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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The World of Francis Durbridge.....
"The World of Tim Frazer", is written by Francis Durbridge, writer of the popular Paul Temple radio series.

In this incarnation Durbridge is writing about Tim Frazer, an undercover agent.

In this CD we are introduced to Frazer as he is sucked into a world of intrigue. This happens accidentally as he searches for his ex partner Harry Denston, who has...
Published on 5 Dec. 2010 by mandynolan

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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A surprisingly well executed ripping yarn
The once hugely popular Frances Durbridge's stories have fallen out of favour of late, mainly being relegated to reprints and the odd audio adventure, and when you boil them down to their bare ingredients it's not too surprising. The World of Tim Frazer mixes its hero in a tale of missing friends, remote Scottish village pubs, spies of all persuasions, dying Russian...
Published on 16 Feb. 2011 by Trevor Willsmer


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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The World of Francis Durbridge....., 5 Dec. 2010
By 
mandynolan "mandynolan" - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The World of Tim Frazer (BBC Audio Crime) (Audio CD)
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"The World of Tim Frazer", is written by Francis Durbridge, writer of the popular Paul Temple radio series.

In this incarnation Durbridge is writing about Tim Frazer, an undercover agent.

In this CD we are introduced to Frazer as he is sucked into a world of intrigue. This happens accidentally as he searches for his ex partner Harry Denston, who has disappeared along with £5000 of their money.

Frazer begins to ask questions about where his friend has gone and what he has become embroiled in.

This series feels like, and indeed was, set later than Paul Temple. It feels more weary, darker and grimier, as England enters the 1960's. There are echoes of the Cold War, with Russian sailors and spies involved.

It is also different from much of Durbridges work from the BBC in that it is read, rather than dramatised. I realise that some of Paul Temples stories have also been released in this way, but I feel it works better here.

Anthony Head, who reads some Paul Temple, does a brilliant job here. His take on Tim Frazer is laconic and weary, a man searching for truth in a frustrating world.
This is really good. It takes us into a world of mystery and I felt the 2 hrs and 15 mins fly by.

If you like old fashioned intrigue then this is for you..... I look forward to the next in the series.....
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A surprisingly well executed ripping yarn, 16 Feb. 2011
By 
Trevor Willsmer (London, England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The World of Tim Frazer (BBC Audio Crime) (Audio CD)
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The once hugely popular Frances Durbridge's stories have fallen out of favour of late, mainly being relegated to reprints and the odd audio adventure, and when you boil them down to their bare ingredients it's not too surprising. The World of Tim Frazer mixes its hero in a tale of missing friends, remote Scottish village pubs, spies of all persuasions, dying Russian sailors, model ships and missing secret formulas in a way that would provide enough raw material for a whole series of Michael Palin's spoof Ripping Yarns. It's not a tale that stands up to a great deal of scrutiny, and yet it's surprisingly well done, set in a slightly more realistic world than you might expect even if it's one where our spies are more noble and decent chaps than their spies, and benefiting immensely from Anthony Head's fine reading that keeps the story grounded and the characterisations believable rather than giving into the temptation to slyly send it up. It's the kind of thing you could argue isn't really worth doing, but which has been done really well and, at least in its abridged form, makes for a surprisingly entertaining two hours even if there are no surprises in the plot. Far from an essential purchase, but a jolly good show all the same.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A nicely told 1960s undercover detective tale - where Anthony Head saves the day, 17 Mar. 2012
By 
Charlie-CJ (England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The World of Tim Frazer (BBC Audio Crime) (Audio CD)
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We are Buffy and Merlin fans so having Anthony Head read this old 1960's novel is a bonus. Personally I was too young to know the 1961 World of Tim Frazer TV drama, a yarn about an engineer [Tim Frazer] who turns undercover investigator after being approached by a clandestine government department following the disappearance of his business partner, Harry Denson. That TV serial became this spin-off novel dating from 1962. Francis Durbridges earlier, more famous, 1930s character is Paul Temple [who was a novelist come investigator]. Although his TV serials and books were major sellers in the 1960s, I only remember later similar programs like The Saint, Dangerman and, showing my age, Joe90. However I really liked the genre and know the cold war spy era, so I was keen to hear this audio book. I have to say Anthony Head makes a very good job of reading the book, making up decent voices for the characters as well. Although I could cope without mobile phones going back to the era, it's interesting to hear how Tim Frazer gets by without any computers or internet searches either. It appears that without the distraction of social networking and PC games he has more free time to try and track down Harry and work out what is going on, so the mystery is eventually solved in just 2 hours 15 minutes [it's an abridged version of the novel]. Plus it's nice to hear that Tim Frazer is clearly a decent chap.

There are two more audio books in the series [all read superbly by Anthony head]: Tim Frazer Again (1964), and Tim Frazer Gets the Message (and being written later in 1978, he gets a Triumph Stag as well). I liked the audio book series as much for the nostalgia of a lost era as for the detective stories - although for a lot of the time it's pretty similar to today's New tricks, i.e. places to visit, people to talk to. These novels probably suit those over 50 most, who have memories of the period. There is a boxed set of all three audio books The Tim Frazer Collection (BBC Audiobooks) which is better value than buying them separately. Overall I liked the simple tale and in particular Anthony Head's reading of it, so 4*.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Still looking for Tim Frazer, 8 Dec. 2010
By 
David Spanswick (Brighton United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The World of Tim Frazer (BBC Audio Crime) (Audio CD)
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It has been fifty years since Tim Frazer first appeared in the public conscience in a television series written by the much loved creator of Paul Temple, Francis Durbridge

Unlike Mr Temple, Mr Frazer was cut from much rougher material, indeed at times resembling his hard-boiled brothers from American fiction. He did not sip cocktails and visit nightclubs and find encrypted messages in ever more exotic locations. He was more likely to be found in the world of the criminal underclass, in some "greasy spoon" partaking of unsavoury beverages.

Tim Frazer was a hit on the television but has almost slipped away from the current limelight of the over exposed worlds of Midsomer, Yorkshire and Edinburgh. So is it not time for the return of Tim Frazer or, like the Saint, has he had his day?

For many older readers The World of Tim Frazer was a peak viewing experience just as Paul Temple, and Dick Tracy were peak listening experiences. I have no idea if that original tv series is still available in some archive heaven along with my own personal favourite Durbridge "The Scarf" which just preceded it.

This reading by Anthony Head captured the laid back quality of the original novelisation by Durbridge but is somehow rather unexciting in its reading. I would have welcomed more variety, intonation in the characterisation to bring the whole experience more to life. As a record of the book and its character it is however excellent and certainly reflects the uncertain times of a new post war decade on the brink of uncertainty and a new breed of lawlessness.

I recommend the CD certainly as a gift for an older relative who may well remember the television adaptation or for a new crime fan looking for the ancestors of the would be crime investigators and adventurers that were to come later
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of Durbridge's lesser known heroes brought to colourful life., 1 Dec. 2010
By 
Ghostgrey51 (Britain) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The World of Tim Frazer (BBC Audio Crime) (Audio CD)
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Although The World of Tim Frazer was not so well known, Durbridge did produce six books and there was a BBC TV series between 1960-61, all being well received. Tim Frazer was in his mid-thirties, an engineer, alert, generally an iron fist in a velvet glove type and recruited in a shadowy british intelligence organisation while trying to trace a wayward business partner who has caused Frazer's company to collapse.
This audio adaptation of the introduction to Frazer is a most enjoyable return to the age of the generally unflappable british hero,
Anthony Head is at his best when giving a soft spoken performance with an underlying trend of tension and menace, which of course is ideally suited to the Francis Durbridge themes of `no one is who they seem to be and things are not a simple as you might think'. He shifts effortlessly between the accents and characterisations of the various people encountered in the story, adding depth and colours by the most subtle of inferences.
The story, itself, moves along at a good pace and is intelligently crafted so your attention is held. This could be listened to during a long journey, one of those difficult DIY jobs that needs a decent attention getter to take you mind off of the grimness of the task, or in the evening as a way to unwind at the end of the day.
Another quality work from the BBC drama and audio book unit
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars OK but not great, 13 Dec. 2010
By 
Pardo (Kent) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The World of Tim Frazer (BBC Audio Crime) (Audio CD)
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I really wanted to love this recording but unfortunately in the same week that I was listening to this I was also listing to the BBC dramatisations of the Smiley novels (The Complete George Smiley Radio Dramas) and some Raymond Chandler read by Elliot Gould (The Little Sister) and the Tim Frazer didn't really match up.

The story is not bad and neither is the reading - unfortunately neither are they great. The reading is lacking in any significant characterization, it didn't annoy me enough to make me not want to continue but, compared to other readers, I didn't think Anthony Head made the book come alive at all. The story is a straightforward old fashioned spy story - nothing wrong with that, but there was nothing to lift it out of the run of the mill.

I love the idea of good, old-fashioned, gather-round-the-wireless secret agent radio drama, but think that the Smiley series does it better. To be fair, I know that is a little like comparing apples and oranges, given that the Smiley was a dramatization and the Tim Frazer is an audio book, but even there I think that Gould's reading of the Chandler books (while far from perfect) is more enjoyable.

For all that, these are a perfectly pleasant way to spend a couple of hours.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An Exciting Adventure, 17 Jan. 2011
By 
R. E. Quinn (Great Britian) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The World of Tim Frazer (BBC Audio Crime) (Audio CD)
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The World of Tim Frazer comes from the mind of Francis Durbridge who also created the popular Paul Temple series.

The story begins with our hero going to the coastal village of Henton to meet his ex business partner Harry Denston to see if he can try to get back any of the money Harry used from the business which drove it into bankruptcy.

He arrives to find the village all agog as a Russian ship has foundered in bad whether and one of the Russian sailors dies at the local inn after muttering the word 'Anya'.

When Harry doesn't appear Tim returns to London where he is approached by a mysterious man called Mr Ross who 'works' for the government and gives Tim the task of locating Harry Denston using whatever means necessary.

Tim finds himself plunged into a world of missing people, gangsters and strange occurrences as he searches for the missing man.

As this is a BBC Audio it is as usual well produced and presented.

It is a single person reading and Mr Head does an excellent job of reading the story and bringing it to life. A definite recommend.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Superb, 17 Mar. 2011
By 
Crazy Seahorse "Crazy Seahorse" (Cambridge) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The World of Tim Frazer (BBC Audio Crime) (Audio CD)
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This is the first of the Tim Frazer adventures. Tim is an engineer with a recently failed business, a business that has failed because his partner Harry owes him a great deal of money. Harry arranges to meet Tim at a hotel in the north of England but Harry doesn't show up. Tim is then hired by the secret service to find Harry and the story chronicles his attempts to find him. The story is strong with good characters and intriguing twists, it seems that Tim can trust no-one, not even people he has known for years and when he works this out, he is close to solving the mystery. The rendition is superbly read by Anthony Head who performs a pleasing range of character voices to push the narrative along. I am not really familiar with Francis Durbridge's work but I do like crime fiction along the lines of Poirot, Wimsey etc, if you like that sort of detective novel, this should appeal.

My wife and I listen to this over a couple of car journeys of about 2 hrs each and it made the journey fly by. Warmly recommended.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Jolly good entertainment, 26 Jan. 2011
By 
Mr. K. Cross "keithcelt2" (Wales) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The World of Tim Frazer (BBC Audio Crime) (Audio CD)
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Loved watching the Paul Temple series in the 60s, but have to admit I do not remember The World of Tim Frazer. What a shame, what a loss if this marvellous audio book is anything to go by. This story rattles along at a right rollicking pace, a good old-fashioned, ripping yarn of a crime mystery. Perhaps it steams along a such a lick because it is an abridged version of the book. I certainly didn't have the feeling that anything was missing from the plot or that it was rushed. It kept me gripped for the two hours plus running time. It wasn't only the story that kept me listening but the excellent telling of the story by Anthony Head. He reads it extremely well, with clear diction & a real passion for & understanding of the words. And as it's BBC produced, the quality is there for all to hear. What more is there to say? Just slot it into your CD player, lie back with a glass of your favourite tipple & simply..........Enjoy!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Charming!, 21 April 2011
By 
A. Gothorp - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The World of Tim Frazer (BBC Audio Crime) (Audio CD)
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This was the first time I had ever heard of Francis Durbridge and have only learnt after hearing this audio CD that he is also the author of the famous Paul Temple series. The World of Tim Frazer is a fantastic audio CD and listening to this audio CD left me hungry for more and indeed for more of Francis Durbridges work. It is lovely to escape the complexities of life and instead move into a time where computers and mobile phones did not exist, where sleuthing was all about legwork. There is a wonderful other-world-charm about this audio CD which makes the listener smile and relax whilst keeping you on edge at every twist and turn. Just when you think you have figured out where the story is going, Francis Durbridge (the author) takes you on another path to the one you have been travelling, culminating in a very saatisfying end to the tale! All I can say is lets have more of this type of audio CD available!
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The World of Tim Frazer (BBC Audio Crime) by Francis Durbridge (Audio CD - 4 Nov. 2010)
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