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Primo Levi's The Periodic Table  By  cover art

Primo Levi's The Periodic Table

By: Primo Levi,Graham White
Narrated by: Ben Crowe,Akbar Kurtha,Henry Goodman,Paul Copley,full cast,Evie Killip,Janet Suzman
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Publisher's Summary

Scientist, resistance fighter and Holocaust survivor Primo Levi was one of Italy's greatest writers and an internationally renowned chronicler of human nature. In his masterpiece The Periodic Table, he charts his incredible life story through the medium of chemistry, using the titular list of elements - the building blocks of everything - as a prism to explore his experiences and search his soul.

In this superlative BBC adaptation, all 21 of the peerless stories in Levi's memoir are incorporated into 11 radio episodes, comprising both compelling dramatisations (starring Henry Goodman as the older Primo and Akbar Kurtha as his younger self) and eloquent readings by Paul Copley, Ben Crowe, Evie Killip and Henry Goodman. The chapters are preceded by a short introductory feature by Janet Suzman, discussing Levi's life and writing and featuring archive interviews with Levi himself.

We hear of Levi's student days in Fascist Italy, his battles as a partisan, his imprisonment in Auschwitz, his subsequent career as a professional chemist and his imagined meeting with his Piedmontese ancestors - as well as his job in a paint factory in the 1960s and an unsettling encounter with his past. Alongside these autobiographical meditations are fabulous fictional tales of a European prospector, a little girl enchanted by white paint, an 1820s captain living on a remote island with strange chemical properties and the incredible, centuries-long journey of a single carbon atom....

Named 'the best science book ever' by the Royal Institution of Great Britain, this astonishing compilation fuses autobiography and fantasy, science and emotion, to extraordinary effect. Vivid, powerful and breathtaking, it will surprise, amuse and move you, lingering in your imagination and changing the way you look at the world.

Written by Primo Levi

Dramatised by Graham White from the translation by Raymond Rosenthal

Introduced by Janet Suzman

Produced and directed by Emma Harding and Marc Beeby

Vanadium, Part 1

Older Primo - Henry Goodman

Cometto - John Rowe

Dr Muller - Erich Redman

Younger Primo - Akbar Kurtha

Lucia - Juliet Aubrey

Polish overseer - Chris Pavlo

Argon

Older Primo - Henry Goodman

Cesare - John Rowe

Jacob - David Horovitch

Moses - David Hounslow

Samuel - Sam Dale

Abigail - Jessica Turner

Zepora - Debra Baker

Sulphur

Read by Ben Crowe

Titanium

Read by Evie Killip

Lead

Read by Paul Copley

Mercury

Abrahams - Paul Hilton

Maggie - Amelia Lowdell

Hendrik - Nicholas Murchie

Willem - Leo Wan

Andrea - Chris Pavlo

Gaetano - George Watkins

Burton - Richard Pepple

Rebecca - Debra Baker

Woman - Katie Redford

Iron

Younger Primo - Akbar Kurtha

Older Primo - Henry Goodman

Enrico/Marchetti - Caolan McCarthy

Rina - Debra Baker

Lazzari - Sam Dale

Luca - Leo Wan

Giulia - Rebecca Hamilton

Caselli - Stephen Critchlow

Bettega - George Watkins

Rita - Katie Redford

Sandro - Andrew Rothney

Dallaporta - Richard Pepple

Antaeus - David Hounslow

Alida - Amelia Lowdell

Gold

Older Primo - Henry Goodman

Younger Primo - Akbar Kurtha

Vanda - Rebecca Hamilton

Silvio - Leo Wan

Lina - Evie Killip

Aldo - George Watkins

Militiaman 1/Prisoner - David Hounslow

Militiaman 2 - Caolan McCarthy

Fossa - Stephen Critchlow

Cagni - Nicholas Murchie

Cerium

Older Primo - Henry Goodman

Younger Primo - Akbar Kurtha

Alberto - Leo Wan

Guard - Erich Redman

Prisoner 1- David Hounslow

Prisoner 2 - Sam Dale

Arsenic and Silver

Older Primo - Henry Goodman

Younger Primo - Akbar Kurtha

Versino - Jessica Turner

Lentini - Nicholas Murchie

Bruni - David Horovitch

Cometto - John Rowe

Lucia - Juliet Aubrey

Gallery director/Emilio's father - Stephen Critchlow

Emilio - Caolan McCarthy

Farmer - David Hounslow

Customer - Ben Crowe

Bonino - Sam Dale

Gina - Rebecca Hamilton

Vanadium, Part 2

Older Primo - Henry Goodman

Younger Primo - Akbar Kurtha

Cometto - John Rowe

Dr Muller - Erich Redman

Lucia - Juliet Aubrey

Polish overseer - Chris Pavlo

Postwoman - Debra Baker

Carbon

Read by Henry Goodman

©2021 BBC Studios Distribution Ltd (P)2021 BBC Studios Distribution Ltd

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A Most Beautiful Book Masterfully Performed and Read

This is a must read, speaking eloquently of humanity and our relation to the source of life, to nature, weaving beautifully stories of science and the mystery of life that keeps of keeping on, through its dark and light spaces. Highly recommended!