Freddy and Fredericka

Mark Helprin, Author
Mark Helprin, Author , read by Robert Ian Mackenzie. Recorded Books $49.95 (0p) ISBN 978-1-4193-3591-4
Reviewed on: 09/05/2005
Release date: 07/01/2005
Downloadable Audio - 978-1-4498-9207-4
Peanut Press/Palm Reader - 978-0-7865-6842-0
Open Ebook - 978-0-7865-6841-3
Hardcover - 553 pages - 978-1-59420-054-0
Paperback - 553 pages - 978-0-14-303725-5
Open Ebook - 576 pages - 978-1-101-20117-6
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Veteran English actor Mackenzie lends a patrician air to this recording of Helprin's first novel in a decade, a wild and keenly imagined but overstuffed modern fairy tale of royals rampant. Mackenzie's precise headmaster British accent is fitting for a story about the trials of the prince and princess of Wales as they are thrust out of their posh existence and left to make their way incognito across America on a quest that is as mysterious as it is imperative. Mackenzie captures the main characters perfectly: the dignified solemnity of Prince Freddy and the self-assured yet often misguided assertions of his beautiful wife, Fredericka. Mackenzie proves just as adept in capturing the gravity of the story's opening and closing scenes as he does delivering its numerous farcical elements. While Helprin's often barbed humor is generally amusing, his wordplay can become tiresome, particularly in the scenes featuring a dog named "Fah Kew" or an American presidential candidate named "Dewey Knott." Listeners may feel that several episodes were unnecessary to Helprin's clever premise, but Mackenzie's zestful performance makes it a largely enjoyable romp. Simultaneous release with the Penguin hardcover (Reviews, May, 9). (July)

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