The Friend of the Family by Fyodor Dostoyevsky

 

http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b04fxy8d

BBC description: 4 Extra Debut. Russia, 1859. Chaos in the manor of Stephanchikovo when an ex-sergeant acts as arbiter of morals and taste. Stars David Suchet.

Drink a bottle of vodka and you can talk in any language you like!

Clive Merison and Davis Suchet excel in this written-as-a-play short story.

Halfway To Hollywood: Diaries 1980 to 1988 (Palin Diaries, #2) by Michael Palin

bookshelves: summer-2014, nonfiction, amusing, epistolatory-diary-blog, published-2009, radio-4x

Read from July 22 to 28, 2014

 

R4x

http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b01q9d5c

After listening to the first book of his diaries, it is lovely that R4x is continuing on.

1/5 Recalling his frenetic 1980s, Michael Palin tells of Monty Python, challenging railway journeys and his daughter starting school.

2/5 Michael Palin recalls bedroom frolics in The Missionary and confusion at an ear specialist

3/5 Michael’s mum making it big in America, grappling with a pig in ‘A Private Function’ and a crucial meeting with George Harrison.

4/5 Recalling the 1980s, Michael Palin shares fond recollections of his sister Angela and the germ of A Fish Called Wanda.

5/5 Lots of kissing, the rushes look good, and a career swerve into world travel beckons. Michael Palin concludes his memoirs.

4* Around the World in 80 Days
3* Diaries: The Python Years, 1969-1979 (Palin Diaries, #1)
3* Pole to Pole
2* Hemingway’s Chair
3* Halfway To Hollywood: Diaries 1980 to 1988 (Palin Diaries, #2)
1* The Truth

Firefly Summer by Maeve Binchy

bookshelves: britain-ireland, lifestyles-deathstyles, summer-2014, published-1987, play-dramatisation, radio-4x, flufferoonies, gambling, filthy-lucre, fradio, period-piece

Recommended for: BBC Radio Listeners
Read from July 12 to 22, 2014


Description: Kate and John Ryan have four children, of whom the eldest are Michael and Dara. Their small town is peaceful and friendly, an unchanging background for a golden childhood. In long, hot summers Michael and Dara and their friends fish and swim or play in the ivy-clad ruins of Fernscourt, the great house burned down during the Troubles…

No one in Mountfern has the slightest inkling of what it will mean when the ruins are bought by Patrick O’Neill, an Irish American with a dream in his heart and a great deal of money in his pocket. It is not until the very end of this drama, with its interlocking stories of love lost and won, ambitions nurtured and secrets betrayed, that Patrick O’Neill will understand the irony and the significance of his great dream for Mountfern.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b007jnq4

1/6 Mountfern is a quiet Irish village, until the arrival of ambitious American Patrick O’Neil. Stars David Soul and Anna Healy.

2/6 Can American Patrick O’Neil win support for his plans for the Irish village of Mountfern?

3/6 Patrick O’Neil’s plans for a new hotel in the village of Mountfern face a terrible setback

4/6 Patrick O’Neil’s plans for a new hotel in Mountfern turn sour after Kate’s terrible accident.

5/6 Patrick O’Neill’s new hotel in Mountfern is nearly finished but the legacy of Kate’s accident lingers.

6/6 O’Neill’s new hotel is due to open, but his son’s recklessness may ruin everything.

3* Tara Road
3* Firefly Summer
4* No Nightingales, No Snakes

Haphazard House by Mary Wesley

bookshelves: under-50-ratings, kiddlewinks, play-dramatisation, published-1983, radio-4x, art-forms, summer-2014, britain-england, families, fradio, games-people-play, gambling, amusing, adventure, ghosties-ghoulies, devon

Recommended to ☯Bettie☯ by: R4x
Recommended for: BBC Radio Listeners
Read from July 04 to 22, 2014

 

R4x

http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b048ndny

Description: When eleven-year-old Lisa Fuller and her younger brother Josh buy a house in the country with their winnings from a horse race, their whole family encounters strange and wonderful chaos in their new home.

Episode 1:Impoverished and desperate, Pa Fuller’s reckless bet and acquisition of a panama hat changes all. Starring James Nickerson.

Episode 2: The Fullers and friends move into their new abode and soon find it a source of joy and ominous mystery.

The Fullers and friends are imperilled and beguiled in equal measure, as well as adrift in time.

‘If you want to get ahead, get a hat’, runs the adage, and in this story runs along with the idea that Papa’s new Panama is magic. This story was long before the Potteresque choosing hat. Charming story. Three hattips.

The Mumbai Chuzzlewits

bookshelves: summer-2014, play-dramatisation, published-2012, fanfic-writeback, roman-catholic, india, radio-4x, fradio, filthy-lucre

Recommended for: BBC Radio Listeners
Read from July 12 to 22, 2014

 

http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b018w867

Description: Sony award-winning writer Ayeesha Menon reworks Charles Dickens ‘Martin Chuzzlewit’ and sets it amongst the Catholic community in modern-day Mumbai, India.

Convinced his relatives are after his money, miserly old recluse Martin Chuzzlewit (Roshan Seth), adopts orphan girl, Mary (Nimrat Kaur), to be his carer. As she will inherit nothing upon his death, he believes she will do her utmost to keep him in good health. But when his grandson Mickey (Zafar Karachiwala) falls in love with her, Martin’s plans are thrown into disarray. Disinheriting him, Martin triggers a complex web of deceit, betrayal and manipulation as the extended family and hangers-on close in, in pursuit of his fortune.

Told from the point of view of orphan Thomas (Karan Pandit), an observer into the world of the Chuzzlewits, this is a fast-paced drama full of intrigue, romance, suspense and murder…

Thomas, an orphan, is apprentice to the scheming architect Pinto, a cousin to miserly old Martin Chuzzlewit, the richest landlord in Bandra. Drawn into the world of the Chuzzlewits, he forms a close friendship with the spirited Mickey, grandson of Martin and heir to the family fortune. When old Martin gets ill, Thomas witnesses attempts by family members to worm their way into his life and secure his fortune, while Mickey gives up everything in pursuit of love…

Ayeesha Menon is an award-winning writer who works extensively in film and radio. For BBC Radio 4 she has written several outstanding adaptations including: Q & A (Slumdog Millionaire) which won Gold for Best Drama at the Sony Radio Academy Awards; THE Cairo Trilogy, starring Omar Sharif, which won a Bronze at the Sony Awards; My Name is Red from the novel by Orhan Pamuk; and Six Suspects from the novel by Vikas Swarup.

Cast:
Martin ….. Roshan Seth
Thomas ….. Karan Pandit
Mickey ….. Zafar Karachiwala
Pinto ….. Rajit Kapur
Mercy ….. Preetika Chawla
Charity ….. Ayeesha Menon
Anthony ….. Sohrab Ardeshir
Joseph ….. Nadir Khan
Mary ….. Nimrat Kaur
Mrs. Gomes ….. Radhika Mital
Louis ….. Rohit Malkani
Doctor ….. Shernaz Patel
Monty ….. Arghya Lahiri
Manek ….. Vivek Madan
Young Mickey ….. Zaal Madon
Young Thomas ….. Nominath Ginsburg
Sound Recordist: Ayush Ahuja
Sound Design: David Chilton
Music: Sacha Puttnam
Producer and Casting: Nadir Khan
Producer: John Dryden
A Goldhawk Essential Production for BBC Radio 4

1/3 Orphan Thomas befriends Mickey, grandson and heir of rich old miser Martin Chuzzlewit.

2/3 Disinherited by his grandfather, Mickey escapes India to try and make his fortune in Dubai

3/3 Mickey returns to India, determined to marry Mary and prove himself to Martin.

Three tree-climbing boys.

4* Undercover Mumbai
2.5* Q & A (think Slumdog Millionaire)
3* The Mumbai Chuzzlewits

Diaries: The Python Years, 1969-1979

bookshelves: radio-4x, summer-2014, published-2006, amusing, epistolatory-diary-blog, autobiography-memoir, britain-scotland, nonfiction

Recommended for: BBC Radio Listeners
Read from July 12 to 18, 2014

He has such a lovely face.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b00n46wt

Description: “Michael Palin is not just one of Britain’s foremost comedy character actors, he also talks a lot. Yap, yap, yap he goes, all day long and through the night . . . then, some nights, when everyone else has gone to bed, he goes home and writes up a diary.” –John Cleese
“For Palin it has been one hell of a ride, but he seems to have maintained equilibrium all along the way. . . . In sum, it’s tempting to call him a Renaissance Man. But that, as any Pythonite would be quick to tell you, would be silly.” –Jonathan Yardley, “The Washington Post Book World”
Michael Palin has kept a diary since he was newly married in the late 1960s, when he was beginning to make a name for himself as a TV scriptwriter, and Monty Python was just around the corner.
This volume of his diaries reveals how Python emerged and triumphed, how he, John Cleese, Graham Chapman, the two Terrys–Jones and Gilliam–and Eric Idle came together and changed the face of British comedy. But this is but only part of Palin’s story. Here too is his growing family, his home in a north London Victorian terrace, his solo effort as an actor,” ” and his writing endeavours (often in partnership with Terry Jones) that produce “Ripping Yarns” and even a pantomime.
Meanwhile, Monty Python refuses to go away: his account of the making of both “The Holy Grail” and the “Life of Brian” movies are page-turners, and the sometimes extraordinary goings-on of the many powerful personalities who coalesced to form the Python team makes for funny and riveting reading.

Episode 1: The Monty Python star recalls the influential comedy troupe’s huge success in the 70s and the making of their first film.

2/5 Recalling the Python team’s success in America and the start of their own solo projects.

3/5 The comic actor and travel writer reflects on his relationship with his ailing dad.

4/5 The comic actor shares his surreal experience of guest hosting a big American TV show.

5/5 The actor and writer recalls how the influential comedy group reconvened in 1977.

Magnolia Blossom (BBC Radio Drama) by Agatha Christie

bookshelves: summer-2014, mystery-thriller, shortstory-shortstories-novellas, filthy-lucre, fradio, radio-4x

Recommended to ☯Bettie☯ by: Laura
Read on June 29, 2014

 

http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b00jzckt

Description: Theo is determined to seek happiness with her husband’s business rival, Vincent. Having fled London for Paris, however, she soon learns of Richard’s financial collapse – and discovers that rather more than just his job is at stake.

An old short story given a contemporary twist. Gordon Ramsay, ORLY? Not worth more than three daffy ducks.

Matisse the Master: The Conquest of Colour, 1909-1954

bookshelves: published-2005, under-500-ratings, radio-4x, summer-2014, biography, art-forms, nonfiction

Recommended for: BBC Radio Listeners
Read from June 13 to 20, 2014


R4x

http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b0076r2v

Description: “If my story were ever to be written down truthfully from start to finish, it would amaze everyone,” wrote Henri Matisse. It is hard to believe today that Matisse, whose exhibitions draw huge crowds worldwide, was once almost universally reviled and ridiculed. His response was neither to protest nor to retreat; he simply pushed on from one innovation to the next, and left the world to draw its own conclusions. Unfortunately, these were generally false and often damaging. Throughout his life and afterward people fantasized about his models and circulated baseless fabrications about his private life.

Fifty years after his death, Matisse the Master (the second half of the biography that began with the acclaimed The Unknown Matisse) shows us the painter as he saw himself. With unprecedented and unrestricted access to his voluminous family correspondence, and other new material in private archives, Hilary Spurling documents a lifetime of desperation and self-doubt exacerbated by Matisse’s attempts to counteract the violence and disruption of the twentieth century in paintings that now seem effortlessly serene, radiant, and stable.
Here for the first time is the truth about Matisse’s models, especially two Russians: his pupil Olga Meerson and the extraordinary Lydia Delectorskaya, who became his studio manager, secretary, and companion in the last two decades of his life.
But every woman who played an important part in Matisse’s life was remarkable in her own right, not least his beloved daughter Marguerite, whose honesty and courage surmounted all ordeals, including interrogation and torture by the Gestapo in the Second World War.

If you have ever wondered how anyone with such a tame public image as Matisse could have painted such rich, powerful, mysteriously moving pictures, let alone produced the radical cut-paper and stained-glass inventions of his last years, here is the answer. They were made by the real Matisse, whose true story has been written down at last from start to finish by his first biographer, Hilary Spurling.

Episode 1: 1909, and Henri Matisse’s critics call his paintings monstrous. Can he find support? Eleanor Bron reads.

Episode 2: 1914, and with his family scattered across France, Matisse expresses the horror and uncertainty of the First World War in his art.

Episode 3: 1930, and Henri Matisse’s painting is dramatically influenced by his visits to New York and Tahiti.

Episode 4: 1938, and now in his 60s, Henri Matisse’s art must endure personal upheaval as war looms.

Episode 5: Post-1945, Matisse applies his extraordinary scissor and paper technique to the design of the interior of the chapel at Vence.

4* Matisse the Master: The Conquest of Colour, 1909-1954
4* Pearl Buck in China

Grigorii Efimovich Rasputin – Almost the Truth by Wally K. Daly

bookshelves: summer-2014, play-dramatisation, slavic, fradio, published-2007, radio-4x

Recommended for: BBC Radio Listeners
Read from June 07 to 15, 2014


http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b007wvcq

Wally K Daly’s dramatic portrait of ‘the mad monk’ and his evil influence on the Russian Royal family. Stars Robert Glenister.

2* Whistling Wally’s Son
3* Grigorii Efimovich Rasputin
2* Orphans in Waiting

Bears Of England by Mick Jackson

bookshelves: shortstory-shortstories-novellas, radio-4x, fantasy, summer-2014, britain-england, doo-lally, mythology, under-50-ratings, noir

Recommended for: BBC Radio Listeners
Read from June 06 to 12, 2014


http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b00lgfqr

Three eccentric stories from this collection by Mick Jackson, which mix fantasy with folk tale and myth with history. Read by Ian Holm

Episode 1: In the days before electric light and oil lamps most of England was troubled by spirit bears. But one village believed itself to be victim to an especially wicked gang and sought to find an answer.

Episode 2: The circus bears are deeply disgruntled at the extra risks being incorporated into their performance, and things come to a head at the annual circus convention in Bristol.

Episode 3: In the 19th century, under London’s streets, several bears are sorting the city’s effluent.

Every sewer bears the name of the street above!