Monday, February 12, 2007


Today, for a change, Amy and I decided on some drama for our walk instead of our usual diet of podcast news. I therefore searched the BBC site for something to record and listed to and - in the context of what must be a slow week for radio drama - hit on the first five episodes of a dramatisation of The Observations by Jane Richards. Whilst reading a book takes a conscious effort and requires time to be set aside for the task, listening to a dramatisation is perfect for multi-tasking and therefore you can be more adventurous with your choice of subject. As a book I probably wouldn't have chosen "The Observations", as a dramatisation in 10 15 minute episodes it seemed worth a try.

And here is where I should say what a wonderful find it was and how I should foster my adventurous spirit. The book seems to have all the right qualifications - it received glowing reviews and became a substantial publishing hit even before it saw the light of day (This may sound like a curious contradiction but it is not in the context of the current publishing industry where a handful of publishers and supermarket buyers decide which books will be mega-hits even before the printers ink is dry).

My observations on The Observations are that it was shallow, formulaic, trite and astonishingly boring. I suppose you could say it is the dramatisation which has spoilt it, but so many of the problems are with the basic story. It's of the "add a dash of childhood prostitution, a sliver of ghosts, a taste of class consciousness and mix together with a couple of pounds of historical colour" variety. Luckily I only recorded the first five episodes, It is back to Channel 4 news tomorrow.


  1. Have you abandoed the trip to rhe states, or have you lost the zest ,as many have for the american dream.

  2. Dear Sentinel,
    No I have not abandoned my (virtual) trip to the States. Today Amy and I arrived at Solromar which is on the coast between Malibu and Oxnard. Our journey can be followed on the Fat Dog To Big Apple Blog (I have added a link).


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