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Having seen 'Jeeves And Wooster' and been disappointed by it, I thought this would be similar - samey and slightly nauseating. However I was wrong - this audio book is one of the most polished I have ever listened to, with good production, enunciation and a compelling narrative.
The first section is Stephen Fry reading Daudet. Daudet is a little like a French Dickens, although with a little more charm and eccentricity (Nikolai Gogol is probably a better comparison.) The stories are based around his windmill and consist of various emotions from sad (Girl Next Door) to comic (The Man with the Golden Brain). Most of the tales are light hearted and all are crammed with a certain French ethos that makes them memorable.
The second section is Hugh Laurie reading Jerome K Jerome's 'The Idle Thoughts of an Idle Fellow'. Though I haven't read 'Three Men in a Boat' (shame on me!) I found these tales were very easy to get into and consisted of Oscar Wilde-esque observations about Love, Food and life in general. Just as Daudet is quintessentially French, so Jerome is English.
With a keen eye and a sharp wit, this section is soothing in its empathetic spirit and leaves you calm as an Idle man on a long summer evening in Kent.
To conclude, these two readings are well worth purchasing and not just for the narration. They are perfect for a long car journey and are true treasure of their kind. If you like these, do try P.G. Wodehouse or 'St Petersburg Tales' or, better still, leave it as one of those unique Ariadnes threads to cheer a dull evening.
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