Library Ed. Blackstone Audio 1998
CS ISBN $32.95 Four cassettes
It’s a safe bet that Mauriac regarded the novel as a medium of moral instruction. This almost clinical dissection of a life narrowly lived, but with a hint of grace at the end, has more sermon than entertainment about it. Nor does its form, the world-weary interior monologue of a cold, undemonstrative individual, offer much scope for the oral interpreter. Geoffrey Howard gives an appropriately low-key reading, making the unattractive narrator as accessible as possible without trying to force sympathy or dramatic tension beyond what is in the text. It remains a rather sombre period piece that few modern listeners are likely to find engaging. J.N. © AudioFile 2001, Portland, Maine [Published: FEB/MAR 01]
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