cover image The March

The March

E. L. Doctorow, , read by Joe Morton. . Random House Audio, $39.95 (0pp) ISBN 978-0-7393-2135-5

America's greatest internal conflict is brought startlingly to life in this masterful fictional exploration of the slaves, soldiers and leaders who lived through it all. The action focuses on Gen. William Tecumseh Sherman's 1864 march through Georgia and the Carolinas—a march that led more than 60,000 Union troops across the land, leaving a swath of destruction and ruin in its wake. Morton handles the voices of the diverse cast with incredible variety and precision. He shifts seamlessly from the cold, proper dialect of the surgeon Colonel Sartorius, to the lowborn speech of Pearl, a light-skinned slave who is passing as a drummer boy in Sherman's army. Morton's narration, like Doctorow's prose, is quietly powerful, and propels the story forward as relentlessly as Sherman's advancing armies. Morton has always been a terrific character actor onscreen, and he brings those same outstanding qualities to this audiobook production. His performances does more than simply translate a book to audio; it truly enhances the reading experience. Simultaneous release with the Random House hardcover (Reviews, July 18). (Oct.)