Review of audible book ‘The Reserve’ by Russell Banks

Having enjoyed Russell Banks’ “Continental Drift”, I purchased “The Reserve”. I should have been alerted to the impending catastrophe when the narrator self-described his presentation as “The Reserve, performed by Tom Stechschulte”. Indeed, this book was not read, it was “performed”. The performer attempted to create unique voices for each character, and his imitations of female voices are incompetent to the point of being embarrassing and painful to hear, sounding more like a parody of a gay man. When a fine actor like Winona Ryder reads “The Diary of a Young Girl” without attempting to imitate a male voice for Mr. Dussel, it is inexcusable for Tom Stechschulte to impose his performance on us.

I shouldered on, only to find that “The Reserve” has none of the qualities of “Continental Drift”. The plot degrades into a silly tale of characters making foolish, unmotivated decisions. With another two hours of “performance” to go, I doubt that I will finish listening.

(This review is posted at Download The Reserve)

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2 Responses to “Review of audible book ‘The Reserve’ by Russell Banks”


  1. 1 ross 13 Jan 09 at 8:19 am

    There’s a great (if depressing) movie made from one of Russell Banks’s novels, “The Sweet Hereafter.” The director captured a mood entirely, with stunning photography and a great score by Mychael Danna.

  2. 2 acypher 15 Jan 09 at 6:43 pm

    I was very impressed with that movie. I didn’t realize it was from a Russell Banks novel. I attributed the greatness to Atom Egoyan.


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