Campbell Scott's narrative style has a unique stamp. His baseline technique in Tropic of Cancer is the dampening of his voice, joined with a masterly expressive control that emanates from this restriction. The effect is a quite strong sense of, and control over, mood and an intimate narrative connection with the individual listener. Scott's approach is suggestive of sotto voce, literarily "under speaking", similar to that bit of news spoken by a friend through a cupped hand in lowered tones into your ear in the Age of iPod, the narrator speaking through your earphones. Scott moves fluently from this baseline into the very lively stuff of Miller's tropes, riffs and rhetoric, and comically charmed outrages. Scott hits the marks, even as a tonal resonance of intimate communication remains constant. And Henry Miller's narrative voice? George Orwell observed, in his 1940 essay "Inside the Whale", "Read him for five pages, ten pages, and you feel the peculiar relief that comes not so much from understanding as from being understood. 'He knows all about me,' you feel. 'It is as though you could hear a voice speaking to you...with no humbug in it, no moral purpose, merely an implicit assumption that we are all alike.'"
With their production of Tropic of Cancer, Harper Audio and Campbell Scott have reached an elusive artistic benchmark: that point where the voice of the author and the voice of the narrator converge. David Chasey
©1961 Grove Press, Inc.; (P)2008 HarperCollins Publishers
Too bad all of Henry Millers books are not audiobooks. Definitely one of the best writers I have come in contact with. Although there are massive ramblings, there are also very focused rants that hit a cord.
Campbell is a good reader but I thought he could have been a bit scruffier to match the drunken nature of the character.
No, there is too much to think about, I actually wanted to roll back the audio and revisit passages; not so easy in audio format.
I read this in book format years ago and this audio version really intrigued me to go back and read all of the Henry Miller books again.
My interests run to psychology, popular science, history, world literature, and occasionally something fun like Jasper Fforde. It seems like the only free time I have for reading these days is when I'm in the car so I am extremely grateful for audio books. I started off reading just the contemporary stuff that I was determined not to clutter up my already stuffed bookcases with. And now audio is probably 90% of my "reading" matter.
The think I have to appreciate about this book is that it tells a really honest picture of the world in the time it was written. Literature (at least in the English-speaking world) up to this time had generally circumscribed certain areas of life from being openly depicted. I suppose it's debatable whether Miller qualifies as literature. I often felt like he was merely publishing his personal journal, though whether many people were that frank even in their own journals is up for question. The point is that our impressions of those times are colored by the literature that has come down to us, and gets reinforced by the films made about those times. Miller reminds us that people then were pretty much like people now. I'd like to quote what he said in the movie Reds about that but I'm pretty sure that would violate community standards at Audible.com. Clearly, the grungy part of the world Miller inhabited at that time was not the whole world, but it was there and he documented it. I also have to appreciate that he never attempted to justify his lifestyle. He simply wrote it down and left it to other people to decide if it was worth reading. Regardless of your opinion of him or his books, there is no denying he brings a vivid energy to the page you will not find in most other authors. One other thing I have to comment on is that in this book, as in a number of other novels from that era, the real story is only vaguely alluded to and only becomes clear at the end. Those who are distracted by the narrator's language and exploits are likely to miss the point. Whether the point is worth being dragged through Paris's demimonde is up to the reader to decide.
I'm going to assume this book is a classic because the language used was shocking in its day, but now it just seems crude and the storyline was boring beyond belief.
Nothing. Its just not what I enjoy listening to/reading.
Campbell Scott's performance was fine. He has a wonderful voice for this type of use.
I read the reviews of this book online and I realize that this book was significant at the time of its realease. However, in this day and age, the language that was offensive back then is almost common place now. I have no issue with the language. I just couldnt get into the story. Its one of the only books I've ever put down and didnt finish.
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