Friday 4th December 2009
It's that time again and so I thought I'd re-post the reading I made last year of the whole of Dickens's A Christmas Carol; it's in five "staves" (as in the book) - you can download 'em all at once or serialise it for yourself. It's on the podcasts page.
(While I'm here, many of you have been asking if I'm going to do any more podcasts; the answer is probably not in the same format as the ones I used to post, but I'm working on a whole new podcast format which I hope to kick off in the New Year - stay tuned etc.)
Sorry if it seems a bit cheeky of me to offer you last year's Christmas present all over again; I'm sure there are those among you who've only become aware of me in the last twelve months and won't have heard the reading yet, so it's "new" to you guys.
Meanwhile so the rest of you don't feel cheated here's just a little something I know none of you will have seen yet; it's a bit I wrote for The Now Show Book Of World Records which didn't make the final cut, for one reason or another. My money's on "another"; you'll see why when you read it.
MOST POPULAR BOOK
The most popular book ever written is THE BIBLE (God & various contributors, 6006BC-AD34). It has been translated into every known language and several unknown ones. It has been reprinted more times than any other published work and has outsold all other books put together. Despite all this, there is no record of God ever having claimed any royalty payments (although it is understood that the Vatican bank is holding onto all God's unpaid residuals “just in case”).
The Bible can, broadly speaking, be split into two distinct halves: The Old Testament and The New Testament. The Old Testament tells the story of how God subjects his chosen people the Jews to thousands of years of slavery, bondage, exile and misery in order to prove to them that he loves them best.
The New Testament (original title GOD II: THIS TIME HE'S CORPOREAL) tells of how God despatches his one true son Jesus to live among mortal men as a great moral teacher and spiritual leader before having him tortured to death and blaming the entire human race for this, even those yet unborn, in order to show how much he loves us all.
As is often the case with sequels, The New Testament was not as universally well received as its predecessor with many staunch fans of the original refusing to accept it as part of the “canon” and preferring to ignore it completely (see also Highlander II: The Quickening).
A rumoured third installment BIBLE III: REVENGE OF THE LIZARD PEOPLE has yet to materialise, although many Bible scholars regard the final section of The New Testament, Revelations, as a separate book in its own right. Revelations tells in vivid language how God will one day leave the world to suffer centuries of war, famine, anguish and torment and the thousand-year reign of the Anti-Christ, before returning to destroy the entire planet to show how he loves us so much.