Simon Vance's precise narration and softly shaded voice might seem unsuited for Victor Hugo's sprawling melodrama of passion and violence in fifteenth-century France. The many characters include a dancer, a lusting priest, and his love-struck, hunchbacked foster son. Vance's narration suits the audio medium and the text, with its intrusive narrative voice, better than full-on acting would. Both listeners and the novel are well served by Vance's care, restraint, and letter-perfect delivery. He provides believable character voices, engages the listener in the story, and energizes Hugo's essay-like digressions. He gives proper emphasis and expression to every phrase, speaks French excellently, and even delivers Latin comprehensibly. His taste, intelligence, and skill enhance this operatically lurid romance, producing a version perfect for audio. W.M. 2023 Audies Finalist © AudioFile 2023, Portland, Maine [Published: MARCH 2023]
Trade Ed. Oasis Audio 2022
CD ISBN 9781685921835 $35.99 Fifteen CDs
DD ISBN $21.91
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