AudioBook Review: The Battle of the Frogs and the Mice by George Martin
Title: The Battle of the Frogs and the Mice: A Homeric Fable
Author: George Martin
Illustrator: Fred Gwynne
Narrator: Graeme Malcolm
Format: Hardcover, Paperback, AudioBook
Audio Producer: Penguin Audio
Length: 22 Minutes
Source: Penguin Audio via AudioBook Jukebox
Genre: Ancient History / Fables / Politics
Stars: Overall: 5 Narration: 5 Story: 5
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About the Book:
Originally published in 1962, The Battle of the Frogs and the Mice tells in words and pictures a classic tale of the foolhardiness of war. When Crum-snatcher, a Mouse, cautiously mounts the back of Puff-jaw, King of the Frogs, to explore the Frogs’ pond, the Mouse meets with a disaster which soon brings the two nations into mortal conflict. The course of this tempest in a teapot is developed with wit to assume heroic proportions, and the battle of this small world becomes the story of wars through the ages.
George Martin has made an imaginative, free adaptation of a fable originally ascribed to Homer, but now believed to have been written about three hundred years after him by an unknown author. The book’s events are brilliantly depicted by the drawings of Fred Gwynne, a versatile artist known for his role as Herman Munster in the sit-com hit The Munsters. Gwynne’s haunting and unsparingly illustrations portray this chronicle from its pastoral beginning to its bitter end. Together, Martin and Gwynne have made a book of grim delight for adults and young readers alike.
A reworked fable that is more parable and truth than ‘fable’ in feel – this short story was a delight. Often it takes a bit of remove for us to see the futility and ridiculousness in our actions: and this little battle, fuelled by rhetoric and a lack of fact-checking, the need to be ‘right’ and egos all manage to give listeners and readers pause.
The narration provided by Graeme Malcolm is steady and comforting, sounding much like a learned yet kindly professor, his voice is one that wants to be heard. Even the simple distinctions between different characters provide the needed emotional overtones that fit the action and intention of the character speaking.
While not very long, this little fable is a good starting point for discussions about listening and careful thought, the real impetus to the start of disagreements, and even the emotional reactions to words meant only to incite, and not to allow for thought.
Look carefully – all emotionally charged situations, when divisive are displayed in this little tale.
I received an mp3 download from Penguin audio via AudioBook Jukebox for purpose of honest review for the Heard Word. I was not compensated for this review: all conclusions are my own responsibility.