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29 Reviews
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45 of 45 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The magic remains undiminished
As someone who adores the 1984 television adaptation of John Masefield's surreal and magical seasonal tale, I was very excited to discover this full-cast audio adaptation. Just as wonderful as the TV version - more so given the limited special effects available in 1984 and the limitless bounds of imagination - a young schoolboy, Kay Harker, on his return from boarding...
Published on 3 Jun. 2009 by Captain Pugwash

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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars If you haven't read the book first, forget it!
I gather from reading the reviews that those who love this audio cd, first adored the book. I, however, having come to this as a stand alone audio cd, found it unfathomable! No attempt is made in this production to establish the time frame, the location, give any inkling of how things look and feel. It's as if they presume you know the story already and can flesh out the...
Published 12 months ago by Catblack_uk


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45 of 45 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The magic remains undiminished, 3 Jun. 2009
This review is from: The Box of Delights: BBC Radio 4 Full-cast Dramatisation (BBC Radio Collection) (Audio CD)
As someone who adores the 1984 television adaptation of John Masefield's surreal and magical seasonal tale, I was very excited to discover this full-cast audio adaptation. Just as wonderful as the TV version - more so given the limited special effects available in 1984 and the limitless bounds of imagination - a young schoolboy, Kay Harker, on his return from boarding school for the Christmas holidays, finds himself mixed up in a battle to possess a magical box, which allows the owner to go small and go swift, and which contains magical worlds as well as the ability to travel in time.
With such luminaries of stage and screen as the plummy Donald Sinden, Lionel Jeffries, the incomparable Spike Milligan and Celia Imrie; this is a superbly realised audio CD; lie back, close your eyes, and be transported to a snowy world of wolves, cars that turn into aeroplanes, humbugs, possets, and a cosy 1930s Christmas world. Superb.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A great adaptation, 26 April 2000
By A Customer
I have always loved this classic story, and was going to read it to my children when they were old enough. Imagine my joy at finding this excellent BBC production. which we then sat around listening to at home. My kids were enchanted just as I was.
Come on BBC lets have some more gems like this.
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56 of 60 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Christmas delight for all the family, 25 Oct. 1999
By A Customer
This is a classic book by one of England's greatest childrens authors, prefiguring Harry Potter by over 50 years. Set in the snowy English countryside in between the wars, it is the story of a young boy's entrance to a magical land of ancient legend and folklore, through the discovery of a mysterious puzzle box. At times beautifully descriptive and thought provoking, it is also eerie and frightening in parts (with a running theme of shape changing rats and wolves), and may not be suitable for younger children. The book is wonderfully festive and would make a lovely Christmas present, the story stands the test of time and will be read again and again by many generations.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An irresistable tale of childhood, crime and christmas., 12 Mar. 2000
By A Customer
A cracking adventure story, full of magic, villans, high spirits and christmas nostalgia. This adaption is brilliant, and superbly cast. The wicked Abner Brown and his wife ` the pouncer ' are hillarious and menacing by turns. The hero, Kay Harker is everything a childrens hero should be, brave, inventive and intelligent. This is really wonderful, I'd recommend it to adults and children alike. It transports the listener to a different era, when people ate buttered eggs for tea, in front of crackling fires, it always snowed at christmas and people watched punch and judy shows instead of the television. And yet, the wolves were running... A thoroughly enjoyable experience!
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A gorgeous, magical adaptation, 16 Dec. 1999
By A Customer
This lovely adaptation of John Masefield's book will remind you of what Christmas is really all about - magic, fairytale, imagination and the wonder of being a perennial child. I listen to it over and over again and it never loses its appeal. The cast members are uniformly excellent, with Lional Jeffreys especially memorable as Cole Hawlings. You really have to buy this one!
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41 of 46 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A timeless classic to read again and again, 19 Nov. 2000
By A Customer
This is a timeless classic.
My father loved it as a child (1930s), so did I (1960s) and my own children, too (1990s). Not quite as good as Masefield's "The Midnight Folk" (the ending is a disappointment) but still worth five stars. People who know and love these two books are a fortunate lot. Join us!
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25 of 28 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A slice of seasonal magic, 26 Oct. 2000
By A Customer
This is a splendid book - a rollicking adventure, a battle between good and evil, and a marvellous evocation of a child's Christmas in days that are dead. Beautifully written, full of atmosphere and very well paced, it would undoubtedly deserve five stars if it were not for an ending of astounding unoriginality which will be very familiar to teachers of creative writing in schools accross the country. But don't worry about that - the rest is pure magic.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars No other book so fired my imagination as a child, 26 Mar. 2000
By A Customer
This is a very special book, that when read will stay with you. I first came across it as an eight year old prep school boy. It took me to a magical world of past magic and gave me a firing up of of my young immagination. I now look forward to reading it to my children, and am just waiting until the time is right for them, maybe the run up to Christmas this year. I am looking forward to it.
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12 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great CD, 6 Mar. 2004
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: The Box of Delights: BBC Radio 4 Full-cast Dramatisation (BBC Radio Collection) (Audio CD)
Bought this for my 10 year old son and he just loves it! Up to the usual BBC Radio dramatisation standard.
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Another BBC Gem, 13 Dec. 2008
This review is from: The Box of Delights: BBC Radio 4 Full-cast Dramatisation (BBC Radio Collection) (Audio CD)
The BBC did both a television and radio adaptation of this excellent book by John Masefield. The book is brilliantly imaginative, and the radio dramatisation is ideal for introducing children to it. Wonderfully evocative of English Christmases as we like to think they should be, replete with mystery, adventure, snow and villains. Masefield also ventures into English folk-lore very effectively. As other reviewers have commented, though, the ending is an extraordinary disappointment, and a remarkable let-down. Can't believe Masefield did it, and it is worth ignoring altogether if possible.
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The Box of Delights: BBC Radio 4 Full-cast Dramatisation (BBC Radio Collection)
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