Unfamiliar Fishes

Sarah Vowell, read by the author with Fred Armisen, Bill Hader, John Hodgman, Catherine Keener, Edward Norton, Keanu Reeves, Paul Rudd, Maya Rudolph, and John Slattery. Simon & Schuster Audio, unabridged, six CDs, 7 hrs., $29.99 ISBN 978-1-4423-3729-9
Vowell's voice, familiar to NPR listeners, is something of an acquired taste: wobbly, unpolished, with a little-girl tone that some might find grating. Listening to Vowell read her entire book might be too much of an occasionally good thing, but she effectively tones down her vocal persona by providing a star-studded array of other voices. Reading her own comic tale of the history of Hawaii and its elected kings, fruit barons, and the mixed blessings of manifest destiny, Vowell punctuates her book with brief snatches of guest readers, passing off quotations to the likes of Paul Rudd and John Slattery. Their presence, low-key as it might be, enlivens the book, giving it the feel of dialogue rather than lecture. A Riverhead hardcover. (Mar.)
Reviewed on: 05/30/2011
Release date: 03/01/2011
Open Ebook - 256 pages - 978-1-101-48521-7
Open Ebook - 256 pages - 978-1-101-48645-0
Hardcover - 238 pages - 978-1-59448-787-3
Paperback - 238 pages
Downloadable Audio - 978-1-4423-3730-5
Hardcover - 341 pages - 978-1-4104-3825-6
Downloadable Audio - 978-1-4618-2536-4
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