Compilation and Introductory Material ©2006 Joesphine Hart; (P)2006 Hachette Audio and British Library
"For several years, the writer Josephine Hart has been persuading stars to perform at her poetic soirees in London's British Library. You could have predicted that tough, terse Harold Pinter would make a good fist of Philip Larkin's poems, but suave Roger Moore doing Rudyard Kipling? Yet the deathbed imprecations of the bluff father to his disappointing son in his poem The Mary Gloster are simply spellbinding in Moore's reading. The sound quality is patchy with audience coughs and titters, but it is nevertheless poetry's greatest hits read by the A-list: Ralph Fiennes does WH Auden, Edward Fox takes on TS Eliot, and Bob Geldof reads WB Yeats." (The Sunday Times, Audiobook of the Week)
I was attracted to this compilation by the list of poetry readers and the persuasive introduction included as an audio sample for the prospective purchaser to listen to. Unfortunately while this introduction was recorded in a studio and is very clear, the readings themselves are so poorly recorded and so faint that it makes listening to them extremely difficult, particularly if one is somewhere noisy such as in a car.
"For those who think they don't like poetry."
I was only exposed to metaphysical poets in high school and developed an aversion for adult poetry. There are much read children's poetry books on my shelf but the gifts of Auden, Frost ,TS Eliot etc. have sat unread and unappreciated. I woke up to the fact that I need to HEAR poetry after a visit to my brother who can recite reams of it. Catching Life by The Throat was my first venture into really listening to poetry. This is a great selection with interesting commentary and excellent readers. Who knew that Roger Moore could do such a good job with Kipling?
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