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EARPHONE WINNER – 2003:

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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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Dead Ground by Gerald Seymour

dead_ground_155x238From AudioFile Magazine:
Robert Whitfield superbly performs this exciting spy novel whose action takes place in post-Cold War Europe. The plot centers around a woman’s expedition to destroy an ex-East German secret police official who years ago murdered her lover, a young agent. But on an even more interesting level, the book portrays the struggle of Joshua Mantel, the woman’s aging and seedy partner in her mission, to overcome his self-loathing over a past “compromise” of his own in the amoral world of espionage. Whitfield’s subtle shadings of tone, cadence, and inflection artistically reveal the rich subtleties that Gerald Seymour has woven into this fine book. K.C. Winner of AUDIOFILE Earphones Award © AudioFile 2001

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The Food of the Gods by H. G. Wells

food_of_the_gods_155x238From AudioFile Magazine:
H.G. Wells’s tale of the end of the world as we know it is an entertaining fable, in which lawyers and politicians battle giant animals and giant humans before an inevitable military confrontation. Robert Whitfield gives a merry air to the adventure, creating just the right attitudes for each of the many characters and shifting tone deftly with the writing. Depending on the circumstances, he conveys a sense of wonder or a nonchalance that makes giant rats seem perfectly ordinary. First published in 1904, this satirical novel holds up well today, and the reading makes listening something to anticipate. J.A.S. Winner of AUDIOFILE Earphones Award. © AudioFile 2000

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Little Dorrit by Charles Dickens

little_dorrit_155x238From AudioFile Magazine:
Why do we never tire of Dickens? Isn’t it because of his characters and their crazy worlds? Science fiction was never so strange! Reader Robert Whitfield catches this zaniness and infects us with it. Whitfield is at once the delicate and sensitive heroine, Little Dorrit, as she humors the illusions of her father; he is that same father, presiding like nobility over his fellow debtors in the Marshalsea prison. He is the crafty Frenchman, Monsieur Rigaud, who is blackmailing old Mrs. Clenham. He is the pompous Mrs. Merdle, the asinine Mr. Sparkler, and the young Mr. Barnacle, who has attached himself to the annoying government Circumlocution Office to make certain nothing jolly well ever gets done. Crazy? Yes, completely, but nonetheless real as Whitfield, with a unique voice and vision for each character, casts Dickens’s spell of mystery and intrigue. Dickens fans should not miss this almost perfect performance of his most mature work. P.E.F. Winner of AUDIOFILE Earphones Award. © AudioFile 2000

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Dracula by Bram Stoker

dracula_155x238From AudioFile Magazine:
The world’s best-known vampire story comes to life in this expert performance by Robert Whitfield. No music, no special audio tricks detract from the chilling, gruesome tale of the un-dead. Whitfield’s minimalist narration suits perfectly. His subtle shading of voice gives complete personality and motivation to each of the eight protagonists, with exaggerated accent reserved for the Dutch Dr. van Helsing, and, to a lesser extent, Count Dracula himself. His women come across as sweet, yet intelligent. With the same understated clarity, he brings full voice to the voluptuous vampiresses’ seduction of their victims and to the malevolent machinations of the Count. For a classic performance of a classic work, this production must not be missed. R.P.L. Winner of AUDIOFILE Earphones Award ©AudioFile

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