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A Dorothy Sayers (unabridged) novel narrated by Ian Carmichael is a marriage made in heaven. Carmichael has narrated most of the Sayers Lord Peter novels and he is without rival for excellence in this genre. In this recording of Unnatural Death Sayers' complex and riveting story of clever deception and calculated murder is brought to its full dramatic heights by narrator Ian Carmichael.
Audible, PLEASE bring us more Sayers read by Carmichael!
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What more could you want from an audiobook?
First, there's the multifaceted Dorothy Sayers: medieval scholar, poet, playwright, advertising copywriter (where she helped create the famous and still-used "Zoo" ads for Guinness), friend of people like C. S. Lewis and T. S. Eliot. She could pen Christian apologetics and scholarly essays, translate Dante, reproducing the original terza rima in fluent English, then turn around and create a character as flawed, funny, admirable and ultimately likable as Lord Peter Wimsey.
Then there is the story, full of people who act like people, with our hidden motives, self-deceptions, vanity, greed and occasional introspections. Because Sayers was a sincere and serious Christian her crime stories are set in the context of a definite moral universe. Because she was a great writer, the physical universe of the stories is just as complex and untidy as the one in which we find ourselves. An amazingly accomplished woman in her own right, she was by no means a standard-bearer for Feminism but rather an acute observer and critic of what that movement was bringing about in her own day. Thus reading or listening to her works can be a deeply illuminating counter-cultural experience.
Finally, there is Ian Carmichael. I first scraped acquaintance with Dorothy Sayers through the BBC productions of her mystery novels that starred Carmichael as Lord Peter Wimsey. As good as those productions were, hearing him read the story is, of course, even better. He doesn't just read, he acts, giving each character a voice so definite that it isn't hard to conjure up a mental image of the speaker. When reading the narration between the slabs of dialogue he seems to understand exactly what Sayers was driving at, injecting just the right touch of irony, sarcasm or humor.
If Carmichael performed any more of the Lord Peter mysteries, let's hope Audible can snag them and put them up for sale.
19 of 19 people found this review helpful