BBC R4: Double Jeopardy, a dramatization about Double Indemnity

January 31, 2011 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Audio Drama, Aural Noir, Online Audio 

Aural Noir: Online Audio

Radio Times - Afternoon Play - Double JeopardyBBC Radio 4The Radio Times has a picked a new play set to air on February 4th, 2010 in BBC Radio 4’s Afternoon Play slot. It’ll be a curious dramatization of the real life collaboration between Billy Wilder and Raymond Chandler while working on the screen adaptation of James M. Cain’s Double Indemnity!

This will be part of a series of BBC Radio dramatisations of all Raymond Chandler’s Philip Marlowe novels. Toby Stephens will be playing Philip Marlowe throughout (see more details at the bottom of this post).

BBC Radio 4 - Double Jeopardy by Stephen WyattDouble Jeopardy
By Stephen Wyatt; Directed by Claire Grove; Performed by a full cast
1 Broadcast – Approx. 1 Hour [RADIO DRAMA]
In 1944 Raymond Chandler (Patrick Stewart) and Billy Wilder (Adrian Scarborough) work on a screen adaptation of James M. Cain’s novel Double Indemnity. Billy Wilder is a 36-year-old German Jewish émigré just making his name as a director and Raymond Chandler is a reformed alcoholic with a developing reputation as a novelist – but absolutely no experience of writing for the movies.

Other Raymond Chandler treats airing on BBC Radio 4 include:

Feature: A Coat, A Hat and A Gun
11.30am-noon, Thursday 3 February 2011
Harriett Gilbert presents a reappraisal of the life and legacy of the man from Upper Norwood who invented the private investigator as we know him. “I needed a drink, I needed a lot of life insurance, I needed a vacation, I needed a home in the country. What I had was a coat, a hat and a gun.” Philip Marlowe has become the archetypal American detective anti-hero, yet his creator was educated at English public school, took the Civil Service exam and started a career in the Admiralty. With contributions from writer Sarah Dunant, Professor John Sutherland, David Thomson, and David Fine. Producer Rebecca Stratford.

Saturday Play: The Big Sleep
Saturday 5 February 2011, 2.30-4.00pm
Philip Marlowe (Toby Stephens) becomes entangled with the Sternwood family – respectable sister with gambling addiction (Kelly Burke), younger sister with drink/drug problem (Leah Brotherhead) and an attendant cast of colourful underworld figures. Robin Brooks; director Claire Grove.

Saturday Play: The Lady In The Lake
Saturday 12 February 2011, 2.30-4.00pm
Derace Kingsley (Sam Dale), a wealthy businessman, hires Philip Marlowe to find his estranged wife Crystal. Kingsley fears that rich, reckless Crystal may have got herself into a scandal and the last place she was known to have been was a resort called Little Fawn Lake. Dramatised by Stephen Wyatt; director Claire Grove.

Saturday Play: Farewell My Lovely
Saturday 19 February 2011, 2.30-4.00pm
When Philip Marlowe sees a huge, loudly dressed man casually throwing a bouncer out onto the the pavement as he goes into a bar, he knows it’s time to walk away, so he follows him inside. The big guy is Moose Molloy (Richard Ridings), recently released from an eight-year prison sentence and now on the hunt for his old sweetheart, a red-haired nightclub singer named Velma Valento. Marlowe follows a trail which includes a stick-up, blackmail, an irresistible blonde, a psychic, drugs and murder, and it leads him all the way to the top of a corrupt state of California. Dramatised by Robin Brooks; director Mary Peate.

Saturday Play: Playback
Saturday 26 February 2.30-3.30pm
Philip Marlowe is hired to tail the mysterious Betty Mayfield (Sarah Goldberg) all the way to the seaside town of Esmerelda, without knowing why or the identity of his employer. It’s not long before he realises that he’s not the only one on the trail, and that he too is being watched. Director Sasha Yevtushenko; producer Claire Grove.

And coming up later in 2011: The Long Goodbye, The High Window, The Little Sister, and Poodle Springs.

[Thanks Roy!]

Posted by Jesse Willis

Ian Fleming and Raymond Chandler in conversation

January 31, 2011 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Aural Noir, Online Audio 

Aural Noir: Online Audio

There’s a fascinating conversation between Raymond Chandler and Ian Fleming available over on BBC Archives. It was first broadcast on the BBC “Third Program” on July 10th, 1958. In it the two famed authors, and friends, discuss each others novels in depth. But before you head on over there, consider this |MP3| first. It is a repeat broadcast, from 1988, that includes an informative introduction that the BBC Archives version lacks.

BBC Archives - Ian Fleming and Raymond Chandler

Here’s the official BBC Archives description:

Fleming and Chandler talk about protagonists James Bond and Philip Marlowe in this conversation between two masters of their genre. They discuss heroes and villains, the relationship between author and character and the differences between the English and American thriller. Fleming contrasts the domestic ‘tea and muffins’ school of detective story with the American private eye tradition and Chandler guides Fleming through the modus operandi of a mafia hit while marvelling at the speed with which his fellow author turns out the latest Bond adventure.

[via the Miskatonic Rara-Avis site and BBC Archives]

Posted by Jesse Willis

The SFFaudio Podcast #093

January 31, 2011 by · 4 Comments
Filed under: Podcasts 

Podcast

The SFFaudio PodcastThe SFFaudio Podcast #093 – Scott and Jesse talk to audiobook narrator Grover Gardner about his long career in audiobooks and his work as the studio director at Blackstone Audioboooks.

Talked about on today’s show:
Blackstone Audio, Ashland, Oregon, The Story Of Civilization by Will Durant and Ariel Durant, the Miles Vorkosigan saga, Lois McMaster Bujold, Cryoburn, space opera, the Library Of Congress’ talking book program, Tiger Beat, Alexander Scourby, George Guidall, Displaced Persons, YA, WWII, Flo Gibson, Brilliance Audio, Recorded Books, the early audiobook industry, James Patterson, Books On Tape, Michael Kramer, Barret Whitener, Kate Reading, Bernadette Dunn, Jonathan Marosz, Tanya Perez, Oregon Shakespeare Theatre Festival, Southern Oregon University, Ringworld by Larry Niven |READ OUR REVIEW|, recording audiobooks under pseudonyms (Tom Parker, Alexander Adams), Star Wars, Anthony Heald, the Young Jedi series, Jonathan Davis, recording an abridged novel with sound effects (Star Wars), “hard abridgments”, “in the age of mega companies that shall remain nameless”, do bad books turned into audiobooks harm the audiobook market?, casting an audiobook narrator slightly against the book, digitizing older audiobooks, history, narrating non-fiction, Ross Macdonald‘s Lew Archer series, The Hypnotist by Lars Kepler, The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson |READ OUR REVIEW|, The Reapers Are The Angels by Alden Bell |READ OUR REVIEW|, Tai Simmons, using an iPad to read scripts, Blackstone Audio maintains an in-house pronunciation guide database, The Tin Drum by Günter Grass, Madame Bovary by Gustave Flaubert, Simon Vance, Galactic Pot-Healer by Philip K. Dick, Martian Time-Slip by Philip K. Dick |READ OUR REVIEW|, Tom Weiner loves science fiction, Brain Wave by Poul Anderson, a new recording of a Robert Sheckley book is coming, Random House still does abridgments, Shelby Foote, Donald Westlake, Grover Gardner’s blog post on Ross Macdonald, Raymond Chandler, Ross Macdonald wrote psychological mystery novels about families (he lets all the poisons that lurk in the mud hatch out), The Wycherley Woman, The Chill, John D. MacDonald, The Moving Target, The Galton Case, Black Money, the Travis McGee series, Darren McGavin, biography as a genre, Andrew Carnegie by David Nasaw, Gildan Media, the Wallander series, The Return Of The Dancing Master by Henning Mankell, Haila Williams, Grover Gardner loved narrating Elmore Leonard audiobook, Patrick Obrien’s, Bernard Cornwell, Maximum Bob by Elmore Leonard, “a slightly square guy”, Harper Audio, Pronto by Elmore Leonard, Justified, the Inspector Montalbano series is “enormously entertaining”, Andrea Camilleri, the Toby Peters series, Stuart M. Kaminsky, keeping track of the character voices (by visualization), “I lived those books”, Fools Die by Mario Puzo, Kristoffer Tabori, what is Grover Gardner’s favourite book?, The Kindly Ones by Jonathan Littell (it’s Grover Gardner’s masterwork).

Posted by Jesse Willis

Escape: David Dodge’s Plunder Of The Sun

January 28, 2011 by · 1 Comment
Filed under: Audio Drama, Aural Noir, Online Audio 

Aural Noir: Online Audio

Here’s another David Dodge radio drama, Plunder of the Sun, produced in the USA this time, and much older (having been produced the same year the novel came out). This time the setting is South America, rather than Cote D’Azur. Hard Case Crime has the reprint, but there’s currently no audiobook edition. Here’s the premise:

Al Colby, a “tough-guy adventurer” and private investigator, accepts a job from a South American antiques dealer. The dealer wants an ancient relic smuggled into Peru. Colby’s assignment is to carry the piece aboard an American ship sailing from the Chlean port of Valparaíso to Callao, in Peru. But the dealer has a serious heart condition and is soon found dead aboard the ship. What is the mysterious corded object that Colby carries? And how does it connect to the Incan empire? Who is the ruthless antagonist who wants it? A perilous journey across Lake Titicaca in Bolivia is all that stands between Colby and a lost Incan treasure of incalculable value!

EscapeEscape – Plunder Of The Sun
Based on the novel by David Dodge; Adapted by John Dunke; Performed by a full cast
1 |MP3|* Approx. 30 Minutes [RADIO DRAMA]
Broadcaster: CBS Radio
Broadcast: November 8, 1949
Based on the novel, first published in 1949.

*there’s a minute or so missing from the MP3 (it’s been accidently replaced with a minute or so from some other radio drama)

Produced and directed by William N. Robson

Cast:
Paul Frees …. Al Colby
Gerald Mohr …. Jefferson
Lucille Meredith …. Ana Luz
Harry Bartell
Charlie Lung
Tony Barrett

DELL Books - Plunder Of The Sun by David Dodge - Mapback Map

DELL Books - Plunder Of The Sun by David Dodge

Hard Case Crime - Plunder Of The Sun by David Dodge

The 1953 film version, starring Glenn Ford, moves the action from South America to Mexico, and turns Incan treasure into Aztec treasure.

[via Escape-Suspense.com and David-Dodge.com]

Posted by Jesse Willis

BBCR4 + RA.cc: To Catch A Thief

January 25, 2011 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Audio Drama, Aural Noir, Online Audio 

Aural Noir: Online Audio

To Catch A Thief

First published in the December 1951 issue of Cosmopolitan magazine, To Catch A Thief is the romantic tale of an ex-American jewel thief living in retirement on the French Riviera.

Randal S. Brandt, who penned the introduction to the recently published Bruin Books paperbook edition, points out that the novel was inspired by real life events!

If any of this is ringing any bells it’s probably a recognize of To Catch A Thief‘s more famous incarnation, the 1955 film staring Carey Grant and Grace Kelly.

With the very first line of the novel our wily protagonist, John Robie, is on the run – the police think he’s returned to his old profession, cat burglary, and the maquisards (his old comrades in the French Resistance) are under suspicion too – Robie’s only option is to track down the real cat burglar before the police can catch up with him! This will of course mean a disguise, regular visits to the casinos of Monte Carlo and endless days spent in the company of gorgeous young women. C’est la vie.

Dell 658 - To Catch A Thief by David Dodge

This is all apropos of a terrific new radio dramatization of To Catch A Thief recently broadcast on BBC Radio 4. I cottoned on to it on a recent visit RadioArchive.cc (where you can get it too!).

BBC Radio 4 / Saturday PlayRadioArchives.ccTo Catch A Thief
Based on the novel by David Dodge; Adapted by Jean Buchanan; Performed by a full cast
1 Broadcast – Approx. 1 Hour [RADIO DRAMA]
Broadcaster: BBC Radio 4 / Saturday Play
Broadcast: January 8, 2011
Source: RadioArchive.cc
David Dodge’s novel is a fast-paced, entertaining page-turner that was subsequently turned into a memorable film by Alfred Hitchcock, starring Cary Grant and Grace Kelly. Now, Jean Buchanan’s dramatisation brings it to radio. American John Robie is living quietly in the South of France, trying to put his career as a notorious jewel thief behind him. However, when a series of huge jewel thefts begins on the Riviera, targeting rich Americans, the police immediately suspect he’s returned to his old ways. To prove his innocence, and trap the real thief, Robie must resort to subterfuge. But his plans go awry when the daughter of one of the rich American tourists takes rather too close an interest in him – and his past.

Cast:
John Robie……….Jeff Harding
Francie Stevens……Jennifer Lee Jellicorse
Mrs. Stevens………..Laura Brook
Paul……………Alun Raglan
Bellini……….Simon Armstrong
Danielle……….Aurelie Amblard
French Extras……….Martin Sorrell

Director: Sara Davies

To Catch A Thief - a Vanity Fair recreation

And, if you’re up for more on David Dodge and To Catch A Thief, be sure to check out Randal S. Brandt’s wonderful tribute site!

Posted by Jesse Willis

FREE LISTENS REVIEW: The Land that Time Forgot by Edgar Rice Burroughs

January 25, 2011 by · 2 Comments
Filed under: Reviews 

Review

The Land that Time Forgot by Edgar Rice Burroughs

SourceLibriVox (zipped mp3’s)
Length: 3 hr, 49 min
Reader: Ralph Snelson

The book: Set during World War I, this adventure novel starts with the sinking of an Allied ship by a German U-boat. Bowen Tyler, his dog, and the beautiful Miss Lys La Rue are rescued by a British tug, then captured by the same U-boat. Through a series of prisoner revolts, double-crosses and sabotage, the U-boat ends up at an uncharted island near Antarctica. Here, they are attacked by dinosaurs and other prehistoric beasts.

Sounds like a good, old-fashioned adventure, right? Well, it is for the first two-thirds of the book. The final third consists of Burroughs dragging his characters to an unsatisfying conclusion. As in The Lost World, I expect some amount of pseudoscience in these types of early science fiction adventures, but Burroughs’ mystical version of evolution on the island severely strained my suspended believability. Perhaps the narrative is more fully resolved in the sequels, but after finishing, I felt cheated rather than wanting to know more.

Rating: 6 / 10

The reader: Snelson has a deep voice with an American Southern accent. His reading and recording quality are amateur, but satisfactory. His characters have distinctive, but not silly, voices. Snelson’s matter-of-fact narrating tone doesn’t add much to the story, but neither does he ruin the novel by trying to over-embellish the action.

Posted by Seth

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