25 of 27 people found the following review helpful
A useful addition to my audio library,
This review is from: Ghost Stories: v. 1 (BBC Audio) (Audio CD)I was intoduced, 50 years ago, to the delights of the ghost stories of M.R. James by my Latin master at school who usually read one of these superb stories at the end of term. These made such a deep impression on me that, to this day, ghost stories fall into 2 groups - those by M.R. James and the rest!
By far and away the best recordings of M.R. James' ghost stories were those recorded by the incomparable Michael Hordern on the Argo label, now sadly long deleted. His voice characterizations seem to hit exactly the right note.
Unfortunately Hordern did not record all the stories, so this CD is a very welcome addition to my audio library, as it contains two that Hordern didn't do - A View from a Hill & The Story of a Disappearance & an Appearance. Derek Jacobi's characterizations are of a wider range than Hordern's, but the general narrative style doesn't quite do it for me in the same way that Hordern's does.
It has to be said that recordings of all James Stories are being released, narrated by David Collings (if, that is, the publisher ever get round to releasing the 2nd tranche - I've been waiting 10 months!!). However Collings' characterizations are, by a long way, the poorest of the three. He has a flat & monotonous intonation which I find tedious, so in terms of material available today, Jacobi's recording is to be greatly commended.
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Initial post: 30 Jan 2011 10:23:56 GMT
William Atherton says:
I should like to comment on Mr Marples' review concerning the David Collings reading of the stories of M R James. I own this particular recording and find the renditions of Mr. Collings delightful. He brings all the characters to life and manages to picture scenes with remarkable clarity. Unfortunately I have not had the pleasure of hearing Sir Derek's Rendition although knowing the quality of his voice and the undoubted talent he possess I am sure it is wonderful. My concern is that David Collings' seems to have been dismissed in such a cavalier fashion by the author of the review. I would only ask others who have enjoyed these wonderful tales to listen to his renditions. I listen to them frequently and have never found cause to regret my choice.
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