Monday, 31 March 2014

Chitty Chitty Bang Bang

Forget the play. Forget the film. Forget, if you can, the songs. Read the book.

It's great.

And it's surprisingly innocent.

There's no ratcatcher here, and no children being snatched from their parents. Quite the opposite. As Frank Cottrell Boyce points out: Chitty Chitty Bang Bang is "one of the very few stories in which the whole family goes off on the adventure – usually children have to be sent away to school or evacuated or bereaved or fall through a time vortex before an adventure can start."

So Chitty Chitty Bang Bang really is a book for all the family. And if you want more, Frank Cottrell Boyce has now written three sequels.

If you want a sample, you can read the first chapter of Chitty Chitty Bang Bang Flies Again here.

Sunday, 30 March 2014

The Divine Comedy

BBC Radio 4 begins a new dramatisation of Dante's Divine Comedy today at 3pm UK time. It's asking a lot to dramatise it in 3 one-hour episodes but I suppose it's asking a lot to fit a journey from Hell to Paradise into one poem.