The story itself drags on and could easily be condensed into a short story. The reader attempts to vary his pitch for various characters, but comes across grating.
The performance is excellent, as is the basic plot. The perspective shifts between main characters keeps your interest. Where this disappoints is in the last book. The story's denouement limps across the finish line. This, however, only takes away one star, as the rest of the story is so well done, and feminine perspective so interesting versus so many other Arthurian legend retellings, that the payoff it is worth an overall five stars.
This really is like sitting in on great professors' lectures, but without having all the term papers and finals that go with the classes. I was skeptical, at first, but these really do come across as well thought out lectures by knowledgeable professors. They also bring their unique methods and personalities to each part. I have sat in on enough lectures to be impressed by these. They do require your attention to get the most out of them. One side benefit is the introduction of authors that you may have heard of, but had never gotten around to. These have also encouraged me to look many of these authors' works up and at least skim them.
The story of the Joad family in the Depression is touching, though the social injustice theme comes across too heavy handed (in lieu of writing that allows readers to draw their own conclusions) The narrator, Dylan Baker, provides a believable voice for each character.
Narration by Will Patton gives this Mississippi based novel a great atmosphere. The novel itself seems to drag at times, as if the writer was fishing for direction, and then picks up for a shocking end.
Ulysses is extremely varied in style and vernacular from chapter to chapter, which is what makes Jim Norton's performance exceptional. He gives voice and meaning to the very difficult text.
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