STARRED REVIEW
November 2019

Audio: November 2019

Feature by
STARRED REVIEW
November 2019

Audio: November 2019

Feature by
November 2019

Audio: November 2019

Feature by
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★ The Dutch House
Tom Hanks summons up a kind of nostalgic Americana in his reading of Ann Patchett’s new novel, The Dutch House, a modern wicked-stepmother fable that follows narrator Danny and his older sister, Maeve, throughout their lives. After Danny and Maeve’s mother abandons them, their father remarries a woman who has no interest in them. When he dies and leaves almost everything to their stepmother, including their grand house, the injustice of it guides the rest of their lives. Patchett effortlessly navigates through time, capturing the essence of her characters’ stories in a subtle portrait. Hanks truly transforms into Danny; after hearing his narration, I can’t imagine the book without it.

The Water Dancer
In The Water Dancer, Ta-Nehisi Coates’ magical debut novel, readers meet Hiram, an enslaved man with special abilities. Through Hiram’s struggles and those of the people he encounters, Coates makes the emotional costs of slavery tangible, from the families who are separated to the free mother whose children are taken from her and sold. Coates gives his characters an original way of speaking that captures the ethos of the time without being confusing to the modern ear. He refers to the enslaved as the “Tasked” and the enslavers as the “Quality,” an intentional choice that encourages the listener to question the word slave and its denial of humanity. Hearing the words spoken in actor Joe Morton’s rich voice ties the book to the oral tradition and entrenches the story in legend. Coates brings his experience in journalism and nonfiction to ground the book in research, using history to create something new and wholly original.

Mythos
With endless British wit, Stephen Fry puts his own spin on classical Greek mythology in Mythos. The storylines stick pretty closely to the classics, while the added playfulness is all Fry. He fleshes out the gods, heroes and mortals, giving them more personality and filling in their interpersonal relationships. Their nutty antics play out in an absurd fashion. It’s what would happen if you handed Monty Python the keys to Mount Olympus. Fry has a strong love for the English language, which his narration reinforces as beautifully strung words slip over his tongue, and his dry delivery bolsters the comedy. It’s a good listen for families with teens, but a bit risqué for young children.

The Dutch House
By Ann Patchett
HarperAudio

ISBN 9780062963727

The Water Dancer
By Ta-Nehisi Coates
Random House Audio

ISBN 9780525494843

Mythos
By Stephen Fry
Hachette Audio

ISBN 9781452184715

Review By

Get the Books

The Dutch House

The Dutch House

By Ann Patchett
HarperAudio
ISBN 9780062963727
The Water Dancer

The Water Dancer

By Ta-Nehisi Coates
Random House Audio
ISBN 9780525494843
Mythos

Mythos

By Stephen Fry
Hachette Audio
ISBN 9781452184715

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