The Plague of Doves
Louise Erdrich, , read by Kathleen McInerney and Peter Francis James. . HarperAudio, $39.95 (0pp) ISBN 978-0-06-155604-3
The dazzling performance of Kathleen McInerney and Peter Francis James creates the sense of a full-cast audio with voices ranging from childhood to the aged with everything in between. With the rhythms of a charming entertainer, Mooshum, a family patriarch, spins tall tales from the days of magical happenings and sad realities. Billy, half-visionary and half-lunatic, is performed as both spellbinding and dangerous. As Antoine Brazil Coutts, James sounds judicious, fair and hesitant at revealing too much. McInerney covers a range of women: Marm, Billy's wife, has an emotionless voice, like one who has to preserve every drop of energy for pending disasters; and Evalina's light lilt with a faint Native American intonation is perfect. Despite the epic cast, the narrators never leave the listener confused. Passages of fiddle music are a lovely addition. This audio is a model recording of one of America's best novelists.
Reviewed on: 06/30/2008