A BBC Radio 4 full-cast dramatisation of the bestselling novel by John le Carré, starring James Fox, Harriet Walter and Julian Rhind-Tutt. Magnus Pym, Counsellor at the British Embassy, is hosting a dinner party at his home in Vienna when he receives an unexpected telephone call that will profoundly affect his life. Once the guests have gone, Pym breaks the news to his wife, Mary: his father, Rick, is dead. In a state of shock, he says something Mary cannot understand - 'After all these years, I'm free.' Magnus flies back to England to attend the funeral - and doesn't return. As Mary and MI6 spymaster Jack Brotherhood desperately try to find out his whereabouts, it soon becomes clear that Pym has been keeping secrets from both his family and his employers, the British Intelligence Service. Hiding out in a remote cottage in Devon, where he goes by the name of Mr Canterbury, Magnus begins to write his memoirs - retracing his rise and fall and revealing how Rick led him step by step into a double life of deception, broken promises and betrayal... Adapted from the John le Carré novel by Rene Basilico.
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"A decent dramatization"
This dramatization, in eight half-hour episodes, apparently dates from 1993. Rene Basilico's adaptation of the novel is skillful, though perhaps inevitably some important elements of the story (particularly to do with Pym's childhood) are omitted or only mentioned briefly. The production is good, and James Fox is excellent in the lead role. My only complaint is that some of the acting is at times a little cartoonish. It's as if the program came at a time of transition between an older, "stagey" style of voice acting and a modern, more naturalistic approach. Fortunately the problem is mostly confined to minor characters. Although this program is not quite up to the standard of the BBC's recent (superb) cycle of le Carre's Smiley novels, it is still effective and enjoyable overall. Here's hoping the BBC will release more le Carre dramatizations!
"Not finished yet"
I don't want this to end. The acting (e.g. James Fox) is top quality BBC. Story is concise adaptation of novel (which must be read to get the
"A great dramatization, not the complete novel"
It's a nice condensation of the novel, which I have less time to read or even listen to. The story is told very nicely and the actors do a wonderful job- as they do in all the Le Carre' adaptations. Those adapted by Rene Basilico are the best in my opinion. They include The Perfect Spy, The Russia House, A Small Town In Germany, and the two Smiley adaptations: Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy and Smiley's People (the versions starring Bernard Hepton- sadly not yet available on Audible).
A Small Town In Germany and The Russia House, both dramatized and available on Audible. I recommend them both.
A clear understanding of how the lines are read. The British idiom can be lost in print but the actors make things clearly understood. I haven't listened to Mr. Jayston's reading of the book, which is 17 hours longer, but I suspect he helps push the listener along too.
"After all these years... I'm finally free."
You must realize that this is a dramatization with multiple actors, sound effects and music. It's so much more than one person reading you a story, but it is NOT the word for word text of the novel. That is available too and I wouldn't discourage you from buying it. I think if you give the dramas a try you'll find you enjoy them.
"The Perfect Spy - Dramatised BBC Cast Recording"
I would definitely buy another recording if the music cuold be excluded. The durgelike, hideous and penetrating music is hard on the ears, brain and detracts enormously from the enjoyment of the recording.
The narrators are superb.
It was a great production. All the actors were great especially James Fox and Julian Rhind Tutt. Very much recommend it.
"A Perfect Spy"
Not nearly as good as the Complete Smiley or the Russia House I am afraid.
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