Monday, 29 November 2010

Just William - As Good a place to start as any

....As I wound my way up to London for a lunch meeting I was thrown into something of a quandary. The truth of the matter was that I had no idea of what subject I would lead off with. Tonnes of ideas whizzed through my mind as the train pulled into Waterloo and I was still no wiser after my lunch meeting! It seemed that the blog would end before it had a chance to get going!

Sauntering back through the open spaces of Trafalgar Square I thought I would pop into a nearby branch of Waterstones and see if there was anything on the shelves that might distract me from the logical block that seemed to be inhabiting my mind at that time.

Rifling through the shelves with such  titles as Germania, Penguin Book of Facts, NOMA: The Cookbook I was still having little luck until I alighted on one of our Country's most beloved fictional characters, William Brown.

William Brown is the inimitable rogue growing up in the idyllic countryside town of Marleigh during the 1940s. His childhood is one of rose tinted googles and one which I - and I am sure a great deal of now grown up men - longed for when I was about 9-10 years old. Mountains of old fashioned sweets; adventures involving pirates, cowboys and robin hood; hilarious practical jokes and misunderstanding and a love for showing off and performing are all things which form the bedrock of a healthy, if rather imaginative adulthood!

This is not to say that all of Richmal Crompton's William books were focused on stories, there is even one - essential reading/listening in my view - that encapsulates the Zen of William and is as fine and certainly the most amusing philosophy I have ever heard. It is called Home for the Holidays and it is priced at around £15 on CD, it is well worth buying!

Now I must confess that I - like I am sure a larger number of people who look at this blog - have never read Just William, I have merely listened to it. There is no doubt as to the credibility of this statement as they are read so well and with such verve by the great Martin Jarvis. I don't know about you but I can sit transfixed to one of these recordings for hours and then start all over again, they are remarkably entertaining!

When you are purchasing any Just William items, please make sure you purchase them in their physical disc form rather than as an MP3 download. Although the download from Audible and Itunes is cheaper, the sound quality is greatly inferior and you will wish you had spent that little extra in the shop!

I welcome any comments on this matter, perhaps there are some spoken word items that you think might be of relevance of perhaps you think that there are better narrators than Martin Jarvis... in any case, I would love to know!

1 comment:

  1. interesting that you now classify yourself as being amongst "now grown up men"