Digital Download Audible, Inc. 2010
DD ISBN $19.95
Melville’s muse was language, and his literary talent has been preserved for a century-and-a-half in his novels about the sea and its sailors. Narrator Paul Boehmer uses Melville’s substantial language to introduce Israel Potter and all the conjured-up people the boy meets. Cameo appearances made by King George III, Benjamin Franklin, and John Paul Jones give Boehmer the opportunity to render their vivid personalities as he chooses. Boehmer’s second talent, we learn, is to make the unfamiliar words of the time—the “must needs” and “e’re longs”—melt into the phrases we do understand. His flow upgrades the story for contemporary listeners and creates an adventuresome ambiance. Boehmer’s ultimate talent comes with his agility at employing accents, all credible and entertaining. J.A.H. © AudioFile 2010, Portland, Maine [Published: NOVEMBER 2010]
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