A favorite book by Philippa Pearce that I’ve reviewed here. A friend who read that review, enjoyed the book, and then found and enjoyed this audiobook version from the BBC sent it on to me. I don’t often listen to audiobooks, but found time for this one. Produced in 2012, it’s on four CDs, total running time two hours.
The book is magical, and of course the audio version can’t get in everything written, but this production does an admirable job of adapting the story, with a fine cast of actors and an excellent script. Reading is the most immersive experience for me, as the words create a world and characters in my mind, but audio, when well done, comes close, usually closer than movies or TV, as the experience still requires mental participation.
Tom has been sent to stay with an aunt and uncle in a boring flat because his brother is ill and contagious. He hates it until one night he hears the old grandfather clock in the downstairs hall chime thirteen. Intrigued, Tom goes down and out into the back garden, which has been magically restored to its glorious Victorian splendor. There he meets Hattie, an orphan girl living in the house at that time who thinks Tom is a ghost. Tom thinks the same of her, but in fact neither are quite right, as the book reveals slowly and masterfully, with many wonderful adventures on the way.
Highly recommended. Look for it wherever you get your audiobooks.