Spoken Word

<i>Why is Sex Fun?</i> Read by Emilia Fox | <i>The Boys are Back in Town</i> written and read by Simon Carr
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The Independent Culture

Why is Sex Fun? Read by Emilia Fox (Orion, 3hrs, £9.99) Emilia Fox has one of the sexiest recording voices in the world: young, but not winsome, humorous but not arch. Its high listenability factor contributes to the success of Why is Sex Fun? as much as the promising-sounding content. A good voice is vitally necessary for holding the listener's concentration to what is in effect a lecture heard in limbo: WISF? is one of the latest batch of Orion's Talking Science series, the recorded versions of the Weidenfeld/Phoenix Science Masters. A further aid to concentration is controversial opinions, and in this case there are plenty of them. Jared Diamond points out the oddness of the human approach to reproduction when compared with the world's 4,300 other species, especially with respect to its enthusiasm for the act all year round, during pregnancy, and beyond female fertility. He goes on to consider the possibility of men suckling babies, to question the necessity for a prom

Why is Sex Fun? Read by Emilia Fox (Orion, 3hrs, £9.99) Emilia Fox has one of the sexiest recording voices in the world: young, but not winsome, humorous but not arch. Its high listenability factor contributes to the success of Why is Sex Fun? as much as the promising-sounding content. A good voice is vitally necessary for holding the listener's concentration to what is in effect a lecture heard in limbo: WISF? is one of the latest batch of Orion's Talking Science series, the recorded versions of the Weidenfeld/Phoenix Science Masters. A further aid to concentration is controversial opinions, and in this case there are plenty of them. Jared Diamond points out the oddness of the human approach to reproduction when compared with the world's 4,300 other species, especially with respect to its enthusiasm for the act all year round, during pregnancy, and beyond female fertility. He goes on to consider the possibility of men suckling babies, to question the necessity for a prominent penis and to assert the wise-woman status of post-menopausal females. Other titles in the "Human Beings" section of the series are The Origins of Humankind and Triumph of the Embryo.

The Boys are Back in Town and read by Simon Carr (Random House, 3hrs, £8.99) Fathers talking about parenthood are now all the rage - there will soon be as many baby-care books by and for fathers as there are for mothers. But Simon Carr's account of the tragedy that overtook his family when his second wife, Susie, was diagnosed with inoperable cancer is in a class of its own. His clinically perceptive but also deeply involved observation of how his small son Alex was affected by the news of her death and the manner of her going conveys something very deep about human sorrow. The rest of the book is more light-hearted and often extremely funny, but it also says important things about the different ways in which women and men operate domestically and as parents. Susie's view was that a tidy house created a beneficial "force field"; Simon finds that home for him is a slurry of papers, videos and fast-food cartons. It's easier to be as sharp and absolutein your statements as Carr is when you don't have to make polite noises to a partner. But both men and women need his confident, politically incorrect but thoroughly realistic assertions.

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