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A collection of short stories features the business of horsetrading, a boy's first hunting experience, and a group effort to re-roof a church.
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Those who have been discouraged from reading Faulkner will find Wendell Berry's narration of three of Faulkner's best stories a delightful and effective way to approach this difficult writer. The stories are "Spotted Horses," "The Old People," and "Shingles for the Lord." Kentuckian Berry, himself an essayist and novelist of great reputation, conveys the rhythms, tones and idiosyncrasies of mid-Southern speech with accuracy and sensitivity. Berry's obvious love of these stories and his belief in the need to hear Faulkner read aloud are disclosed by Berry himself in a beautifully stated afterword. The production values are excellent, as well. Audio Literature is to be congratulated for following the highest standards in bringing performance literature to the public. P.W. An AUDIOFILE Earphones Award winner (c)AudioFile, Portland, MaineFrom Library Journal:
"These stories do not need to be explained or taught; they need to be heard," Wendell Berry says in an impassioned afterword. "The words should be understood not as printed on a page but as sounding in the air." Asking Berry (himself a poet, fiction writer, and naturalist) to select and read these three stories ("Spotted Horses," "The Old People," and "Shingles for the Lord") was a stroke of genius. His Kentucky accent fits the speech patterns of the characters perfectly. Faulkner's psychological portraits of men and women we too often think of as simple country folk are endowed with a depth that stands up under harsh contemporary scrutiny. The only difference is that Faulkner's characters move slowly, whether auctioning off horses or roofing a church. Many of their actions and reactions are subtle: a turn of the head, a gesture. If this recording has any flaws, it is that such nuances demand listeners stop, slow down, and pay close attention. For most collections.
Rochelle Ratner, formerly Poetry Editor, "Soho Weekly News," New York
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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