CBC: Writers And Company: Hodd by Adam Thorpe (a reimaginaing of Robin Hood)

SFFaudio Online Audio

CBC Radio One - Writers And CompanyHost Eleanor Wachtel, of CBC’s Writers And Company, interviewed novelist Adam Thorpe in a fascinating podcast from January 31, 2010. Here’s the show description:

“From the Middle Ages to the 21st century, the legend of Robin Hood has fascinated us. England’s Adam Thorpe subverts the myth in his new novel, Hodd.”

Wachtel elicits a brief history of Robin Hood from Thorpe. He talks about the 1950s black and white TV version The Adventures Of Robin Hood (and it’s McCarthy-era fleeing writers), Sir Walter Scott‘s portrayal of Hood as a kind of proto-socialist, the Roger Lancelyn Green version, as well as the scholarly historical possibilities as dug up by J.C. Holt. Thorpe seems to have also taken equal inspiration for Hodd from the monsters of 20th century politics. Wachtel is one of the finest interviewers on radio.

As is quite typical with my consumption of the CBC’s Writers And Company podcast, I was listening to an older (dropped from the feed) episode. This means if you, just now, have subscribed to the official CBC feed you wouldn’t be find it available at all. But, thanks to some skillful web-fu, I’ve sussed out the still available (though hidden) |MP3|. Enjoy!

Here’s the first episode of The Adventures of Robin Hood Ep. 01 (The Coming Of Robin Hood):And here’s the trailer for the upcoming Ridley Scott version of Robin Hood:

Posted by Jesse Willis

P.S. J. Michael Straczynski’s radio drama series The Adventures Of Apocalypse Al is still being suppressed by CBC Radio. What a pity!

Commentary: Sir Walter Scott’s Ivanhoe

SFFaudio Commentary

Speaking of Sir Walter Scott and Ivanhoe… I’ve been much into Sir Walter Scott’s Ivanhoe over the last six months. I’ve watched three different video adaptations. One was a theatrical version from the 1950s, one was a TV movie from the early 80s and one a TV miniseries from just a few years ago. I am currently re-reading the black and white comic book adaptation by Pocket Classics and I’ve also snagged the audiobook from LibriVox.

LIBRIVOX - Ivanhoe by Sir Walter ScottIvanhoe
By Sir Walter Scott; Read by various
44 Zipped MP3 Files or Podcast – Approx. 19 Hours 25 Minutes [UNABRIDGED]
Publisher: LibriVox.org
Published: June 09, 2009
The fortunes of the son of a noble Saxon family in Norman England as he woos his lady, disobeys his father, and is loved by another. Set in late 12C England and in Palestine with Richard Cœur-de-Lion at the Crusades.

Podcast feed: http://librivox.org/bookfeeds/ivanhoe-by-sir-walter-scott.xml

iTunes 1-Click |SUBSCRIBE|

[Thanks also to Annise and Snemand]

Besides being a rollicking adventure, a heartfelt romance, a rough history lesson and a plea for peace between Christians and Jews, Ivanhoe is also a series of fun etymological English lessons. Consider, the first few sentences of the novel’s dialogue. Ivanhoe begins with a conversation between two Saxon slaves:

“The swine turned Normans to my comfort!” quoth Gurth; “expound that to me, Wamba, for my brain is too dull, and my mind too vexed, to read riddles.”

“Why, how call you those grunting brutes running about on their four legs?” demanded Wamba.

“Swine, fool, swine,” said the herd, “every fool knows that.”

“And swine is good Saxon,” said the Jester; “but how call you the sow when she is flayed, and drawn, and quartered, and hung up by the heels, like a traitor?”

“Pork,” answered the swine-herd.

“I am very glad every fool knows that too,” said Wamba, “and pork, I think, is good Norman-French; and so when the brute lives, and is in the charge of a Saxon slave, she goes by her Saxon name; but becomes a Norman, and is called pork, when she is carried to the Castle-hall to feast among the nobles; what dost thou think of this, friend Gurth, ha?”

Above Gurth (the fool) explains to Wamba (the swineherd) the logic behind calling meat that’s still on the hoof and meat that’s on the table by two different English words. “Swine” is the Saxon word for pig and “porc” [pork] is the Norman [French] word for pig. Soon after this scene these two Saxon slaves are confronted by troupe of Norman knights who proceed to turn one of Wamba’s Saxon swine into proper Norman pork.

The novel features plenty of back and forth. Indeed the more I think about it, the more I think classic Doctor Who took it’s pacing from Ivanhoe what with folks: being kidnapped, ransomed, dressing in disguise, falling in love with their enemies, forgiving each other, and fighting in chivalric combat. There are plenty of villains too. With an unforgiving father, a witch-smelling warrior-priest [those pesky Knights Templar], an ignoble Norman nobleman (who redeems himself in the end), a kvetching Jew and his fetching Jewess daughter. Yeah, I love this story!

Here’s a cross section of the different audiobook versions of this influential 19th century novel:

Dove Audio - Ivanhoe by Sir Walter ScottIvanhoe
By Sir Walter Scott; Read by David Warner
4 Cassettes – Approx. 6 Hours [ABRIDGED]
Publisher: Dove Audio (NewStar Media)
Published: 1997
ISBN: 9780787110635

Naxos Audio - Ivanhoe by Sir Walter ScottIvanhoe
By Sir Walter Scott; Read by Jonathan Oliver
2 CDs – Approx. 2 Hours 39 Minutes [ABRIDGED]
Publisher: Naxos Audiobooks
Published: 1994
ISBN: 9626340258

Blackstone Audio - Ivanhoe by Sir Walter ScottIvanhoe
By Sir Walter Scott; Read by Frederick Davidson
14 Cassettes – Approx. 20.4 Hours [UNABRIDGED]
Publisher: Blackstone Audio
Published: 1998
ISBN: 9780786195718

Ivanhoe [Parts 1 and 2]
By Sir Walter Scott; Read by Jim Killavey
14 Cassettes – Approx. 21 Hours [UNABRIDGED]
Publisher: Books On Tape / Jimcin Editions
Published: 1986
ISBN: 9780786195718

Brilliance Audio - Ivanhoe by Sir Walter ScottIvanhoe
By Sir Walter Scott; Read by Michael Page
CDs or MP3-CD – Approx. Hours [UNABRIDGED]
Publisher: Brilliance Audio
Published: 2005
ISBN: 9781597370097 (cd), 1597370118 (mp3-cd)

HarperCollons Audio - Ivanhoe by Sir Walter ScottIvanhoe
By Sir Walter Scott; Read by
Brian Cox
2 Cassettes – Approx. 3 Hours 7 Minutes [ABRIDGED]
Publisher: HarperCollins Audio
Published: 1992, 1996
ISBN: 0001049283

Ivanhoe And The Lists Of Ashby
By Sir Walter Scott; Read by Doughlas Fairbanks Jr.
2 33 1/3 RPM LP Records – [ABRIDGED]
Publisher: Caedmon
Published: 1977

Highbridge Audio - Ivanhoe by Sir Walter ScottIvanhoe
By Sir Walter Scott; Read by Ronald Pickup
2 Cassettes – [ABRIDGED]
Publisher: HighBridge Audio
Published: 1997
ISBN: 1565112113

And here’s a peek at the Pocket Classics edition (ISBN: 0883017393):

POCKET CLASSICS - Ivanhoe Pages 6 and 7

I wonder why there isn’t an audio drama version.

Posted by Jesse Willis

Sir Walter Scott Prize

SFFaudio News

Ivanhoe by Sir Walter ScottA neat story from The Guardian this morning:

He is seen as the father of the historical novel, so it’s perhaps only fitting that a new literary prize honouring the genre is to be launched in the name of Sir Walter Scott.

The £25,000 award is being set up by the Duke and Duchess of Buccleuch, whose ancestors were closely linked to Scott. They hope the award will help to “properly honour” the author’s “immense achievements”, and “place as one of the world’s most influential novelists”.

Find the whole story |HERE|.

I recall an attempted read of Ivanhoe when I was but a wee man. A quick search for some Sir Walter Scott audio shows that Librivox is on the case.

Posted by Scott D. Danielson

Naxos Audiobooks: essays from A UNIVERSE OF BOOKS

SFFaudio Online Audio

Naxos AudiobooksNaxos Audiobooks produces quite a few abridged novels. I’m not a fan of that. But I am a fan about pretty much everything else they do – including the fact that they pick excellent narrators and research their subject, books, extremely well.

Take for example these AMAZING essays that Naxos has commissioned. All come from a book called:

A Universe of Books: Readings in World Literature by Peter Whitfield

They are both highly informative and brilliantly written. Have a listen for yourself…

Bram Stoker’s Dracula |MP3|

Dante’s Divine Comedy |MP3|

Sir Walter Scott’s Ivanhoe |MP3|

Homer’s Odyssey |MP3|

James Boswell’s The Life of Samuel Johnson |MP3|

The rest of the essays, on books (not yet) under discussion here on SFFaudio.com, can be found HERE.

Posted by Jesse Willis