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©2001 Audio Connoisseur
"A happy marriage of prose, performance, and production. (AudioFile)
As another reviewer said, these stories are gems, pearls; rich, sweet delights, to be savored, and listened to over and over. Writing short stories well requires different skills than novels, and Maugham has them all. It is his skill as a writer of short stories that makes the context, however politically incorrect it might seem today, unimportant to the enjoyment of the stories,
Combined with the melifluous and perfectly appropriate world-weary voice of the narrator, this production is as good as audio literature gets. I can't wait to read the later volumes.
This is a great reading, but ruined by crazy sound effects and stupid music.
The music would be bad enough, but this producer put bird noises, and other insane sound effects into the mix.
Charlton Griffin is one of the greater narrators you will find on audible. His vocal range is amazing, and he is pleasant to listen to.
It helps that he has great stories to read to the listener. Contemporary writers do not have the wit, skill, patience, and talent of Maugham. Think of Chekhov with an English sensibility. I also enjoy the colonial settings of most of his stories. Not to be missed if you dislike genre fiction as much as I do and enjoy actual literature.
I enjoyed the stories from The Outstation to Appearance and Reality to French Joe and Masterson. William Somerset Maugham's stories are interesting if you like history, and want to see what life was like way back when. What I didn't like was the racism and imperialism, but that is unfortunately part of the time.
Having read ???Of Human Bondage??? and ???Cakes and Ale,??? I already knew that I like Maugham???s writing and storytelling. I also enjoyed the Charlton Griffin productions of the Sherlock Holmes oeuvre. Unlike two of the other reviewers, I like the music and sound effects, all apparently chosen by Griffin himself. He both reads and produces these recordings. However, I am surprised and dismayed by the mispronunciations. Come on Charlton. You are a great reader, but if you take the time to choose and add music and sound effects, you should also take the time to learn how to pronounce ???antipodes.???
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