Books: Spoken Word

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The Independent Culture
Driving Over Lemons

Read by Chris Stewart

Penguin, c 3hrs, pounds 8.99

OF THE hundreds of tapes that pass through my house in the course of review, I keep only a select few. will be one of them. As you instantly detect, hearing his husky, definite voice, Chris Stewart is one of life's bold originals. He gave up a promising career as the drummer of Genesis to become a sheep-shearer; then he and his wife Ana bought a ruined farm in Andalucia. But this is no self-indulgent Year in Provence: rather it is a humble and enchanting account of how the couple made a genuine home at El Valero, respectful of their generous-hearted neighbours and in return being helped by them and educated in local lore. They gave as good as they got; Chris offered modern techniques of sheep- shearing to the valley; Ana a new life in the shape of Chloe, their first daughter.

The Aeneid

Narrated by Derek Jacobi

BBC, 2hrs, pounds 8.99

IF THIS is one of the classics of world literature you have always been meaning to read, you could do no better than to listen to this arresting new dramatisation of the C Day Lewis translation of Virgil's epic account of the mythical origin of the Roman Empire. From the windy towers of Troy to the delights of Carthage's Dido to the turmoil which faced Aeneas when he tried to establish a settlement in Rome, it is full of episodes and phrases which are deeply knitted into our cultural inheritance. Cecil Day Lewis's lucid translation responds superbly to a crisp, modern-feeling but also a proudly significant acting- out by a cast which includes Ralph Fiennes as Aeneas, Eleanor Bron, Gina McKee, Anna Massey, Philip Madoc, Tim McInerny, Diana Quick and Andrew Sachs.

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