Saturday, January 20, 2018

Me? Listen to Audio?! #2

I have discovered the joys of listening to BBC radio dramas. This is what I listened to this week:

Nineteen Eighty-Four. George Orwell. 2 hours. Dramatised by Jonathan Holloway. (Two one hour episodes.) 

I read 1984 last year. There were things I definitely liked about it, and quite a few things I didn't like about it. One of the things I didn't love about the book was the adult content, the "smut." That is difficult--if not impossible to ignore--in a RADIO drama. One can easily skim, breeze over, that kind of content in a book. One can't really say the same of an "assault" on the ears. But sexual restrictions or sexual freedoms weren't the main point of the book or the drama. I didn't mean to imply they were. It was also difficult to listen to the second episode because that is where all the physical and mental torture happens. The drama was great at capturing the action, suspense, and drama of the story. It wasn't as great at capturing the ideas, concepts, and philosophies. The novel itself is reflective in many, many places. Readers are alone with Winston in his mind as he writes in his forbidden journal, as he's thinking throughout the day. And it is his thoughts and ideas that interested me most as I read the book. The radio drama was well-paced, never a dull moment.

The Pale Horse. Agatha Christie. Dramatised by Joy Wilkinson. 90 minutes. (Three, thirty minute episodes).

I have not read Agatha Christie's The Pale Horse. I can't say if it does the book justice. That might work out for the best. I really LOVED listening to this drama. It is a murder mystery. That essentially guarantees drama and suspense. But would it be easy to follow the clues in an audio book?! I must admit that I couldn't stand the suspense at one point, and I searched for a summary of the book to see how it ended! I've been known to do the same with an actual book. Maybe not for every mystery. But for quite a few. What did surprise me is how I really came to like a few of the characters: Mark and Ginger. I was not expecting...well...I would hate to spoil it for anyone. But Christie doesn't always offer more than just a mystery.

I have also listened to the first half of Frankenstein, but I'll talk about that drama next week--after I listen to the second half--which airs tomorrow.

© 2018 Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews

1 comment:

Joy Weese Moll said...

I like two long-running BBC Radio dramas. The Archers is the world's longest-running soap opera, still taking place in rural England. Home Front is about WWI in Britain, primarily Folkestone and Tynemouth. Each episode is of a day 100 years ago from the day it airs. The episodes are less than fifteen minutes so I can, usually, keep up by listening while I walk or do kitchen chores.