Walter Covell accentuates the Frenchness of 19th-century writer Emile Zola and his politically engaged work. This collection consists of three stories.
In the comic-tragic "Captain Burle", a retired soldier engages in duel to defend his honor and satisfy his demanding mother. "The Miller’s Daughter" is a moving story about a rural French family dealing with an occupying force of Prussian soldiers. And in the wrenching "The Death of Olivier Becaille", a man in a coma state is believed to be dead and prepared for a funeral.
In an interesting choice, Covell performs these stories in a heavy but intelligible Parisian accent, his voices rising theatrically or growing gruff when delivering dialogue.
"With a French accent, Walter Covell reads three of Emile Zola's naturalistic stories....Covell's voice changes to match each character, even as his serious tone and graceful delivery match Zola's own style. Also, Covell's delivery of melodious French names and words informs these tales with an oral elegance. There is only one way to learn these stories and that is to hear them on this recording." (Booklist)