Books: Spoken Word

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The Independent Culture

read by Thomas Harris

Random House, 6hrs, pounds 12.99

IF YOU find the idea of the whole book or forthcoming film of , Thomas Harris's long-awaited sequel to Silence of the Lambs, too daunting, then this excellent and substantial abridgement, which could easily form the basis of the screenplay for the film, could be the answer. A resurrected the Cannibal is now hero instead of villain, and invites the delectably toothsome Starling to join him as a fellow connoisseur. Will she accept? Not willingly... Read with suitably greedy relish by the author, who brings out the funny side of a rich, subtle novel.

The Beach

read by Steven Mackintosh

Penguin, 4hrs,

pounds 8.99

ALEX GARLAND's now famous novel of the backpacker trail in Thailand, by Lord of the Flies out of Paradise Lost, has become required reading among post-teens desperate for an education in real life rather than the national curriculum. Innocent abroad Richard's lack of real education is gradually disclosed under the intolerable pressures when the apparently admirable idea of finding an unspoilt beach resort turns into a nightmare. Steven Mackintosh's dirtily innocent voice is perfect for the portrayal of the increasingly demented narrator.