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Another wonderful reading by Norton
Jim Norton reads it perfectly, as he does every book put before him. If O'Brien and Joyce happen to find themselves discussing bicycles and pancakes in heaven, they'll probably also take a few moments to say how blessed they each are that Bishop Brennan was chosen to record their books... He's brought these brilliant works to even more brilliant life.
Great story and great narration. James' sensitivity to the subtle shifts in his characters' motivations and emotions is apparent on every page. A wonderful book, with an ending that manages the very-Jamesian trick of being genuinely dramatic without ever for a moment straining credibility.
Not Barnes' best, but still worth a look
Although this isn't one of Barnes' most insightful or substantial contributions, it is (as with all the best works by this author) written with an admirable restraint and clarity, and with Barnes' typically subtle use of structure and repetition. It provides a humane depiction of the composer at three critical phases of his life and is well worth reading if you are a either Barnes or Shostakovich devotee. The reader's performance is also excellent, and perfectly serves Barnes' sensitive and controlled prose.
4 of 5 people found this review helpful