Huysmans's nineteenth-century study of an aesthete who is trying to transcend dull normalcy and titillate his intellect and senses sounds at times like a series of essays. Despite the lack of incident, Leighton Pugh narrates at a heightened level of feeling, though the clarity of his tone and British accent, the precision of his delivery, and his sensitivity to the text keep the performance from becoming wearisome. No matter how dry its material, the book, pitched at an elevated level of nervous excitation, and its high-strung protagonist justify--even demand--this sustained intensity. Pugh manages to ensure that such topics as Latin literature are given more drama than print readers would likely find on their own. His delivery of this difficult text may keep listeners involved--even entertained. W.M. © AudioFile 2023, Portland, Maine [Published: MARCH 2023]
Trade Ed. Naxos AudioBooks 2023
DD ISBN 978-1-78198-432-1 $25.00
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