Wednesday, May 1, 2019

Murder Must Advertise (audio version)

This review is for the particular audio novel version of Murder Must Advertise read by John Franklyn-Robbins and is not focused on the content of the Dorothy L. Sayers story. For my thoughts on the story itself, please see my previous review at the link above.

According to the notes on the back of this library audio edition, our narrator John Franklyn-Robbins has performed a wide variety of classic stage roles (from London to Broadway), made hundreds of appearances on BBC television, and has been the "Voice of English Poetry" on British radio. I can only hope that he brought more depth and feeling to those performances than he did to his narration of Sayers' mystery novel. Throughout a large portion of the recording Franklyn-Robbins does not appear to make any great effort to differentiate characters from one another save for making his voice slightly (but only slightly) higher for the female characters and trying to imbue Ginger Joe with a somewhat youthful tone. For the most part, Franklyn-Robbins reads his script as if he were hoping to lull the reader to sleep. In fact, if I were looking for an audio novel to help me drift off to slumber land, this would be an ideal choice. 

One wouldn't think that a story chock full of dangerous falls down staircases, men being run over by cars and trains, women having their throats cut (my, but Lord Peter seems to have gotten himself into some very nefarious doings this time....), drug running, and impersonations galore could possibly be so "yawn-making" as the notorious Dian de Momerie would say. But it least in this particular audio edition. I will say that Franklyn-Robbin did seem to find his range in the latter portions of the novel and livened things up a bit. But still--I'm very glad that I checked this out of the library and didn't buy it. Ian Carmichael gives a much more lively (and varied vocal) performance. I wanted to see what another actor would do with the Lord Peter stories. I had hoped to be better pleased--perhaps I'll come across another version to try some day. ★★ --just. 

Previously read by fellow Just the Facts challenger, Kate @ Cross Examining Crime


Jean said...

Wow, that's a shame. Murder Must Advertise is a ton of fun, one of my favorite Wimsey novels!

Bev Hankins said...

Yeah--It's one of my favorites as well. Still a good story, but our classic actor doesn't narrate well, at least here.