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The Devil's Playground (Judge Dredd: Crime Chronicles) Audio CD – Audiobook, 31 Dec 2009

3.5 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Audio CD
  • Publisher: Big Finish Productions Ltd (31 Dec. 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1844354172
  • ISBN-13: 978-1844354177
  • Product Dimensions: 14.2 x 0.9 x 12.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,419,260 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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By Paul Tapner TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 20 Mar. 2010
Format: Audio CD
Another in the new series of talking books from big finish productions featuring popular comic character Judge Dredd. This, like the first in the range, has one actor reading the bulk of the story, and actor Toby Longworth doing the voice of Judge Dredd whenever he appears. Speaking as someone who's been reading Judge Dredd stories since they first appeared, his performance in the part is absolutely definitive.

The Devil's playground concerns Wendy Plainfolk, a girl from a community that lives inside Dredd's home city mega city one, the sprawling american metropolis of a few centuries hence. The plainfolk are a thinly veiled pastiche of the amish. And just like the amish, they send their young folk out into the big wide world for a year once they come of age. A tradition called 'rumspringa'. They have to live the big city life for a year, and at the end of that can come home or stay there. The majority choose the former.

Wendy is 17 and has been looking forward to rumspringa for a long time. Her friend Rite went out to do it six months before. But when Rita doesn't turn up to meet Wendy when her rumspringa begins like they planned, she finds a few truths about life in the big city. And becomes part of an investigation that will shake her world to the core.

The disc runs for 75 minutes and it's all one long story with no episode breaks in the middle. A framing device is used at the beginning to set the scene and describe the plainfolk community. Whilst this is all necessary exposition it does start to drag a little after a while and thus it's not till nigh on thirty minutes in when Dredd first pops up that the tale really gets going.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Having been spoilt by the first two Dredd talking books we come down to Earth with a bump with "The Devil's Playground". As a story about someone's first impressions of Mega City One it's not that bad, and would work well as a short story, but it becomes a slog for an hour.
The story is all about a murdered Amish girl and how her friend and Dredd track down the killer.

The story is read from the viewpoint of Amish girl Wendy Plainfolk, turned 18 and on a trip to the Big Meg for a year and a day.
Gemma Wardle reads the tale in a strange southern accent which is a bit jarring, and difficult to warm to.

Jonathan Clements story is actually pretty boring sompared to his other Audio Progs (the full cast audios)... even the presence of the great Toby Longworth as the future's greatest lawman can't lift it above average.

The next release has Psychic Judge Babe Cassandra Anderson in it, so let's hope it's a goodie!!
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Amazon.com: 2.0 out of 5 stars 1 review
2.0 out of 5 stars Amish of the Future 7 Jun. 2015
By Adam Graham, Superhero and Detective Fiction Author - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
This story is based on a solid premise. It imagines a commune (quite similar to the Amish) existing in the center of Megacity One and like today's Amish, they send their youth forth out into the world to see whether they liked it or whether they wanted to join the church. It's a fascinating premise but the story is hurt by the fact that the author loves it too much.

We see Wendy Plainfolk eating a hot dog when Judge Dredd arrives on the scene and then wham, we get twenty straight minutes of backstory telling us about this commune and how she got out and ended up at the hot dog stand. So we end up 1/3 of the way through the story with nothing have happened other than Wendy buying a hot dog and Dredd showing up.

The rest of the story has a few interesting moments, particularly Wendy's emotions when she sees Rita dead, but there's a lot of stupid stuff as Dredd continually drops Mega City One slang and technobabble on Wendy and acts like she's an idiot when she doesn't know it despite the fact she's never seen the stuff. Because of all the time spent on exposition, the actual story is only so so, with many shifts in moods that are sudden or exposition.

This is a good idea, but I can't help but thinking it would have made a far more interesting comic book where pictures could have more quickly set up the story. As it is, this release is mediocre at best.
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