Graeber's morose, uncongenial book about putative pirate "kingdoms" in Madagascar in the late 1600s and early 1700s meets with a comparably uncomfortable audio rendering by Roger Davis. Davis's pacing and pronunciation are good, and he correctly expresses the text's meanings. He understands and gives convincing shading to the author's opinions. But his voice is harsh, and his dynamics wander. Words are emphasized with irregular excessiveness--as if a random pattern of force has been applied to make the delivery seem more energetic. The resulting performance has a halting, jumpy feel. Combined with the text's dislocated narrative, the story is often lost to Graeber's attempts to piece together the historical record. The result is a frustrating disjointed experience of an unconvincing and muddled history. W.M. © AudioFile 2023, Portland, Maine [Published: MAY 2023]
Trade Ed. Macmillan Audio 2023
DD ISBN 9781250883544 $19.99
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