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Publisher's Summary

"Manalive" (1912) is a book by G. K. Chesterton detailing a popular theme both in his own philosophy, and in Christianity, of the "holy fool", such as in Dostoevsky's "The Idiot" and Cervantes' "Don Quixote".
©2017 SAGA Egmont (P)2017 SAGA Egmont

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  • R. Eric Tippin
  • 13-04-2017

Amateur Reader, Poor Quality, Paying for Librivox

Would you try another book from Gilbert Keith Chesterton and/or Ray Clare?

This story in another reader's mouth (say, David Timson's or Martin Jarvis's) would earn three or four stars, but Clare's performance taints it.

How could the performance have been better?

Ray Clare is not a professional audiobook reader, and even among amateurs he is particularly bad. His rendering of 'Manalive' works against the buoyancy of the text he reads. He may have a deep appreciation for Chesterton, but, I'm afraid he has almost no talent as a reader of Chesterton. More importantly, this audiobook was merely taken from Librivox, a website dedicated to providing free audio of books in the public domain. One can download this same audiobook for free on the Librivox website; however, because of the painful performance of it by Clare, I would avoid this rendering of 'Manalive' altogether. Even professional readers like Simon Vance have difficulty striking the right tone with Chesterton's work, and Clare's version is almost antithetical to Chesterton's whole project.

Any additional comments?

This is a highly dubious, unprofessional, poorly executed version of Chesterton's book that puts itself forward as something more polished and professionally produced. Please do not buy it or any of the other Chesterton books this publisher offers.

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