"Two or Three" Book Club, Meeting 68
Who says a book club can't branch out into radio once in a while? Let's think of these classic plays as the first audiobooks and dive right in! =)
If you haven't listened to The Thing on the Fourble Board yet, here's your last chance before the discussion!
This was an interesting first experience for me!
As I had expected, relying only on my ears was a real challenge. I'm so used to a visual medium that I even think like a screen director: when the main character was explaining how a drill works, I imagined how the same information could be given in a TV or movie adaptation. I also felt that most of the technical stuff was flying over my head and wondered whether the original audiences would have picked everything up much more easily, being used to radio, or would have already been familiar with the oil industry, through some quirk of the decade. (By the way, did you know that when you look for online images of a "fourble board," you get mostly stuff related to this show?) It wasn't until the first death of the plot that I really settled into the narrative.
But how to begin writing about the story??? I can't compare it to any others, because it's my first; and I don't want to do a mere play-by-play of my emotions as they developed along with the plot. So I'll just indulge the one point I've been dying to talk about for the past few days . . .
It was a love story after all . . . I did not see that coming . . . The idea the main character, such a reasonable, likeable Everyman sort, could fall in love with a creature whose body resembles that of a black widow spider, is actually more horrifying than a "traditional" ending which would have kept everything black-and-white. As a creature from another world, the "Thing" is a threat to be eliminated before it eliminates us. As someone's beloved wife, her status is at once more respectable and more insidious.
And oh, yes . . . The use of the second person--the conceit of the narrator and "I" being in the same room--is incredibly effective.
I love to say that Horror is the most moral genre there is, but I confess that the main takeaway I got from this episode is reassurance that if the Thing can attract a devoted husband, then there's still hope for me!
What are your thoughts on The Thing on the Fourble Board?
1) If you found out that the Thing lived in your neighbourhood and had eaten some people who had been reported missing, would you recommend that she be killed immediately, like other animals which have attacked humans . . . or treated humanely and introduced to alternative food sources?
2) Have you ever thought that it would explain everything if a neighbour of yours were revealed to be a monster? =P
3) What do you remember about your first radio play experience?
Our next discussion will be on "The Dark" from the radio show Lights Out. It's a lot shorter than this one, and is considered only a "partial" episode, but it also gets raves. You can listen to it on YouTube or on the Internet Archive (where it's Track 19).