When Barry Fairweather dies unexpectedly in his early 40s, the little town of Pagford is left in shock. Pagford is, seemingly, an English idyll, with a cobbled market square and an ancient abbey, but what lies behind the pretty façade is a town at war. Rich at war with poor, teenagers at war with their parents, wives at war with their husbands, teachers at war with their pupils.... Pagford is not what it at first seems. And the empty seat left by Barry on the town's council soon becomes the catalyst for the biggest war the town has yet seen.
"I was surprised by how much I liked it"
A vicious 15-year-old droog is the central character of this 1963 classic, a frightening fable about good and evil, and the meaning of human freedom. In Anthony Burgess' nightmare vision of the future, where the criminals take over after dark, the story is told by the central character, Alex, who talks in a brutal invented slang that brilliantly renders his and his friends' social pathology.
"Great book, great narration, but not for everyone"
Twelve BBC Radio 4 full-cast dramatisations of short stories by the Queen of Crime.
"Too Little Provided"
In this 1962 classic, a novelistic exploration of modern crime and punishment, Alex is the 15-year-old leader of his gang of "droogs" thriving in the ultraviolent future as prophetically imagined by Burgess. Speaking a bizarre Russian-derived slang, Alex and his friends freely pillage and slash their way across a nightmarish urban landscape until Alex is captured by the judicial arm of the state. He then becomes their prized guinea pig in a scientific program to completely "redeem" him for society.
"An Ecclectic Classic"
When Barry Fairbrother dies in his early 40s, the town of Pagford is left in shock. Pagford is, seemingly, an English idyll, with a cobbled market square and an ancient abbey, but what lies behind the pretty facade is a town at war. Rich at war with poor, teenagers at war with their parents, wives at war with their husbands, teachers at war with their pupils.... Pagford is not what it first seems. And the empty seat left by Barry on the parish council soon becomes the catalyst for the biggest war the town has yet seen.
"Don't have expectations!"
'Who is Cityboy? He's every brash, suited, FT-carrying idiot who ever pushed past you on the tube. He's the egotistical buffoon who loudly brags about how much cash he's made on the market at otherwise pleasant dinner parties. He's the greedy, ruthless wanker whose actions are helping turn this world into the shit-hole it's rapidly becoming. For one period in my life, he was me.'
"Insightful and entertaining"
Conrad is young, good at heart, and yet is apparently suffering from the effects of such bad karma that there is nothing in his future but terrible things. Unless he can alter his circumstances – well, quite frankly, he is DOOMED. Conrad is sent in disguise to Stallery Mansion, to infiltrate the magical fortress that has power over the whole town of Stallchester, and to discover the identity of the person who is affecting his Fate so badly. Then he has to kill that person. But can any plan really be that simple and straightforward?
"Delightful time spent with Conrad and Chrestomanci"
A BBC Radio 4 fictional dramatisation of Léon Theremin’s espionage work in the lead up to the Cold War, written by Melissa Murray. Theremin was originally broadcast as the ‘Saturday Play’ on 3 January 2009 and repeated on 9 October 2010.Léon Theremin, gifted inventor and reluctant spy, is forced to find a way to bug the US Embassy in London. Now he has to save himself and his former lover from both the CIA and the KGB. Starring Tom Hollander as Theremin and Kate Ashfield as Alex.
"An imaginary story of a Russian inventor & spy"
1527. While the Papal city of Rome burns, brutally sacked by an invading army including Protestant heretics, two of her most interesting and wily citizens slip away, their stomachs churning on the jewels they have swallowed as the enemy breaks down their doors.
As a boy, Daniel Rooke was always an outsider. At school he learned to hide his clever thoughts from his cruel peers; at home his parents were bemused by their bookish son. Daniel could only hope - against all the evidence - that he would one day find his place in life. By 1788, Daniel has become Lieutenant Rooke, astronomer with the First Fleet as it lands on the unknown shores of New South Wales.