Audiobooks

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The Independent Culture
The melodrama and rhetoric of a trial is perfect for audio. Giles Brandreth's selection from the transcripts of the three 1895 trials that spelt the doom of Oscar Wilde (CSA, 150 mins, pounds 7.99) puts over both Wilde's irrespressible wit and his enemies' vindictiveness. Multi-track recordings allow Martin Jarvis, one minute all effervescent aesthete, next all ponderous QC, to interrupt and answer back in a way that is pure theatre rather than mere reading.

Converts to gardening in a Walkman will find Vita Sackville-West's In Your Garden: Spring & Summer (Cover-to-Cover, 130 min, pounds 7.99) sheer delight. Originally collected Observer columns published in 1951, now soothingly read by Janet McTeer, it is packed full of useful hints, timely reminders and infectious enthusiasm. The sequel, Autumn & Winter, is also available.

Christina Hardyment

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