Neal Stephenson, , read by William Dufris, Oliver Wyman, Tavia Gilbert and the author. . Macmillan Audio, $69.95 (0pp) ISBN 978-1-4272-0590-2
This audiobook goes the extra mile, giving listeners something the printed page-turner can not. Fans of the cult author will enjoy his vocal cameo appearances when he calmly reads definitions from a non-Earth dictionary at the start of many chapters. Another added bonus is the music between chapters that was composed specifically for this production; working with Stephenson and early drafts of the novel, David Stutz beautifully captures the complex traditional, coded choral music described therein. Moreover, the extras do not obscure the remarkable performance by William Dufris, who reads as if he knows the 900+–page text by heart. The story is told by a monastic scholar, and Dufris—with a twinkle in his proverbial eye and a sense of awe in his voice—is the perfect match. His intelligent rendering of the cast of characters is a delight for the ears.
Reviewed on: 11/24/2008