But no. Two very welcome and exciting audio dramas have materialised in the last few days and will need to be recorded over the next few weeks. As always, I can't yet give details, but they will assuredly follow when the time comes for the recordings to be released. In their different ways, both dramas present interesting challenges and I'm thoroughly looking forward to mid week, when recording begins. I'm now in the process of reading and marking up the scripts and assimilating the narrative and the characters I'm required to play, all of which is fun, although marking up a long audio book can sometimes stretch on a bit.
"So far, so what?" you may ask. Well, just as one of my thumbs decided on a bit of twiddle practice, late on Thursday afternoon, the prospect of a very interesting job was dangled before me, a job which I thought I had virtually no chance of being seriously considered for - I mean, seriously? My benificent tormentor told me that by 6 o'clock that evening, I would know if the job was mine - or much more likely, not mine.
6 o'clock eventually came, about an hour after 5 - with no news - and went. Mmm. Not good. So I started telling myself how unlikely it would have been to have been offered the job and "you never miss what you haven't had" and trying to effect a sort of cool indifference to my inevitable disappointment which, karma wise, balanced out an otherwise upbeat and very positive week.
Friday. Nothing. The job, I should mention, is the recording of an audio book; quite a special and exciting and somewhat daunting audio book. Schedules are tight, deadlines already loom. It's Friday afternoon; the job has gone... surely?
Late Friday afternoon; an email has been sent but is somehow late in arriving, lost in the ether. Unbelievably and only a few emails later, the offer is astonishingly made and the deal is done! Shocked. Just shocked. Still shocked a couple of days later and now also knee deep in preparation for this daunting task which will commence - sometime this week!!!
And all is calm.
So, to the main purpose of this posting. Not very long ago, a month or so, I recorded a fascinating book, which is now available from audible and Amazon and probably lots of other places too. Here are some details:
The Vanquished: Why The First World War Failed To End, 1917-1923
For the Western allies, 11 November 1918 has always been a solemn date - the end of fighting which had destroyed a generation and a vindication of a terrible sacrifice with the total collapse of their principal enemies: the German Empire, Austria-Hungary and the Ottoman Empire. But for much of the rest of Europe, this was a day with no meaning, as a continuing nightmarish series of conflicts engulfed country after country.
In this highly original, gripping book, Robert Gerwarth asks us to think again about the true legacy of the First World War. In large part it was not the fighting on the Western front which proved so ruinous to Europe's future but the devastating aftermath, as countries on both sides of the original conflict were wrecked by revolution, pogroms, mass expulsions and further major military clashes.
If the war itself had in most places been a struggle purely between state-backed soldiers, these new conflicts were mainly about civilians and paramilitaries, and millions of people died across Central, Eastern, and Southeastern Europe before the USSR and a series of rickety and exhausted small new states came into being. Everywhere there were vengeful people, their lives racked by a murderous sense of injustice, looking for the opportunity to take retribution against enemies real and imaginary.
Only a decade later, the rise of the Third Reich and other totalitarian states provided them with the opportunity they had been looking for.
By strange coincidence, I'd been looking at this book in a book shop the day before the job to record it was offered; I took it as 'a sign'.
The book has certainly helped me to understand the brutal nature of the post WWI period and how the political threads of that conflict lead to the further catastrophe of WWII. Technically, I found The Vanquished quite a challenge to narrate, primarily because of the complexity of pronouncing the myriad people and place names that occur throughout. A private reader might easily skip over these names in pursuit of the stronger narrative line, whereas a narrator has to make each name sound authentic and accurate - and 'conversational'! I hope I have had some success with the task of achieving the right balance in pronouncing names from across Europe, Russia, The Balkans and indeed all those countries that became embroiled in the global conflict of WWI and it's aftermath.
The Thirteenth Wolf
The Space Wolves have assaulted Prospero and driven the traitorous Thousand Sons into the madness of the immaterium. Bravely, the 13th Company pursue their fleeing foes, but at what cost?
For more than two hundred years, the armies of the Emperor of Mankind fought to reconquer the galaxy - led by the superhuman primarchs, the Space Marine Legions brought countless worlds back under the rule of ancient Terra.
Now Horus, once honoured Warmaster and favoured son of the Emperor, has been corrupted by the whispered promises of Chaos. At his command the Imperium is torn apart by a terrible and bloody civil war, the likes of which the galaxy has never seen... At the Emperor's command were the Wolves of Russ unleashed, but it is by the will of Horus alone that Prospero now burns.
The VIth Legion have stormed the world of Magnus the Red, with venerable warriors of the Thirteenth Great Company always to be found where the fighting is at its most bloody, seeking to write their own names into the sagas of Fenris.
But the Thousand Sons are far from defeated, and their foul sorcery may yet be the doom of all, deep within the maddening heart of the Portal Maze.