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Sunday, 14 April 2013

Fidel Castro: My Life – Fidel Castro & Ignacio Ramonet

This “spoken autobiography,” a series of questions and answers between French/Spanish journalist Ramonet (Patrick Lawlor) and Castro (Todd McLaren), covers the Commandante’s life and thinking, though haphazardly. Lawlor’s questions are unidiomatic-sounding and awkwardly precise. There’s no sense of two people interacting; the two may well have been recorded separately. Lawlor’s likable voice is far outclassed by the strength and clarity of McLaren’s; the contrast sometimes jars. McLaren pronounces Spanish words well, but his use of pronunciations such as “Kooban” (Cuban), “Mehican” (Mexican), etc., in the midst of flawless English seems affected and distracts. Still, the presentation is more than adequate. But the content–the preening dictator, the fawning interviewer, the overwhelming level of detail–will put off anyone without a deep interest in Castro.
Read by Todd McLaren, Patrick Lawlor.

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