The refined nature of the story at the start of this production is a far cry from the tale of greed and revenge it becomes at the end. This LATW audio presentation is over fifteen years old and shows its age with the constant restating of the title in the oddest places, along with the use of too many harsh musical chords. However, the story of a dentist and his wife in 1899 San Francisco remains compelling. Stacy Keach, Carol Kane, and Joe Spano head the all-star cast that includes Edward Asner, Hector Elizondo, Katherine Helmond, Helen Hunt, Rue McClanahan, and Michael York - among others. The characterizations are solid, and the accents convincing. As with any good melodrama, once you begin listening, you won't be able to stop.
Stacy Keach stars in this shocking tale of a Polk Street dentist and his wife in 1899 San Francisco. Frank Norris’ powerful insights into the depths of the human soul make this a story of compelling narrative force. This seminal novel about murder, obsession and the destructive effects of greed features an all-star cast including Stacy Keach, Edward Asner, Ed Begley Jr., Bud Cort, Hector Elizondo, Teri Garr, Katherine Helmond, Helen Hunt, Amy Irving, Carol Kane, Marsha Mason, Richard Masur, Judge Reinhold, Joe Spano, Jobeth Williams, and many more.
©2008 L.A. Theatre Works (P)2008 L.A. Theatre Works
"Hard to imagine a more compelling, engaging, immersive experience of this novel then the one presented here."
I have listened to many, many audiobooks, and I feel privileged to have been able to enjoy such an unbelievably stellar cast bringing this novel to life. It's really a new way to read and listen. I wish every book had this sort of treatment to realize it's full potential in conveying it's ideas, historical 'time & place' and ambience to new audiences. Beyond the incredible story, It makes history come to life. I have heard other commenters mention their irritation with the repeating introductions, as this was originally a radio serial type show, but it's a small quibble compared to the overwhelming magnificence of the production. It's like the graphic novel of audiobooks: Accessible, vivid, moving, transcendent, I could go on and on.
I intend to listen to every LA TheatreWorks piece that I can get my hands on. I had listened to Sinclair Lewis' "Babbitt" just before this, and it's equally good.
Again, what a privilege!
Fictional characters in narrative
a vivid hyperbolic tale focussed on folly of greed and still yet more greed. Helpful if familiar with novel itself, and thus prepared to enjoy this rich dramatized version that is true to story with only a few hours less enjoyment timewise and performed very well.
Incredibly annoying recitation of the author (2 times at the beginning of each part) along with the theater company and names of all the cast and characters at the beginning of each part. And then a repeat of the ending of the last part. Annoying sound effects (screaming and yelling). Too many narrators, switching from voice to voice constantly. What were they thinking?
It had moments, but one had to wade through much tedium to get to them.
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