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WHO HAS SEEN THE WIND

Written and performed by W.O. Mitchell
Toronto, McClelland & Stewart, 1990. 2 90-minute audiocassettes, $19.95, ISBN 0-7710-6074-2. (Audio Encore series).


Grades 10 and up/Ages 15 and up

Reviewed by Deborah Mervold

Volume 18 Number 5
1990 September


I must confess two things as I do this review: my love of the 1947 book Who Has Seen the Wind and my aversion to audiotapes. To my most pleasant surprise, I found the tape as gripping as the novel.

The voice quality of W.O. Mitchell is perfect to bring his words to life. His Scottish accent for Grandmother MacMurray, the stern starkness of Brian's first teacher. Miss MacDonald, and the high-pitched questioning of Brian added to the variety, which made the listener want to continue after the three hours of the tape.

The characters from Big Ben and the episode of the still in the church to Brian, his friends and his relationship to his grandmother had a quality different from the written word. Brian's pain could be felt as he suffered loss from the deaths of the baby pigeon, his dog, his father and his grandmother. His confusion and questioning from his first episode at school to his search for God were made more personal to the listener through the spoken word.

The one negative comment to be made was that the sound was not always even. The voices for young characters particularly were very loud in comparison to the voices for the older characters.


Deborah Mervold, Shellbrook Composite School, Shellbrook, Sask.

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