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Pride and Prejudice
Jane Austen, Anna Quindlen

Blackadder Goes Forth (MP3 Book)

Blackadder Goes Forth (MP3 Book) - Richard Curtis, Stephen Fry, Ben Elton, Robbie Coltrane At first I thought, why the hell is this tv series listed on Goodreads? As much as I love it, I'm not sure this is the place for it.

Or is it? The Blackadder series, four in all, follow a comical meanie for a span of about 600 years over Britain's colorful history, touching on the Medieval, Renaissance, Romance and Modern eras. Besides the historical leaders, political figures and famous faces of the day, many a writer gets pilloried. Robbie Coltrane plays a great bombastic Samuel Johnson in an episode that also includes characterizations of Lord Byron, Percy Bysshe Shelly and Samuel Taylor Coleridge.


However, the real reason this tv show deserves inclusion here, I believe, is for the excellent writing of the scripts. While learning the scriptwriting process I studied an episode of Blackadder and discovered that they crammed in approximately 400 laugh-getting gags in a 30 minute episode, and many of them contained razor-sharp wit (a few of them admittedly were quite slapsticky, but hell, Shakespeare invented that shit!). There are times when the show was almost lyrical in its bittersweet beauty (see the final episode of the 4th series to see what I mean).

It may not be literature, but there was damn good writing on that show!