Fri, 28 October 2011
She's a pre-feminist action hero, a serious contender for the hardest secret agent around, and she's a cartoon strip turned into a series of novels. Modesty Blaise predates Lara Croft and Emma Peel, and could beat them hollow: she could probably sort out Bond as well. She's the original fighting machine, performing in breathtakingly exciting capers, dripping with 1960s confidence and down to earth simplicity. For readers who prefer their reading pleasure as a vin ordinaire rather than any nonsense about shaking and stirring.
Direct download: Peter_ODonnell_and_Modesty_Blaise.mp3
Category:thrills and spills -- posted at: 1:30am CET
Fri, 21 October 2011
Waves, wind, puffins, sheep, tumbled stones, wet grass and rats underfoot in the house when they think they can get away with it. Welcome to the Shiant Isles, which have been sitting between Lewis and mainland Scotland for millennia. The history of these lumps of rock has been put together by Adam Nicolson in Sea-Room, in a tumble of personal story and archaeological finds. Thousands of sea-birds live on the rocks in the summer, no-one lives on the islands in winter except sheep. Fishermen come and go, and the rats keep coming back. The islands mean a great many things to the people who go there, and even more to those who died there. For those who like to read about wild weather and the remoter parts of Britain with their feet dry and the door shut.
Direct download: Adam_Nicolson_and_Sea-Room.mp3
Category:the great outdoors -- posted at: 1:30am CET
Fri, 14 October 2011
One of the great satires of the 1930s, in which a Scotsman wanders through English society after the First World War, and marvels at the English and their ways. A G Macdonell was laughing at his own society too, since he was a journalist and a literary critic in the world he parodied. He is one of the great forgotten comic writers of the interwar years, and England, Their England was his masterpiece. If you enjoy reading about cricket, like to see modernism mocked, and take pleasure in the English gentleman revealed in all his stuffed shirt glory, this book is for you.
Direct download: A_G_Macdonell_and_England_Their_England.mp3
Category:people-watching -- posted at: 1:30am CET
Fri, 7 October 2011
One day, the other planets came to earth to deal with the evil that lurked within our own. Lewis finished his science-fiction trilogy with a hard-edged satire on university politics, mixed with spiritual warfare. Mark the half-hearted gives in to political persuasion of the wrong kind. Jane the resolute refuses to believe in God but falls in love instead. Mr Bultitude the bear finds something deliciously hot, bloody and crunchy to eat. Merlin is woken for his Dark Ages magic, which brings chaos to the right places, and evil is crushed. It's stronger stuff than Narnia. For those who want more moral oomph from fantasy fiction.
Direct download: C_S_Lewis_and_That_Hideous_Strength.mp3
Category:fantastical -- posted at: 1:00am CET