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By John L Murphy on 16-02-17
Melodrama from old San Francisco
What did you like best about McTeague (Dramatized)? What did you like least?
I liked the melodramatic flourishes of McTeague and his fellow rogues. The naturalism of Frank Norris comes off very strong here, and the narrative feels very dated. That is its strength, as it captures the down and outs of S.F. well, but it's repetitious and heavy-handed.
Would you recommend McTeague (Dramatized) to your friends? Why or why not?
It's probably more entertaining to hear the novel dramatized by an enthusiastic cast. But you need patience, for at eleven-plus hours the plot goes on and on, wearing out its welcome.
Have you listened to any of the narrators’s other performances before? How does this one compare?
I liked the L.A. Theater Works' "Babbitt," done in similar form by a cast of (as of the late 1980s) respected actors. Sinclair Lewis' was a bit more skilled at narrative than Frank Norris, but the social message type of novel both men favored is suitable for such radio ensembles.
Was McTeague (Dramatized) worth the listening time?
It was fun, as I chose it for a drive across the California desert. Let's just say it remains in The City for most of its running time, as I cannot give away any plot spoilers. It's a period piece I always meant to read, and hearing it kept me entertained despite repetitious prose.
Any additional comments?
Perhaps this was published as a serial? The novel keeps repeating the same phrases for certain characters, and passages verbatim or near it come again to remind readers of the action or the characters. Still, for all its moustache-twirling menace, it's a reminder of the harsher conditions endured by ordinary men and women in urban California, no romance!
By Mr. Steven Scott on 12-01-16
Hard to imagine a more compelling, engaging, immersive experience of this novel then the one presented here.
I have listened to many, many audiobooks, and I feel privileged to have been able to enjoy such an unbelievably stellar cast bringing this novel to life. It's really a new way to read and listen. I wish every book had this sort of treatment to realize it's full potential in conveying it's ideas, historical 'time & place' and ambience to new audiences. Beyond the incredible story, It makes history come to life. I have heard other commenters mention their irritation with the repeating introductions, as this was originally a radio serial type show, but it's a small quibble compared to the overwhelming magnificence of the production. It's like the graphic novel of audiobooks: Accessible, vivid, moving, transcendent, I could go on and on.
I intend to listen to every LA TheatreWorks piece that I can get my hands on. I had listened to Sinclair Lewis' "Babbitt" just before this, and it's equally good.
Again, what a privilege!