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The Old Testament: Selections from the Bible (the Authorized Version)
The Old Testament: Selections from the Bible (the Authorized Version)
by Philip Madoc
Edition: Audio CD
5 used & new from $40.98

20 of 21 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent bible readings, January 25, 2001
Given its origins in oral tradition, and the uniquely poetic cadences of the King James Translation, the Hebrew Old Testament is ideal for the spoken word recording format. This Naxos Audiobook does not disappoint. The commanding bass of Welsh actor Philip Madoc is nicely balanced by the Anton Lesser's sensitive tenor, while Michael Sheen and Josette Simon round out the cast with assured and resonant performances. There is no way to avoid the main criticism -- not nearly enough of the Old Testament is included, even at 6 tapes/CDs, and sometimes the readers don't put enough energy into the more familiar stories. But Sheen and Simon deliver a marvellously sensual reading of Song of Songs, and the full cast wrings every gorgeous drop of poetry out of the selected Psalms. One of the better Naxos audiobooks.

Marcel Proust: Swann in Love [Audiobook] *
Marcel Proust: Swann in Love [Audiobook] *
Offered by Fulfillment Express US
Price: $21.72
21 used & new from $0.01

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A perfect reading of Proust, January 19, 2001
This entry in Naxos' monumental series of recordings based on Proust's Remembrance of Things Past, is perhaps the best. Swann in Love is a pretty much self-contained story that can be enjoyed apart from the rest of the series. It chronicles the adventures of the debonair Charles Swann, a childhood friend of the narrator, as he suffers through a tortured romance with a Paris call-girl. The affair begins with passionate infatuation, but soon he is adopting her fatuous and self-absorbed friends as his own and humiliating himself with jealous escapades and petulant outbursts. There is a marvellous epilogue, too, where the narrator strolls through traffic-clogged Paris of the automobile age and tries to recall, regretfully, the loveliness of an earlier day. Neville Jason's deft and sensitive reading takes us right into the mind of poor Swann and his wry chronicler, while the music offers a bittersweet evocation of mood and period. This work is somewhat abridged, so students will not want to substitute it, ala Cliff's Notes, for a reading of the original text. However, as an absorbing and civilized entertainment, lovers of Proust and particularly audiobook listeners will not want to miss this fine solo performance.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jul 5, 2013 8:39 AM PDT

Swann's Way
Swann's Way
by Marcel Proust
Edition: Audio CD
10 used & new from $2.49

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fine reading of a modern classic, January 19, 2001
This review is from: Swann's Way (Audio CD)
There are several reasons why Marcel Proust's Remembrance of Things Past should make a worthy audiobook, and this offering from Naxos takes full advantage of them. The addition of mood-setting music from the period places us squarely in Proust's world while also providing a dreamlike sense of distant recollection. Neville Jason has taken more pains than most audiobook performers to create a character for the narrator. His smooth urbanity fits "Marcel" perfectly. This is an abridged version of the first two sections of Swann's Way, and is therefore not a substitute for the books. But it is a deliberate and largely successful evocation of Proust through the medium of a single, gifted narrator and some well chosen music transitions. Buyers considering this title might want to purchase its immediate sequel "Swann in Love", and enjoy the two as a unit.

Paradise Lost (Great Epics)
Paradise Lost (Great Epics)
by John Milton
Edition: Audio CD
Price: $22.98
41 used & new from $2.54

26 of 29 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant reading of a difficult poem, January 17, 2001
Paradise Lost, with its majestic but formidable language, is a masterpiece more often endured than enjoyed. Anton Lesser's superb reading in this Naxos Audiobooks recording brilliantly brings the poetry to life, infusing each character with a unique personality. Most impressive is his reading of Satan's speeches, wonderfully capturing the fallen angel's beauty and degradation. His agony when first beholding the happiness of Adam and Eve, and his humiliation at assuming reptile form, are worth the price of the audiobook. Though the recording is abridged, lovers of poetry will enjoy the bardlike meeting of actor and verse, and students will appreciate its accessibility and use of musical transitions.

The Middle Way: The Story of Buddhism
The Middle Way: The Story of Buddhism
by Jinananda
Edition: Audio Cassette
4 used & new from $8.98

9 of 12 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good Overview, but Lacks Authority, January 17, 2001
With three first-rate actors at its disposal, Naxos Audiobooks could have created a lively and compelling examination of Buddhist philosophy. Unfortunately, not enough time is spent quoting from the original source material, thus drawing from its rich, innately dramatic quality. Instead, we have what is basically an essay by Naxos producer Duncan Steen (under the pseudonym Jinananda) on the basics of Buddhist thought. This essay is divided into three parts, focusing on the Buddha's life, on his teachings and, finally, on the teachings and religious practices of his followers. Occasionally, a brief passage from Buddhist lore is dramatically read by the fine cast, and the recording comes brilliantly to life. More of this would have made a five star album that would repay frequent listenings. As it is, Steen's commentary, though lucid and thoughtful, comes off like a reading of an encyclopedia article, without an encyclopedia's documentary authority. Steen should have trusted his sources and his cast more.

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