ith all the miles beneath my wheels and all the audio books I’ve listened to, it’s kinda funny to have this one which I knocked off in an afternoon. The Coming of the Martains is a good audio dramatization (meaning they aren’t reading, they are acting) of my all-time favorite book, The War of the Worlds.
There is a lot going on here, and I was interested to figure how they would do this production. After all, reading aloud how the narrator’s dog cart topples over as the Martian’s tripod steps over it is one thing, but to actually pull it off in a dramatic format is tricky – after all, you can’t have a guy huddling in the cart’s wreckage (with a dead horse at his side) tell you aloud what he is seeing. Because nobody narrates their precarious positions in real life. But here, they actually carry it off pretty well, blending the story with superb vocalizations, sound effects and music. Oh, of course, having read it helps, but otherwise it’s a lot of fun, and very faithfully replicated. Here’s a sample of how it plays – close your eyes and see what you think.
That’s probably most important to me, that we stick with the story. Oh, there are tiny little changes. I mean, this is tiny-squat criticism but the Artilleryman (when they first meet up and journey to Weybridge) doesn’t seem so knowing and worldly. He’s just yes-siring and no-sirring all the authority figures. No grim humor. No “bows and arrows against the lightning” lines. But really, I was more happy by what they put in than what they left out. Interesting, I’ll note that in the novel, the Artilleryman teaches the narrator how to play a card game and it is the latter who suggests chess. But in this version, it is the Artilleryman who breaks out the pawns. Little things.
But overall I rather enjoyed this version (which is more accurate than most). My only real issue with this was how long it took the creators (Sherwood Sound) to deliver on my order. I saw this online and ordered it, I dunno, the middle of last year? I got the downloaded audiofiles but who wants to just sit there and click through them? But the disk, it took about as long as it takes to womb out a baby. Truthfully, I’d all but given up. Finally it showed and how happy I was with it.
So, if you are a WOTH fan, you might want to check this out. A very clever rendition.