Communicator (communicator) wrote,
Communicator
communicator

Infinity welcomes careful drivers

On audio I'm listening to the Red Dwarf novel Infinity Welcomes Careful Drivers read by Chris Barrie. This was written after the first TV series was broadcast, but it isn't a simple novelisation. It fills in quite a lot of detail of Lister's life immediately before joining Red Dwarf, it provides some rough SF sensibility (or handwaving) to prop up the plot, and it gives you some insight into the heads of the characters, particularly poor tortured Rimmer. It's probably not that great a novel to read on paper, because you'd miss out on the lively characterisation by the delightful actors.

However it's great fun as an audio for one reason - Chris Barrie is a brilliant voice artist. That was his job before Red Dwarf - he did voice impersonations of politicians for Spitting Image (he was their Ronald Reagan I think among others). He does superb renditions of all the characters as played by the other actors: Holly, Cat, Kryten, Lister and Rimmer (in a different voice from his narrator-voice). It's most impressive in the second half, which corresponds to the TV series. The characters frequently have rapid arguments and discussions and he pops really impressively between all the voices, including the two versions of Rimmer screaming at each other.

So why listen to this rather than re-watch the TV show? Well, partly for me because I like listening to audio, and it fits in with other things I have to do. And secondly because you get the more developed plotting and intimate characterisation of the novel, without losing the lively and endearing personalities of the voices.

Apparently Barrie's also done an audio of the second novel, Better Than Life though they don't offer this (yet) on audible.co.uk - I'll email and request it, like I did for Green Mars.
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