By Chet Yarbrough
If you are not presently an Audio book fan, this is a book that might seduce you. Without any intent to diminish Brian Hall’s skill as a novelist, “Fall of Frost” is better to listen to than read.
“Fall of Frost” is a fictional portrayal of “four time” Pulitzer Prize winning American poet, Robert Frost. Dick Hill’s narration smoothly transitions from prose to poetry in his beautiful presentation of Brian Hall’s fascinating rendition of Robert Frost’s life.
This is not a biography. It is a work of fiction grounded in historic events of a poet’s life. It is an author’s projection of what Robert Frost thought when he wrote a poem; when he met world movers and shakers, or when he gave speeches at famous gatherings.
Hall escapes tedious reporting by capturing moments of Frost’s life. When Frost meets Khrushchev in 1962, he is nearing the end of his life. The story makes a listener feel Frost’s age by describing a long flight revealing ruse’s of old age; i.e. like saying “what did you say” when what you really mean is “I need more time to think of a response”.
Hall speculates on what might be going through Frost’s mind. When Frost offered a poetry reading at Kennedy’s inauguration, he missed a line of his own poem. Hall writes like he knows Frost’s thoughts showing Frost’s frustration over his mistake.
“Fall of Frost” entertains and informs by revealing events in Frost’s life that influenced his poetry. By shedding the category of non-fiction, Hall manages to create believable circumstances of a life that created famous poems like “The Road Not Taken” and “Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening”.
No, this is not a biography but it gives context to historic events in Robert Frost’s life. Either true or false, context gives weight to history. History is always inexact, both in its time and out of its time.
The prose of Hall and poetry of Frost are wonderful to hear, regardless of the precise accuracy of its context.
After listening to Fall of Frost, an audiophile or bibliophile will have a better appreciation of who Robert Frost was and what he represented in America and the world.