One has to admit that Joyce Carol Oates's poetry is sometimes a bit prosy. Fortunately for the listener, her prose is particularly fine. Even in a poem like "To Marlon Brando in Hell," which could afford to be shorter, we are gripped and propelled by the language. Cheryl Smith's narration is as controlled as the words themselves, which reveal the emotional content of the text... Read More
Spoken-word poet Jasmine Mans narrates her poetry collection. This audiobook serves as a call to oneself and a return to one's truth. Mans speaks openly and honestly about race, womanhood, sexuality, and family. She begins with a list poem about her hair. Her words are thick and intentionally punctuated. She is clear, strong, and purposeful in both content and tone. Although... Read More
Along with the translators, narrators Dick Davis, Tala Ashe, and Ramiz Monsef work together to bring classics of Persian poetry to listeners. Following an overview of the historical significance of this collection, delivered in steady academic tones by Davis, we sink into the lush lyrics of three very different poets. Fans of Hafez will be pleased to hear Davis read newly... Read More
"The Hill We Climb" is a balm and a benediction for a country wracked with strife, trauma, outrage, and grief. Oprah Winfrey's introduction invites listeners to reflect on the circumstances surrounding this 2021 inaugural poem and on the brilliance of its writer. Gorman's performance shines. She encourages listeners to meditate on the various legacies of white supremacy that... Read More
This latest offering from L.A. Theatre Works' science-themed Relativity Series swaps dystopian darkness for a feel-good romantic comedy/drama. Television stalwarts Sarah Drew and Seamus Dever create a nice Hepburn/Tracy-like chemistry in their verbal sparring as a small-town actuary and mother of two takes on a math prodigy hired by an insurance company to lower the payout on... Read More
There is no shortage of fine poets in the United States today, and Brooks Haxton has to be counted among them. In this audiobook, his talent is matched by that of narrator Edoardo Ballerini and benefits from Ballerini's straightforward treatment. The poems are clear and accessible on the first hearing--but rewarding on a second or third. The readings focus on clarity without... Read More
Narrator Jeffrey Combs brings welcome ease and humor to the customarily dark and dreary world of Edgar Allan Poe. With energy, insightful asides, and an enthusiastic live audience hanging on his every word, Combs re-creates a much-less-known Poe persona--that of the sought-after 1840s traveling lecturer. Combs recounts Poe's personal anecdotes about his mother, who was an... Read More
One couldn't imagine three more American-sounding voices than Billy Crudup's, Zachary Levi's, and Tony Shalhoub's as they recount one of the most iconic events in American sports history--Bobby Thomson's clutch home run that won the National League pennant for the New York Giants in the bottom of the ninth on October 3, 1951. Our trio captures all the nostalgia, gentle satire,... Read More
Author/narrator Victor Warren and his mother co-wrote this screenplay about a mother and son who take a road trip from Los Angeles to Cape Cod to see the country and to rediscover what makes them a family. The screenplay format can be a bit jarring when read as an audiobook. The format sometimes takes the listener out of the moment with stage instructions like: "Interior Bee's... Read More
An all-star cast brings vocal clarity, naturalism, and intimacy to the voices of the desperately paranoid newly crowned Scottish king Macbeth and his ill-fated brother-in-arms, Banquo. Narrators Scott Brick and Dion Graham are the lead players in this crisp stage reading of one of Shakespeare's premiere works. "Double, double, toil and trouble." "Something wicked this way... Read More
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