Welcome to Part Twenty-Six of the latest audio entertainment in our series Tales for Our Time: George Orwell's Nineteen Eighty-Four. As much as many listeners appreciate this serialization, some, such as new Steyn Club member Vann Fleming, have been pining for something jollier to balance it. Yesterday I pointed Vann in the direction of P G Wodehouse and my own modest contribution. Elizabeth, a First Month Founding Member of The Mark Steyn Club from Florida, adds:
And don't forget Three Men in a Boat, not to mention the Dog.
Indeed, Elizabeth. Jerome K Jerome's beloved classic was a big hit as our summer diversion a year-and-a-half back.
In tonight's episode of Nineteen Eighty-Four ...well, let's just say we're a long way from Jerome K Jerome:
'Remain standing where you are,' said the voice. 'Face the door. Make no movement.'
The chinless man obeyed. His large pouchy cheeks were quivering uncontrollably. The door clanged open. As the young officer entered and stepped aside, there emerged from behind him a short stumpy guard with enormous arms and shoulders. He took his stand opposite the chinless man, and then, at a signal from the officer, let free a frightful blow, with all the weight of his body behind it, full in the chinless man's mouth. The force of it seemed almost to knock him clear of the floor. His body was flung across the cell and fetched up against the base of the lavatory seat. For a moment he lay as though stunned, with dark blood oozing from his mouth and nose. A very faint whimpering or squeaking, which seemed unconscious, came out of him. Then he rolled over and raised himself unsteadily on hands and knees. Amid a stream of blood and saliva, the two halves of a dental plate fell out of his mouth.
The prisoners sat very still, their hands crossed on their knees. The chinless man climbed back into his place. Down one side of his face the flesh was darkening. His mouth had swollen into a shapeless cherry-coloured mass with a black hole in the middle of it.
From time to time a little blood dripped on to the breast of his overalls. His grey eyes still flitted from face to face, more guiltily than ever, as though he were trying to discover how much the others despised him for his humiliation.
Tomorrow, Friday, I'll be in for Tucker for a full hour starting at 8pm Eastern/5pm Pacific - and then back right here with Part Twenty-Seven of Nineteen Eighty-Four. If you're minded to join us in The Mark Steyn Club, you're more than welcome. You can find more information here. And, if you have a chum you think might enjoy Tales for Our Time (so far, we've covered Conan Doyle, H G Wells, Conrad, Kipling, Kafka, Louisa May Alcott, Scott Fitzgerald and more), we've introduced a special Gift Membership that lets you sign up a pal for the Steyn Club. You'll find more details here.