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What made the experience of listening to Rappaccini's Daughter the most enjoyable?
Steven Jay Cohen's reading was very suitable to the material, soft, propelling, at times breathless (breath being a dominant motif in Hawthorne's story). I first read the story 40+ years ago in seventh grade and remember liking it almost as much as "The Birth-mark," though I'm not sure what I could have made of either of these stories back then. The Romantic notion's and ideology that permeate " Rappacicini's Daughter" are quite lofty and challenging to follow. That said, Hawthorne's sentences are simply beautiful and are well-suited for being read aloud. I think Hawthorne would have appreciated Mr.. Cohen's reading a great deal.
Which character – as performed by Steven Jay Cohen – was your favorite?
Mr. Cohen has five character voices to differentiate (3 male and 2 female) and he does an excellent job transitioning from narrator to the various character voices (something that seems to throw a lot of audible book readers off balance.)
Any additional comments?
My only reason for withholding a fifth star for performance is that Mr. Cohen's reading varied from the printed text (I was following along in the well-respected Library of America edition). Perhaps it was a matter of textual variants, but some were surely flubs that could have been easily fixed in the studio. But nothing so serious to mar the listener's experience of this marvelous Hawthorne tale.
2 of 2 people found this review helpful
This classic tale is a favorite of mine, as it juxtaposes the ordinary joy of love at first sight with the murky twist of poison fruit. Steven Cohen, as narrator, fills a lovely classic with the richness of voice. He does so without overwhelming the writing, which is an important skill in a delicate piece like "Rappacini's Daughter". His skill as an actor infuses the dialogue and descriptions with pensive care. I look forward to listening to it again.
1 of 1 people found this review helpful