This highly entertaining anthology of verse is the comic, tragic, tender, and telling story of life's seven ages, from childhood to old age. Within the framework of Shakespeare's speech, "The Seven Ages of Man," performed by Sir Ian McKellen, are 150 great poems from all ages, from Chaucer to Emily Dickinson to Walt Whitman and many others. The poem are presented by the finest cast ever assembled on one recording and includes Ralph Fiennes, Dame Judi Dench, John Cleese, Michael Caine, and more.
Some of the best of English and American poetry, read by some of the outstanding actors of our time. I especially loved Ian McKellan, Michael Caine and above all John Cleese - his renditions of "The Owl and the Pussycat" and especially "The Road Not Taken" (at 2:04:47) alone make this a worthwhile purchase. My only complaint is that one or two of the poems have special effects (an echo) which are not needed, and distract from what would otherwise be excellent readings.
2 of 2 people found this review helpful
American-born Paul Theroux had lived in England for 11 years when he realized he'd explored dozens of exotic locations without discovering anything about his adopted home. So, with a knapsack on his back, he set out to explore by walking and by short train trips. The result is a witty, observant and often acerbic look at an ever eccentric assortments of Brits in all shapes and sizes.
This is an intricate portrait of England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, revealing much about the country and its people. The only drawback is that it's dated - set very much in the time he took the journey. I'd love to encourage him to retrace his steps to see what's changed and what hasn't - just as he did in "Ghost Train to the Eastern Star" (retracing, as far as possible, his route in "The Great Railway Bazaar"). Both of those books, as well as his other maginifcent travelogues, are highly recommended.
3 of 3 people found this review helpful