Middlemarch and The Four Just Men on Booklist Magazine’s 2011 Editors’ Choice list
January 4, 2012
The American Library Association’s bi-monthly magazine Booklist—the leading library publication—has included two Naxos AudioBooks titles in its 2011 Editors Choice List, which features 13 select titles. It is a considerable accolade for an independent UK-based audiobook company.
They are highly contrasted choices. Juliet Stevenson’s reading of the unabridged Middlemarch by George Eliot has been widely praised since its release in February 2011. Stevenson, whose recordings of Jane Austen for Naxos AudioBooks have become classics in their own right, took time off from a busy stage, TV and film career to read for the 28 CDs that Middlemarch requires. One of the most important novels in the English language, Stevenson admitted that it was one she didn’t know very well, and when the offer came to record it, she made the challenge a priority!
Edgar Wallace’s famous vigilante series, starting with The Four Just Men, was ideal for the dramatic reading talents of Bill Homewood—another prolific figure on Naxos AudioBooks—though a break from the French classics he is best known for. He has a remarkable range of voices, as the original review of The Four Just Men in Booklist highlighted: ‘Homewood assigns the men distinctive accents (English; Spanish, including a Castilian lisp; French) and cadences that reflect their civilized, cosmopolitan personalities. He also voices a cacophony of regional accents that represent Parliament members, police officers, and numerous Londoners involved in discussions. Homewood darkens his deep voice to create a moody, menacing atmosphere that dominates this compelling story, and he modulates pace and intensity to dramatize ruthless justice. Those who enjoy smart, civilized mysteries will be pleased.’