Parents' Choice Foundation: Reviewing Children's Media Since 1978

Parents' Choice Awards : Audio : Audio Book
The Wonderful Story of Henry Sugar

The Wonderful Story of Henry Sugar

Fall 2006 Audio Book
Ages: 12 & Up
CD Price: $17.95
Roald Dahl's remarkable story-within-a-story-within-a-story-within-a-story first introduces readers to the wealthy socialite Henry Sugar. Bored at being left out of a leisurely game of canasta, he departs to the library where he stumbles on a curious book titled, “A Report on an Interview with Imhrat Khan the Man Who Could See Without His Eyes,” by John Cartwright. Quickly, as Sugar becomes engrossed in the book, Dahl shifts perspectives to that of John Cartwright. We hear how Cartwright is approached by a strange man, Imhrat Khan, who claims he can see without his eyes. After a series of tests, Cartwright and his doctor colleagues are convinced. Eventually, Cartwright wants to learn the man's secret. Again, Dahl shifts to a new storyteller, this time Khan. Listeners journey with Khan as he gives all to be tutored by a master yogi, although he denies that he has any religious intentions himself. Throughout his yoga practice, however, he becomes more and more benevolent. Cartwright writes up Khan's story, which is what Sugar is reading. Like Cartwright, Sugar, too, wants to master yogi techniques, mainly to be able to cheat at cards. But, as he masters yoga training, Sugar is overcome with the need to do good works. He travels the world winning at cards and donating significant sums to building orphanages. One more twist: The author of the story the reader has enjoyed was written, as it turns out, by John Winston, Sugar's accountant, who wants the world to know of the goodness of Henry Sugar.

David Suchet's skilled delivery, coupled with such an intriguing story is highly recommended for listeners ages 12 and up.

Barbara Pape   ©2006 Parents' Choice
Barbara Pape is a consultant for WETA’s Reading project and is a freelance education writer and author of two traveling with kids books. She has an EdM from Harvard University’s Graduate School of Education and is the mother of two teens who share her love for a good book.

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