The Leopard

Brought up by a certain someone in a post talking about wanting to die under a lemon tree, thinking about his age (again!), being in Sicily, and loving a good story.

He always reels me in with his recommendations.

I used to listen to Radio 4 dramas a lot for a certain period. I still listen to the odd thing. There is a serial-based drama that has just started up again called Love In Recovery, about a group of people at a weekly AA group meeting.

I like the freedom radio dramas give you of being able to conjure up your own images and scenes. You can, quite literally, make your own film…paint your own characters exactly as you would want them (minus any vague descriptions of how a character looks to the novelist). The level of concentration for these is different to reading a book. I find it allows my imagery of things to be much more vivid.

This wasn’t a radio play but an abridged reading of the book. The way in which Alex Jennings read it was wonderful. I can certainly see why he was hired for the job!

Of particular enjoyment through the whole reading was the description of the days in which the newly betrothed Tancredi and Angelica would escape their chaperoned walks through the far flung quarters of Donnafugata. In the mind’s eye, such beautiful sensual images of soft pink skin, rose coloured lips (both male and female), fingertips delicately touching skin, etc, etc, quickened one’s pulse. Eluded to seductively, but all very much left to the imagination. Isn’t that how all the best written sex is? All the parts that you, as the reader, (or in this case, the listener) are left to imagine yourself? And of course in my current circumstance, my imagination ran amok!

I listened to all five parts in one sitting. Only breaking after part two to listen to the latest instalment of The Archers (some habits die hard).

I have never been to Italy, or indeed to Sicily…so my experiences of Palermo, Catania, the towering presence of Mount Etna, the deep azure of that “middling” sea are still somewhat a composite of things I see second hand…so far not experienced with my own naked eyes.

Perhaps that may change sometime soon?

I enjoyed listening to it very much. I may just download all the parts to it and share them here. It’ll only stay on iPlayer (ahem), I mean BBC Sounds for so long. And I’d like to keep it to listen to again and again in future – not have to rely on the Beeb to repeat it. In the meantime, if you click the image above of The Leopard – it will direct you to the BBC page for listening.

I think it may also be wise to invest in the novel, to read it in its entirety, unabridged.

I may also get back to listening to more BBC Radio drama.

Thanks for sharing it, Sir. As for the desire to die under a lemon tree? I’ll leave you with this…

Why Want A Book When You Have FACEBook?!

Time and again fans ask “when’s your book coming out, Jim?”

Now, for one…I would have thought if he was under a publisher’s contract for a book, it would be nigh on impossible for him to post some of the things he does on FB…contractual obligations, so on and so forth. I don’t know this stuff for certain…but I’m assuming it to be so.

Secondly…why? Why are people crying for a book? Look how he writes for us on an almost daily basis…FOR DIDDLY SQUAT! Are you people INSANE?!

He shares so much already…do you REALLY need a book on top? I’m not saying I wouldn’t be interested in a book from Jim. Far from it! But I’m not going to badger him about it when he posts Facebook entries LIKE THIS! (See end of post.)

And while being in New York makes him think of Lennon, and his mum…the talk of The Beatles always makes me think of my brother, David. In a couple of weeks, he’ll have been gone four years…and, it never gets any easier. In fact, with the passage of time (and how long it had been since the last time I had seen him before he died…and his pleas with me not to travel back home just…to witness him dying) – it gets harder. The void he has left gets bigger.

The people in our lives give us such gifts…free gifts. David with my love for The Beatles. Jim with his posts to Facebook.

Who needs a book, when you have FACEBook?!

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