Mark Spragg, Author, Tony Amendola, Read by, Judith Marx, Read by , read by Tony Amendola and Judith Marx. HighBridge Audio $29.95 (0p) ISBN 978-1-56511-900-0

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Fiction AN UNFINISHED LIFE Mark Spragg , read by Tony Amendola and Judith Marx. HighBridge Audio , unabridged, six CDs, 7 hrs., $29.95 ISBN 1-56511-900-2

A sober reading by Amendola and Marx fits the slow pacing of Spragg's newest offering (following The Fruit of Stone ), which uses spare, beautiful language to tell a tale of hardship, resentment and reconciliation in smalltown Wyoming. Both veteran narrators give strong performances, though Amendola does a better job than Marx in personifying the book's more idiosyncratic characters—such as the crippled cowboy, Mitch, or the spunky, nine-year-old Griff Gilkyson. A few aspects of the production seem out of sync, however. For one, the ominous music that introduces and concludes each disc is too heavy for the subject matter. It conveys a sense of impeding doom that would be more appropriate in a thriller or even a tale of imminent tragedy, rather than this ultimately hopeful story of tried but tender human relationships. The decision to use two readers also seems unnecessary, as the unpredictable shifts between narrators at chapter breaks shake the listener out of the story. Overall, the recording would have benefited from a simpler approach, but it still offers a stirring look at the importance of individual conflicts and emotions. Simultaneous release with the Knopf hardcover (Forecasts, Aug. 9). (Sept.)

Reviewed on: 10/04/2004
Release date: 09/01/2004
Book - 1 pages - 978-1-59887-147-0
Paperback - 257 pages - 978-0-09-947219-3
Pre-Recorded Audio Player - 978-1-59895-531-6
Peanut Press/Palm Reader - 216 pages - 978-1-4000-4380-4
Hardcover - 399 pages - 978-0-375-43433-4
Analog Audio Cassette - 978-1-56511-899-7
Hardcover - 257 pages - 978-1-4000-4201-2
Paperback - 257 pages - 978-1-4000-7614-7
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