cover image The Dead Father

The Dead Father

Donald Barthelme, read by Dennis Holland, Brilliance Audio, unabridged, five CDs, 5 hrs., $24.99 ISBN 978-1-4233-9573-7

Dennis Holland delivers a well-paced, entertaining performance of Barthelme’s classic. As the titular character—the Dead Father, a huge, half-dead, semimechanical godlike ruler—is dragged by a group of his children across his lands toward his burial spot, bizarre and increasingly absurd exploits and conversations unfold. Holland, a seasoned reader of Barthelme’s work, does ample justice to the tone and spirit of the text. His comedic timing is superb, as is his voice for the Dead Father. While the narration will delight Dead Father devotees, listeners less familiar with the author’s work may be confused by the novel’s experimental style and unconventional plot structure, which transitions unsteadily to audio book. A Farrar, Straus & Giroux paperback. (Feb.)