Award-winning author, narrator, and screenwriter Neil Gaiman personally selected this book, and, using the tools of the Audiobook Creation Exchange (ACX), cast the narrator and produced this work for his audiobook label, Neil Gaiman Presents.
A few words from Neil on The High Place: THE HIGH PLACE: A COMEDY OF DISENCHANTMENT is what happens to the story of Sleeping Beauty when told as a cautionary – yet somehow rollicking – fairy tale. Our hero – if hero we may call a man who’s just murdered each of his four wives – is the elegant and aristocratic Florian de Puysange….Florian is everyone’s dream of an amoral protagonist, all elegance and flourish, witty and urbane, a complete cad who acts on every pleasure it occurs to him to desire...and he gets away with it. UNTIL it all comes due.
In the sulphurous The High Place, the amoral hero Florian enters the sleeping-beauty story and (unlike Jurgen with Helen) does not draw back at the sight of excessive beauty. Complications ensue: Beauty is realistically diminished during pregnancy, the first-born child is forfeit to Satan under the pact that guaranteed Florain's success, and an irascible saint is eager to call down holy fire on transgressors. Florian treads close to damnation and is saved only when Satan and the angel Michael conspire to let recent events become, again, a dream: he has a rare second chance and learns better.
To hear more from Neil Gaiman on The High Place, click here, or listen to the introduction at the beginning of the book itself.
Public Domain (P)2012 Wildside Press LLC
While I enjoyed the story itself (even if it was a little verbose in places), my main issue with this recording was that the pace of the narration was far too fast. I had to concentrate hard to follow along, and even a second of inattention was punished. Several times I found myself miles behind the action and it took quite a while to catch up with the story again.
I think it was for that reason I found myself getting a little irritated by the story and was quite glad when it was finished. The pace may not be an issue for other listeners, but I think I would prefer this story in print.
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