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The Prestige by Christopher Priest

From AudioFile Magazine:
Priest’s remarkable novel won the World Fantasy Award in 1996. Now it’s been produced as an audiobook every bit as remarkable. Simon Vance provides the voices of two late-nineteenth-century warring professional stage magicians: Alfred Borden and Rupert Angier. The entire novel is told through journal entries by these two prestidigitators. Hearing Vance mellifluously pronounce words like “prestidigitator” as if they were part of his normal speech makes the book worth the time, but there is so much more. These characters are shrouded in mystery from the very first minutes, and Vance expertly portrays these two men as their lives (and their tricks) are slowly revealed. S.D.D. Winner of AudioFile Earphones Award, 2007 Audies Award Finalist © AudioFile 2007

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The Warden by Anthony Trollope

warden_180x252From AudioFile Magazine:
The incomparable Simon Vance parses Anthony Trollope’s famously circumlocutory, phrase-filled style with aplomb in this first of the Barsetshire novels. In it, we follow Mr. Harding, the kindhearted warden of an old men’s poorhouse, who is caught between his ambitious, conservative son-in-law and a reform-minded young man who wants to become his second son-in-law. Trouble ensues when the hapless Mr. Harding tries to avoid unpleasantness by agreeing with everyone. Vance’s narrative skills help modern listeners hear the elegance of Trollope’s writing and understand the writer’s skewering wit. And his ability to create character-revealing accents, from the illiterate grumble of a local farmer to the nasal bray of a highborn clergyman, makes the nineteenth century live in our ears. A.C.S. Winner of AudioFile Earphones Award, 2007 Audies Award Finalist © AudioFile 2007

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A Spot of Bother by Mark Haddon

From AudioFile Magazine:
Be prepared to laugh and groan out loud as you listen to the machinations of retired Englishman George Hall and his family. In his previous novel, THE CURIOUS INCIDENT OF THE DOG IN THE NIGHT-TIME, Haddon managed to make autism fascinating, funny, and heartwarming. Now he takes on today’s family and produces a comic tale of love, need, and misunderstanding. Simon Vance inhabits everyone with class–as well as character-revealing accents and terrific, clear pacing. He gives us ponderously serious George; gay son, Jamie, and his leather-jacketed lover–yes, Vance lets us hear the leather; confused daughter, Katie, and her–horrors!–working-class fiancé. This is an audiobook to savor. A.C.S. Winner of AudioFile Earphones Award © AudioFile 2006

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The Piano Tuner by Daniel Mason

While the critics may have said that this was an admirable while sometimes slow moving debut novel by Daniel Mason, I personally found it a very enjoyable read. It was probably one of the last books I recorded using my ‘nom-de-voix’ of ‘Richard Matthews’.
From AudioFile Magazine:
Daniel Mason combines Britain’s attempt at pacification of the Shan states in 1886 with one man’s mystical journey. The British War Office sends piano tuner Edgar Drake to Burma to tune Surgeon-Major Anthony Carroll’s rare Erard grand piano. Drake’s long trip from England to Burma is fraught with strange meetings, bandits, and tribal uprisings. Deeply affected by the florid, tropical landscape and a beautiful woman, Drake is lulled into Carroll’s visionary dream of peace through music and art. Mason’s delicate prose ensnares. Richard Matthews delivers an astonishing performance. His characters are as meticulously crafted as Burmese-carved ivory miniatures. Matthews handles Asian pronunciations without hesitation in accents absolutely convincing. The dialogue soars. Mason’s plot fascinates and surprises, while Matthews’s performance is a tour de force. S.J.H. (c) AudioFile 2003

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