Books: Spoken Word

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The Middle Way: the story of Buddhism

Various readers

Naxos, 4hrs, pounds 11.99

FRESH FROM the success of their Life of Mozart, Naxos have now taken on the challenge of putting across the essence of Buddhism. David Timson, Anton Lesser and Heathcote Williams have the arresting sparkle of a musical trio as they read this amalgam of a life of the Buddha, an explanation of his teaching studded with quotations, and an account of the routes taken by disciples in various centuries and countries.

The Firework-Maker's Daughter

Read by Nigel Lambert

Cavalcade, 2hrs, pounds 8.99

A DIFFERENT but equally pleasurable Eastern approach is made by Philip Pullman in this fairytale. Lila wants to follow in father's footsteps rather than be married off as a domestic chattel. Talent, courage and luck are what she needs - and a little help from her friends. Unlike many fables for our times, this tale of a girl determined to make her way in a man's world rings not just true but magically inspiring.