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Thread: B.S. Johnson

  1. #1
    Mandryka Guest

    Default B.S. Johnson

    His 1969 novel The Unfortunates was dramatised on R3 on Sunday evening. I caught the tail-end of it on the way back from West Yorks: it held me but I couldn't make much sense of it. Haven't read the wikpedia precis, I can understand why.

    Anyone on here read any BSJ? He sounds intriguing, if very much of his time. I'm slightly put off by the fact that he was, apparently, a manic football fan.

  2. #2
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    This was a repeat. Did they advertise the alternative versions? I could see the point, sort of, with the novel but didn't feel it added much to the play as there was a limit to how many times I wanted to go on listening to it.

    But, yes, interesting character.

  3. #3
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    I'd like to have heard that. Was the play self-assembly?

    I've never read the Unfortunates, but it was one of those legendary things people talked about - a novel that came loose-leafed for you to bind yourself in an order of your own choosing. (I believe it was in chapters, rather than loose pages!) I did read Christie Malry's Double-Entry, and it was very funny, and bitter. About a man taking revenge on society. There was a film made of it recently, I believe, but I haven't seen it.

  4. #4
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    Yes - I can highly recommend Christie Malry's Own Double-Entry, beautifully dark and very funny; it is also deeply rooted in the Brook Green / Hammersmith area which was my stamping ground when I first came up to London, and conveys a certain squalid atmosphere very well ...

    I confess - I have had The Unfortunates in its box on my shelves for a long time: I have dipped into a few of the brief chapters from time to time but have never got round to grappling with the thing properly...

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pilchardman View Post
    I'd like to have heard that. Was the play self-assembly?
    You can still hear the Sunday broadcast here.

    My memory is that last time they did have all the parts available separately so that you could assemble your own version but they don't seem to have done that this time. At least, I don't see any mention on the programme page. Lots of other background detail there, though, and a description of how the play was adapted.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by french frank View Post
    You can still hear the Sunday broadcast here.

    My memory is that last time they did have all the parts available separately so that you could assemble your own version but they don't seem to have done that this time. At least, I don't see any mention on the programme page. Lots of other background detail there, though, and a description of how the play was adapted.
    Thanks FF.

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