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Initially ... only for a few seconds, really ... it was disorienting to hear "Don Juan" read by the passionate American Hollywood film actor Tyrone Power; I've gotten accustomed to hearing distinguished knights of the British stage reading the Romantic poets on Audible.com. But early 19th-century British poetry with an American accent: how dare they?!
But then, quite rapidly, things got downright spooky. The swashbuckling Power BECOMES the swashbuckling Byron. While Tyrone Power has been dead now for 51 years and Lord Byron for 185, both men died tragically young: Power at 44, Byron at 36. Both were Byronesque figures in real life, the latter no less so than his eponymous predecessor. Bisexuals both, subjects of scandal both, larger-than-life artistic talents both. And by all means DO surf the web for their portrait and photo, respectively: the two men even resemble one another!
All of this I learned only AFTER listening to this audiobook, of course. Although this is obviously a transfer of an old LP, the audio quality is superb. But it is Tyrone Power's powerfully engaging interpretive reading ... particularly the fluency and passion of the interpretations, the nuances, the super clean diction that together with Lord Byron's colloquial prose make these poems sound so modern ... which makes this one of the very best Audio.com purchases I have ever made. All Audio.com "veterans" know that even with the best source material, a mediocre (or worse) narrator can leave a bad taste in listeners' mouths with nary a thing to be done about it. Rest assured, there is no such problem here. It sounds suspiciously hyperbolical, I know, but I have to say it nonetheless: Tyrone Power was born (and died) to play Lord Byron!
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