Review of the audiobook “Big Beacon” by Alan Partridge – an exploration of arrogance
In the year 2021, Alan Partridge’s time as a BBC TV host abruptly ended. During a heated debate on BBC One’s This Time, he deviated from the planned script, causing his producer to become extremely angry. In response, Partridge chose to announce his resignation before he could be removed from the show. He expresses disappointment in leaving the BBC at a time when many high-ranking positions are being given to Conservative party supporters and donors. However, he states that he has already left the network.
In Big Beacon, Alan Partridge’s third memoir, Steve Coogan writes with his longtime collaborators Neil and Rob Gibbons. In the prologue, the main character describes in great detail how the book uses a unique narrative structure. One narrative follows his efforts to revive his career, while the other shows his decision to leave the broadcasting world and restore a rundown lighthouse, bringing new life to both the building and his own soul. After moving from Norfolk to the Kent coast, Partridge faces opposition from locals who are unhappy with his renovation plans.
It is difficult to experience Partridge’s writing without imagining his voice, making this book most enjoyable as an audiobook. Coogan’s performance brings life to Partridge’s arrogant declarations and twisted self-reflection. As always, the writing is delightfully terrible. In Big Beacon, Partridge is in his element, challenging the norm and convinced of his rationality in a constantly changing world.
Big Beacon can be accessed through Seven Dials and has a duration of 7 hours and 53 minutes.
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