From the moment pub landlord and keen amateur entomologist, Arnold Matson, arrives in Blinkington-on-the-Treacle to take over his new hostelry, the listener is guided superbly by one of Britain’s best-loved actresses, Prunella Scales, as she introduces local characters and intimately narrates her way through a colourful collection of vignettes and poignant flashbacks that are both comically funny and disturbingly familiar.
Set in an imaginary backwater village, Dandruff dips delightfully into the intricacies and miniscule absurdities of everyday life. Author John Mayfield’s world blends originality with an amalgamation of Dylan Thomas, P. G. Wodehouse, G. K. Chesterton and Alan Bennett, and can accurately be described as ‘kite flying for the imagination’.
John Mayfield was born in Sheffield, South Yorkshire and worked on over 2,000 audiobooks as a sound engineer and director in London for 10 years before moving to Ireland ‘to meet myself.’ He returned to the UK to form an Internet Radio Station dedicated to spoken word and, despite the fact he has written since the age of five, Dandruff on the Turtleneck is his first audio release.
Prunella Scales is most warmly remembered for her role as Sybil in John Cleese’s classic Fawlty Towers, but her exceptional talent has created many other highly regarded roles in film, TV, and theatre
I selected "Dandruff" because it is narrated by Prunella Scales (I could listen to her forever!) I questioned whether a book of less than one hour would be worth purchasing. The answer is YES! Humor in every line, characters one can love (even the Rev Colin Wheatchief). A delight from start to finish. I've listened at least 5 times and catch a clever line each time which I missed the time before. I highly (and I emphasize "highly") recommend this for any listener who enjoys English humor, quaint backwater villages and fun, fun, fun!
Dandruff Hits the Turtleneck by John Mayfield is nothing like I expected it to be. For starters, there is very little dandruff involved even though the title might seem to suggest otherwise. What there is, however, is an engaging monologue narrated by the extremely adept Prunella Scales. The story transports listeners to the town of Blinkington-on-the-Treacle, a name worthy of the eccentric residents who populate it. Scales entices listeners with vivid descriptions of notable characters such as Arnold Matson, a pro-insect type who has re-opened the town's local watering hole, and Reginald Frimpton, a man who writes confounding mysteries under the tantalizing pseudonym, Felicity Grayling. The backstory for Frimpton is no doubt a real hum-dinger.
Mayfield deftly illustrates how many of the defining moments in life are hatched from seemingly innocuous events. One minute, listeners are dabbling in the joys of a sun lit pub where Matson is regaling customers with tales of intrigue involving the most lowly of insects. In a seamless transition, the story dashes back in time to focus on a young boy who loses his innocence but finds his heart. It's remarkable, really. Most authors could never pull this off. Mayfield's crafting of words fused with humor and sentimentality make this a truly compelling audio book. As for Prunella Scales, her narration skills are such that she could recite a grocery list and have it come off as thoroughly captivating.
I give Dandruff Hits the Turtleneck 5 out of 5 stars. I can't wait to hear what Mayfield produces next.