Author Dorien Grey, née Roger Margason, has had a life-long love affair with words, which he uses to paint large murals of books and to paint small, intimate portraits of the human condition and the human heart. His subjects range from spiders to sinking ships, from longings for lost loves to letters written in the sand with a bird-quill pen.
While all human beings have unique life experiences which set them apart from every other human, there is a universality of hopes and dreams we all share.
These poems are intended as small mirrors in which it is hoped you may catch glimpses of yourself.
What made the experience of listening to Dreams of a Calico Mouse the most enjoyable?
Mr Margason is an excellent wordsmith. His inner world of beautiful, detailed thought comes to you in the measured soothing voice of Mr Schine in a most pleasing fashion. He speaks of love, desire, and aging, with a tender worldliness that I found friendly and warm. You go to places exotic and fanciful, you meet with characters kind, and unkind, bold and fragile. Mr Margason is sensitive, subtle, and keenly observant. Whatever one's sexual orientation, the issues of attraction and desire, of persistent longing, of success and rejection, are clearly universal, and Mr Margason handles them with wisdom and wit, and with careful attention to the craft of poetry. All this gives Mr Schine a vehicle in which to give an admirable performance. This work, his voice, is a pleasure to listen to. Musical, tastefully understated emotionally; just the right notes. I replay the file often, and I'm sure I will continue to in the future.
Who was your favorite character and why?
The boy with the poppyseed rolls; he is beautifully drawn, inside and out ( in the first-person, and the third person) I often return, mentally to that little cafe in that far away land- it's so beautiful!
What does Jeff Schine bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?
Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?
Yes, though I like to have the pause button handy. I digest a bit more slowly than the momentary break between the individual pieces allows.
Any additional comments?
Treat yourself. This is very good. I do recommend it!
Lots of people know Dorien Grey as the writer of elegant mystery novels. I too am a fan of his mysteries, but I have also long enjoyed the occasional poem he shared with his fans, so it was a treat to have an entire collection of them to savor—better yet, I had the probably unique experience of both reading them in print and listening to them in audio at much the same time.
First, let me say that savor them I have indeed. The offerings are an eclectic bunch, short, long, humorous, poignant and even, at times, somewhat scary, in the sense that they bring their readers/listeners face to face with some elements of themselves they might well rather not have faced.
As to print versus audio…well, I have long held the opinion that there are very few (and this is true even among some very fine actors) who can do poetry justice reading it aloud. I’m not sure exactly why that is. It is just as true in music. There are many very fine singers who can do wonderful things with a melodic line, but there is a very good reason why Sinatra was inevitably singled out for his “phrasing,” which mostly means making the sung line sound natural, even conversational, while at the same time preserving its beat, the rhyme—in short, the poetry of each song.
I wish I could say that Jeff Schine does as masterful a job with Dorien’s poems. He doesn’t. Nor is he ever truly bad – indeed, except for his insistence on pronouncing po-em as “pome” he is often quite good, sometimes heartbreakingly so, as in the two bookended poems titled Fate 1 (The Boy with the Poppyseed Buns) and Fate 2 (The Man in the Spanish Café), which I confess gave me a catch in the throat.
Bottom line, in the real world, this is a collection of really first rate poems, delivered about as well as one might ask in today’s not so artful world. It isn’t quite 5 stars, but too good to rate as 4 stars, so I am cheating a bit on the side of the angels. All in all, highly recommended.