Gulliver's Travels has been a classic but somewhat overlooked read for many years, perhaps because of its supposed complexity. Still, it is an incredbly imaginative series of voyages and adventures to strange and wonderful places (a matter of opinion of course), and the superb writing and imagination on display in this Swift Classic can not be denied.
Jonathan Swift's masterful descriptions of distant island lands, their inhabitants, strange customs, and Gulliver's perceptions and treatment in each place is extaordinary. Yet, not to be ignored are the underlying political and moral aspects which are woven throughtout the text, and in some cases, existant in today's politics and, surprisingly, our society. In many ways futuristic, Jonathan Swift proves a master of imagination and human behavior.
Equally outstanding; and handled deftly, is Mr. Pierce's interpretive reading of the text. Performed with an English accent, and with undeniable superlative vocal skill, Mr. Pierce ushers us through each new voyage with such ease and understanding, that one wonders if Swift weren't whispering direction in his ear. What can understandably be a complex and confusing read, is made entertaining and easily pictured in the mind's eye of the reader when put in Mr. Pierce's very talented hands. I can imagine no one better to have narrated such a grand selection as Gulliver's Travels.
I would recommend this book but only to a reader with a great deal of patience. The story takes chapter upon chapter to get going. It starts out well, then falls flat, picks up again, then falls flat, then takes off and remains quite interesting. But that occurs in the second part. So if you can survive the uneven-ness of the first part - you should be alright. I wasn't inamoured of the narration either. Well Mr. Barrett has a pleasantly relaxing style - I found it maybe too relaxing and sometimes much drabbly monotone. He was putting me to sleep - or maybe it was the story. Maybe it's not my cup-o-tea.
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