When I was about 7 or 8, I was given an audio book (ON CASSETTE!) to listen to as I drifted into my blissful slumber. It was Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol and a rather glorious introduction to his social commentary on the Victorian era. The tape was specifically targeted at children so the narrator’s accents were richly exaggerated and bewitching. I played this tape too many times to count; a couple of years later it became irreparably damaged from over-love.
I don’t really listen to audio books now as I think that I am not really ‘reading’. It feels like I’m cheating my own intellect. But given my partiality to the modern podcast, I feel any moment now there is a book waiting to be listened to.
The Bricks That Built The Houses. I have no idea if an audio book exists of this tale but if there does, run don’t walk. The South London accent floods every pore of this book and it is the richer for it. There is no other way to read it than with the thick working class acoustic of Blighty. It’s glorious.
Protagonist Becky Darke is an aimless millennial. The child of a convicted former politician father and an overwhelmed and manic mother, a life less ordinary was preordained. However, it is through her fumbled meanderings that the aimless and ineffectual become extraordinary and compelling.
Read it with an accent out loud and proud. You won’t regret it.