The Adventures of Sexton Blake

Let’s get right to the point here….

This, is awesome.

If you like things that are awesome, you should buy it, listen to it, then probably buy it again just to give away to your friends who also like things that are awesome.

Need more reasons? Fine, here you go…

First, it’s BBC. So you know it’s not crap right off the bat.

Moreover, it stars Simon Jones. (Who many of you know as Arthur from The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy.) He absolutely nails the comedic timing of Blake all the way through this.

Secondarily, this is the best the best radio drama I’ve ever come in contact with.

Sixth and lastly: It’s cleverly written, brilliantly acted, and directed with a smooth, fast-paced clarity I’ve never experienced before.

Thirdly, I have bought no less that eight copies and given them all away as gifts.

And, to conclude, I’d like to officially add the director, Dirk Maggs, to the very short list of people I would unreservedly trust to do an alternate-media version of The Name of the Wind.


Edit: I’m removing all “First” posts in order to nip this behavior in the bud. I did it as an ironcial-type joke in the last blog, and didn’t mean to establish a trend.

This entry was posted in audiobooks, cool things, recommendationsBy Pat56 Responses


  1. PirateXxEsquw
    Posted April 21, 2010 at 1:31 AM | Permalink

    Lame @ “first” posts.


    Do you think a radio drama version is likely, pat?

    • Posted April 21, 2010 at 9:44 AM | Permalink

      Honestly, I don’t think it’s very likely. I don’t think my book is well-suited to that format.

      And that’s without even considering the problems like the production cost. How many hours would it take to get NOTW into a radio-drama type story? 10? 20?

      It’s expensive doing an audiobook, but it’s way more time and labor intensive to do radio drama because in there you have multiple actors, sound effects… hell, they’d have to hire someone to play lute, too. It would be really pricey to make…

      • Ben
        Posted April 21, 2010 at 10:08 AM | Permalink

        What you say is somewhat true. But pricey is in the eye of the beholder.
        I think that it would be expensive for a radio drama but not expensive in terms of potential profit to be made.
        Radio can achieve multimillion $ effects for pennies on the dollar.

        • Posted April 21, 2010 at 10:53 AM | Permalink

          No, pricey is in the eye of the producer.

          These days, so many people simply steal audiobooks/radio dramas that it’s hard to justify the expense of producing one. This thing cost tens of thousands of dollars to script, foley, act, edit, burn and distribute the CDs. Then some dickhead decides that he doesn’t want to actually support any of those people by paying 18 dollars, so he downloads it.

          That’s part of the reason I’m mentioning it on the blog. I hope if enough people buy a copy, it will pay for itself and they’ll make a second one.

          • Chris
            Posted April 21, 2010 at 4:27 PM | Permalink

            Out of interest how do the likes of Audible fit into this. I’m a member and it has really opened up the world of audio books to me, but are they good from an author’s perspective?
            I assume (hope) they increase volume and the likelihood of audio versions?

          • Billie
            Posted April 24, 2010 at 4:46 PM | Permalink

            I dunno about English, but they did make a radio drama-type audio book (with a number of well-known voice actors) for LotR in Germany. If they can make a radio drama for the Lord of the Rings and its gazillion characters and pages, they can make one for NotW… and I’m praying it’ll happen. :D Preferably in English, but hey.

          • Ben
            Posted April 26, 2010 at 9:34 PM | Permalink

            I understand your point of view Pat, but there are companies out there who are producing good “radio” plays and audiobooks. The medium is not dead, it’s just going through a period of change. Time was when an audiobook would cost you $60+ now that’s come down and more people are able to buy it. anyway are you familiar with graphic audio (a movie in your mind is the coolest slogan ever!) ? They do a great job on their audio-plays.

          • Patrick
            Posted April 27, 2010 at 5:13 PM | Permalink

            I think that’s a cultural thing in Germany, though. My parents are German (I grew up there until I was 4) and I had dozens and dozens of radio dramas on cassette tape when I was a kid.
            But none of the American kids had a single one.
            Actually, until I read it on this blog, I never had a word for “those stories on tape I used to listen to as a kid”. Now I know what to call them…. Radio dramas. :-) Thanks!

      • Will
        Posted April 21, 2010 at 11:10 AM | Permalink

        I don’t think you could actually produce a real song that would have the profound impact on its audience that “Sir Savien” had, either. It seems like a thing that will have to be kept in the heart of the readers, because if i heard what was supposedly the official version of the song, i would probably go “that is not the song!” and be irritated, rather than emotionally stirred. that is also a reason why you should not think about a movie until you are old and bored. if ever.

        • Morgane
          Posted April 21, 2010 at 1:52 PM | Permalink

          I agree with you about the “Sir Savien” problem.
          I never heard a song that moved me so much as to cry everytime I hear it. I mean, I may have cried once or twice while listening to a song, but to ALWAYS be moved to tears by the same “ballad” (it does exist in english, right ?)… Quite impossible to produce such a song and the perfect melody to accompany it.

          And speaking about downloading thing instead of buying it… I can’t find “The Road to Levinshir”. The book “Subterranean: Tales of Dark Fantasy” doesn’t even exist anymore. Wouldn’t it be possible for you to put it online ?
          And would it help with I mention that I’m a girl ? A french girl ? (guess it doesn’t work as well on american than on english… too bad)

          • Will
            Posted April 21, 2010 at 3:49 PM | Permalink

            XD this is the first time somebody has commented on my comment on a blog like this! sorry, im a dork :P

        • Patrick
          Posted April 27, 2010 at 5:16 PM | Permalink

          I agree about Sir Savien. No one could ever write that song properly. The expectation is way too high.

      • Posted April 21, 2010 at 10:59 PM | Permalink

        [fangirlymoment]A reply! <3 My life has been validated!

        Ok, so maybe not a radio drama… What about a BBC television series? Or a graphic novel (holy shit that would be so fucking amazing.)?

        I know you've thought about these things.
        Stephen Fry to narrate the bbc series, perhaps? :D

        On a not-really side note, there's no Australian sources, is there? I'd have import it?

      • Heritor
        Posted April 22, 2010 at 4:59 AM | Permalink

        ah, but most of The Name of the Wind is spoken aloud in order for Chronicler to record it…i think it would be cool (if a little unwieldy) to produce an acted audio version.

        • Morgane
          Posted April 22, 2010 at 10:01 AM | Permalink

          PirateXxEsque, a TV version wouldn’t work.
          Kvothe is 8 at the beginning, 15 at the university, and 25 when he tells his story to Chronicler. You’d have to find at least 3 actors, plus put a lot of make up on the kid for the Terbean episode, for he is not a kid anymore, but not a teenager yet either.

          Plus, I’m pretty sure the producer would end up putting Robert Pattinson to play Kvothe (since he kind of plays in every move staring a “young” man, these times), and it would be… terrifying.

          But still, would have been nice to put a real face on Kvothe…

          (sorry if I made any mistakes, english isn’t my native language)

  2. stephanie
    Posted April 21, 2010 at 2:25 AM | Permalink

    Hmm… interesting.

  3. Posted April 21, 2010 at 2:34 AM | Permalink

    Also available on iTunes and Audible, for those like me that abhor buying physical media (the effort! the loss of instant gratification!).

  4. gruff
    Posted April 21, 2010 at 2:52 AM | Permalink

    just purchased it. Cant wait to hear it. thanks for the recommendation.


  5. Dan
    Posted April 21, 2010 at 3:02 AM | Permalink

    Nice one, will give it a go. Bound to be aired on Radio 7 again soon (in the UK)

    One of the writers is Mil Millington, author of “Things My Girlfriend and I Have Argued About”, an essential read IMO. (see also

  6. Vasko
    Posted April 21, 2010 at 5:01 AM | Permalink

    Look what you started by putting First on your last blog Pat, you’ve created a Monster… PS any chance you can give us the story of the beard, was it a lazy thing? Have you always wanted a beard like that? I am sure its an interesting tale with lots of intruge and womanizing.

  7. Trent
    Posted April 21, 2010 at 5:12 AM | Permalink

    Can we all just give a big hurrah for Dogberry’s system of enumeration? Pat, are you trying to make us all more literate by sneaking in semi-obscure Shakespeare references?

    And while I’m on the subject, where do you stand on the true authorship of Shakespeare’s plays?

  8. Ben
    Posted April 21, 2010 at 6:15 AM | Permalink

    You’ve so got me with your last argument >.<

  9. Posted April 21, 2010 at 6:35 AM | Permalink

    Ok, Pat, you brutalised me with that awesome series of endorsements.

    I’ll buy a copy.
    Hell, I’m going to buy two, and give one away as a present, WITHOUT LISTENING TO IT FIRST, simply on this recommendation.

    “What’s this?”, my friend will say.
    “Who cares, PATRICK ROTHFUSS endorsed it!”
    Then we’ll share a mutual high-five moment. Life will be good.

  10. Orvis Evans
    Posted April 21, 2010 at 6:59 AM | Permalink

    That is an insane set of endorsements. Pat, the power of your words have inspired me to listen to this greatness. Cheers!

    I assume that this was a finding after the what-should-I-listen-to post?

    • Posted April 21, 2010 at 9:47 AM | Permalink

      Actually, I bought an imported copy way back in February and listened to it non-stop in my car for almost a month before giving it to a friend.

      I wanted to talk about it on the blog then, but I realized people here in the US wouldn’t be able to buy it until April, so I’ve been waiting to mention it…

      • Rebecca Oberlender
        Posted April 21, 2010 at 3:00 PM | Permalink

        Thanks for doing that ^w^
        Well, I’m off to find it now.
        Thanks again,
        ~ Ree~

  11. Priscellie
    Posted April 21, 2010 at 9:38 AM | Permalink

    *makes a note to buy the HECK out of this as soon as she gets home*

    Just when I was looking for good audio books/radio dramas, too!

    • Jess
      Posted April 22, 2010 at 1:08 AM | Permalink

      Hello. Not to be excessively weird, but are you the “industrious little gnome” Priscellie?

      (word verification: south dampens. Har! )

  12. Amanda
    Posted April 21, 2010 at 10:15 AM | Permalink

    This sounds too awesome. The cable company only just realized they’d been giving us free cable for 10 months and consequently turned it off, so I’ve been in dire need of some non-television-related entertainment.

    Although now that summer’s coming, I can FINALLY read that book I won from Worldbuilders >.<

  13. PJ
    Posted April 21, 2010 at 10:19 AM | Permalink

    You should write a review for Amazon (which, amusingly now has on the Sexton Blake page “Frequently Bought Together
    Customers buy this book with The Name of the Wind (Kingkiller Chronicles, Day 1) by Patrick Rothfuss”)

  14. Shane
    Posted April 21, 2010 at 10:34 AM | Permalink

    I’ve never listened to a radio drama but i’m always looking for interesting stories. Honestly, in my mind i thought that radio dramas died out with The
    Ware of the Worlds era of radio. I’ll have to check out this completely untapped form of entertainment. Thanks for the recommendation!

    • Shane
      Posted April 21, 2010 at 10:35 AM | Permalink

      …that should be WAR of the Worlds

  15. JenMo
    Posted April 21, 2010 at 11:37 AM | Permalink

    Thanks for the awesome recommendation. On awesome related subjects, are you gonna post about your participation in Books for Boobs? I saw your name when Jim Butcher’s tweet led me that way. Very awesome Pat!

    • Posted April 22, 2010 at 11:49 AM | Permalink

      Oh. I didn’t know that was going on right now. Thanks for the heads up…

  16. Michelle
    Posted April 21, 2010 at 12:46 PM | Permalink

    Have you ever heard the audiobook of The Eye of Samarkand? It is highly amusing.

  17. Posted April 21, 2010 at 12:46 PM | Permalink

    Its sad that there aren’t more radio dramas. I love them myself.
    Again the unseen consequences of piracy come into play. So many people feel that its a victimless crime and that there are no big negative consequences. But the long run effect will eventually be that we will no longer have any decent TV, books, movies or radio. Because if people cannot make money by producing these things, they will not be produced.

  18. Omemiserum
    Posted April 21, 2010 at 12:49 PM | Permalink

    Pat, I think you are referring to Peter Jones rather than Simon Jones.

    Also, try the following from the BBC as they are fab – Paul Temple series, Round the Horne – this is VERY British humour, which I hope you will get, as is the Navy Lark and finally, Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes. In fact material like this can be listened to for free on Radio 7 BBC. As this is a digital station you can listen to it in the States also with a bit of finagaling.

  19. Josh
    Posted April 21, 2010 at 2:22 PM | Permalink

    LOVE the reference to Much Ado About Nothing! Having played Dogberry before, I can tell you there are few characters as much fun as he.

  20. Brent
    Posted April 21, 2010 at 2:46 PM | Permalink

  21. Brent
    Posted April 21, 2010 at 2:49 PM | Permalink

    Whoops, fucked up my link post and dont know how to edit my other one, so once more:

    P-Roths book for boobs

  22. Bruno
    Posted April 21, 2010 at 2:56 PM | Permalink

    so… and why don’t you talk about book 2, i hear u saying…?

  23. Posted April 21, 2010 at 4:23 PM | Permalink

    Sigh…as if my shame at yielding to the temptation of “first” comment wasn’t great enough already…
    How cruel of you, Sir Rothfuss, to endorse a trend by indulging in it yourself, only to enforce punishment upon those who followed suit.
    …I’d have done the same thing. :)

  24. Alexis
    Posted April 21, 2010 at 5:49 PM | Permalink

    Does this coveted short list contain any names beyond Dirk Maggs and Joss?

  25. farleyk
    Posted April 21, 2010 at 6:11 PM | Permalink

    If you’re having a hard time getting BBC radio dramas (for a while there it was difficult to obtain the Hitchhiker’s series, for example), the UK amazon is a good source. When stuff is good, you just get it. Pretend it’s in dollars and not pounds, and revel in the fact that you are getting something with cool airmail markings.
    The NPR Star Wars series is quite good, too.

  26. Little My
    Posted April 21, 2010 at 7:57 PM | Permalink

    Hey, speaking of which, what DID you listen to on the wedding road trip?

    • Amy
      Posted April 21, 2010 at 9:46 PM | Permalink

      I want to know too!

  27. Jess
    Posted April 22, 2010 at 1:05 AM | Permalink


    Do you take blogular requests? Because I’m really dying for The Perils of Fan Fiction-Part II. Like, really dying. Wasting away even. I might even be looking more forward to that blog post than I am to book 2 which, if you knew me, you knew would be an even Bigger FD than health care. =)

    word verfication: of saratoga. This amuses me.

  28. Ben
    Posted April 22, 2010 at 6:32 AM | Permalink

    Hi Pat,

    Long time reader, first time writer. I’d just like to recommend the BBC Radio series ‘Bleak Expectations’. There are currently three seasons of it, and it is (by and large) an absolutely hilarious production from the good people at the BBC. It is worth listening to just for Anthony Head’s (better known to most Americans as Giles from Buffy) performance. As always, best wishes.

  29. Ken H
    Posted April 22, 2010 at 8:24 AM | Permalink

    Another good radio drama? C.S. Lewis’s Screwtape Letters. If you’re at all familiar with the characters, you may be excited to hear that Andy Serkis (Gollum) plays Screwtape.

    Really, really fun.

  30. Owen
    Posted April 22, 2010 at 5:01 PM | Permalink

    I am truly surprised that no one has brought up Firesign Theatre’s “The Further Adventures of Nick Danger” as a response to this. The acting/comedy is top-notch and just dirty enough to keep my interest! I highly recommend it as 20+ minutes well spent, and endlessly quote-worthy (in the voice of Rocky R).

  31. Henning Hönicke
    Posted April 23, 2010 at 7:01 AM | Permalink

    I sent your blog post to Dirk Maggs, who replied that he’ll have to buy you a drink soon. Also: BBC didn’t want a second series of Sexton Blake (BOOOO!)

  32. Cristina Vieira
    Posted May 19, 2010 at 5:13 AM | Permalink

    Greetings from Spain!
    Firstly, I want to thank you for an odd thing: these days I’m studying for my English exams at School of Languages and I’m training them listening to you in several interviews

    you’ve done and reading every article related to you or your books. The student’s book that we have is very boring and, as the exams consist in show our skills in reading and

    listening comprehension, among others, I’ve found in you a very funny way to improve them.
    I don’t know if I’ll pass, but, anyway, I’ll try it and at least I’ve discoverd you, and It’s worth.
    As you can see, I talk about my listening and readings skills, but perhaps I have a long way ahead for my writing ones. I hope that this comment was understandable.
    As I said before, thank you very much for, of course for your book (which I haven´t finished ye, but that is another story…).
    Best regards!

  33. Kara J
    Posted May 28, 2010 at 9:24 AM | Permalink

    First of all I’d like to say hello, this is my first comment on one of these new-fangled blog type thingummys.

    Second of all I’d like to say how wonderful your book is, but I’m kind of guessing you already know that judging by the huge fan base you have. :P

    And finally I’d like to say that this post reminded me of something….and I couldn’t quite put my finger on it. So I re-read it and then I realised that the format you used (sixth and lastly etc) was something I knew from elsewhere. Some more brain-racking later and I remembered! That format was used by the character of Dogberry in Shakespeare’s Much Ado About Nothing….now I no idea why I felt it necessary to point this out, but there we go.

    Thanks again for such a wonderful world,

    Kara xx

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