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Charles Paris: An Amateur Corpse

A BBC Radio 4 full-cast dramatisation
Length: 1 hr and 52 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (144 ratings)
Regular price: £10.00
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Summary

Bill Nighy stars as Charles Paris in this BBC Radio 4 full-cast adaptation of Simon Brett's comic crime novel An Amateur Corpse. 

Charles is out of work again, and to make matters worse his mother has come to stay and he's no way of escaping her. So when he's offered some voiceover work by old friend, Hugo, he's delighted to get out of the house. But Hugo's marriage is in trouble: his much younger wife, Ellie, spends all her time at her Amateur Dramatic Group, and Hugo is drinking too much. 

When Ellie is found drowned in their swimming pool, it seems Hugo is guilty of murder. It's up to Charles to prove his friend's innocence....

Bill Nighy, Suzanne Burden, and Geraldine McEwan are among the star cast in this entertaining mystery, dramatised by Jeremy Front.

Written by Jeremy Front, based on the novel by Simon Brett. 

©2012 Simon Brett (P)2013 BBC Worldwide Limited

What members say

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars

WONDERFUL, WITH A FEW RESERVATIONS!

I am a fan of the Charles Paris stories brought so fabulously to life by Bill Nighy, with the consummate skill of Jeremy Front, and have bought all the series they have done over the last 5 years or so. This one is still very much worth listening to but a little disappointing in a few ways. First it is quite short, at under 2 hours. Second, though it was good to meet his off-beat Mum, the part needed to be taken by someone who's voice was not so obviously famous and so with her face and character coming thriough all the time - she was Miss Marple not Mrs Paris Snr! Thirdly, the music was not taking enough of a role - just about there and not the essential, delightful part of the whole that has become a trade mark of Mr Front's wonderful re-write of Simon Brett's novels. Having said that it is well worth listening to - I recommend it because even with faults, it's good.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Standout narration by Bill Nighy.

Would you listen to Charles Paris: An Amateur Corpse (Dramatised) again? Why?

Yes, without a doubt. Bill Nighy does a wonderful job as Charles Paris. Lightweight plot admittedly but this is a 2 hour comedy romp which I can see myself listening to over and over again. Bill Nighy is the spark here and the wonderful rapport he has with the character who plays his long suffering wife and his agent makes this book sing!Hugely enjoyable. A 2 hour slice of fun.

What other book might you compare Charles Paris: An Amateur Corpse (Dramatised) to, and why?

I have listened to and read many of the Agatha Raisin novels by MC Beaton - these are admittedly lightweight on the crime element but brilliantly humorous yarns. The narration of Penelope Keith brings the character of Agatha alive and the way in which her performance adds something special is very like what Bill Nighy does for Charles Paris.

What about Bill Nighy’s performance did you like?

Perfect as the luckless, hapless perennially drunk and unemployable Charles!

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

Undoubtedly the moments of biting wit from agent Maurice giving Charles another dressing down! The comedy and banter worked well.

Any additional comments?

A brilliant production of an easygoing storyline. Comedy crime but Bill Nighy plays this perfectly!

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Worth Every Minute..

The casting and direction of this Jeremy Front adapted script is sublime.

Bill Nighy is wonderful, as ever, in the role of Charles Paris but there isn't a bad turn to be found here.



Intelligent, funny, poignant, sharp the one liners flow as the plot follows the hapless Charles as he meanders, sloshed, through life.



The appearance of his Mother, staying with him whilst recuperating from surgery, is a stroke of casting genius......but I won't spoil it by saying any more!



Treat your self and enjoy the surprise!



Highly recommended.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Great story, Great cast

Just brilliant.
Love the garage attendant
Fantastic script, plenty of tongue in cheek.
A who-dunnit that oozes wit

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Survival of the bloodyminded.

This version is the (almost) two hour adaptation by Jeremy Front, from a novel by Simon Brett, as a serialized play for BBC Radio 4, all of which is contained in this book, with a full cast and starring Bill Nighy as the troubled thespian, Charles Paris.
Charles constantly has problems with his agent - at least, he would if he ever heard from him - so when he accidentally meets up with an old friend who offers him work in his voice over business, Charles is delighted. But not all is well in friend Hugo's life, despite the affluent !ifestyle, and Charles finds himself caught right in the middle. As usual!

Simon Brett's series of novels, set in the 1970s, about the actor who rarely gets his hopes for a starring role fulfilled, but does get the ladies and unsought sleuthing, are all enjoyable fun. But when adapted for radio with Nighy as lead character, they are a sheer delight of first person angst, comedic occurrences and the joy of the combination of theatrical flair and Paris' home life with his erstwhile wife, Frances. The mystery murder story is okay, but it is the characters and witty dialogue which reign supreme.

Highly recommended for a great comedic two hour escape, complete with snatches of music from the late '60s and early 70s. Simply delicious.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

An amateur corpse

A good Audible book, great to set and lessen to with a coffee and your feet up

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Another corpse

An enjoyable story from this accomplished team of writers and actors which I found, in general, very absorbing as a murder mystery. The interaction with Charles's Mother is a new twist for this episode and is tolerably amusing..although I didn't find it as funny as I think the writers did. But always good to hear Bill Nighy and the team 😊

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Excellent!!!

Charles never fails to amuse. He is a walking miracle . Cheers Charles. No yarn would be complete with out Maurice and Frances who know Charles better than he knows himself. All round entertainment!

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Just great, an utterly lovable rogue

The kind of radio drama you wish they get on and film...but are glad they haven't ruined yet. Always great entertainment.

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Great fun.

What did you like most about Charles Paris: An Amateur Corpse (Dramatised)?

The BBC dramatisation though brings the story forward to today, and with wonderful down to earth dialogue - you're in the heart of the crime, the play, the tangled personal relationships and their history before you know it.

What about Bill Nighy’s performance did you like?

Perfectly poised - captures the dissolute, curious, intelligent Charles Paris bringing him to life with gusto.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

Yes.

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Grandma Established 3/30/2013
  • 15-12-18

Charles Paris gold!

I Love all of Bill Nighy's Charles Paris romps! The most fun romps on Audible!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Liz Scully
  • 05-02-18

Another delightful confection

4 quick episodes and under 2 hours in length, but so delightful you'll be carried along.

It'd be ace to have an omnibus of three or four episodes together as these as they're so short. But well written and excellent cast performances

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 24-04-15

Bill Nighy is hysterically funny

I have enjoyed all of the Charles Paris dramatizations multiple times. Beautifully written with first class actors they are funny and juicy stories. In particular the use of music is worth mentioning as it greatly enhances the drama and comedy.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful