Robert Louis Stevenson wrote The Wrong Box with his stepson, Lloyd Osbourne. This is the same kid whose drawing had inspired Treasure Island seven years earlier. Interestingly, it was published while Stephenson (age 39), and Osbourne (age 21), were traveling in Polynesia. Here is an 1888 photograph of Lloyd Osbourne and Robert Louis Stevenson in Tahiti (Osbourne is standing, Stevenson is seated):
Of The Wrong Box, Rudyard Kipling wrote:
“I have got R.L. Stevenson’s [The Wrong Box] and laughed over it dementedly when I read it. That man has only one lung but he makes you laugh with all your whole inside.”
Indeed, as the RLS website describes The Wrong Box as “a humorous tale of misunderstandings, drunkenness, attempted fraud, false identities and other mishaps.” After having watched a scratchy old VHS copy of the movie I discovered this audiobook on LibriVox! I am enjoying it immensely. This enjoyment is assisted by its wonderful narrator. Andy Minter has a very appropriate accent for both the text and the telling.
The Wrong Box
By Robert Louis Stevenson and Lloyd Osbourne; Read by Andy Minter
1 |M4B|, 16 Zipped MP3 Files or Podcast – Approx. 6 Hours 20 Minutes [UNABRIDGED]
Published: September 14, 2008
The Wrong Box is a comedy about the ending of a tontine (a tontine is an arrangement whereby a number of young people subscribe to a fund which is then closed and invested until all but one of the subscribers have died. That last subscriber then receives the whole of the proceeds). The story involves the last two such survivors and their relations, a train crash, missing uncles, surplus dead bodies and innocent bystanders. A farce really.
iTunes 1-Click |SUBSCRIBE|
There is also a 1966 film adaptation starring Michael Caine, Dudley Moore, Peter Cook and Peter Sellers:
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