My Two Cents: Hats off to Chris Dueker for getting me a copy of this classic series released by NPR. Listening to this is tragic not just because of the story (which is a powerful testament to the screwiness of our species and the solipsism of our world), but because this kind of work isn’t being produced anymore. NPR captures a remarkable and distant sound here that isn’t BBC or OTR or anything resembling MAD. It’s its own vibe which sadly only captured by this remarkable drama.
If you’ve never read the novel, A Canticle for Leibowitz is one of the earliest post-apocalyptic stories set in a nuclear future where monks preserve the last bastion of knowledge for when humans will be fit enough to appreciate it again. Imagine Fallout if instead of ultra-violence the protagonists were pacifists. Like, if Mad Max had gone into the priesthood instead of grabbing a dune buggy.
The whole “sound” of Leibowitz is much different than many productions today — the whole audio portrait is subdued, quiet, understated. Compare than to the flash-bang of Hollywood and even most audio drama today. The simple, sparse sound effects and pervasive but muted music underscore a simple time, of simple people, where the truth of the story is allow to bubble up rather than smash you in the face with a mallet. I’m in love with Carol Colin’s narrator. She has transformed the entire idea of the narrator in audio drama.
I’m not sure where you can legitimately get this nowadays, but I recommend you do. It’s an epic journey (7.5 hrs) but well worth the trip.