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review 2019-03-19 15:12
Finally an audio version that does justice to this particular book.
Whose Body? - Dorothy L. Sayers,Mark Meadows

I don't know if this January 2019 release signals a new series of audios of all of Dorothy L. Sayers's Lord Peter Wimsey mysteries, but if it does, please God let them all be narrated by Mark Meadows.  Although my overall favorites still remain the Ian Carmichael audios (not the BBC full cast dramatizations, but those where Carmichael actually narrates the unabridged novels themselves), there doesn't seem to be a full set of those available any longer, and the alternatives produced in the interim are of -- putting it gently -- extremely varied quality.** 

 

This is particularly true for the first Wimsey book, Whose Body?, where those looking for an audio version so far have had the choice between two ridiculously over the top, trying-too-hard (and thus failing) British versions -- one male, one female -- and an American version failing even worse, for incongruously incorporating what the narrator obviously thinks Wimsey's nasal upper crust voice would have sounded like into an otherwise unabashedly American accent. 

 

Imagine my delight, therefore, in listening to this Mark Meadows recording and finding that Meadows quite literally hits all the right notes; chiefly with Wimsey's own voice, but actually with those of all the characters and, notably, also with Sayers's own narrative voice ... and with extra brownie points for also getting the occasional French and German bits right, with only a slight English accent to boot.  So even if this recording doesn't usher in a full series of new Lord Peter Wimsey recordings -- although I hope it may -- it's definitely the one I'd recommend as the one to turn to for those audio- rather than print-edition minded.  Who knows, you may even end up finding you like the usually shrugged-on Whose Body? better -- or at any rate not any worse -- than some of the later Wimsey novels.  (Five Red Herrings and Unnatural Death do come to mind in that department ...)

___________________________________

 

** The one notable older, "non-Carmichael" audio I have yet to listen to is Patrick Malahide's recording of Five Red Herrings.  Even with, as BT reports, his Scots accent somewhat regionally "off", I can't imagine it to be anywhere near as awful as the so far exstant versions of Whose Body?, however.

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text 2019-03-04 19:12
What a Nice Discovery
The Mysterious Affair at Styles - Agatha Christie
The Murder on the Links - Agatha Christie
The Secret Adversary - Agatha Christie
Agatha Christie Close Up: A radio investigation into the Queen of Crime - Julian Symons,Jessica Mann,Allen Lane,Richard Attenborough,Peter Saunders,Cliff Michelmore,Margaret Lockwood,Agatha Christie,Nigel Stock

I was listening to the Agatha Christie Close Up CD while adding covers to some of the books imported by MbD earlier this afternoon -- and guess what I discovered?  Penguin Random House is publishing a new series of Christie editions under the Vintage imprint!  And very pretty covers they have, as well ...

 

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text 2019-03-02 23:47
Reading progress update: I've listened to 160 out of 160 minutes.
The Lost Plays: Butter in a Lordly Dish / Murder in the Mews / Personal Call - Agatha Christie,Ivan S. Brandt,Richard Williams,Full Cast

Sigh.  One of the things we learn in the interviews on CD 1 is that when writing for the stage (or for radio), Christie preferred to write plays "as (original) plays", rather than adapting her own novels; and she only started doing the latter after she found that she didn't much like what other people did to her work when adapting it.  (Hear that, Mr. Osborne?)  Now guess what is one of the first things we learn upon switching to CD 2?  The version of Murder in the Mews included here -- the longest of the three radio plays in this set -- was not actually written by Dame Agatha herself but by someone else and commissioned by the BBC.  Grrrr.

 

Also: How can you possibly have an adaptation of this particular story without its glorious conclusion on the golf links?!

 

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text 2019-03-02 22:12
Reading progress update: I've listened to 71 out of 160 minutes.
The Lost Plays: Butter in a Lordly Dish / Murder in the Mews / Personal Call - Agatha Christie,Ivan S. Brandt,Richard Williams,Full Cast

Oooh!  Bonus material, including audio interviews with Christie and introductions by her of some of her works -- as well as a speech by her (and an interview) on the 10th anniversary of The Mousetrap!  Nice!!

 


Agatha Christie cutting the 6th anniversary cake for The Mousetrap

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text 2019-03-02 21:45
Reading progress update: I've listened to 55 out of 160 minutes.
The Lost Plays: Butter in a Lordly Dish / Murder in the Mews / Personal Call - Agatha Christie,Ivan S. Brandt,Richard Williams,Full Cast

Personal Call -- slight supernatural tinge, in line with the stories collected in The Golden Ball and While the Light Lasts.

 

Note for the Agathyte whiteboard: Definitely no connection with the Bundle Brent novels.

 

Question for the Agathytes: Where else did Inspector Narracott (or Nerracott) appear?

 

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