Friday, June 23, 2017

Anne Frank: Diary of a Young Girl: The Definitive Edition (on CD)

Anne Frank: Diary of a Young Girl – The Definitive Edition
by Anne Frank [Compact Disc Biography Frank] 

Despite the fact that Anne Frank’s Diary of a Young Girl shows up on a lot of lists of required reading at various schools, I had some reached my mid-fifties without reading this historically noteworthy book. So, when I found the audiobook (Book-on-CD) format of this “Definitive Edition” on the New Items display at the downtown library, I figured it was finally time to check this one off of my must-read list.

I’m glad I did — this is a compelling and thought-provoking book, and one which I recommend to everyone interested in history and the personal impact that large-scale events can have on each of us. This definitive edition reprints the classic work, but includes portions that have been edited out of previous releases. Anne’s diary effectively reveals the claustrophobic fear of a group of people thrown together under extremely stressful conditions and having to remain hidden, or risk losing their lives. It also highlights the dangerous heroism of the helpers they had in the outside world, who provided them with food and supplies and helped to keep them hidden. On top of that, it is a coming-of-age story of a young girl, dealing with the typical issues that a 13-15 year old might face, including personal relationships, rapidly fluctuating emotions, and difficult connections with parents.

While listening to this audiobook, I did some online research to find out the fates of the main individuals in Anne’s story. Even though it was fully expected, it was appalling to learn how many of them did not survive the war, mostly dying or being executed in the concentration camps. The fact that Anne’s diary survived, and can be shared, is a testimony to the courage and resourcefulness of those who found and hid it, and then returned it to Anne’s father after the war.

This audiobook version is extremely well done, however I do have one complaint. Selma Blair is fine as an audiobook narrator, but she would have been in her late 30s at the time this was recorded prior to its 2010 release. This book should have been audio narrated by a teenager, to provide more of a sense of authenticity. Hearing an obviously mature woman speak some of Anne’s personal and private thoughts just rings a bit false. Otherwise, however, I found this to be compelling reading/listening, and highly recommend it.

[ Wikipedia page for Diary of a Young Girl ]

Recommended by Scott C.
Bennett Martin Public Library

Have you read or listened to this one? What did you think? Did you find this review helpful?

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