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4.5 out of 5 stars33
4.5 out of 5 stars
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on 3 June 2009
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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on 26 April 2000
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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on 25 October 1999
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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on 16 December 1999
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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on 19 November 2000
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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on 26 October 2000
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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on 26 March 2000
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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on 16 January 2014
Very pleased to get hold of this radio play since it is quite a rarity. Good story, great cast and good quality recording rather than the cheap 'other' version which is being retailed on inferior quality discs. A real Xmas treat up there with the Snowman and A Christmas Carol.
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on 2 April 2013
I remember an even older version that seemed to crop up on the radio around Christmas, so this was "Box of Delights, Jim, but not as we know it!" Even so, it was enjoyed by my grand-daughters and gave me a quiet afternoon, so well worth it.
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on 12 March 2000
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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