Sep 30, 2010

The Witchfinders

In the "Confessions" post a few weeks ago, I admitted that I hadn't listened
to any of Richard's audio books yet. That is no longer the case, thanks to a friend 
who sent me a copy of "The Witchfinders." (It is a Robin Hood audio book
that takes place towards the beginning of Season 3.)

"The Witchfinders" is an original story,
so listening to it was like watching a lost episode of Robin Hood.

Click HERE to read about the plot and
for an option to listen to an excerpt from "The Witchfinders."

I know Richard has a great voice and many people have mentioned
how wonderfully he reads stories.  Up until listening to "The Witchfinders,"
the only stories I'd heard Richard read were the children's books on Cbeebies,
which he made fun and exciting, even for adults.

Richard is truly a great narrator, bringing this story to life.
I was so impressed by his ability to change his voice to mimic his cast mates.
When he read their parts, he sounded just like the Sheriff, Robin, Much, Allan and Little John.
I laughed out loud when he read the part of Kate. :)

While Richard's narrating skills were brilliant, the sound effects were definitely cheestastic!
They were so fake-sounding, I couldn't help but picture a bunch of people in the studio with Richard
clanging away at odds-and-ends, like the used to back in the old fashioned, glory days of radio.

The horrible imitation of horse hoofs reminded me of"Monty Python and the Holy Grail,"
when the noblemen are riding imaginary horses while their servants are trailing
behind, banging coconuts together to simulate the sound of running horses.

Robin as the taunting French Guard in Monty Python:
 (You had to have seen the movie, I guess...)

Anyway, back to "The Witchfinders."
I do recommend it to any fan of Richard Armitage
and/or the Robin Hood series.

I enjoyed it...
even if it made me miss Gizzy.


Anonymous said...

Love the sound effects pictures Nat. I'm not a fan of effects or music in audio books. I recently listened to Convenient Marriage and, though the music was lovely, it was a bit much. I just wanted to listen to Richard already.

@Rob said...

Actually, I liked The Siege better. It was another orginal story and it was RH and Guy of G. I liked the story better.

Witchfinders, I found the voice of the Sheriff to be rather grating after a while.

VaBookworm87 said...

I haven't listened to any of the books RA has narrated, although I've been meaning to... I suppose I'll have to hunt hunt them down :D

B* said...

Hahaha Nat! Love this post...."Brave Brave Sir Robin....he ran away"..... "It's only a flesh wound!" go with your great quote....must admit yours is a classic in our family....
I had never listened to any audiobooks until Sylvester then listened to Venetia and TCM. I enjoyed them all but prefered the first two. They are not books I would usually pick up but when I did "read" them after listening to their audio versions, hearing RA's voice in my head made them even more fun. My young kids even enjoyed them - actually my son was interested but my daughter soon was RA can add "lulling a cranky two year old to sleep" to his list of many talents.

Avalon said...

Poor Robin...Sometimes I think you pick on him:)
Yes, the hoof transition was a laugh for us as well. I thought RA was quite amusing with Kate's voice.

RAFrenzy said...


Don't forget I've got several of his audio books if you to check them out. Let me know.

I agree with @Rob about The Siege vs. The Witchfinders, which means it gets better! LOL!

Myrtle said...

The Robin Hood audio books are my least favourite of RA's readings. They are, as you say Nat rather cheesy, and I agree that 'The Siege' is probably the best one. The part where Robin and Guy are drunk in the Castle is very funny.

I prefer the Georgette Heyer audiobooks, Venetia being my favourite, it is impossible not to fall for Dameral :) Though, 'Convenient Marriage' and 'Sylvester' are excellent too. The range of 'voices' RA develops for these are truly amazing. He even develops a wonderful stammer for Horry in CM. I would imagine any lover of period drama would enjoy these, and I quite like the musical interludes, as they help to set the scene.

However, by far, RA's best reading to date has to be 'Lord's of the North; (Bernard Cornwell BBC audio books), this audio book is in a completely different league. The Story of warrior Uhtred in Saxon England. Listening to this inspired me to read the other 'Saxon Chronicles'
in which Bernard recounts the story of Uhtred from Childhood to old age. Fascinating, absolultey fascintaing! RA is simply outstanding.

Ps Naxos also have an audio book of North and South read by Claire Willie. It is very good, sadly however, Claire does not have the northern baritone for Mr Thornton

Elisabet said...

I love this post, and the reference to Monty Python. I've seen that movie a couple of times and love the quotes mentioned in your blog and above. And I fully agree with Myrtle's comment: LOTN is the BEST. I am now reading the Saxon chronicles as well after I lisetened to LOTN, and I love it. Just finished the first one (of 5). And it is really gripping.

Phylly3 said...

LOL! Love the Monty Python reference!
The only audio book I have so far (and the only one I have ever owned!) is Venetia. I would love to have more -- esp. that LOTN if I could get my hands on a copy!

pi said...

Oh Nat! I am not quite sure of what you wrote. Such lovely pictures! Got distracted.... I'll get back to ya.

I have Venetia but have not listened to it yet.

The insult from Monty Python's HG is one of my absolute favourites. RA, IMO, is quite good at comedy- in Robin Hood he had the timing. I thought that he and the sheriff were hilarious. A delightful surprise! I really hope he gets to do something light hearted in the future because I think he has the talent for it and it would be great fun after so much of the lowering brow.

I have to say, I do miss Gizzy as well.

Ann Marie said...

I have to agree with Myrtle. I have listened to several of Mr. Armitage's audiobooks and really enjoyed them all. However, I think his best,and now my favorite, is Lords of the North. Like Myrtle, I too am now going to be reading the rest of the Saxon series to follow Uhtred's life story. I have Mr. Armitage's voice in my head and it really enhances the reading. His flair for humour is uplifting.

Can we petition Naxos to commission a reading by Mr. A of North and South. It seems logical.

twinkling moon said...

After hearing RA's narration in that clip I'm impressed. He really switched his voice so drastically in such a short time between characters. Now I'm curious to hear more.

but gotta say, generally speaking I'm not a fan of cheesey sound effects :)

mulubinba said...

I haven't listened to these audios but have the GH's and of cours LOTN. Are there coconut shell sound effects for horses hoofs?? Lol!! My favourite MP and the HG scene is God saying "Stop Grovelling" from the clouds Keith Allen could do that with aplomb, imo :)