Narration Complete

Yesterday we had our sixth recording session, the forth session of only narration, performed by Jacob Sidney as Gabriel.  All together it took about ten hours to get through itl.  The average takes for each line was three, with many coming at two, and a few coming in at eight.

One of the most enjoyable parts of the book is Chesterton’s voice when it comes to his description, which when adapting the story to radio, I knew would need to be translated into narration.

The book is told in the third person, though only from the perspective of Gabriel Syme. Adapting it to the first person, with Gabriel as the narrator was fairly simple. The difficult part was resisting the temptation to not include everything. There are so many great passages that Chesterton frames the story in terms of a larger battle between the forces of good and evil, with Gabriel as humanity’s chosen vessel to hold back the devil.

I’ve kept at least a part of  every thematic block of description, but had to shorten some of them drastically, in order to keep the action moving forward.  Most are intrinsic to the story, bringing out important themes, and others are just way too clever to lose.

Some highlights from our last session:  “having been first forced to fight for two factions that didn’t exist.”  Describing the Colonel, you don’t realize until you’re reading it aloud the repeated “F” sound.   It sounded great, though.  There are also a few repeated word gems, for example “we six tireless, though exasperated travellers broke through black thickets and ploughed through ploughed fields till each of us was turned into a figure too outrageous to be mistaken for a tramp.”

Chesterton nearly always includes two adjectives in each sentence that he’s describing something.  A favorite from yesterday:  “The next morning the five of us bewildered but hilarious people took the boat for Dover.”  Hilarious is a great way to describe the way the detectives feel once they realize how duped they’ve been.

Next we’re moving on to the scenes between Gabriel and Professor de Worms.

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