War & Peace: Leo Tolstoy

warpeaceFor Radio 4 enthusiasts, New Year’s Day was either a great day in the listening calendar, or it was a great let down. But I was intrigued. The BBC were doing something very daring. The longest novel in the Russian language was adapted as a radio play (all 560,000 words of it), and all ten 1 hour episodes were broadcast as a continuous sequence, interrupted only by a five minute news bulletin on the hour.

In other words, you could sit down at 9am and, if you had the stamina, stay with it until 8pm in the evening. I was sorely tempted. I listened to the first hour to find out if it was worth the endurance effort, decided Iwar and peace.jpg book would see it through……but not all on the same day.

Ah, the wonders of “playback radio”. So to cut a long saga short, on January 10th, I listened to the last episode and, even though it was hard throughout trying to keep track of the myriad characters, it was a relatively painless way of appreciating the (exceeding) length and breadth of this iconic piece of literature.

If you are intrigued, click here: http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b04w82wf

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About Frank Burns

Looking for the extraordinary in the commonplace………taking the road less travelled……..striving for the ‘faculty of making happy chance discoveries’ in unremarkable circumstances. Click on the Personal Link below to visit my webpages.

Posted on January 10, 2015, in Book reviews and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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