Audiobooks

Total Zone read by Laurel Lefkow Guppies for Tea read Juliet Stevenson
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The Independent Culture
The point at which unabridged novels are issued on cassette at the same time and price as in hardback will be a watershed in audio history, but surely it is bound to come. Companies such as Isis and Chivers are already getting close: all their titles are unabridged and their mail order service bypasses the costly bookshop middlemen.

Martina Navratilova and Liz Nickles's sex 'n sport novel The Total Zone (Isis, 9hrs 15mins, pounds 17.99) is liberally larded with cliches and trademarks, but the insights into the glitzy world of superstar tennis are hair-raising and the suspense well sustained.

Aga-saga queen Marika Cobbold's Guppies for Tea (Chivers, 8hrs 47mins, pounds 17.50) is read by Juliet Stevenson, who is rapidly becoming my favourite woman reader: her range and warmth are perfectly suited to Cobbold's unstated humour and sharply observant sense of the absurd.

Christina Hardyment

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