Tuesday, March 25, 2008

An abundance of riches

Received last week, a box, a long time coming. Weeks went into considering what should go into it, weeks more into waiting.

Great Expectations, by Charles Dickens. An audio CD, wherein the story is read by Hugh Laurie. When I opened the box and pulled this one out, I was devastated to see that it's abridged. I immediately searched out my original order — there must be some mistake; I clearly remember investigating this edition and never in a million years would I have opted for abridged. But clearly I did; I am unable to duplicate my research efforts — nowhere is it shown to be a 15-hour recording (and surely not abridged) except in my imagination, and everywhere labeled as the product I received. I only hope my frustration with abridgements is offset by having Hugh Laurie read this one to me. Although, currently Hugh Laurie succeeds only in reminding me of work, since at our New York meetings I met the company's chief medical director, who has cultivated and completely mastered a House-like persona — the look, the mannerisms, the gruffness. Also, this is my first audio book, not counting various radio-broadcast readings and in particular The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy radio series, but I look forward to loading it onto the MP3 player — a technology I own but haven't really got a feel for — and forming a new habit, on those days when the metro is too crowded to open a physical book. I don't know how great my expectations are.

Captain Pamphile, by Alexandre Dumas. Because it's Dumas! Père Pamphile ran the establishment where Edmond Dantès celebrated his betrothal. I assume it to be the same Pamphile and this the book of his earlier adventures.

Ice, by Anna Kavan. On my list since I read Doris Lessing's endorsement of this phantasmagoria.

His Master's Voice, Stanislaw Lem. A project I'd like to undertake is to read Lem's opus. This on the basis of having read no Lem ever. My secret ambition, given enough drive, time, and smarts (or at least dictionaries), is to translate Solaris directly from Polish into English (the only English translation available came via French, and this is shameful), or set up a communal wiki-type effort to do so. But I'm thinking I should actually read some Lem first and see if I have an affinity for it before embarking on a project beyond my abilities.

The Sinbad Collection. Because it's Sinbad! Amazingly, the special effects are not nearly so laughable as I expected them to be. And with a 5-year-old at your side, the adventures are pure magic, again.


gls said...

You just have the worst luck with abridged Dickens, don't you?

I guess that says something about Dickens' works...

Julie said...

I love the idea of your Lem project. I have only read the tales of Pirx the Pilot, but they are lovely.