My favorite characters in this play are the witches - and the decision of the actors or directors to speak very, very slowly was probably intended to impart an ominous feel, but it felt more "hooked-on-phonics". The very, very slow speech very nearly ruined the play.
The role of Banquo was fulfilled very well by the actor. The other characters were adequate. In a few places the actors change the lines a bit (a few words only), which was disappointing. Overall, the reading is OK, not great.
It is thrilling to consider Darwin's conclusions about life, without the benefit of knowing about DNA, epigenetics, gene linkage, Mendelian genetics, and so on. He was right about so many things.
The pigeons! Just kidding.
He mispronounced so many words that I am embarrassed for him. There are word substitutions that make the somewhat challenging Victorian prose impossible. That someone can get paid for such unprofessional is a disappointment.
Surely there is a better reading of this book out there? Wouldn't it be cool if the most famous biologists would do a recording? One chapter by E. O. Wilson, another by that really nice Darwin scholar/Englishman at Harvard, obviously Dawkins, James Watson...
I would love to, but the play gets modified by the performers.
The performance cuts out significant portions of the play. There are also several places where an actor changes a line or word order. It really takes away from the play. Also, Don John speaks too, too softly to even be heard. What's the point?
McCullough wrote an excellent narrative, combining letters and journal entries with the sequential events of the Adams' lives. Runger's voice was too folksy, and his depiction of Abigail turned an intelligent and interesting woman into a simplistic, sing-song whiney frump. It wasn't to my taste.
His love of literature, the philosophers and Shakespeare and his commitment to financial solvency.
When I hear a narrator read for different voices, I should be able to hear the character or person and forget the narrator. Simon Vance seems to excell at this. Runger, not so much.
I am enjoying the story despite the distracting throat clearing and congestion problems that were recorded and not edited out. I wish I had purchased the reading by Alfred Molina instead.
Most of the characters were portrayed the way I imagine; I particularly loved the playfulness of the witches (vs. a decrepit croniness). I didn't like the voice for Macbeth. Most disappointing to me is that, gosh, maybe 20%, or more, of the play is cut out. Too much. It's already a short(ish) play.
I have never been so unable to pull myself away from my iPod as with this novel. The characters are so real and charming and beautiful even the awful ones. It's every bit as good as all the other reviewers and critics say it is. I so wish that I had heeded the good publicity sooner.
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