AudioFile

December 2018/January 2019

Discover the World of Audiobooks

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FRENCH EXIT Patrick deWitt Read by Lorna Raver Lorna Raver is giving a master class in vocal technique in this audiobook, in which an eccentric mother and son who have spent all their money but feel entitled to continue to live like the .01 percent abscond to Paris. Raver's French accent is excellent, a bonus, but the really dazzling work is in her distinguishing between two elderly, equally hare- brained American widows of the same age, which she can manage in two words, then her silky downshift to the voice of a female American clairvoyant 30 years younger, again making age and class clear two words in. How? The book itself may strike some as a diverting fantasy about drunk, crazy rich people. Or it may sim- ply seem unbearably twee. Raver at least is first-rate. B.G. Harper Audio 7 hrs. Unabridged Trade Ed.: DD ISBN 9780062871923 $20.99 PONTI Sharlene Teo Read by Vera Chok Narrator Vera Chok delivers an outstand- ing performance of this debut novel about family, friendship, and memory in Singapore. The story is told from the perspectives of three women: Amisa, a former film star who is now a medium; her isolated daughter, Szu; and Szu's nouveau-riche best friend, Circe. A social media consultant, Circe is tasked with promot- ing a remake of a horror movie that Amisa starred in in the 1970s. Estranged f r o m S z u , C i r c e m u s t confront the ghosts of her past. Chok's narration is upbeat and conversational. Her charming voice and accent perfectly embody the multi- cultural aspects of the three women: prim and proper Amisa, awkward Szu, and self-centered Circe. A unique and engrossing listen. A.C. Simon & Schuster Audio 9.5 hrs. Unabridged Trade Ed.: DD ISBN 9781508261261 $17.99 PEACH Emma Glass Read by Yasmin Page P e a c h h a s b e e n b r u t a l l y a t t a c k e d . In this audiobook, her subsequent pain is rendered into something both horrible and beautiful, which is hard to explain. Yasmin Page's narration embraces Glass's poetic skill as she delivers the author's descriptive words and distinc- tive cadences. Indeed, there is a poetry to this novel that is simultaneously ideal for audio and sometimes distracting. When the diction and syntax work thoughtfully in tandem, the effect is mesmerizing, thanks to Page's lilting voice. Some moments, though, rise to distracting heights in their abstraction, and even Page's skill as a performer can't bring the listener back to the story without some effort on the parts of both parties. Page is forceful and precise in her performance, paying close attention to the artistry entwined in these sentences. L.B.F. Recorded Books 2.75 hrs. Unabridged Library Ed.: CD ISBN 9781501990564 $36.75 (also DD) 32 n AudioFile/www.audiofilemagazine.com Fiction TRANSCRIPTION Kate Atkinson Read by Fenella Woolgar Fenella Woolgar's masterful narra- tion transforms Juliet Armstrong into a friend who is confiding a lifetime of secrets. This WWII novel revolves around the time Juliet spent transcrib- ing recorded conversations of British fascist sympathizers—they believed they were reporting to the Gestapo but were in fact sharing their secrets with an MI5 officer. Woolgar's inter- pretations of Juliet's wry asides and commentary, peppered throughout the text, are hilarious, and she convincingly portrays a broad cast of characters, from plucky Cockney-accented errand boys to elderly women conspiratorially sharing their shocking views. Woolgar's melodious voice and dry wit carry listeners through the decades as Juliet's secrets race to catch up with her. E.E.C. 2018 Best Audiobook Hachette Audio 11 hrs. Unabridged Trade Ed.: CD ISBN 9781549116650 $35.00 (also DD) "Kate Atkinson has no match for atmosphere—that ever- present possibility of danger at our heroine's shoulders, whilst the book is also dryly funny as we encounter a cast of characters so specifically drawn that they were a gift to read aloud." —Narrator Fenella Woolgar

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