Irving, John. In One Person. 14 CDs. library ed. unabridged. 16½ hrs. Recorded Bks. 2012. ISBN 9781464034800. $123.75; 14 CDs. retail ed.; 2 MP3-CDs. library/retail eds.; Playaway digital; digital download. F
Irving’s latest novel is not only politically and sexually charged, it offers much fodder for scholars exploring his common themes and motifs: wrestling, bear-like beings, outsiders, aspiring writers, and more. This coming-of-age tale unfurls through an older man’s eyes as he reflects upon his tormented adolescent desires and the path they led him through in the age of AIDS, LGBT struggles, and his own realizations about sexuality and sexual identity. The “sexual suspect” concept Irving employed in The World According to Garp is embodied in the bisexual narrator, Billy, and explored in fuller, more graphic terms. The novel often moves slowly and with much repetition in a narrative web that captures other characters who challenge and forge the young man. VERDICT Irving’s use of other writers—Shakespeare, James Baldwin, and Henrik Ibsen, among others—makes this a literary and theatrical journey as well. John Benjamin Hickey’s reading is strong and assured. Recommended for adult and mature audiences. [“This wonderful blend of thought-provoking, well-constructed, and meaningful writing is what one has come to expect of Irving, and it also makes for an enjoyable page-turner,” read the review of the S. & S. hc, LJ 3/15/12.—Ed.]—Joyce Kessel, Villa Maria Coll., Buffalo
Gaddis, John Lewis. George F. Kennan: An American Life. 27 CDs. library ed. unabridged. 32¾ hrs. Blackstone Audio. 2012. ISBN 9781455155378. $160; 27 CDs. retail ed.; 3 MP3-CDs. library/retail eds.; Playaway digital; digital download. BIOG
Prolific author and New York Times–heralded “Dean of Cold War Historians,” Gaddis presents a massive and magnificent biography of George Frost Kennan (1904–2005). A Times obit described Kennan as “the American diplomat who did more than any other envoy of his generation to shape U.S. policy during the cold war.” Drawing on unprecedented access to Kennan’s personal papers and diaries as well as numerous interviews with the subject, his family members, and many influential diplomats and government officials, Gaddis reveals how Kennan’s work continues to influence American foreign policy. This exhaustive analysis weaves details of the subject’s life with his numerous high-level relationships with world leaders and reminds listeners of the dilemmas and aspirations our nation faced during this period. VERDICT Professional narrator Malcolm Hillgartner’s lively, personable reading of this huge work is impressive as he maintains listener interest in this important addition to our understanding of American foreign policy during the Cold War. Highly recommended for all university libraries and government wonks. [“Highly recommended for Cold War scholars and for all library collections, alongside Nicholas Thompson’s more personal The Hawk and the Dove: Paul Nitze, George Kennan, and the History of the Cold War,” read the review of the Penguin Group (USA) hc, LJ 9/15/11.—Ed.]—Dale Farris, Groves, TX
Joyce, James. Ulysses. 8 CDs. library ed. abridged. 9 hrs. AudioGO. 2012. ISBN 9780792789109. $69.95. Joyce, James. Molly Bloom’s Soliloquy: From Ulysses. 2 CDs. retail ed. unabridged. 2½ hrs. Naxos Audiobooks. 2012. ISBN 9781843796244. $17.98; digital download. CLASSIC
This duo bring June 16, 1904, to joyous life. At nine hours, AudioGO’s full-cast production covers roughly half of the Dublin wanderings of Stephen Dedalus and Leopold Bloom from “Stately, plump Buck Mulligan” to the final “Yes.” The emphasis is on the book’s opening chapters, which set up the action and establish the characters’ personalities and motivations. The narrators and assorted readers adroitly apply the proper voices and levels of brogue to match the characters; Bloom and Dedalus are clear-voiced and educated, while the trio of pub-goers accompanying “the Citizen” in a particularly effective act are pure shanty Irish. Molly Bloom’s monolog is delivered in the appropriately leisurely pace of a woman accustomed to long hours in bed—usually with the company of men other than her husband. Naxos offers Molly’s soliloquy unabridged, giving listeners a luscious earful of the full breadth of Joyce’s stream-of-consciousness writing. While her husband is more the intellectual, Molly is the embodiment of the physical, casually discussing her bodily functions—usually conducted in private—while even indulging in a few (one clearly can understand why this shocked in 1922). Molly is pure sensuality; her thoughts focus on the sex she’s had, is having now, and hopes to have in the future. Narrator Marcella Riordan quickens the pace a tad and adds singing to her presentation of Molly’s inner thoughts. VERDICT Hearing Ulysses read aloud reinforces its literary merit while proving how much fun it is rather than a high-brow slog, as Joyce’s bawdy sense of humor shines through. Though a joy, AudioGO’s abridgment makes the story’s flow jumpy, so the program serves best as a refresher for those familiar with the text. Naxos’s Molly is solid for students, Joyce heads, and anyone who enjoys fine literature. Whether your taste runs to walking the streets with Bloom and Dedalus or slipping between the sheets with Molly, this duo has it all. —Mike Rogers, Library Journal
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The following titles are reviewed in the August print issue. Visit Book Verdict for the full reviews.
Bell, Ted. Phantom. 14 CDs. library ed. unabridged. 16 hrs. Brilliance Audio. 2012. ISBN 9781441891358. $99.97; 14 CDs. retail ed.; Playaway digital; digital download. THRILLER
Box, C.J. Force of Nature. 9 CDs. library ed. unabridged. 11¼ hrs. Recorded Bks. 2012. ISBN 9781464006432. $102.75; 1 MP3-CD. library ed.; 9 CDs. retail ed.; Playaway digital; digital download. THRILLER
Cashman, Erin. The Exceptionals. 7 CDs. library ed. unabridged. 7½ hrs. AudioGO. 2012. ISBN 9780792785972. $64.95;
7 CDs. retail ed.; digital download. F
Dickens, Charles. Selections from Sketches by Boz. 4 CDs. library ed. abridged. 4¾ hrs. Naxos Audiobooks. 2012. ISBN 9781843796008. $28.98; 4 CDs. retail ed.; digital download. CLASSIC
duBois, Jennifer. A Partial History of Lost Causes. 13 CDs. library ed. unabridged. 16 hrs. Random Audio. 2012. ISBN 9780307969286. $45; 13 CDs. retail ed.; digital download. F
Kosmatka, Ted. The Games. 9 CDs. library ed. unabridged. 11½ hrs. Books on Tape. 2012. ISBN 9780449008591. $40; 9 CDs. retail ed.; digital download. SF
Martin, George R.R. A Feast for Crows. 27 CDs. library ed. unabridged. 34 hrs. Random Audio. 2012. ISBN 9780449011911. $75; 27 CDs. retail ed.; digital download. FANTASY
Roy, Anuradha. The Folded Earth. 8 CDs. library ed. unabridged. 9¾ hrs. Dreamscape Audio. 2012. ISBN 9781611207712. $59.99; 8 CDs. retail ed.; 1 MP3-CD library/retail eds.; digital download. F
Taylor, D.J. Derby Day. 10 CDs. library ed. unabridged. 12¾ hrs. AudioGO. 2012. ISBN 9780792786580. $99.95; digital download. F
Whittle, Tina. Darker Than Any Shadow. 8 CDs. library ed. unabridged. 9½ hrs. Blackstone Audio. 2012. ISBN 9781455126934. $76; 8 CDs. retail ed.; 1 MP3-CD. retail ed.; digital download. MYS
Barton, David. The Jefferson Lies: Exposing the Myths You’ve Always Believed About Thomas Jefferson. 7 CDs. library ed. unabridged. 7 hrs. Oasis Audio. 2012. ISBN 9781613750704. $27.99; 7 CDs.
retail ed.; digital download. HIST
Gessen, Masha. The Man Without a Face: The Unlikely Rise of Vladimir Putin. 9 CDs. library ed. unabridged. 10½ hrs. Blackstone Audio. 2012. ISBN 9781455153114. $100;
9 CDs. retail ed.; 1 MP3 CD. retail ed.; Playaway digital; digital download. POL SCI
Kabani, Shama. The Zen of Social Media Marketing: An Easier Way To Build Credibility, Generate Buzz, and Increase Revenue. 6 CDs. library ed. unabridged. 7½ hrs. Tantor Audio. 2012. ISBN 9781452635095. $71.99; 6 CDs. retail ed.; 1 MP3-CD library/retail eds.; Playaway digital; digital download. BUS
Pavlich, Katie. Fast and Furious: Barack Obama’s Bloodiest Scandal and Its Shameless Cover-Up. 4 CDs. library ed. unabridged. 4½ hrs. Tantor Audio. 2012. ISBN 9781452607313. $29.99; 4 CDs. retail ed.; 1 MP3-CD. library/retail eds.; digital download. POL SCI
Sandel, Michael J. What Money Can’t Buy: The Moral Limits of Markets. 6 CDs. retail ed. unabridged. 6½ hrs. Macmillan Audio. 2012. ISBN 9781427214928. $29.99; digital download. BUS
Savage, Michael. Trickle Down Tyranny: Crushing Obama’s Dream of the Socialist States of America. 9 CDs. retail ed. unabridged. 10½ hrs. Harper Audio. 2012. ISBN 9780062116529. $39.99; digital download. POL SCI
Scott, Robert. Scott’s Last Expedition: The Journals of Robert Scott. retail ed. 6 CDs. abridged. 6½ hrs. CSA Word. 2012. ISBN 9781906147891. $25.95; Playaway digital; digital download. AUTOBIOG
Seidman, Dov. How: Why How We Do Anything Means Everything. 13 CDs. library ed. unabridged. 13 hrs. S. & S. Audio. 2012. $39.99; 13 CDs. retail ed.; digital download. BUS
Trump, Donald J. & Robert T. Kiyosaki. Midas Touch: Why Some Entrepreneurs Get Rich and Why Most Don’t. 7 CDs. library ed. unabridged. 7½ hrs. Recorded Bks. 2012. ISBN 9781464007453. $123.75; 7 CDs. retail ed. S. & S. Audio; digital download.
Updegrove, Mark K. Indomitable Will: LBJ in the Presidency. 11 CDs. library ed. unabridged. 13¾ hrs. Books on Tape. 2012. ISBN 9780307970008. $45; 11 CDs. retail ed.; Playaway digital; digital download. BIOG
Willis, Ethan & Randy Garn. Prosper. 3 CDs. library ed. unabridged. 3½ hrs. AudioGO. 2012. ISBN 9780792786641. $49.95; 3 CDs. retail ed.; digital download. SELF-HELP