Books: Spoken Word

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The World at Night

by Alan Furst

Isis, 9hrs 30 mins, pounds 16.99

ISIS BOOKS are leading the field in providing reasonably-priced unabridged editions of new novels. by Alan Furst becomes compulsive listening as you get under the skin of its central character, a Parisian film director trying to cope with the Nazi occupation of Paris. Half against his will, he finds himself caught up in espionage. At the same time he re-encounters Citrine, a young film star he realises unwillingly was, is, the love of his life. Furst vividly recreates the compromising world of Paris in 1940, the betrayals of friends, the unexpected generosity of strangers, the unpredictable way that ordinary people performed dangerous acts of heroism, or walked by on the other side of the street.

The Funny Side:

101 humorous poems

chosen by Wendy Cope

Faber, 2hrs, pounds 8.99

THIS WEEK the nation voted on its funniest poems. Few of them are likely to be in Wendy Cope's collection because this is what an intelligent lady poet, rather than the average person, finds funny. Cope aims to introduce us to new delights rather than provide a hackneyed anthology. She begins with poems that play with the concept of poetry, passes through a few classic delights - "I'm not so think as you drunk I am", "How I Brought the Good News from Aix to Ghent (or Vice Versa)" - and then adventures into the moderns with such delights as Simon Armitage's "Very Simply Topping up the Brake Fluid" and Gavin Ewart's one-word love poem, "You".