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The History of English Literature (Naxos AudioBooks Histories series) Audio CD – Unabridged, June 19, 2001
"Warlight" by Michael Ondaatje
A dramatic coming-of-age story set in the decade after World War II, "Warlight" is the mesmerizing new novel from the best-selling author of "The English Patient." Learn more
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It takes some hubris to suppose that you can even sweepthrough 600 years of British poetry and prose in a 5.3-hour cassettevolume. The attempt has yielded a listenable and informativeproduction. Yet, it is not up to the high standard of the publisher'sother "History Of..." recordings. The narrative is inelegant andoccasionally off the mark. There are lapses, as when the narratormentions that a particular author admired a now obscure Italian, butneither tells us who this Italian is nor explains why he brought himup. Or when he says Jane Austen is the first woman author mentioned onthe tape when Mary Shelley is. Speaking of Shelley, author ofFRANKENSTEIN, one plus of this treatment is that science fiction isgiven its due, whereas it is frequently dismissed or not acknowledgedat all. Excerpts from works cited are delivered with varying degreesof skill by several artists. But it is Derek Jacobi's amiable,precise, and lyrical narration, always fresh and committed, that givesthe exercise distinction and renders it pleasurable. Y.R. ©AudioFile 2001, Portland, Maine-- Copyright © AudioFile, Portland, Maine