JAMES AND THE GIANT PEACH

Roald Dahl, Author , read by Jeremy Irons. HarperChildren's Audio $18 (, unabridged, two cassettes, 2.5 hrs., $18 ISBN ) ISBN 0-06-053619-5

Irons joins the parade of British stars offering renditions of Dahl's work and gives a fine presentation of one of the author's most vivid fantasy stories. A chipper pace instantly engages listeners and brings pitch-perfect nuance to Dahl's phrasing. Moving nimbly among quirky characters—James's cackling aunt, a guttural centipede or snobbish, locked-jaw grasshopper—Irons amplifies this adventure of a sweet, orphaned boy who travels afar inside a magical giant peach with a cast of gigantic but friendly insects. As with many of Dahl's books, the pure-of-heart child prevails while wicked, dimwitted adults get their due. Dahl fans, Anglophiles and even those new to audio will likely delight in these proceedings. Ages 8-up. (Aug.)

Reviewed on: 09/08/2003
Release date: 07/01/2003
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