cover image Great House

Great House

Nicole Krauss, read by Alma Cuervo, George Guidall, Robert Ian MacKenzie, and others, Recorded Books Audio, unabridged, 10 CDs, 12.75 hrs., $18.50 ISBN 978-1-4498-3139-4

A writing desk serves as Krauss's literary device to connect five striking vignettes. So, too, are the characters emotionally linked through lives that involve writing and reading, love overshadowed by loss, and connection outweighed by isolation. The book is narrated at a stately pace—which will be appreciated by the serious listener who might wish to stop the audio to write down a line or two—by Robert Ian MacKenzie (narrator of McCall Smith's 44 Scotland Street series) who demonstrates that he can do wonders with material he can sink his teeth into. His performance as a British professor married to a reclusive writer is a marvel, and Alma Cuervo's evocation of a lonely author haunted by her relationship to a previous owner of the desk is affecting and nuanced. Listeners who enjoy lingering over a top-notch novel will be intellectually nourished by this audio. A Norton hardcover. (Oct.)