BBC Radio 4 Book Club: 179 episodes now available online
February 12, 2013 11:44 AM   Subscribe

Book Club. This 30-minute programme's been on Radio 4, the BBC's premier speech radio station, since 1998. Books are announced a month in advance, giving listeners a chance to read the chosen title before the discussion. James Naughtie then interviews the book's author about it in front of an audience of his (or her) readers, who also put questions of their own. My favourites from the programme's archive include Alan Bennet (Writing Home), Clive James (Unreliable Memoirs), Douglas Adams (a 1 hour special on Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy), Elmore Leonard (Rum Punch), James Ellroy (Black Dahlia), PJ O'Rourke (Holidays in Hell) and Stephen Fry (The Hippopotamus). No doubt you'll have your own.

The only snag is that the site's organised by date of broadcast rather than the alphabetical list of authors you really want. The effort required is well worth it, however, and podcasts are also available.
posted by Paul Slade (8 comments total) 47 users marked this as a favorite

I've heard ones I liked by Arundhati Roy (The God of Small Things), Iain Banks, Salman Rushdie...
posted by Kitteh at 11:52 AM on February 12, 2013

If you want to Ctrl-F for your favorite author and/or download files directly, you can go here.
posted by Rock Steady at 11:56 AM on February 12, 2013 [6 favorites]

I love that they put the real dates on these in iTunes, so now I have podcasts from 1998. :7)

Thank you, BBC. I can't wait to hear how they manage to talk to Bill Bryson for half an hour without bringing up "Notes From a Small Island"!
posted by wenestvedt at 1:19 PM on February 12, 2013

We were driving home from Byron Bay in the middle of the night, my sorta-girlfriend and I, and we'd been arguing and trying to find good radio. Somehow we stumbled onto the BBC World Service and listened to Paul Auster talk for an hour. Neither of us had read him but it was the perfect tonic to calm our nerves in that country dark.
posted by Charlemagne In Sweatpants at 1:50 PM on February 12, 2013 [1 favorite]

I should have mentioned that the World Service has its own version of this programme too. I think they're entirely separate programmes, though you may find the same authors sometimes featured in both strands.
posted by Paul Slade at 2:18 PM on February 12, 2013 [1 favorite]


"The playlist contains invalid data: after filtering out invalid media and connection objects, there are no connections left."

I'm sure this is meaningful to somebody, but all I know is, I can't listen to George MacDonald Fraser.
posted by IndigoJones at 2:58 PM on February 12, 2013

It's not by accident, i am certain, that the volume on the bbc's player goes to 11.
posted by OHenryPacey at 3:49 PM on February 12, 2013

Not by accident at all.
posted by garrett at 5:45 PM on February 12, 2013 [1 favorite]

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