cover image Mermaids in Paradise

Mermaids in Paradise

Lydia Millet, read by Cassandra Campbell. Dreamscape Media, , unabridged, 7 CDs,

Veteran narrator Campbell takes on lighter fare in narrating Millet’s latest, a novel rife with wryly comic situations and a cast of unusual characters­—who meet at a Caribbean resort and discover to their shock that there is a colony of mermaids (whom they are instructed to call “the Mers”) just off the coast. A murder, a theft, and some exploitative land-development schemes ensue. Campbell is best when voicing the first-person perspective of Deb, a shallow but caustically amusing honeymooner who is initially skeptical about the mermaids’ existence when they are first discovered by her husband, Chip, an adventurous optimist who possesses a more charitable brand of humor than his wife. The dialogue between Deb and Chip is briskly paced and funny, making eavesdropping on them a delight. Some of the minor characters’ portrayals are less successful. Campbell does not offer a convincing Australian accent for the group’s videographer, and the hippie- hipster couple comes across as stereotyped. However, these small flaws don’t detract much from the enjoyable overall experience. A Norton hardcover. (Nov.)