cover image The Spectator Bird

The Spectator Bird

Wallace Stegner, read by Edward Herrmann, Blackstone Audio, unabridged, seven CDs, 8 hrs., $76 ISBN 978-1-4417-2491-5

Edward Herrmann is perhaps best known to younger audiences as kindly, patrician Richard Gilmore on the television series Gilmore Girls. Here, Herrmann uses his same elegant persona to amplify and underscore the bittersweet nuance of Stegner’s novel about a retired man who travels to his mother’s Danish hometown. There are hidden reserves of frustration and displeasure in Stegner’s tale, and Herrmann aptly conveys these emotions with short, sharp bursts of dialogue matched with longer, more drawn-out ellipses of exposition. He even manages a serviceable Danish accent to top off his flawless performance. (Feb.)