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So usually we listen to one narrator reading a story. Occasionally Audible puts out selections that were programmed to be heard as a play (often originally done for radio, but I don’t know if that’s the case here). This is recent, and a full cast production of a short mystery, starring Bill Nighy, Suzanne Burden and Jon Glover.
The story itself is short, comedic, and ranks somewhere along the lines of a cozy, though not exactly that. Nighy plays a desperate out-of-work actor, Charles Paris, who seems to have a talent for exasperating everyone around him. He is given a role in a tv show billed as “Info-tainment.” He plays a man who was murdered, as it evolves into actual murder.
While I wouldn’t rave about the actual play, I would like to send my highest recommendations for the listening experience, just because the sound quality of this full cast recording was excellent. It is relatively new, not like some of the older radio broadcasts that have been reworked for listening. I was surprised at how nicely it played.
What made me want to find a cloth to bite down on in frustration, though, was that this is a 2 hour, 4 act play. And after every act, they laboriously had to go through all the music and credits (do they think we can’t remember for 30 minutes?). It was such an interruption. For serialized radio over days it would have made sense. For something most people would hear in one sitting, it is just annoying.
Anyway, everybody has stuff that gets under their skin, so just know to expect that, and enjoy. It’s rather a fun listen.
3 of 3 people found this review helpful
Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?
These BBC productions are funny, clever, tightly written and well-acted.
Did the plot keep you on the edge of your seat? How?
The plot is a bit far-fetched, but the cast's reaction to the situation is the true entertainment.
Have you listened to any of Bill Nighy’s other performances before? How does this one compare?
Nighy's take on Charles Paris is ideal.
Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?
These Charles Paris stories are like literary rice pudding--you could consume the whole batch in one sitting, but taking it in reasonable servings is probably the best bet. It lasts longer that way...
Any additional comments?
Grab these productions whenever they're on sale! That way, their value only pays more in dividends!
3 of 3 people found this review helpful
A superb BBC adaptation with a fantastic cast! Keep them coming they are really enjoyable!
I am a big fan of this series, and am very happy to say that this title maintains the high standards of previous episodes.
Charles has some TV work, in which he will be playing a missing person on behalf of a true crime re-enactment show. The show is being filmed in Brighton, and Charles will be staying in a posh hotel provided by the TV production company.
So far, so good; but of course this is Charles Paris, and no sooner has he completed his initial filming duties when a severed limb is found, and the tone of the show changes from missing person to potential murder hunt. Consequently, Charles needs to stay in Brighton for additional filming, and so he invites his long-suffering and semi-detached wife, Frances, to join him so that they can celebrate 35 years of ‘divorce avoidance’.
Of course, being Charles, he can’t resist poking his nose into the circumstances surrounding the discovery of the severed limb, and certain loose ends lead him to decide that further investigation is called for. This would be standard fare for regular readers, but in this case Charles is joined during his investigation by Frances, and their banter (always a highlight of the series) had me laughing out loud.
Script is, as ever, crisp and precise, with the usual excellent performances throughout.
If you are a fan of radio comedy, or simply have a car journey coming up, you are going to love this…