Hidden Gems - The Lives of Harry Lime (Radio show as eAudiobook) | Mechanics' Institute

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Hidden Gems - The Lives of Harry Lime (Radio show as eAudiobook)

Although many consider the role of Harry Lime to be Orson Welles’ most memorable performance, he only spent about 10 minutes onscreen in the movie The Third Man. Despite Lime's obviously sociopathic nature, Welles made him an irresistibly likable anti-hero. The film won an academy award and along with this recognition its title character enjoyed enormous popularity with audiences. 


In the early 1950’s, a young radio show producer named Harry Alan Towers had the same agent as Graham Greene, the author of the book that provided the basis for the movie. Through that connection Greene was able to obtain the rights to the Harry Lime character. Earlier, for Towers' radio show production of Sherlock Holmes stories, Welles played (you guessed it) Moriarity. Having already worked together once before, Towers managed to convince Welles to join his production of radio shows based on the infamous Harry Lime. Obtaining the rights to the character and then persuading Welles to portray him again led to the creation of one of the most entertaining radio shows in Mechanics Institute Library's collection. 


Since Lime meets his end in the sewers of Vienna in the movie, Towers, with Welles' involvement, decided to make the radio show a prequel. Produced in England and recorded in London's IBC Studios, The Lives of Harry Lime, it has an authentic continental flavor, with adventures taking place in such exotic locales as Paris, Rome, Venice, Tangiers, and the French Riviera. 


Thanks to brilliant scripts, expertly performed by Welles and a stock company of talented actors, we follow the underworld activities of Harry Lime and his always-questionable associates by way of sharp repartee and by listening to Lime deliver one delightfully sardonic narration after another. We all already know he's going to outsmart and double-cross everybody: The fun comes from finding out how. 


The eAudiobook The Lives of Harry Lime, available on the web or the Libby app, contains 10 episodes. Each one runs about 24-25 minutes -- the perfect length for me to listen to a complete episode during one of my morning walks (although passers by likely think me a bit strange for laughing and giggling as I go).  


Note: some of the above description has been adapted from the publisher's promotional summary.

Posted on Jul. 12, 2023 by Steven Dunlap