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by | Read by Peter Kovner, Gloria Naylor, George Plimpton et al.

Contemporary Culture • 5 hrs. • Anthology • © 2001

[Editor's note: The following is a combined review with THE BEST AMERICAN ESSAYS OF THE CENTURY, Vol. 2.]--Some essays are entertaining, some improving. Fitzgerald's "The Crack Up" is both. However often you've read this story/manifesto, there's more to hear. George Plimpton's mellow, intoxicating voice makes the third listening as pleasurable as the first. Katha Pollitt's reading of Mary McCarthy's "Artists in Uniform" also hits the ear exactly right. You'll be pleased to hear Joyce Carol Oates read her introduction twice, if you listen to both volumes. John Randolph Jones's reading of William Manchester's "Okinawa, the Bloodiest Battle of All" is as thrilling as it is informative. Other offerings, however, seem much more inclined to improve the listener than to seduce him. "Of the Coming of John" by W.E.B. Du Bois is doubtless a significant historical document, but we can hear the tragic ending a long way off. These 23 essays mix the superb with the simply good. B.H.C. © AudioFile 2001, Portland, Maine [Published: OCT/ NOV 01]



Retail pak • Houghton Mifflin • 2001

CS ISBN 0618127666 $25.00 • Four cassettes

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