The Teahouse Fire

Ellis Avery, Author, Barbara Caruso, Read by , read by Barbara Caruso. HighBridge Audio $39.95 (960p) ISBN 978-1-59887-078-7

Those expecting another great audio, like Elaine Erika Davis's rendition of Memoirs of a Geisha , are sure to be disappointed, but the plodding pace of this new work of history cloaked under a fictional kimono is not the fault of Barbara Caruso but of its author. The minute details of the tea ceremony as it was transformed by historical events are not interspersed with enough plot for Caruso to keep the story moving. Unfortunately, Aurelia's obsession with Yukako, who saved her from the sad fate of European orphans in a strange land, is the subplot of Yukako's drive to save the tea ceremony from obscurity. Caruso gives Aurelia's voice all the wide-eyed wonder of Gulliver among the Lilliputians, but since Aurelia recounts her life in her old age, this tone is a bit forced. Yukako and other women are nicely individualized, but men tend to grunt out their words. Listeners fascinated by Japanese history will be rewarded by a compelling look at an elegant tradition that is sadly too slow and ritualized for Americans who measure life in nanoseconds. Simultaneous release with the Riverhead hardcover (Reviews, Oct. 30). (Jan.)

Reviewed on: 03/26/2007
Release date: 01/01/2007
Genre: Audio
Paperback - 391 pages - 978-0-09-951618-7
Pre-Recorded Audio Player - 978-1-59895-949-9
Open Ebook - 480 pages - 978-1-4295-7693-2
Hardcover - 391 pages - 978-1-59448-930-3
Paperback - 465 pages - 978-1-59448-273-1
Peanut Press/Palm Reader - 480 pages - 978-1-4295-7694-9
Open Ebook - 480 pages - 978-1-101-21752-8
Book - 1 pages - 978-1-59887-487-7
Open Ebook - 400 pages - 978-1-4070-1309-1
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