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by H. Rider Haggard
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Allan Quatermain may be British born, but that doesn't stop him from loving Marie Marais, a Boer maiden in South Africa. Nor does it stop her from returning his love, although their marriage ends in tragedy born of racial hatred. Shelly Frasier transitions easily among British, French, Dutch, and American accents in her sober performance of this classic, sometimes within the scope of the same character. While this occasionally leads to confusion, her thoughtful narration of the sad and frustrating story keeps the listener riveted from one distressing scene to the next. While the cultural disputes of 1830s Africa seem insurmountable, Frasier's compassionate portrayal of Haggard's text makes the listener yearn for a peaceful solution. R.P.L. © AudioFile 2002, Portland, Maine-- Copyright © AudioFile, Portland, Maine
Although in my old age I, Allan Quatermain, have taken to writing-after a fashion-never yet have I set down a single word of the tale of my first love and of the adventures that are grouped around her beautiful and tragic history. I suppose this is because it has always seemed to me too holy and far-off a matter-as holy and far-off as is that heaven which holds the splendid spirit of Marie Marais. But now, in my age, that which was far-off draws near again; and at night, in the depths between the stars, sometimes I seem to see the opening doors through which I must pass, and leaning earthwards across their threshold, with outstretched arms and dark and dewy eyes, a shadow long forgotten by all save me-the shadow of Marie Marais.
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