|James Branch Cabell is Fantasy's equivalent of Salman Rushdie - his work is intricate, and convoluted, swarming with brilliant word play and vivid imagery. And dense as an Everglades thicket. You open "Jurgen" or "The Cream of the Jest" or "Something About Eve," and after hours of rich and rewarding reading you've read five pages. His work is magnificent but it is demanding and not my first choice for adaptation as audio drama.Or fifteenth.
But fortunately Yuri Rasovsky and Fantastic Audio didn't have my hesitations. He has produced a multi-voice version of Cabell's masterpiece, "Jurgen." Mr. Rasovsky calls this production Narrative Theatre. From the description on the cover, this might sound just like audio adaptation tricked out with a fancy new name. It isn't. It's as far from audio adaptation as audio adaptation is from full dramatization. Rasovsky has kept all of Cabell's words - every one of them, every bit of description and dialogue. It is a credit to his direction and to his talented actors that the description blends seamlessly with the dialogue. The only quibble I have is the retention of all the "he said, she saids." It's intrusive. Neither the readers or the listeners need them.
If you are looking for a justification of long-form audio drama as an art form, this production of "Jurgen" will serve and serve well.
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