For the record

•March 22, 2018 • 2 Comments

Here’s a positive review of Wolverine: A Long Night that praises one of the things I find most problematic and puzzling about the piece (the lack of signposting). Via Perry. I understand his argument but based on my listening experience, I’m not persuaded. I can’t believe it’s Wednesday already. I guess we’ll see what happens next week. Additionally, I don’t get why you’d make such a hullabaloo of Richard Armitage being in it, and then share only three episodes with reviewers where he speaks a total of about 90 seconds (in 90 minutes of the show). I don’t see how a reviewer can praise the performance of a lead actor who’s barely in the part of the show he’s heard. Surely you’d have to wait? [shrugs]

I wonder if he can be pestered into saying that — such a majestic self-description

•March 21, 2018 • 9 Comments

If you wanted to buy Wanderlust as a book, it’s now available

•March 20, 2018 • 10 Comments

Per Lauren Blakely’s website.

Who’s afraid of the big bad? Richard Armitage in “The Werewolf”

•March 20, 2018 • 2 Comments

With regret I come to the last of the stories Richard Armitage read for the edition of The Bloody Chamber and Other Stories. “The Werewolf” is a rewrite of “Little Red Riding Hood” with a werewolf story and some early modern witchhunting lore. It is the pendant in some ways to “The Snow Child,” in that this time the child takes the upper hand and asserts her own power against the prerogatives of the old. It is also the story most likely to arouse the ire of feminist critics of her writing. I tend to find these readings too strongly insist on a one-to-one reading of events in the story to political relationships, as if they’d all overdosed on Jack Zipes, who understands the fairy tale primarily, even solely, as a moral event. I like the readings that emphasize the female in this story as a locus of instability; they allow for the ambivalence that was central to many fairy tales in their original tellings.

As reader, Armitage again adopts the tone of distance, with more warmth entering his voice only at the very occasional points when the text itself becomes chatty (“anyone will tell you that”). The cold detached tone matches the cold, detached, violent story. But was it wrong of me, listening to a “Northern” tale, to have wished that Armitage had let a bit more of a northern tinge into his words? A little bit of Porter?


From Richard Armitage’s instagram

•March 19, 2018 • 4 Comments


A post shared by Richard Armitage (@richardcarmitage) on

First impressions: Richard Armitage in Wolverine: The Long Night 3 [spoilers]

•March 19, 2018 • 12 Comments

[Usual disclaimer: I’ve never seen any Wolverine films or read any comics. I decided, after trying to read the wikipedia article about Wolverine and drowning in the detail, that I’d go into this cold, with only a very basic awareness of the identity character, Wolverine. Also, I am making no comparisons to Hugh Jackman — the only thing I’ve ever seen him in was Kate and Leopold.]

TL: DR — the sound quality is still excellent. The story is increasingly boring, although it describes gory murders of people and animals (uch). Richard Armitage has seven total words in this episode.


The sheriff questions an apparent connection raised by Marshall between Aurora and one of the victims, and begrudgingly acknowledges the possibility of a serial killer. He wants Logan and the cult “scrubbed clean” from Burns and the agents gone. The agents watch a tape of a creepy tape of Aurora engaging in animal sacrifice, in which they learn the second victim was involved with the cult. On their way to interview the father, Bobby gives them some more information about the discovery of Jessica Reilly’s body. He appears to have been very upset by the crime. (Servetus’ opinion: crime novel readers will probably be tempted to make Bobby for the murders at this point. Probably premature?)

The agents interviews the Reillys. The interview turns to Logan, but the parents think that Nicholas Prophet is responsible for her murder. They describe the same events that were on the creepy tape, earlier. Jessica said one word to them: “Goodnight.” After this father forcibly rescued her from the cult, and Prophet also used the term “Goodnight.”

Bobby takes the agents to the Aurora compound. (Servetus’ opinion: what seemed like fanboy attraction in the last two episodes is starting to feel like inappropriate interest in events at this point.) The agents enter the building and meet some spacey-sounding cult members, who praise the atmosphere of sensory deprivation. They meet Prophet, who denies murdering Sandy Evans and Jessica Reilly. Prophet has met Logan but refuses to say why Logan was there, except that “he is what this town deserves.” Prophet warns the agents to be afraid of him. He takes them into a cave system under their building. Aurora came to Burns b/c of ley lines. They take his knife (for testing?) and urge him to tell them anything he knows, because everyone hates him. Prophet tells them the Sheriff is in the service of the Langrocks. He invites them to join him in an animal sacrifice.

Afterwards, they’re in a hotel room (I guess). Pierce vidded the sacrifice on her phone. The knife has been cleaned of traces. They talk about interviewing the sheriff when the phone rings. It’s Logan — 27: 13.

Truly disturbing: Richard Armitage reads “The Snow Child”

•March 19, 2018 • 2 Comments

If you are concerned about this title, this is the story to miss. Yes, it’s brief — something like five hundred words — but it’s as if Angela Carter wanted to put every single taboo in the Snow White fairy tale into starker relief by relating the tale in present tense and refusing to cushion any of the story elements with any elaboration or hide any of them with euphemisms. It’s not fun, or funny, and it’s definitely something that would test your brain and your nerve. Here are two interesting readings of the tale, if you wonder what it means (here and here). I find myself less interested in what it means — or perhaps willfully uninterested, as I find it revolting — and more interested in how it sounds.

How does one narrate a story like this? Richard Armitage chooses a tone that combines crispness, detachment, and a mild tinge of disgust. The crispness corresponds well with the winter setting of the tale and the narration of its stark colors (black, white, red) gains from his staccato, clipped, closing consonants. It’s hard, in comparison, to talk about the tension between the detachment, which occasionally slides mildly into regret, and the disgust. How does one narrate a rape, albeit a highly symbolic one? As a woman, and generally as a sympathizer with Snow White, I would choose a tone that indicated a bit more outrage. That might not work as well for a male narrator — he definitely conveys the feeling of looking on in mild astonishment, even if his tone doesn’t reach at all toward horror. His method here works for him and the tale definitely leaves the listener with a few breaths of shock to take at its end, but I think primarily because it’s so short. Had the story been longer, he’d have needed to take sides. In any case, I can’t really explain or analyze this one although I’ve listened to it now a dozen times. Maybe that’s an index of success?

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