REREADING - The Naxos audiobook
is simply fantastic. I was just sampling it and couldn't quit. So I guess I'm rereading it yet again.
UPDATE - I just finished listening to Van Helsing's speech to Dr. Seward pointing out that he doesn't know everything just because he's a scientist.
"Can you tell me why the tortoise lives more long than generations of men; why the elephant goes on and on till he have seen dynasties; and why the parrot never die only of bite of cat or dog or other complaint? Can you tell me why men believe in all ages and places that there are some few who live on always if they be permit; that there are men and women who cannot die?..."
I recently read the Book of Job in its entirety and was suddenly struck by how familiar Van Helsing's cadences had become. It is a direct lifting of the style of chapter 28 where God speaks to Job out of the whirlwind:
Brace yourself like a man; I will question you, and you shall answer me. Where were you when I laid the earth's foundation? Tell me, if you understand. Who marked off its dimensions? Surely you know! Who stretched a measuring line across it? On what were its footings set, or who laid its cornerstone--while the morning stars sang together and all the angels shouted for joy?...
Really wonderful to find that gem in this great book.
I have read this classic so many times, but mostly when I was younger. A few years ago I listened to the Librivox recording which I greatly enjoyed.
Now Heather Ordover at CraftLit
is going through the book. She's recruited people to fill in with reading for the different characters where she didn't feel the Librivox version was adequate. The result is a thoroughly enjoyable listening experience which highlights the author's talent. As always, Heather supplements this with background material and thoughtful commentary. This is the English class you always wished for, based around really wonderful books. (There is craft talk at the beginning of each podcast. For those who wish only book talk, Just the Books
is a parallel podcast with the craft talk trimmed out (I confess I resort to this most of the time).