A BBC Radio 4 drama of mesmerising delicacy from Julia Blackburn, winner of the Pen Ackerley prize for memoir 2009, and daughter of poet Thomas Blackburn. Originally broadcast as the ´Afternoon Play´ on 29 March 2011. Thomas Blackburn was an alcoholic before he became a poet, but in spite of his drunken rages, his erratic behaviour and his crazy obsession with death, Julia always knew that he loved her. She learnt the transforming power of words from him, and she clung to them, a life raft in a stormy sea. ´Find the metaphor, darling!´ he´d say, ´and when you´ve got that, you´re on the way towards facing whatever it is that needs to be faced!´Julia is older now than her father ever became, and here is her son Daniel, about to get married. She worries about the impression she has given Daniel of his grandfather. There are no aunts or uncles to give a different twist on Thomas´ life so it has all come from her: stories of bad behaviour and drunken excess, told to make Daniel laugh with disbelief but not to bring him closer to the man who was his grandfather. And what has Daniel inherited as well as that lanky body and those bushy eyebrows? Could there be a locked box of trouble somewhere inside him, a smouldering present from the past? The Spellbound Horses stars Diana Quick as Julia, David Troughton as Tommy and Martin Bonger as Daniel. Also featured amongst the cast are Sally Orrock, Jacqueline Tong and Brian Bowles. 1. Language: English. Narrator: Diana Quick, David Troughton, Martin Bonger, Full cast. Audio sample: http://samples.audible.de/rt/bbcw/004959/rt_bbcw_004959_sample.mp3. Digital audiobook in aax.
The New York Times best-selling author of Viper Pilot chronicles another thrilling chapter in American aviation history: the race to break the sound barrier. In the aftermath of World War II, the United States accelerated the development of technologies that would give it an advantage over the Soviet Union. Airpower, combined with nuclear weapons, offered a formidable check on Soviet aggression. In 1947, the United States Air Force was established. Meanwhile, scientists and engineers were pioneering a revolutionary new type of aircraft which could do what no other machine had ever done: reach mach 1 - a speed faster than the movement of sound - which pilots called ´´the demon.´´ Chasing the Demon recreates an era of excitement and danger, adventure and innovation, when the future of the free world was at stake and American ingenuity took the world from the postwar years to the space age. While the pressure to succeed was high, it was unknown whether man or machine could survive such tremendous speeds. A decorated military pilot with years of experience flying supersonic fighter jets, Dan Hampton reveals in-depth the numerous potential hazards that emerged with the Air Force’s test flights: controls broke down, engines flamed out, wings snapped, and planes and pilots disintegrated as they crashed into the desert floor. He also introduces the men who pushed the envelope taking the cockpits of these jets, including World War II ace Major Dick Bong and 24-year-old Captain Chuck Yeager, who made history flying the Bell X-1 plane faster than the speed of sound on October 14, 1947. Chasing the Demon recalls this period of the emerging Cold War and the brave adventurers pursing the final frontier in aviation. 1. Language: English. Narrator: John Pruden. Audio sample: http://samples.audible.de/bk/harp/007628/bk_harp_007628_sample.mp3. Digital audiobook in aax.