Listen and Laugh: "The Last Open Road" as a Rather Raucous Radio Play
Published on Tue, Sep 3, 2019
By: Doug Stokes
LACar Radio-Play Audiobook Revue
The Last Open Road
By “BS” Levy
Adapted from the book for audio, produced, and directed by the author
20 hours with bonus video features
USB Flash drive: $55 or 20-disc CD set: $65
available at: www.lastopenroad.com
photos by ASH and the author
HERE’S THE DEAL: This is a very fun, funny, sardonic, clever, fun-filled, noisy, cheeky, clever (I said that already, didn’t I?), irreverent, and entertaining ’50s radio play-like adaptation of a very well-known (at least in some circles) book which relates the contretemps of a guy and a gal from ’Jersey and their on-the-road to the races (etc.) escapades in the early days of amateur sports car competition in the US.
The Last Open Road, the book, has been around (wonder of wonders) for over a quarter of a century and is now in its 10th printing. To celebrate that milestone, Burt Levy (who prefers to be known by his initials “BS” for reasons that will become clear while listening) decided to flesh out his celebrated (again, that’s in some circles) classic tome with an audio version replete with what the author bills as “period music”.
And so, and if you know of Mister Levy at all, you’ll instantly understand why he chose not to sit in a sound-proof studio and read his book to you on tape; but to fully dramatize this adventure it with an (certifiably) eclectic collection professional voice actors (and others) playing some strangely wonderful characters all enhanced by the actual sounds of the real racing cars as they appear in the story.
As some readers may have surmised from the above preamble, this is an audiobook that’s very different from most, will not be fully understood or appreciated by many, but that will be a roaring favorite of a hearty band of enthusiasts that love vintage sports car road racing (now) and who need to know what it was like back then when Jags and Triumphs, and Jowett Jupiters, and MGs, and bathtub Porsches, and Cad-Allards all roamed the real road courses of America.
And there’s a special treat in store for vintage racing fans in the form of an all-star cast of (what the always subtle and adroit Mister Levy very modestly billboards as: MYSTERY CELEBRITY GUEST VOICES) in supporting roles and who are liberally sprinkled throughout the 20-hour epic.
OK, like who then?
Well … how about: David Hobbs, Brian Redman, Tommy Kendall, Skip Barber, Bill Warner, Patrick Long, Ray Evernham, Marino Franchitti, John Morton, Spence Pumpelly, and PD Cunningham. (Ed. Note: even if none of the above names rings a bell or lights your fire, this spoken play is still some good car fun and games.)
By the way neighbor … 20 discs? Whoa! I would better recommend the sweet little leather-bound flash drive, it’s elegant, it’s convenient, and it stores in roughly 400% less space (or something like that) than an unwieldy stack of 20 (count ‘em) 20 CDs and it’s fifteen bucks cheaper.
Who the heck’s going to keep loading and unloading all those discs in sequence anyway?
Conclusion: They don’t write them like this anymore (THEYdon’t, but “BS” Levy still does).
And … you’ll know if you need a copy of this spoken epic or not by here. -DS