This rendition of this classic work is not an outstanding audio performance. Although narrator Norman Dietz holds the listener's interest, he fails to capture the correct tone for Twain. In telling the tale of the poor boy and prince who mistakenly swap identities, the author is also chuckling with the listener over the foibles of the rich and the poor. To be at its entertaining best, this work needs to be a performance piece with broad accents and wickedly whispered asides from Twain. This version includes the footnotes, which add little to the piece.
(P)1994 by Recorded Books, Inc.; Cover Art by Nate Pinnock, ©1994 by Recorded Books, Inc.
"A tale ingenious in conception, pure and humane in purpose, artistic in method, and, with barely a flaw, refined in execution." (Atlantic Monthly)
This is clearly aimed at a younger audience than some of Twain's works. But it's a rollicking swashbuckler, full of plot twists and verbal treats, and Norman Dietz narrates it in exactly the right tone. If Twain had to write "Tom Sawyer" before he could tackle "Huckleberry Finn," maybe he had to write this one before he could tackle "Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court." Among other things, I don't think he's gotten enough credit for his expert recreation of Tudor speech -- it sounds pretty convincing to me! Last time I read this, I was 10 years old, and it hasn't lost any of its ability to charm in the last 40-odd years.
I'm a big fan of Mark Twain and have been revisiting his works through audiobooks much to my satisfaction, until now. This recording is so grainy and poor that I can barely understand it. I'm sorry I wasted good money on this.
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