From School Library Journal
Grade 9 Up-Listeners are offered a rare opportunity to hear the voluble Welsh poet and his actor countryman, Richard Burton, as they present some of the richest verbal landscapes in the English language. Add to that 21 recent recordings by four noted British actors, and everyone can revel in Thomas's plays, prose, and poems. The first CD opens with the historic 1954 radio performance of Under Milk Wood
, which features Burton. The second CD moves on to Thomas's narration of Return Journey
with a supporting cast, and ends with his rendition of five poems including "Do Not Go Gentle into That Good Night." Philip Madoc, Jason Hughes, Michael Sheen, and Richard Bebb are all featured on the following two CDs which include "Peaches," "A Visit to Grandpa's," and poems drawn from four of Thomas's books. While no one quite compares with the two Welshmen, Madoc's reading of "The Outing" is a jolly jaunt and all four men give solid performances. Having Madoc and Sheen reread two poems already done by Thomas is redundant, but that's a minor flaw. For the sake of completeness the poet's remembrance of childhood holidays are included, but nothing compares with Thomas's reading of "A Child's Christmas in Wales" (reissued by HarperCollins, 2002). The overall quality is excellent, and the detailed liner notes and carefully described and numbered tracks make this recording very useful for classroom teachers. It deserves a place in all high school and college libraries.-Barbara Wysocki, Cora J. Belden Library, Rocky Hill, CT
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In the mid-twentieth century, Dylan Thomas (1914-53) was at once excoriated for his wild booze-drenched antics and admired for his distinctive poems, essays, stories, and lectures. Saturated in the musical speech of Wales, they dazzle with lush imagery, cascading sonorities, heady earthiness, and bold flourishes. This aural collection exemplifies the traits that continue to gain him rapturous fans, particularly for his poetry. The radio play UNDER MILKWOOD, his most famous work, is represented here by the legendary 1954 BBC production starring Richard Burton with an all-Welsh cast. Burton took the role that Thomas himself would have played had he not died just two months before the broadcast. In overripe stentorian tones that seem the perfect match to his writing, Thomas frequently recited his own works on radio and in personal appearances. This anthology includes vintage recordings of the author reading various pieces in his inimitable style, including "Do Not Go Gentle into that Good Night," which no one can deliver as movingly as he. Four seasoned Anglo-Welsh actors divide the remaining selections among themselves. Students and others coming to Thomas for the first time are well advised to start with this volume; those familiar with his works do not need to be told of the rewards awaiting them here. Y.R. Winner of AudioFile Earphones Award © AudioFile 2005, Portland, Maine-- Copyright © AudioFile, Portland, Maine