The Donne family’s move to the country is inspired by a wish to be close to their cousins, who are to be their nearest neighbours. It proves too close for comfort, however. For a secret switching of wills causes the most genteel pursuit of self-interest to threaten good relations and even good manners....
Ivy Compton-Burnett employs her sharp ear for comedy and celebrated powers of dialogue to spectacular effect. She reveals a devastating microcosm of human society, in which the elders are by no means always the betters, in which no character is totally scrupulous, but none without their appeal.
I don't know if Teresa DeBerry is English, but based on her performance reading this book I'm pretty sure she is a not particularly good American actress trying to do a posh English accent. In fact her accent is so bad and her reading so overdone and ridiculous it's impossible to get into the book. At one point I wondered whether she was either drunk or not a native English speaker--her delivery is so stilted and slow. Why oh why does she think she has to affect such an annoying, arch accent? I would like to return this if I could but not sure if I can. She has completely ruined what should have been a delightful book.
Would you try another book written by Ivy Compton-Burnett or narrated by Teresa DeBerry?
I would try another Compton-Burnett but I was driven demented by the dreadful reading. It was almost impossible to distinguish between the characters given the accents and characterisation.
I would definitely not listen to another narration by Teresa DeBerry. For a good example of how to do it, see Jill Balcon or Penelope Wilton.
Would you recommend Elders and Betters to your friends? Why or why not?
Not this narration.
Who might you have cast as narrator instead of Teresa DeBerry?
If you could play editor, what scene or scenes would you have cut from Elders and Betters?
Had to give up as I couldn't stand the narration
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