Retail pak Simon & Schuster Audio 1997
CS ISBN 0671577271 $22.00 Four cassettes
This Pulitzer Prize-winning novel turns Shakespeare's King Lear into an Iowa farmer and tells the story through the mouth of his evil daughter Goneral, reborn as the not-so-evil Ginny. In fact, Daddy is the bad guy here. Instead of dying with Cordelia in his arms after the horrendous storm, he lives on, senile, to fight it out in court. Oh yes, Lear turns out much differently in twentieth-century America but no less tragically. Kathy Bates, an actor as distinguished as the two who appear in the recently released film version of the novel, narrates with understanding but not much energy or commitment. Her best moments come in flashes of dialogue, but the heart of the book lies within Ginny's ruminations on the events, where Bates shows far less flair. Fortunately, she doesn't get in the way of this intriguing story, which, in an excellent abridgment, pretty much tells itself. Y.R. ©AudioFile, Portland, Maine [Published: NOV/DEC 97]
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