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Play All copertina

Play All

Di: Clive James
Letto da: Clive Chafer
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Sintesi dell'editore

Television and TV viewing are not what they once were - and that's a good thing, according to award-winning author and critic Clive James. Since serving as television columnist for the London Observer from 1972 to 1982, James has witnessed a radical change in content, format, and programming, and in the very manner in which television is watched. Here he examines this unique cultural revolution, providing a brilliant, eminently entertaining analysis of many of the medium's most notable 21st-century accomplishments and their not-always-subtle impact on modern society - including such acclaimed serial dramas as Breaking Bad, The West Wing, Mad Men, and The Sopranos, as well as the comedy 30 Rock.

With intelligence and wit, James explores a television landscape expanded by cable and broadband and profoundly altered by the advent of Netflix, Amazon, and other "cord-cutting" platforms that have helped to usher in a golden age of unabashed binge-watching.

©2016 Clive James (P)2016 Blackstone Audio, Inc.

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  • Generale
    2 out of 5 stars
Immagine del profilo di Murray
  • Murray
  • 09/09/2016

An interesting if pointless book

The book presented an interesting idea but became dull and uninspiring by the end. If you like listening to an old man talk you through dvds hes watched and then reciting the plot and long lists of other movies and shows this reminded him off then this is for you.

2 persone l'hanno trovata utile

  • Generale
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Lettura
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Storia
    4 out of 5 stars
Immagine del profilo di Graham G Grant
  • Graham G Grant
  • 12/04/2023

Chronicles of a box set bingewatcher

Clive James is effortlessly eloquent as always in this book - the ruminations of a TV bingewatcher. In his declining years, beset by illness, he waded in to The West Wing, The Sopranos, Breaking Bad, Game of Thrones, Boardwalk Empire, Band of Brothers, Mad Men, House of Cards and other series, sometimes watching with his daughter, who was peeved by James’s cavils with what he saw - he didn’t like the dragons in Games of Thrones, for example, and she felt it was all part of the fantasy deal, so he should get over it (though he did love the series). James asks pertinent questions, such as why didn’t Jon Hamm of Mad Men fame change his surname at the start of his acting career? A prolific consumer of culture - a phrase he’d probably detest - James was a fantastic TV reviewer. I have his collected reviews on Kindle - and one day I may get to the end of them. They’re fabulous, even the ones about long-forgotten and little-lamented shows no one really remembers (maybe especially those…) All of which means James knows what he’s doing. There’s a light touch, of course, but James takes the task seriously. This isn’t exactly a book of reviews of his favourite TV box sets - though that does broadly sum it up. But James also wants to make a more fundamental point - that telly drama should be taken seriously, thanks to all of these highly binge-able series, which are good as well as addictive - well, most of them anyway. In other words, highbrow or scholarly artistic critique shouldn’t be confined to the theatre and opera. After all, many more of us watch telly shows. Nowadays, when strangers meet, conversational common ground is likely to include what they’ve been watching on Netflix. (It seems a lot of people don’t have time in their busy lives to read - but strangely do manage to carve out space in their schedules to watch several hours straight of their favourite drama series). Box sets have been replaced by streaming - a development James predicts in Play All. If you’re a James fan, you’ll lap it up. He doesn’t read it - but the narration is clear and steady. It took me a while to get into it, but I listened to the bulk of it in one go - on a relatively long walk - at around 1.2 times ‘normal’ speed (the narration, not the walking), and it worked well. One issue is that James uses a lot of words - to great effect - so you feel you really have to focus, otherwise you’re not going to absorb all of it (the same goes for Line of Duty…) Which means a second listen might be in order - perhaps homing in on the shows you’ve seen that he’s written about. I had seen most of what he’d seen, though by no means all. And most of his assessments are spot-on. (I strongly disagreed with his general lack of enthusiasm for Breaking Bad). It doesn’t matter - like his telly reviews, the joy is in the reading (and the listening).

  • Generale
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Lettura
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Storia
    4 out of 5 stars
Immagine del profilo di M. E-S
  • M. E-S
  • 14/08/2021

let down by narrator

A pleasure to hear Mr James's musings on the modern age of television. His critiques take a long view and express a broader knowledge of influence than most critics. It is heart warming to find that age and illness have not robbed him of his ability to appreciate culture and articulate his impressions of it. My unfamiliarity with several of the shows discussed did not detract from my enjoyment.
Content aside, I found this version ailing from the poor performance of the narrator. I don't need a mimic of the author, but conveying a range of nuance in phrasing can make or break an audio book, and this one felt broken. If "Lost Voice Guy" were narrating audio books, this is what it would sound like.