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James

Iowa City, IA, USA

91
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 2 reviews
  • 2 ratings
  • 71 titles in library
  • 0 purchased in 2014
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  • Hamlet

    • UNABRIDGED (4 hrs and 6 mins)
    • By William Shakespeare
    • Narrated By Frank Muller
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (19)
    Performance
    (3)
    Story
    (3)

    Not sure that a modernized movie-version of Hamlet is your goblet of tea? Hear Frank Muller, the preeminent narrator of the audiobook world, play every part in arguably the best audio version of Hamlet available.

    James says: "Acting! Genius!"
    "Acting! Genius!"
    Overall

    This version of Hamlet has a couple things going for it: brief scene descriptions before each act (if you're interested in that sort of thing) and explanations of arcane vocabulary.

    The main flaw with this version is the voice actor, Frank Muller, who reads all the parts and all the scene directions. He is, to put it bluntly, a ham, and never misses a chance to send his voice into a sobbing falsetto as he chokes out a dramatic soliloquy. The audible.com blurb describes him as a "talented actor", but it seems he learned his craft from Master Thespian. He should have listened to Hamlet:

    "O, it offends me to the soul to hear a robustious periwig-pated fellow tear a passion to tatters, to very rags, to split the ears of the groundlings, who (for the most part) are capable of nothing but inexplicable dumb shows and noise. I would have such a fellow whipp'd for o'erdoing Termagant. It out-herods Herod. Pray you avoid it."

    I wouldn't have him whipped, but I might look elsewhere for a version of Hamlet.

    12 of 17 people found this review helpful
  • The Classic Hundred Poems

    • ABRIDGED (6 hrs and 1 min)
    • By William Shakespeare, William Wordsworth, W.B. Yeats, and others
    • Narrated By Alfred Corn, Rita Dove
    Overall
    (105)
    Performance
    (15)
    Story
    (11)

    Adopting the methodology of the music charts, The Classic Hundred Poems presents the "top 100" poems of all time. The selections are illuminated by the informative notes of editor William Harmon and read by an ensemble of contemporary poets including Alfred Corn and Rita Dove.

    James says: "A great selection of poetry"
    "A great selection of poetry"
    Overall

    There's not enough space to list all the good poems in this collection, but here are some of the best: "Ulysses" by Tennyson, "My Last Duchess" by Robert Browning, "Lycidas" by John Milton, "The Tyger" by William Blake, "Musee des Beaux Arts" by W.H. Auden, and "The Good Morrow" by John Donne.

    In general the poems are very well-performed, except for a few that are read by the poet Jorie Graham. She decided to read in a stilted, affectless monotone which I found distracting. That shouldn't stop you from buying this, though, because the rest of the poems are great.

    79 of 81 people found this review helpful

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