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text 2017-02-09 17:23
BBC Radio 4 books to listen to



BBC Radio 4 has many good books etc going at the moment. There is a Neil Gaiman one coming soon! Here's just a few of the many that are on the go atm.


Book at Bedtime - The Truth Is a Cave in the Black Mountains by Neil Gaiman


Chilling revenge for a terrible crime is at the heart of Neil Gaiman's multi-award-winning novelette, inspired by a Hebridean myth and originally commissioned by the Sydney Opera House for the Graphic Festival with celebrated illustrator Eddie Campbell.

1/5. A dwarf seeks a guide to a certain cave on the Misty Isle.



The Mistletoe Bride and other Haunting Tales by Kate Mosse


"The Mistletoe Bride and other Haunting Tales" is a collection of haunting short stories written, abridged and introduced by Kate Mosse. They are all inspired by legends and folktales from the French and Sussex Countryside and each story explores the relationship between landscape and emotion. Grief and Guilt. Loss and happiness. They are timeless in their telling, ranging from the mythical past to the present day. Kate Mosse has chosen 5 out of the collection that exemplify the redemption experienced by the various grief stricken men and women as they come to terms with their destiny.



Book of the Week - Once Upon a Time in the East by Xiaolu Guo


Xiaolu Guo's autobiography tells her remarkable story from adoption at birth through to her career as a writer and film-maker based in the UK. This abridgement deals with her formative years, living in China in times of transition.



Episodic 15 minute Drama - Isaac Asimov's I, Robot


The rise of robotics in the 21st century, told through the poignant and mysterious story of enigmatic lawyer, Stevie Byerley. Starring Hermione Norris.



Book at Bedtime - The Transition by Luke Kennard


An intriguing and wry debut novel about capitalism, the housing crisis and a generation in debt. Set a few years from now, in an unnamed city, award-winning poet Luke Kennard imagines what life might be like for young people from the squeezed middle-class if our society continues along its current economic path.



 Daphne Du Maurier - The Birds


Nat Hocken and his family are disturbed during the night by the sounds of birds. Read by Tristan Sturrock.




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review 2015-12-25 21:24
Neverwhere (radio drama) by Neil Gaiman, narrated by a full cast
Neverwhere - Neil Gaiman,Benedict Cumberbatch

My first exposure to Neverwhere was via the book. I read it ages ago, but I remember enjoying it quite a bit. Sometime after that I watched the TV series, and I've been wanting to listen to the radio drama since I first heard it existed. I bit the bullet and picked it up during a recent Audible sale.

Neverwhere stars Richard Mayhew, an ordinary man whose life is turned upside down when he helps an injured young woman named Door. Soon after Door leaves his life, Richard discovers that he seems to have become invisible. His apartment is rented out to someone else without anyone asking him for permission, and his coworkers and girlfriend no longer remember who he is or that he ever even existed. Richard's quest to get his life back takes him to London Below, where he joins up with Door, who is trying to find out why her entire family was killed and why their murderers, Mr. Croup and Mr. Vandemar, are after her.

Although I had read the book and seen the TV series, I'd done both so long ago that I'd forgotten most of what happened. I remembered the fantastical setting, which I both enjoyed and felt somewhat uncomfortable about, because its efforts to highlight homeless people seemed to erase them instead. I also remembered a few story events and that at least one of the characters couldn't be trusted. That was about it. When Door and Richard were able to find the angel Islington fairly easily, I was surprised, because I had vague memories of that taking much longer. Instead, it was the end of a tiny quest and the beginning of a larger one, as Islington sent them after an item that he (it?) wanted.

There was dialogue, sound effects, and nothing else – no unnamed narrator describing things the listener couldn't see. I adapted to that fairly well, but it's one of the reasons why I wouldn't necessarily recommend this as a person's first exposure to the story. You can't really get a good feel for the setting.

Plus, the radio drama format resulted in some odd bits. The fight scenes never seemed to work for me. Either the sound effects were kind of goofy, or the way the dialogue was worked in didn't sound natural. For example, Hunter, Door's bodyguard, was able to talk at length while supposedly in a battle for her life. I know Hunter was supposed to be incredibly skilled, but her opponent wasn't exactly a newbie either. Fighting him should have required more of her attention.

I can't remember how much of the original story was left out, but I do know that several parts felt rushed. Richard and Door's relationship barely had time to develop, and the ending was such a jumble of revelations and sound effects that it was a little hard to follow. I felt that the extended ending (included as part of a series of bloopers and extended scenes) was a bit clearer.

That said, one of the benefits of this format was the voice acting, which was really good. The casting decisions were fabulous. I particularly liked James McAvoy as Richard, David Harewood as the Marquis de Carabas, Sophie Okonedo as Hunter, and Romola Garai as Jessica.

I'm glad I got this, and I'm sure I'll listen to it again, although I'd like to reread the novel first.


At the end there's about half an hour's worth of bloopers and extended scenes. I wish that 1) this section had been announced as such and 2) that the bloopers and extended scenes had been separated into two distinct parts.


(Original review posted on A Library Girl's Familiar Diversions.)

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review 2015-09-07 20:45
You know sometimes the movie does work better
The Russia House: A BBC Full-Cast Radio Drama - Full Cast,John le Carré,Tom Baker

So this is the BBC adapted radio play. The voice acting is good, but I don't buy the whole romance, great love, sub-plot. Pfeiffer and Connery could sell it, but the voices don't.

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text 2015-08-30 20:49
So long!
Star Wars: A New Hope - The Original Radio Drama, Topps "Light Side" Collector S Edition - George Lucas,Ensemble cast

First of all, I might be listening to a different edition.  I don't care.  I"m two episodes - and a little of the third - into I think thirteen episodes, each one half hour each so far.   It's much longer than the movie, and thus digs into details that aren't in the movie.   Leia isn't voiced by Carrie Fisher, but the voice actress does quite a good job. 


Pretty much if you're into Star Wars, and don't have this, you probably want to invest in the Star Wars Audiobook Humble Bundle.


I'm quite enjoying this.   And while I do enjoy Star Wars, I'm not a Star Wars fangirl.   So this isn't something that I would automatically be like, 'yes!' to.

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review 2014-06-29 15:22
Magnolia Blossom
Magnolia Blossom (BBC Radio Drama) - Agatha Christie

bookshelves: summer-2014, mystery-thriller, shortstory-shortstories-novellas, filthy-lucre, fradio, radio-4x

Recommended to ☯Bettie☯ by: Laura
Read on June 29, 2014



Description: Theo is determined to seek happiness with her husband's business rival, Vincent. Having fled London for Paris, however, she soon learns of Richard's financial collapse - and discovers that rather more than just his job is at stake.

An old short story given a contemporary twist. Gordon Ramsay, ORLY? Not worth more than three daffy ducks.

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