Neil Gaiman's "Chivalry" performed by Christina Pickles. A delicious tale of an elderly British matron who buys the Holy Grail at a rummage sale.
Selected Shorts is a weekly public radio show broadcast on over 130 stations to about 300,000 listeners. It is produced by Symphony Space and WNYC RADIO and distributed by Public Radio International. The radio show is recorded live at the popular New York City stage show, which began in 1985 and still enjoys sell-out audiences today at the Peter Sharp Theater at Symphony Space on Broadway and 95th Street in New York City. Selected Shorts is one of the premiere reading series in New York City. The Selected Shorts podcast consistently ranks as one of the most popular podcasts on iTunes.
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Chivalry by Neil Gaiman is a short story about a modern day English widow who comes into possession of the Holy Grail. She is lobbied by the legendary knight Sir Galahad to first give and then subsequently trade for the Grail. In classic British "unflappableness," the woman carries on perfectly normal conversations with him and ends up putting him to work in her garden and attic. While she eventually relents to his entreaties, she refuses the biggest prize in deference to the memory of her deceased husband and proper English sensibilities.
The style is typical Gaiman with an extensive smorgasbord of classic mythology, stereotypical behavior, and quirky juxtaposition, all told in a light, free flowing, and humorous manner.
The narration is exceptionally well done with not only an excellent range of voices, but the timing, delivery, and nuanced manner is perfect for the comedic aspects. Of note, this is a performance done with a live audience.
I've listened to this story numerous times. It is funny, sweet and quirky all at once. I enjoy the juxtaposition of the mundane and fanciful. I also enjoy Ms Pickles smooth voice and phrasing.
Good Omens was my second Neil Gaiman book (Don't Panic was first). This story seems to have a bit of Terry Pratchett hovering in the background, and that makes me smile.
"a magical short story"
the plot and the main character were just so natural - this could have been my granny
The very end scene when she returns to the charity shop for another purchase
Neil Gaiman's obviously had a lot of fun writing this small piece, and that fun is contagious. Helped by Christina Pickles's priceless delivery, that story of an old lady picking up the Holy Grail for a few pence at Oxfam packs tons of humour and emotion in 27 short minutes. Being more of a "laughing inside" audience, I found myself chuckling like an idiot with my earphones on. Highly recommended.
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