To Grandmother’s House We Go!
November 19, 2012
The holidays are here again, and for a lot of people that means a road trip to the relatives. This time of year we get a lot of people in the Library looking for an audiobook to play in the car while traveling. However, finding one that is just the right length can be a problem. As someone once said to me, "We’re just traveling across the state, not across the country." So if you are not going to be driving long enough to listen to all 30 discs of a Stephen King novel, why not try a radio drama?
A long time ago, before the advent of television, families would gather around the radio to listen to the latest episode of their favorite programs. Soap operas, science fiction, mysteries, and comedies were all performed live on air. And some broadcasts remain famous to this day, like Orson Welles’ production of War of the Worlds that caused a mass panic back in 1938. MCPL has not only Welles’ masterpiece, but many other classic serials on CD as well.
On the other hand, if you feel that those programs may be too out of date for your family, don’t worry. While, unfortunately, radio drama died a slow death here in the United States, it is still thriving with our friends across the pond. The British continue to turn out a variety of fantastic programs for the radio. And these are not second rate productions either. Many of them are star award-winning acting talent, because the medium of radio remains highly respected in that country.
Are you a Doctor Who fan? New audio adventures, starring the classic series cast, are still being made. A Shakespeare nut? A whole range of phenomenal radio versions of his works, starring the very best of British theatre, have been produced. In the mood for a Sarah Paretsky or Agatha Christie mystery? Yep, those have been made as well. Let’s not forget about the kids either. Rather than dry readings of books like Alice in Wonderland, The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, or Anne of Green Gables, you can listen to full dramatic productions, complete with music and sound effects.
So, whether you want to experience the comedy genius of Burns and Allen or listen to something completely new, radio dramas can help you pass the time on those long drives. And most of them can be listened to in the time it takes to cross the state. Of course, if you are going across the country, those Stephen King disks are still available for your enjoyment.