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by John Steinbeck | Read by David Aaron Baker

As its title suggests, the last completed novel of Steinbeck echoes themes from Shakespeare’s RICHARD III. The novel takes place in small New Baytown, a community that prides itself on its heritage. For Ethan Allen Hawley, however, the future holds the key to success. The listener follows Ethan down a path of corruption as he strives for his conception of the American dream. David Aaron Baker’s calm, measured narration sounds friendly and familiar. He accomplishes a superb portrayal of Ethan, giving flawless intonation to a character whose sarcasm and honesty often intermingle. Baker’s vocal characterizations are convincing whether he is portraying the flirtatious Margie Young-Hunt or the belligerent town drunk, Danny Taylor. Baker’s consistency throughout renders a strong overall performance. D.M.W. © AudioFile 2012, Portland, Maine