BookDragon Books for the Diverse Reader

Asymmetry by Lisa Halliday [in Library Journal]

Be warned: this three-parter, four-narrator delight requires utmost attention. But be assured: rewards aplenty await.

With crisp, almost staccato delivery, Candace Thaxton affectingly presents Part 1, “Folly,” in which editor Alice and author Ezra share 97 years between them. Hint: Alice is 27, but the age difference doesn’t prevent falling in love. Part 1 abruptly gives way to Part 2, “Madness,” in which an Iraqi American economist is detained in London’s Heathrow Airport en route to visiting his brother in Kurdistan. Narrator Aden Hakimi modulates effortlessly between explication and emotion; however, production quality proves uneven as numerous phrases sound as if they were rerecorded in a tunnel, then clumsily reinserted.

The final, shortest section mimics a real-life BBC radio show, “Desert Island Discs,” in which Fiona Hardingham adeptly interviews Arthur Morey as Ezra some years after “Folly.” Part 3 is of utmost narrative importance as the illuminating connections are revealed; alas, it’s aurally the most disappointing, with a haltingly spliced question-and-answer format as well as the dissonance between indulgent, almost grandfatherly Ezra in Part 1 and newly robust, self-satisfied Ezra in Part 3.

Verdict: Despite directorial miscues, Lisa Halliday’s debut is so strong as to outshine any production stumbles. Libraries should prepare for substantial demand.

Review: “Audio,” Library Journal, June 1, 2018

Readers: Adult

Published: 2018


No Comment

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.