Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Books on Tape

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Books on Tape

Article excerpt

"WHITE MAN'S GRAVE" A novel by Richard Dooling (16 1/4 hours, unabridged, Recorded Books, $18.50 rental, $84 purchase)

Because of the heat and humidity, bugs and beasts, Sierra Leone has always been considered the white man's grave. Therefore, as a Peace Corps posting, the destination is not one that volunteers would fight to obtain.

Still, the Peace Corps is there. And when one of its volunteers, Michael Killigan, disappears from his assigned village, it sets into motion all kinds of circumstances unrelated to his work in this darkly humorous story about the small West African country.

Most affected by Michael's disappearance are his best friend, Boone Westfall, and Killigan's father, Randall. Boone flies into Sierra Leone and plunges into the jungle and a world of witches, ticked off ancestors and bush devils. Randall Killigan, the best bankruptcy lawyer in Indianapolis, is affected in different way, but no less dramatically. He receives a package that scares him into the arms of modern medicine, and the insidious satire that follows travels through the listener's entire body until it finds the funny bone.

With the help of Sam Lewis, a Peace Corps volunteer about the size of a small bulldozer, and Aruna Sisay, an American anthropologist now ruling an African village, Boone begins to pick his way through the mystery of what happened to his pal. Just when he thinks he is en route to sorting things out, he runs smack into jungle politics and a witch-finder as slick as TV evangelist-magician Billy Bob Copperfield. What happens after that floats the listener between drama and high comedy in this one-of-a-kind story that was nominated for a National Book Award. After listening to this production, I assume the book that beat this one out must have been sensational.

George Guidall, who always does great work as a narrator, is at the top of his form.

Recorded Books may be obtained for rental or purchase by calling (800) 638-1304.

*****

"MONEY AND THE MEANING OF LIFE"

By Jacob Needleman (3 hours, abridged, BDD Audio, $16.99)

The author is a professor of philosophy, a position not readily associated with pragmatism. …

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