My Ántonia

Willa Cather, Author, Nicholas Mondelli, Narrated by
Willa Cather, read by Nicholas Mondelli. Dreamscape Media, unabridged, seven CDs, 8.5 hrs., $39.99 ISBN 978-1-62923-070-2
Reviewed on: 02/24/2014
Release date: 12/01/2013
This audio edition of Cather’s novel and final book in the author’s prairie trilogy is adequately narrated by Mondelli. Following the death of his parents, Jim Burden was sent to Black Hawk, Neb., to live with grandparents. It was in Black Hawk that he met the great and enduring love of his life, the bohemian Ántonia. Years later, lawyer Jim returns to Black Hawk, where he revisits the past and witnesses how both their lives have changed. Mondelli’s reading will likely fail to delight Cather fans. While his pacing, tone, and pronunciation are workmanlike, they do little to enliven the author’s text. Similarly, the voices he lends the book’s characters are distinct and sufficient, but nothing more. Overall, listeners will likely feel that the narrator could have done more to bring this classic novel to life. (Dec.)
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