This production is first-rate. Vanessa Redgrave is superb as Rosalind, Shakespeare's greatest comic heroine, and the supporting is great as well, especially the actors who play Touchstone and Jaques. My only complaint is that sometimes Redgrave is a bit hard to hear, since she tends to deliver Rosalind's sly innuendos sotto voce.
I agree with others about the excellence of the translation and the reading by Ian McKellen. As for the recording, I think I have an explanation for the deeper voice and slower pace of one section of it. This section is the famous Book 11, in which Odysseus visits the kingdom of the dead and speaks with its denizens. I think the special voice effects, which were probably intended by the producers of the recording, are meant to match the funereal subject matter. I'm not sure if this effort entirely works, but it's probably not a glitch in the recording process.
These stories are delightful, but the narrator's mannerisms are indeed distracting--especially the ridiculously rolled r's. I finally gave up on the audio, even though I love the stories.
The novel is a masterpiece, and the reader is wonderful.I had read some of Philip Roth's early books in the sixties and seventies, but had no idea that he'd developed into a novelist of such power. And I'm not sure I've ever heard a reader who so superbly captured the feel of a book. There's something elegaic about Silver's New Jersey-accented voice as he inhabits Roth's narrator. One of the best things I have ever heard or listened to.
This is one of the classic modern science fiction novels, and it lends itself well to the audiobook format, but the reader has made some strange choices.Particularly egregious is his rendering of Thon Taddeo, who is supposed to be a cultured, ironic Renaissance man with the intelligence of an Einstein or a Leonardo da Vinci. The reader makes him sound like Big Daddy in Cat On a Hot Tin Roof or the the villainous Southern warden in a prison movie. What was he thinking of?
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