Book by Theroux, Paul
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Collections of short fiction offer a unique opportunity to select pieces that represent many aspects of an author's work. In this anthology listeners will discover the great variety of Theroux's work. Theroux's range of characters, places and relationships, sometimes aloof and sometimes passionate, continually delight and surprise. The three narrators also offer variety. While Susan Anspach and William Windom have more or less the same approach to each selection, David Birney is a virtuoso. In the six pieces he presents, Birney is keenly tuned to each story. He adopts accents as needed and is astute to narrative rhythm. He becomes the author's voice in each instance, no simple feat when he has just presented a totally different set of characters and situations moments before. The entire collection is nicely punctuated with pauses and the cueing of the tapes shows careful production. R.F.W. (c)AudioFile, Portland, MaineFrom Library Journal:
Unfortunately, the producer only gives the titles for this audio on the cassettes themselves, and selections start and finish with annoying, superfluous music. Happily, Theroux's stories are first-rate. Two highlights, read by actor David Birney, are "The Imperial Icehouse," a small gem with Faulknerian overtones about three servants transporting a huge block of ice, and "Jack Faust's Prison Diary," an exquisitely crafted piece of black humor about the connection between corruption and communism in modern Russia. William Windom gives an easy, world-wizened rendering of "Memories of a Curfew," a story set in Africa that steams with heat, vice, and the fear of impending violence. The weaker stories fall to actress Susan Anspach, whose jaunty approach to narration is more suitable for TV commercials. Through the artful simplicity of narrators Windom and Birney, the eloquence, insight, and magic of Theroux's best writing are conveyed. Recommended.?Peter Josyph, New York
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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