Picnic Comma Lightning (omnibus)



"A meditation on 21st-century reality, inspired by the death of the author's parents.

An innovative examination of the nature of reality in the 21st century by award-winning author Laurence Scott - part personal memoir, part philosophical exploration. Read by Stephen Mangan.

When he was in his early 30s, Laurence Scott's parents died soon after one another, and he found his whole world altered beyond recognition. He says, "Death runs like radioactive iodine through your sense of reality, allowing this reality to be looked at in high contrast, its structures glowing. It has a way of making things very true, but also, somehow, less real."

As he begins to navigate this new reality, he realises that in politics and public life, the nature of reality - what is true and what is fake - has become an urgent issue. Questions of how we experience the real world, how we access its truths, have become mainstream concerns. Today, in an age of online personas, alternative truths, constant surveillance and an increasingly hysterical news cycle, our realities are becoming more flimsy and more vulnerable than ever before.

Laurence Scott is a writer, broadcaster, academic and a Senior Lecturer in English and Creative Writing at Arcadia in London. He is author of The Four-Dimensional Human: Ways of Being in the Digital World, which was shortlisted for the 2015 Samuel Johnson Prize, won the Royal Society of Literature Jerwood Prize, and was named the Sunday Times Thought Book of the Year. In 2011 he was named one of ten New Generation Thinkers by the Arts and Humanities Research Council and the BBC.

Read by Stephen Mangan
Adapted by Elizabeth Burke
Produced by Alexandra Quinn

A Loftus production first broadcast in five-parts on BBC Radio 4 in July 2018.