, Matthews has no narrative tension to draw upon in his reading. His only hope is to fully inhabit Ravelstein, to capture his hubris, his wit, his passion. In this, Matthews triumphs. He conveys a Ravelstein that is sometimes as much a storm system as a man. Not only does Matthews capture the essence of the character, he does so without ever losing touch with the most touching aspect of Bellow's work, that it is a love story between two friends. M.O. © AudioFile 2001, Portland, Maine [Published: FEB/MAR 01]
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