Friday, 28 August 2015

4 Weeks of Summer - Rudyard Kipling’s The Jungle Book - The Mowgli Stories

I don't know why, but lately, I seem to be having a bit of bad luck when it comes to audiobooks. I'm not sure why. I have a blogpost about this coming up in the next 7 days or so - keep eyes peeled for that.

So, when Felicity from Midas PR asked if I wanted to listen to this, an full cast dramatisation of Rudyard Kipling's The Jungle Book - The Mowgli Stories, I decided just to go for it. With the stars involved in this - Bill Bailey, Richard E Grant, Celia Imrie, Colin Salmon, Martin Shaw, Bernald Cribbin and Meera Syal to name by a few. Plus, this was created to raise funds for the Zoological Society of London to raise awareness that animals that inspired The Jungle Book are under threat from extinction.

When the wolves discover a tiny man-cub, they take him in to save him from the man hating tiger, Shere Khan. As the man-cub, Mowgli, grows and is taught by Baloo, the bear, and hunts with Bagheera, the panther, he learns the ways of the jungle. But Shere Khan is cunning and will buy his time...

I have to admit this, I thoroughly enjoyed myself listening to this. I had my doubts when I started listening (it took me a while to get use the Martin Shaw and Richard E Grant doing the voices of Shere Khan and Kaa), but once I found my stride, I sped through this. It only took me three days to listen to it from start to finish. And there were a few times I relistened to sections, just because...

The production was this was very good and though, while there were times the background effects and the noise of the large group of man felt odd to me, it wasn't that much of a distraction from the story. If anything, it helped to show that Mowgli has grown up in the jungle and knows little about the world of man.

What I found surprising was how different this was to Disney's The Jungle Book. While we had the same characters, the story was completely different and the character's interaction was completely different as well. In Disney's Jungle Book, Kaa was, up to a point, an villain and helped (up to a point) Shere Khan. And yet, in this version, Kaa had no interaction with Shere Khan. He taught Mowgli in the same way Bagheera and Baloo did. It was a very interesting learning curve.

But I think people will like this version of The Jungle Book. I can't wait to see what's next for Audible London...

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