The Scarlet Letter Audio CD – Abridged, Audiobook, Classical
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For once I'm more than happy with this judicious abridgement of Collins's 1860 bestseller, which spawned a plethora of Disney-style merchandise - white shawls, fans, china ornaments etc - but frankly does go on a bit. It was the first of the Victorian "sensation" novels, a gothic thriller with a cast of OTT characters: aristocratic villains, cruel husbands, a dastardly Italian count, a handsome hero of low birth but high ideals, a heroine with, wait for it, a moustache, and of course the mysterious woman in white on the loose from a lunatic asylum, who - no, I shan't give anything away. The epistolary style - it has 10 narrators - is custom-built for audio. (Sue Arnold, The Guardian)
Katinka WolfÕs voice resonates as if she were reading in a house owned by one of the storyÕs historic characters, with the slightly cavernous echo lending an earthy and homespun feel to the text. The story of how rote religion and religiosity can betray true faith is penned expertly by Hawthorne. It appears less an attack on Christianity than on those who would take the name but not the responsibility. The abridgment is evenhanded and unforced. This is a story that should be heard more than once as its message may elude many contemporary readers. WolfÕs meticulous performance helps to infuse the theme into the mindÕs eye of the listener. S.M.M. © AudioFile 2008, Portland, Maine-- Copyright © AudioFile, Portland, Maine
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