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Revolting Rhymes & Dirty Beasts Audio CD – Audiobook, Unabridged
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About the Author
Roald Dahl (1916-1990) was born in Wales of Norwegian parents. He spent his childhood in England and, at age eighteen, went to work for the Shell Oil Company in Africa. When World War II broke out, he joined the Royal Air Force and became a fighter pilot. At the age of twenty-six he moved to Washington, D.C., and it was there he began to write. His first short story, which recounted his adventures in the war, was bought by The Saturday Evening Post, and so began a long and illustrious career.
After establishing himself as a writer for adults, Roald Dahl began writing children’s stories in 1960 while living in England with his family. His first stories were written as entertainment for his own children, to whom many of his books are dedicated.
Roald Dahl is now considered one of the most beloved storytellers of our time. Although he passed away in 1990, his popularity continues to increase as his fantastic novels, including James and the Giant Peach, Matilda, The BFG, and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, delight an ever-growing legion of fans.
Learn more about Roald Dahl on the official Roald Dahl Web site: www.roalddahl.com
This book is a gem if you are any kind of Roald Dahl fan. Bringing Dahl's gruesome humor and creativity with words together with Alan Cumming's incredible Scottish accent is an exceptional combination. Cumming's pacing, easy rhythmic cadences, and vocal acrobatics enhance the poems and stories, adding a vibrancy and expression that would otherwise be lessened. His expressive performance adds to the shock of the unexpected endings, creating an unforgettable book. (Occasional language may offend--adults should listen first.) W.L.S. Winner of AudioFile Earphones Award © AudioFile 2003, Portland, Maine-- Copyright © AudioFile, Portland, Maine --This text refers to an alternate Audio CD edition.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
When listening to this disc of readings I tend to be bothered by the slow pace of the readers. They lack the crisp, sparkling and rauccous immediacy of past audiobook readings of these verses. The delivery of these poems is largely deadpan, and nobody relishes the humour and the funny sides of the poems.
Tamsin Greig struggles in her readings. She tries her best but sounds too delicate when reading her allotted selection of poems. She tends to be a bit too soft and lacking in presence and projection. For instance, it would have helped if she had adopted a raucous gangster-style voice for the Wolf's lines in the Red Riding Hood and Three Little Pigs poems.
Stephen Mangan is probably the best reader of the three. He tries to be expressive and his pace is brisker compared to Greig and Margolyes. He does his best at attempting funny voices and relishing the funny side of the poems.
Margolyes is just fine in her readings.
I'm not saying that the readers need to be excessively flamboyant in this material. I'm saying that they need to relish Dahl's irreverent, wicked yet quirky humour when they read his books for recordings. Unfortunately this new recording of Revolting Rhymes and Dirty Beasts does not quite deliver and catch the Dahl spirit nicely. So in my mind it can't displace the out-of-print Prunella Scales/Timothy West readings of the 1980s.
Author: Roald Dahl
Read by: Stephen Mangan, Tamsin Greig, and Miriam Margolyes
Publisher: Penguin Audio
Length: Approximately 1 Hour (1 CD)
Source: Review Copy from Penguin Thanks!
We listed to Revolting Rhymes and Dirty Beasts by Roald Dahl a year or so ago on a family trip. I cracked it out again last week and all of the kids loved it again – it was like new. It’s nice to find something that interests not only my ten year old son Kile, but his eight-year old brother Daniel, and 5-year old sister Penelope.
Revolting Rhymes are basically six fractured fairy tales. Penelope loved that they were fairy tales, Kile and Daniel loved that they all had a twist, usually a dark comedic twist. I don’t think Red Riding Hood will ever be the same for them now that they think she is wicked good with a gun and has a love for wolf skin coats. Kile isn’t one to show emotions, but he laughed out loud several times during this audiobook and him, his friend Zach and brother Daniel brought it up in conversation days later.
Dirty Beasts are a collection of poems about different animals. These are also darkly humorous and the kids loved guessing what would happen at the end of each poem. Penelope was just talking about these today when she saw some ants outside and it reminded her of the anteater in one of the tales.
I loved the production of these tales. The jaunty music before and after each tale or poem was great – I wanted to listen to that on its own! The actors telling the tales were fantastic and put real emotion and sound effects into each tale.
Overall, this was a fabulous audiobook for children and shows Roald Dahl’s dark humor. There are dark twists in the book though so it may not be appropriate for the very young or those that don’t want to know that Cinderella and the Prince did not end up happily ever after.
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