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AudioFile, February 2011

A well-narrated collection features five pieces of short fiction originally published in 1891, to which has been added Wilde’s mawkish fairy tale “The Birthday of the Infanta.” The anthology includes Wilde’s best-known story, “The Canterville Ghost,” a satiric and ultimately touching account of a brash American family frustrating a British ghost, and the enigmatic “Portrait of Mr W.H.,” in which research into the identity of the dedicatee of Shakespeare’s sonnets leads to monomania and suicide. All the selections drip with irony, paradox, and iconoclasm while showing off the author’s celebrated cleverness and wit. Narrators Rupert Degas, David Timson, and Anthony Donovan well understand and communicate these qualities. In addition, they mercifully tone down the instances of excessive sentiment that could otherwise tumble them into bathos.

The Seniors Review, October 2010

Naxos has created an audio book of tales by Oscar Wilde. It opens with “Lord Savile’s Crime,” followed by “The Canterville Ghost,” “The Portrait of Mr W.H.” and ends with three short stories. Read to perfection by actors David Timson, Rupert Degas and Anthony Donovan, these stories remind one of the old radio programs, The Shadow and The Scarlet Pimpernel. These are excellent representations of Wilde’s darker stories that have a sharp edge to them, yet are also highly entertaining.

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