Retail pak Naxos AudioBooks 1995
CS ISBN 9626345551 $11.98 Two cassettes
Journalist, novelist, politician, agitator, spy--this author's life would make better reading than any of his fiction. Still, this spy thriller raised a lot of commotion when first published in 1903 (the year of Sherlock Holmes's retirement). Indeed, it spawned a whole genre. It is a first-person tale of stereotypical young Englishmen on the scent of German spies in the North Sea. This is all very conventional Edwardian fare except for the loving details of yachting and the prophetic hint of German imperial ambition. Dermot Kerrigan has the right sound for the hero/storyteller--youthful, energetic, just a bit strident. But whatever tension and adventure may have enlivened the book has been excised in an awkward abridgment, which also makes the plot twists hard to follow. Arbitrary pauses and a laconic pace further cut suspense. In the final analysis, this narrator fails to muster the excitement inherent to the story. Y.R. ©AudioFile, Portland, Maine [Published: JUN/JUL 98]
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