6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
A Tall Tale Of Bravery, Behemoths and Dog Buscuits,
This review is from: Elvenquest (BBC Audio) (Audio CD)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
It is a huge temptation to attempt to write an appraisal of this audiobook
in the style of a sword and sorcery epic but author Anil Gupta's 'Elvenquest'
is a very hard act to follow so I won't even begin to go down that road!
'Elvenquest' is funny. Very funny indeed in fact. I laughed out loud so many
times over it's six-episode, three-hour running time that I lost count!
Mr Gupta's greatest achievement is to have poked the fantasy genre lovingly
in the ribs and to have come up with something which succeeds as much by
its close approximation to the real thing as by the quality of his writing.
Sam Porter (a marvelously discombobulated character played by Stephen Mangan)
and his dog Amis, who turns into a man (don't ask...just listen!!) are bundled off
to save their world by a gang of motley archetypal beings including Vidar the Elf Lord,
Dean the Dwarf and Penthiselea (loving that name!) the Warrior Princess.
Lord Darkness, the villain of the piece, brought to life with sniveling nasal
splendour by Alistair McGowan and his hillariously inept servant Kreech
(Kevin Eldon, who also - economically - plays Dean the Dwarf) are bent on
"Lower Earth" domination by hook or by crook.
The quest to secure the magic sword which will save life and the universe takes our
unlikely hero's through some deliciously drawn landscapes (you know the kind of thing
- The Mountains of Megwrath/Forest of Ravenwrack - sorry I just couldn't help myself
for a moment there!) and wonderfully daft adventures on route to finding their grail.
The episode detailing the male cast members' seduction by Sirens is a particular highlight!
Of the characters, Amis the Dog (and Chosen One!) played by Dave Lamb and James Bachman,
is a hilariously fickle creation (he will do almost anything for a stick or a biscuit !) and the
jauntily pragmatic Penthisilea (brought into vivid being by Sophie Winkleman) are particularly
As the narrative draws closer to its potentially cataclysmic confrontation with Lord Darkness
and his massed hoards of chattering and cackling Goblins and Behemoths, Sam Porter is faced
with a moral dilemma : should he opt for an easy life without danger or stay and do the
right thing for his friends and for prosperity? Series one leaves us with some unanswered questions!
Production by Mr Gupta and Paul Schlesinger is consummately conceived. The sound design
and incidental music add convincing depth and atmosphere to the unfolding drama.
'Elvenquest' is a winner in every possible way. I loved it!