Catching Up

So, you might remember that the first set of tablets they tried were spectacularly unsuccessful – to the extent that I landed up in hospital.  Well, the reason I haven’t been around lately is that tablets number two made tablets number one look positively benign – the sooner we draw a veil over that the better.  Now I am on tablets number three which, I have to say, so far don’t appear to be having any evil side effects, in fact, they don’t appear to be having any effects whatsoever.  Grrr! Gnashhh! and whatever other sounds of frustration you can think of.  I believe there is a tablet number four, but at the moment am quaking even at the thought of exploring it.

Still enough of that.  One of the things that has made life bearable over the past few days is Radio 4’s new weekday series, Foreign Bodies.  Have you come across this?  Mark Lawson is charting the social history of Europe through the medium of detective fiction. On Monday he was in Belgium talking about Poirot and Maigret and yesterday he was looking at postwar Germany through the eyes of the Swiss writer, Dürrenmatt.  I haven’t yet listened to today’s broadcast, which I believe is about a Czech author, Josef Skvorecky, of whom I know nothing at all.  There will be fifteen of these programmes, over three weeks, with an omnibus edition on a Friday evening.  Looking down the list of forthcoming writers there are several that are new to me, so I’m hoping that I’m going to pick up suggestions for reading over the long winter nights.  The only problem may be accessibility.  The local library service is definitely short on the Dürrenmatt front.  Still, perhaps the series will prompt publishers to (re)-issue the works in the UK and libraries to buy them.

In addition the BBC are planning to dramatise all ten of Sjowall and Wahloo’s Martin Beck novels. I don’t know how frequently these are going to be broadcast, but they’re starting this Saturday with the first in the series, Roseanna. The cast list looks impressive and The Bears and I are already laying stocks of tea and buns to be consumed as we curl up by the fire to listen in.

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16 thoughts on “Catching Up

    1. Thank you, Frisbee. Yes, it does sound like a 1920s title, doesn’t it? If you wanted to hear it you can hear it for the rest of the week on the BBC site.

  1. Dramatizing the Martin Beck novels! Well, that’s a great idea: I hope they do it really well–and I hope it’s broadcast on this side of the pond soon. Also, and not by any means incidentally, I’m sorry you are not faring better and I hope tablet 3 kicks in before the dreaded tablet 4 is summoned.

  2. Oh Alex! I am so sorry to hear about your continued troubles. I hope tablet number three starts to work soon. The radio program sounds just the thing though to take you mind off things. Hope you feel better soon!

  3. I’m listening to the Radio 4 extra fiction of Durenmatt but I’m afraid I don’t like it too much (perhaps it’s because I can’t really concentrate on the text). I will certainly listen to the presentation itself, it might give me some context. Hope you feel better soon!

    1. Smithereens, the programme was very interesting on the relationship between Dürrenmatt and the Nazi regime. I certainly think it would add to you understanding.

  4. Sounds like trying times for you Alex. I hope you get your medication sorted soon.

    I love listening to Radio 4, but I never seem to have the time for it nowadays. Foreign Bodies sounds intriguing – I shall try and catch it on Iplayer.

  5. I had a terrible time in early summer when two sets of antibiotics nearly finished me off! So all this to say I sympathise ENTIRELY with your predicament. I have my fingers crossed for these tablets, because lord knows those side effects are so often worse than the original illness! But I’m delighted to know the Martin Beck novels will be serialised and I’ve made a mental note to listen in tomorrow – lovely!

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