This epic of the booming 1920s uniquely captures the relentless culture of American business. A classic novel about conformity in small town America – celebrated for its comic tone, satire, and vivid dialogue. Starring Edward Asner, Ed Begley Jr., Bud Cort, Ted Danson, Richard Dreyfuss, Hector Elizondo, Fionnula Flannigan, Julie Harris, Helen Hunt, Amy Irving, Stacy Keach, John Lithgow, Nan Martin, Marsha Mason, Richard Masur, Judge Reinhold, and Ally Sheedy
Narrarated by: Edward Asner, Rene Auberjonois, Bud Cort, Richard Masur, Holly Palance, Ed Begley, Jr., Marian Mercer, Ally Sheedy, Marsha Mason, John Lithgow, James Whitmore, Franklyn Seales, Bonnie Bedelia, Robert Foxworth, William Devane, Michael York, Jack Coleman, Stacy Keach, Roscoe Lee Browne, Helen Hunt, Amy Irving, Richard Dreyfuss, David Selby, Julie Harris, Nan Martin, Harry Hamlin, Judge Reinhold, Joanna Miles, Fionnula Flanagan, Madolyn Smith, Hector Elizondo, Georgia Brown, Ted Danson, Jobeth Williams
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Discomforting, but that can be good...
I found myself amused and squirming at Babbitt's vapid conformity and fumbling attempts at independence and then realized that it was so effective because the book points out the horror and then holds up a mirror to show us all as participants in it. The performance is good but, be warned, this is a 29-part radio series with 29 readings of the opening credits.
One of Sinclair Lewis' best works (besides maybe It Can't Happen Here, also available on audiobook), this production by the LA Classic Theatre Company is very entertaining. Ed Asner takes a few minutes to get used to as Babbitt, but after about half an hour he seems like a natural. The multiple-narrator approach is interesting, and adds a dynamic not typically found in audiobooks.