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Sylvia Plath Reads Audio, Cassette – Audiobook, February 14, 1992


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Product Details

  • Audio Cassette
  • Publisher: HarperAu (February 14, 1992)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1559945702
  • ISBN-13: 978-1559945707
  • Product Dimensions: 0.8 x 4.2 x 5.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,582,170 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

The charged imagery of Sylvia Plath's carefully crafted poetry strikes even deeper when heard from the voice of the author. Remastered using contemporary digital technology, these historic recordings were made between 1958 and 1962, when Plath was at the height of her tragically shortened career. They capture the striking clarity of her writing and the studied pronunciations of her voice, while illuminating her subtle, yet profoundly moving vocal inflections. Plath carries the listener into a dreamscape that mixes memories of beautiful lightness with the secret pain of dark and disturbing insight. (Running time: 50 minutes, 1 cassette) --George Laney

From Library Journal

Despite a plethora of audiobooks with Plath reading from her own poetry, this one seems unique in that none of her standards are here. These are the poems, for the most part, written between The Colossus (Plath's first poetry book) and the posthumously published Ariel. She reads rapidly yet clearly, without bothering with titles, her voice throbbing, seeming to build up anger as she goes along. Its excellence notwithstanding, this is not a good introduction to Plath's work, so it is recommended only for libraries that already have her other audiobooks. The reading by Hughes is precisely the opposite--accessible to everyone, even if it doesn't showcase the writer's best works. Interweaving poems with memories of growing up in a small Midwestern town, of Harlem in the 1930s, or of the influence jazz had on his poetry, he illuminates the experience of African American life. Playfulness becomes a stand-in for anger as he looks back at being elected class poet because he "had rhythm" or working on the college newspaper and being assigned to cover fraternity and sorority life (which of course denied access to blacks). The tape would disappoint if it stopped here, but, as if anticipating contemporary needs, he closes with some acidic pieces on racial prejudice that validate both his experiences and those of the listeners; he died in 1967. Highly recommended.
-Rochelle Ratner, formerly with "Soho Weekly News," New York
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

15 of 15 people found the following review helpful By PonyExpress on June 26, 2000
Format: Audio Cassette
...to actually hear Sylvia Plath read her own work. The poems here are wonderful(the selections are taken from radio broadcasts, I think)and not surprisingly, the author's voice adds much more to their enjoyment. And it is an interesting voice: deep, with a slightly stilted, "unplaceable" accent, and a throaty emotional quality. I only wish there was more-more poems, and perhaps even one of her interviews that are sometimes excerpted in documentaries. Nevertheless, a must for Plath readers.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Victoria Lucas on July 12, 2005
Format: Audio Cassette Verified Purchase
"Sylvia Plath Reads" is an asset to any Plath fan or scholar's collection. However, keep in mind that this 50 minute cassette tape focuses primarily on her early work, and not the infamous Ariel poems which epitomize Plath's legacy and that made her name. Taken in this light, these poems are luminous, haunting, and executed with her characteristic immaculate craftsmanship. At times, they can be quite thesaurus-driven and artificed. Several excellent poems represented include the following: "Berck-plage" (the only Ariel poem on the recording), "Mushrooms," "November Graveyard," and "The Stones" (from "Poem for a Birthday").
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Onie Wheeler on July 1, 2006
Format: Audio Cassette Verified Purchase
The only reasons I gave this audiobook 4 stars is that it lacks any introduction to each poem - does not even give a title. I know Plath generally announced something about her poetry when she read for BBC.

It would have been helpful to include a small booklet of the poems read simiar to Anne Sexton's Audiobook.

I wish more poems had been included. The actual audiobook is pretty sparse.

I was delighted to hear her mature beyond her years voice reading one poem from the original "Ariel" -- about the death of her neighbor Perce, entitled "Berek-Plage".

Her voice is powerful, full of anger and anguish that builds in such intensity it is though she is in the room with you.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Mr. Conaway on October 22, 2005
Format: Audio Cassette
A rare treasure. Hearing Sylvia Plath read her own material is a necessity for any Plath fan. Some fine moments throughout. Would like to have heard selections from "Ariel". Still, a rewarding purchase.
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More About the Author

Sylvia Plath was born in 1932 in Massachusetts. Her books include the poetry collections The Colossus, Crossing the Water, Winter Trees, Ariel, and The Collected Poems, which won the Pulitzer Prize. Plath is credited with being a pioneer of the 20th-century style of writing called confessional poetry. Her poem "Daddy" is one of the best-known examples of this genre.

In 1963, Plath's semi-autobiographic novel The Bell Jar was published under the pseudonym "Victoria Lucas"; it was reissued in 1966 under her own name. A complete and uncut facsimile edition of Ariel was published in 2004 with her original selection and arrangement of poems. She was married to the poet Ted Hughes, with whom she had a daughter, Frieda, and a son, Nicholas. She died in London in 1963.

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