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- This collection presents two stories of Katherine Mansfield and Kate Chopin and one of Virginia Woolf. One of the the stories--"The Daughters of the Late Colonel"--is abridged. The selected stories offer an opportunity to sample the work of three important writers from the twentieth century. Teresa Gallagher, Carole Boyd, and Liza Ross are powerful narrators, who draw out the style of these remarkable women writers. Musical segues between the stories and notes that provide time for each side are helpful although turning to a particular story will take some hunting. Listing times by story on a particular side would make this less of a challenge. In any event, this is a nice collection, well read. J.E.M. 2003 Audie Award Winner (c) AudioFile 2002, Portland, Maine
February 4, 2002
Audio Reviews reflect PW's assessment of the audio adaptation of a book and should be quoted only in reference to the audio version. Fiction CLASSIC WOMEN'S SHORT STORIES Katherine Mansfield, Kate Chopin and Virginia Woolf; read by Carole Boyd, Liza Ross and Teresa Gallagher. Naxos Audiobooks, unabridged, two cassettes, 3 hrs., $13.98 ISBN 9-62634-738-4 This fine collection of classic tales by women is complemented by appropriate, unobtrusive classical music from the Naxos music catalogue, along with a booklet with biographies of the authors and readers. All of the narrators are exemplary, but Teresa Gallagher's performance of Virginia Woolf's "The Mark on the Wall" stands out. In this unusual stream-of-consciousness story, a woman sitting idly in her home notices a tiny speck on the wall, and as she wonders what it is (a hole from a nail? Dirt? An insect?) her thoughts wander to the people who owned the house previously, to history, to philosophy, to her own life and always back to the mark on the wall. Gallagher sounds completely spontaneous: listeners can easily believe that she truly is
daydreaming and thinking aloud. In Katherine Mansfield's "The Garden Party," Carole Boyd's insightful performance accurately portrays British class distinctions post-WWI. Laura, an elite young girl, frets that her family should cancel their long-anticipated party out of respect when a workman is killed in front of their house, but her elders hush her, believing that "people like that" wouldn't expect them to spoil their fun. Boyd deftly creates character voices for Laura, her family, the home and garden workers, and for the poverty-stricken family that she later visits. Her reading conveys Laura's conflict between her former comfortable ignorance and her new social awareness.
- Culture (supplement to the Sunday Times) “The enhancement of its audio books with music is a Naxos trademark, and the lightest of touches on the piano creates a haunting counterpoint to the unhappy ending of Lilacs by Kate Chopin, although none of the readers here needs any help. Boyd reads Mansfield’s The Daughters of the Late Colonel, handling the pity and the awful comedy of the bereaved sisters’ situation with consummate grace. Ross and Gallagher are also equal to the material. This is quality listening.”
- Literary Review “The three readers have a genius mimicry of different social accents and changing moods.”
- Book Page "The [stories] are wonderfully read, with a woman's nuanced understanding, by Liza Ross and Teresa Gallagher."
- AudioFile Magazine “This collection presents stories [which] offer an opportunity to sample the work of three important writers from the twentieth century. Teresa Gallagher, Carole Boyd, and Liza Ross are powerful narrators, who draw out the style of these remarkable women writers.”
- Publisher's Weekly "This fine collection of classic tales by women is complemented by appropriate unobtrusive classical music from the Naxos music catalogue, along with a booklet with biographies of the authors and readers. All of the narrators are exemplary, but Teresa Gallagher's performance of Virginia Woolf's 'The Mark on the Wall' stands out."
- Boston Sunday Globe, The (Cleveland) Plain Dealer, The Star Tribune, The Hartford Courant “Three British actresses bring these atmospheric stories to life. They are enhanced by piano and string music, which is used to break up the passages. The women adopt fresh tones and accents for the different characters, hailing from various walks of life. Most important, they capture the isolation, suffering, and sly humor expressed by the authors.”
- School Library Journal “Carole Boyd, Liza Ross, and Teresa Gallagher are well-chosen for the stories each of them reads, melding their tones both to the characters and to the writer’s narrative style. The publisher’s typical musical interludes are chosen well to offset the period moods of both the parts and the whole.”
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