Welcome to Part Twenty-Eight of our latest audio adventure: George Orwell's dystopian classic Nineteen Eighty-Four.
CrossBorderGal, an enviable sobriquet if true at a time of global lockdown, writes of last night's episode:
This reading was particularly well rendered... Your representation of Winston's voice in pain and his 'blubbering' speech in its aftermath was realistic enough to have me squirming in my chair, while O'Brien droned monotonously like a machine.
It saddens me to realize that so many in our current reality have already capitulated to the 'party line' without the need for physical torture. What IS in store for those of us who resist the woke gospel, I wonder...?
Very kind of you, CBG, especially given the division of opinion over my voicing of this tale. That section of the book is a tough one to read right.
Tonight's episode begins with a respite - and an insight from Winston Smith into his relationship with his torturer:
A needle slid into Winston's arm. Almost in the same instant a blissful, healing warmth spread all through his body. The pain was already half-forgotten. He opened his eyes and looked up gratefully at O'Brien. At sight of the heavy, lined face, so ugly and so intelligent, his heart seemed to turn over. If he could have moved he would have stretched out a hand and laid it on O'Brien's arm. He had never loved him so deeply as at this moment, and not merely because he had stopped the pain. The old feeling, that at bottom it did not matter whether O'Brien was a friend or an enemy, had come back. O'Brien was a person who could be talked to. Perhaps one did not want to be loved so much as to be understood. O'Brien had tortured him to the edge of lunacy, and in a little while, it was certain, he would send him to his death. It made no difference. In some sense that went deeper than friendship, they were intimates: somewhere or other, although the actual words might never be spoken, there was a place where they could meet and talk. O'Brien was looking down at him with an expression which suggested that the same thought might be in his own mind.
If you'd like to know more about The Mark Steyn Club, please click here - and don't forget our special gift membership. Do join me tomorrow evening, Sunday, for Part Twenty-Nine of Nineteen Eighty-Four.