AudioFile

October/November 2018

Discover the World of Audiobooks

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EAGLE & CRANE Suzanne Rindell Read by Elizabeth Romanski Many shocking acts of unbridled racism have taken place in America's history, among them the twentieth-century internment of Japanese-American citi- zens during WWII. Elizabeth Romanski doesn't disappoint in narrating this multi- generational mystery set in Depression-era California. Louis Thorn and Haruto Yamada are friendly rivals—in piloting and in romance. Both are ace flyers with a traveling air show until the 1941 Japanese bombing of Pearl Harbor tears their lives apart. Romanski makes both men credible and does what she can with underdevel- oped secondary characters. Harry and his father escape from a Japanese-American internment camp. A plane that crashes bears two charred bodies. It is assumed they are the Yamadas. But are they? Romanski's performance shines a light on friendship, flying, and inhumane immi- gration policies. S.J.H. Penguin Audio 13.5 hrs. Unabridged Trade Ed.: DD ISBN 9780525590675 $22.50 Books on Tape Library Ed.: DD ISBN 9780525590682 $95.00 FRUIT OF THE DRUNKEN TREE Ingrid Rojas Contreras Read by Marisol Ramirez, Almarie Guerra Narrators Marisol Ramirez and Almarie Guerra team up to deliver this story o f h o w 7 - y e a r - o l d C h u l a a n d h e r family's 15-year-old maid, Petrona, forge an unlikely bond as each struggles to find stability and safety in the waning years of Pablo Escobar's violent hold on Colombia. Early on, Ramirez infuses Chula's irrepressible curiosity and intel- ligence with naïveté; Guerra highlights Petrona's hopefulness, buried under the weight of her familial responsibilities. As the audiobook progresses, the narrators adapt their delivery to reflect the escalat- ing fear and violence that surround the girls—one sheltered, one world-weary— as they realize they can't escape their country's woes. This dual coming-of-age story, inspired by author Contreras's own observations, shows how the effects of a guerilla drug culture touch everyone, even children. C.B.L. Random House Audio 12.5 hrs. Unabridged Trade Ed.: DD ISBN 9780525632634 $22.50 Books on Tape Library Ed.: DD ISBN 9780525632641 $95.00 THE GREAT BELIEVERS Rebecca Makkai Read by Michael Crouch This audiobook delves into the lives and minds of its characters with care. Two stories run parallel throughout the novel, one unfolding during the early days of the AIDS epidemic in Chicago and the other taking place in a more contem- porary time in Paris. The earnestness of Michael Crouch's performance suits the tone of both narratives well. Crouch is expressive and empathetic, breathing life into the many characters without ever overacting or exaggerating accents. His timing is superb, rarely rushing or slow- ing the pace even when the novel takes circuitous routes. The audiobook does give one pause when it comes to follow- ing the transitions between time periods, especially early on. The patient listener is rewarded with a well-written and thought- fully performed experience. L.B.F. Penguin Audio 18.25 hrs. Unabridged Trade Ed.: DD ISBN 9780525630814 $27.50 Books on Tape Library Ed.: DD ISBN 9780525630821 $95.00 28 n AudioFile/www.audiofilemagazine.com Fiction THE LAST CRUISE Kate Christensen Read by Rob Shapiro Narrator Rob Shapiro's calm, con- fident tone and perfect pacing set up empathetic characters who are thrown into a life-threatening situation in this new adventure by the acclaimed PEN/ Faulkner Award-winning author of The Great Man. Shapiro delivers this high-seas adventure with both deadpan humor and heartwarming emotion. In particular, he captures main character Christine Thorne's independent spirit and razor-sharp mind. The conflicts play out in an opulent setting, the 1950s-vintage ocean liner Queen Isabella, and lead to a heartbreaking climax. The ship's last cruise, from California to Hawaii, is a not-to-be-missed listen. R.O. Random House Audio 10 hrs. Unabridged Trade Ed.: DD ISBN 9781524754990 $20.00 Books on Tape Library Ed.: DD ISBN 9781524755003 $76.00 "About a week after I finished narrating, I ran into Art Insana, who directed, and we both said 'It's so strange; I still feel like I'm on the boat!' A nuanced book that leaves a long wake." —Narrator Rob Shapiro

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