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June/July 2014

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THE TRANSCRIPTIONIST Amy Rowland Read by Xe Sands Xe Sands's ironic tone fits Lena, the q u e s t i o n i n g t r a n s c r i p t i o n i s t w h o begins to wonder about herself and life in general from the isolation of a small room where she types news stories phoned in by reporters from around t h e w o r l d . H o w c a n s h e n o t w h e n one moment she's typing a story on a celeb's wedding and the next an event in a foreign war? Though both Lena's voice and Sands's readings are dry, there's a tone of quiet, growing despair after a blind woman breaks into the Bronx Zoo, where she's killed by lions. As Lena's chance encounter with this woman before her death sends her on a course of discovery, Sands's narration reflects the loneliness and emptiness that inspire her new direction. S.W. HighBridge Audio 5.5 hrs. Unabridged Trade Ed.: CD ISBN 9781622313419 $26.95 (also DD) Library Ed.: CD ISBN 9781622313433 $59.00 (also DD) THE VISIONIST Rachel Urquhart Read by Ellen Archer,Peter Ganim, Ali Ahn The three narrators of this story are perfectly cast. Ellen Archer, as Sister Charity, brings to life a teen whose only family has been the Shakers. S h e d i s p l a y s a r a n g e o f emotions that continually shift between unthinking devotion, doubt, and anger. A l i A h n p o r t r a y s P o l l y , reflecting the detachment she feels from the brutality of her past—she killed her abusive father and set fire to the family farm before coming to the Shaker community. Peter Ganim, as Simon Pryor, brings to life a disillu- sioned man who long ago sold his soul to the devil but who digs deeper into his better self to find answers that bring redemption. N.E.M. Hachette Audio 12.25 hrs. Unabridged Trade: CD ISBN 9781478981695 $40.00 (also DD) Blackstone Audiobooks Library: CD ISBN 9781478981664 $74.99 (also PRE) THREE WAR STORIES David Mamet Read by Jim Frangione War can be a refiner of human emotions, heightening them to unforgettable acts of courage or lowering them to deprav- ities of cruelty and cowardice. Narrator Jim Frangione uses the full r a n g e o f h i s p r o d i g i o u s talent to portray three men w h o w e r e p u s h e d t o t h e edge of their humanity, as depicted by Pulitzer-Prize- w i n n i n g a u t h o r D a v i d Mamet. Frangione gives full voice and empathetic emotions to the characters and is especially effective in the novella The Handle and the Hold as he plays the parts of two conspirators who steal an airplane. These finely wrought stories are delivered by Frangione with an authoritative style that places the listener in the middle of the action. R.O. Audible, Inc. 10 hrs. Unabridged Trade Ed.: DD $19.95 Fiction THE ENCHANTED Rene Denfeld Read by Jim Frangione Narrator Jim Frangione's soft voice and storyteller's cadence have an edge that hints at the creepiness and evil found in the base- ment cells of Death Row, where the worst of the inmates, including the unnamed chroni- cler of The Enchanted, reside. As the prisoner reveals the horrible truths of life within the stone-walled institution, Frangione maintains the dreamlike quality of his performance, building listeners' sympathy even as they are appalled by what they learn. In this world, no one—convicts, guards, priest, warden, or legal investigator—is free of suffering, and life on the outside offers no safe haven. Although the subject matter of this debut novel is sometimes disturbing, the deeper questions of humanity, redemption, and family linger long after Frangione's masterful reading has ended. C.B.L. Harper Audio 7 hrs. Unabridged Trade Ed.: DD ISBN 9780062308917 $18.99 Blackstone Audiobooks Library Ed.: CD ISBN 9781482992267 $49.99 Frangione maintains the dreamlike quality of his performance. "This dark, sometimes painful and magical, book challenged me to fully capture the ethereal quality and corresponding cadence so essential to its telling. The emotions I experienced in this recording were unexpected yet welcome." —Jim Frangione 28 ■ AudioFile/www.audiofilemagazine.com

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