BBC R7 & RA.cc: Rogue Male by Geoffrey Household

Aural Noir: Online Audio

BBC Radio 7 - BBC7So in following up on that terrific new dramatization of The Most Dangerous Game, you know the one I told you about the other day, I’ve come across a novel with a similar theme. Indeed, this is a novel with a similar legacy to that of Richard Connell’s short story. Consider this…

“One should always hunt an animal in its natural habitat; and the natural habitat of man is – in these days – a town. Chimney pots should be the cover, and the method, snapshots at two hundred yards. My plans are far advanced. I shall not get away alive, but I shall not miss; and that is all that matters to me any longer.” – Rogue Male

Similar to The Most Dangerous Game hey?

But as to the legacy – let me offer these…

First up we need to consider in reverse chronological order David Morrell‘s 1972 novel, First Blood, and the subsequent movie of the same name. Said Morrell: “When I started First Blood back in 1968, I was deeply influenced by Geoffrey Household’s Rogue Male.”

That’s a very strong recommendation in itself.

Then there was a 1976 TV-movie version starring Peter O’Toole (I also recall seeing it advertised as airing on A&E television network back in the 1990s)….

And lastly, in the video department, there was a 1941 film version (directed by Fritz Lang) put out under the title Man Hunt

As to the audio, I did a search of that handy dandy resource RadioArchive.cc and found there a lovely UNABRIDGED reading of Rogue Male, a novel that was commissioned (and recently re-aired) on BBC Radio 7. I’ve just finished listening to it and I highly recommend it!

SERIOUSLY, be sure give this one a try. It’s totally gripping from the first sentence on. It holds your attention with a combination of great narration (by Michael Jayston), excellent writing (by Geoffrey Household) and historical relevance. It has a feel of a historical novel – giving you a sense of the time and the culture – whilst also meditating on the human mind – especially decision making. It’s not unlike Ken Follett‘s Eye Of The Needle or The Eagle Has Landed by Jack Higgins – it’s that good.

One thing that Rogue Male has, that those others lack, is a nice human-animal friendship. This is essentially a hunting story, rather than a spy story, so it is more singularly focused on those themes and less externalized. I’ve never read a story that depicts what it’s like to stalk an animal (be it human or otherwise) better than this novel does.

Here’s what one of the commenters on the torrent thread said about it:

“This simply has to be one of the best ‘reads’ I will have in 2008. The reader is brilliant and the story suspenseful beyond belief. I listened to it in bed and it kept me on the edge of my seat throughout every chapter. Thanks for upping it. This is already in my top 10 audio experiences of all time.”

Rogue Male by Geoffrey HouseholdRogue Male
By Geoffrey Household; Read by Michael Jayston
15 Broadcasts – Approx. 6 Hours 32 Minutes [UNABRIDGED]
Broadcaster: BBC Radio 7
Broadcast: 2004
Told in first person by the protagonist, an un-named British sportsman, sets out to see whether he can successfully stalk and prepare to shoot a European dictator. Supposedly interested only in the hunt for its own sake, he convinces himself that he does not intend to actually pull the trigger. First published in paperbook form in 1939.

And, there was a BBC radio drama version too (also available at RadioArchive.cc)!

BBC Radio 4Rogue Male
Based on the novel by Geoffrey Household; Performed by a full cast
1 Broadcast – Approx. 90 Minutes [RADIO DRAMA]
Broadcaster: BBC Radio 4
Broadcast: 1989
Starring Simon Cadell and David Googe.

Other radio drama adaptations include:

SuspenseSuspense – Rogue Male
Based on the novel by Geoffrey Household; Performed by a full cast
1 |MP3| – Approx. 30 Minutes [RADIO DRAMA]
Broadcaster: CBS Radio
Broadcast: December 31st 1951
Provider: Archive.org
Stars Herbert Marshall and Ben Wright.

Everything For The BoysEverything For The Boys – Rogue Male
Based on the novel by Geoffrey Household; Adapted by Arch Oboler; Performed by a full cast
1 Broadcast – Approx. 30 Minutes [RADIO DRAMA]*
Broadcaster: NBC Radio
Broadcast: 1944
Starring Ronald Colman and Ida Lupino.
*This is a lost broadcast, no known copies now exist.

And I should also mention, that a sequel, Rogue Justice, first published in 1982, was also broadcast on BBC Radio 7 earlier this year as a five-part abridged reading (also read by Jayston).

Neat eh?

Posted by Jesse Willis

LibriVox: Dracula by Bram Stoker

SFFaudio Online Audio

Listening For The League's Gentlemen At LibriVoxHere’s another older LibriVox audiobook featuring a character found in Alan Moore’s League Of Extraordinary Gentlemen. Wilhelmina “Mina” Harker (née Murray) is lucky enough to survive this novel and then go on to be the core characters around which the events of Moore’s first comix collection swirl. She’s the proper Englishwoman wearing a large scarf over her neck. She plays a literally pivotal role in Vol. 1 of The League Of Extraordinary Gentlemen. This version is not read by a single narrator, but, that’s okay in this case because Dracula is told from multiple (and ever shifting) viewpoints.

LibriVox - Dracula by Bram StokerDracula
By Bram Stoker; Read by various
27 Zipped MP3 Files or Podcast – Approx. 16 Hours 31 Minutes [UNABRIDGED]
Publisher: LibriVox.org
Published: May 10, 2006

Podcast feed:

http://librivox.org/bookfeeds/dracula-by-bram-stoker.xml

iTunes 1-Click |SUBSCRIBE|

Posted by Jesse Willis

The Mysterious Affair At Styles by Agatha Christie being podcast

Aural Noir: Online Audio

Maureen O’Brien, of the Maria Lectrix podcast is reading Agatha Christie! While World War I rages on, an English country town’s peace is broken by murder. So a wounded officer named Hastings asks for help from a Belgian refugee name Poirot! The podcast has just begun (Maureen’s only on Chapter 2). This is pretty exciting stuff my friends…

Here’s the blurb as it appeared on the original 1920 dustjacket:

“This novel was originally written as the result of a bet, that the author, who had previously never written a book could not compose a detective novel in which the reader would not be able to ‘spot’ the murderer, although having access to the same clues as the detective. The author has certainly won her bet, and in addition to a most ingenious plot of the best detective type she has introduced a new type of detective in the shape of a Belgian. This novel has had the unique distinction for a first book of being accepted by the Times as a serial for its weekly edition”.

Mystery Audiobook - The Mysterious Affair At Styles by Agatha ChristieThe Mysterious Affair At Styles
By Agatha Christie; Read by Maureen O’Brien
Podcast – [UNABRIDGED]
Podcaster: Maria Lectrix
Podcast: August 2008 –
Join Hercule Poirot, Hastings and Inspector Japp in Christie’s first published novel! Told in first person, by Hastings, it features many of the elements that have become icons of the “Golden Age of Detective Fiction.” It is set in a large, isolated country manor; there are a half-dozen suspects, most of whom are hiding facts about themselves; the book includes maps of the house, the murder scene and a drawing of a fragment of a will; and there are a number of red herrings and surprise plot twists.

Subscribe to the podcast via this feed:

http://marialectrix.wordpress.com/category/mysteries/feed

Posted by Jesse Willis

LibriVox: The Swoop! by P.G. Wodehouse

SFFaudio Online Audio

LibriVoxThe Swoop!, or How Clarence Saved England is a short comic novel by P G Wodehouse, first published in the UK in 1909. Its subtitle is “A Tale of the Great Invasion.” This one may strain the sub-genre of alternate history to its breaking point, but I figure its probably worth it. As hero, Clarence Chugwater (all of 14 years old), assisted by a band of Boy Scouts must halt the invasion of England! This is one of the many “invasion” novels written from the late 1870s to WWI. H.G. Wells’ The War Of The Worlds is one of these. Many others were written, most involving the invasion of England. This kind of book was even more popular, in its time, as all the vampire and zombie tales are today. Think of it as the disaster movie of its time with this one on the comic end.

LibriVox audiobook - The Swoop! by P.G. WodehouseThe Swoop!
By P.G. Wodehouse; Read by Kristin Hughes
17 Zipped MP3s or Podcast – Approx. 2 Hours [UNABRIDGED]
Publisher: LibriVox.org
Published: August 2008
The Swoop! tells of the simultaneous invasion of England by several armies — “England was not merely beneath the heel of the invader. It was beneath the heels of nine invaders. There was barely standing-room.” (ch. 1) — and features references to many well-known figures of the day, among them the politician Herbert Gladstone, novelist Edgar Wallace, actor-managers Seymour Hicks and George Edwardes, and boxer Bob Fitzsimmons.

Podcast feed:

http://librivox.org/bookfeeds/the-swoop-by-p-g-wodehouse.xml

Posted by Jesse Willis

LibriVox Short Science Fiction Stories Collection #006

SFFaudio Online Audio

Here comes Volume #6 in the Short SF Stories Collection series – all public domain, all 100% FREE, from the folks at LibriVox…

LibriViox Short Science Fiction Collection Volume #6Short Science Fiction Collection Vol. 006
By various; Read by various
Zipped MP3 Files, Podcast or individual MP3s – Approx. 4 Hours 20 Minutes [UNABRIDGED]
Publisher: LibriVox.org
Published: July 25, 2008
Science fiction (abbreviated SF or sci-fi with varying punctuation and case) is a broad genre of fiction that often involves sociological and technical speculations based on current or future science and technology. This is a reader-selected collection of short stories, originally published between 1752 and 1962. Those published after 1922 entered the US public domain when their copyright was not renewed.

Here’s the podcast feed:

http://librivox.org/bookfeeds/short-science-fiction-collection-vol-006.xml

And here are the individual stories with my own notes on some…

LibriVox Science Fiction Short Story - Accidental Death by Peter BailyAccidental Death
By Peter Baily; Read by RK Wilcox
1 |MP3| – Approx. 23 Minutes [UNABRIDGED]
From the pages of Astounding Science Fiction magazine’s February 1959 issue. A tale about, aliens and space travel, told in a curious recorded epistolary form (and its set atop Mount Everest). Strange, but kind of familiar, worth listening to, but not likely to be at all memorable.

LibriVox Science Fiction Short Story - After A Few Words by Randall Garrett…After a Few Words…
By Randall Garrett; Read by Alex Becker
1 |MP3| – Approx. 18 Minutes [UNABRIDGED]
First published in Analog magazine’s October 1962 issue – with the LibriVox team identifying the author, “Seaton McKettrig,” as actually Randall Garrett using one of his many pseudonyms. A few off-pronunciations aren’t enough to mar this solid reading. A historical tale – that really isn’t.

LibriVox Science Fiction Short Story - The Diamond Maker by H.G. WellsThe Diamond Maker
By H.G. Wells; Read by Jerome Lawsen
1 |MP3| – Approx. 17 Minutes [UNABRIDGED]
A canvas sack full of several hundred pounds worth of diamonds, proffered on a London bridge for a paltry £100. It sounds like a con, at the very least a deal too good to be true. But the owner of the diamonds has a tale of woe to explain why he is selling them at such a cut-rate price. This one reminds me of Wells’ The Crystal Egg. Narrator, Jerome Lawsen, has a nice setup, the recording on this one is very clean.

LibriVox Science Fiction Short Story - Egocentric Orbit by John CoryEgocentric Orbit
By John Cory; Read by Perry Clayton
1 |MP3| – Approx. 7 Minutes [UNABRIDGED]
It took a long time for human beings to accept that our little piece of meteoric rubble wasn’t the exact and absolute center of the Universe. It does appear that way, doesn’t it? It may not take so long for a spaceman to learn … First published in Astounding Science Fiction’s May 1960 issue. This is the second version of this story to be recorded by LibriVox.

LibriVox Science Fiction Short Story - Flight From Tomorrow by H. Beam PiperFlight From Tomorrow
By H. Beam Piper; Read by Jerome Lawsen
1 |MP3| – Approx. 47 Minutes [UNABRIDGED]
First published in the unwieldy titled “‘Future’ combined with ‘Science Fiction Stories’” magazine’s September/October 1950 issue. This one’s a novelette, an out-in-out time travel tale, that though a bit predictable, and certainly very period, has a certain vintage charm. Jerome Lawsen, reads it well.

LibriVox Science Fiction Short Story - In the Year 2889 by Jules VerneIn The Year 2889
By Jules Verne; Read by James Christopher
1 |MP3| – Approx. 31 Minutes [UNABRIDGED]
First published in 1889, and credited to Jules Verne, it was actually written by Michel Verne, Jules Verne’s son. But then just to confuse matters more it was published under Jules Verne’s name correctly a year later when the senior Verne re-wrote it (and changed the title to In The Year 2890). In any case, this tale is set a mere one thousand years in the future.

LibriVox Science Fiction Short Story - The Measure Of A Man by Randall GarrettThe Measure of a Man
By Randall Garrett; Read by D.E. Wittkower
1 |MP3| – Approx. 29 Minutes [UNABRIDGED]
“What is desirable is not always necessary, while that which is necessary may be most undesirable. Perhaps the measure of a man is the ability to tell one from the other … and act on it.” From the April 1960 of John W. Campbell’s Astounding Science Fiction magazine.

LibriVox Proto-Science Fiction Short Story - Micromegas by VoltaireMicromegas
By Voltaire; Read by Annoying Twit
1 |MP3| – Approx. 45 Minutes [UNABRIDGED]
An 18th century tale (first published in 1752), Micromegas is significant in the pre-history of SF. Earth is visited by a pair of alien visitors, one from a planet circling Sirius and the other from the planet Saturn! This reading is also significant as it was recorded using a £1800 microphone!

LibriVox Science Fiction Short Story - The Sky Trap by Frank Belknap LongThe Sky Trap
By Frank Belknap Long; Read by Dr Special
1 |MP3| – Approx. 35 Minutes [UNABRIDGED]
From Comet magazine’s July 1941 issue (the same issue that has Leigh Brackett’s A World Is Born – which is also available HERE). This is Dr. Special’s first recording for LibriVox. He reads it very well, even though there are a lot of lines like… “Good God Dave, do you suppose something has happened to space?”

LibriVox Science Fiction Short Story - Test Rocket by Jack DouglasTest Rocket
By Jack Douglas; Read by Lance
1 |MP3| – Approx. 5 Minutes [UNABRIDGED]
From the Amazing Science Fiction Stories magazine’s April 1959 issue (which had an amazing cover).

Posted by Jesse Willis

Maudelayne a 1930s period Fantasy Audio Drama

SFFaudio Online Audio

MaudelayneMaudelayne has a ‘kinda unique vibe’ it’s a 12-part period Fantasy comedy audio drama series. It’s set in the 1930’s at a college in England. At the heart of college, there’s a rift, through which various mythical characters appear and wreak havoc. here’s the official description:

“A witty series set in 1933 at Maudelayne College, Oxbridge UK, a rift has opened allowing myth to briefly enter reality. A group of three students – Atherton, Westbrook and Worsley along with the intrepid Professor Lord David Cecil must keep order in the newfound chaos.”

And, here’s the podcast feed:


http://www.brokensea.com/maudelayne/feed/

Posted by Jesse Willis