Trade Ed. Simon & Schuster Audio 1999
CS ISBN $45.00 Eight cassettes
A new Hemingway novel? Well, not exactly, but as close as we can come now that the great one has left us. Patrick Hemingway has edited the 850-page rough text of his father's last novel into what he calls a "fictional memoir" of half that size. It has more the feel of a memoir than of fiction, though, and Brian Dennehy reads it as such. In his matter-of-fact, tough-guy voice he becomes Papa, walking the tightrope between two women, each one accepting the other's role, as Hemingway women dutifully do. Though a fine actor, Dennehy does not act here, unless it could be said he becomes Hemingway the narrator. It is just the author we hear as he helps Mary kill the great, black-maned lion that has been terrorizing the Kamba villages, and then goes with his "supplementary wife," Debba, a beautiful, young native girl, as she searches the market to find a new dress for the birthday of the baby Jesus. It's unpolished and probably not the diamond it might have been if the author had lived, but it's an African jewel nonetheless. P.E.F. © AudioFile, Portland, Maine [Published: OCT/NOV 99]
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