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Wherever we are, we all know how to celebrate spring; in fact, we're attempting to do so right now. Charles Kuralt narrates his collection of anecdotes in his avuncular style. Traveling to a wide range of locales, Kuralt instructs us about the rites of spring across America. The clank of sap buckets may be the sound in New England, but in the Okefenokee Swamp down South, the roar of alligators marks the season.Skip to next paragraph
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The program is lighthearted as Kuralt shares his enthusiasm, not only for the season and all its new beginnings and awakenings, but also for all the different people and traditions at each stop. He astutely finds charming, articulate and unusual characters who succinctly portray themselves and their interests. Kuralt also shares just enough of himself. Music and sounds from each location from brass bands to bird songs, enliven the program.
The Killer Angels
By Michael Shaara
Recorded Books, Rental $17.50
Read by George Guidall
Ten cassettes, 14.25 hrs., unabridged
HighBridge Audio, $24.95
Read by George Hearn
Four cassettes, 6 hrs., abridged
(Also unabridged from Blackstone Audio Books Rental, $12.95)
Shaara's Pulitzer Prize-winning novel of the Battle of Gettysburg makes inspiring listening in both the unabridged and abridged forms. The recent release of HighBridge's abridged version brings the compelling story to a broader audience, but George Guidall's full-length narration stands alone as a listening experience to remember. Guidall brings the listener into the minds of each of the generals, Lee, Longstreet, and Chamberlain - and beside them in the battles.
Through Guidall's subtle performance we hear and feel the pensive anticipation, loneliness of command, exhilaration and great sadness, and loss. In contrast, George Heard delivers a colorful interpretation, using Southern voices for the Confederate generals and a hard-edged Northern cadence for the Yankees. Hearn's version is more dramatic and is highlighted with excerpts from Randy Edelman's stirring score from the movie adaptation, "Gettysburg." An added plus for this version is a map that spans the three days of the battle.
Trunk Music, by Michael Connelly
Read by Dick Hill
Five cassettes, 15 hrs., unabridged
(Also available abridged on 2 cassettes from Brilliance for $16.95)
Harry Bosch returns to the LAPD homicide squad and, in typical style, crosses swords with the "brass" in no time. An execution-style murder and seamy money-laundering operation in Los Angeles and Las Vegas give Bosch plenty to puzzle over. Dick Hill is well versed in Bosch's style after two audiobooks in the series.
Hill delivers the squad-room banter and the interviews with suspects and witnesses with perfection. The dialogue - quick and fresh - is read with astute cadence and inflection. The rough-voiced cop has a big heart and an unswerving sense of justice. Bosch is immensely likable, and Hill defines his character memorably.
* Robin Whitten is the founder and editor of AudioFile, a monthly magazine of reviews of audiobooks. For additional information 800-506-1212 ; email RAudioFILE@aol.com