Absolutely true to the spirit of the original; a no-nonsense sympathy. Three-quarters of the way through his 12-year labour of love. 6 hour recordings.
"The reason that actors are queuing up to be readers of audiobooks is that it is more than an ideal occupation while "resting"; it is a challenge exercise in its own right which requires a genuine empathy with what is being read, a chameleon-like quality to switch from character-to-character in a matter of seconds, and the ability to suppress your own personality in the interests of the story. Gabriel Woolf's abridgement, narration and publication of Arthur Ransome's Swallows and Amazons novels, a labour of love that has gradually gained a devoted audience, exemplifies all these skills"
Gabriel Woolf started reading these abridgements on BBC Radio 4's Story Time. The risks of receiving loud raspberries from Ransome's intensely loyal fans were great but Woolf has exactly the right voice to cope with duffers and pirates alike, and can casually toss off impossible asides such as 'jibbooms and boystays' without a hint of self-consciousness. He perfectly captures both Nancy's headstrong honesty, and Titty's desperate terror of dowsing.
It's a reflection of Woolf's skill both as reader and abridger that his readings are so popular with his sternest critics, the 2,000-strong Ransome Society.
One of the most independent spirit's in spoken word production. A veritable one-man band. Swallowdale is the latest in the line of definitive abridgements. All are tapes to treasure.
Cleverly filleted, and as sensitively narrated as the others... The intrepid Amazon Nancy’s interchanges with the formidable great-aunt are an especial delight.
The Picts and the Martyrs