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The Day of the Triffids, Read by Samuel West, Chivers Word for Word, 9hrs 30mins, £ 15.95

The Day of the Triffids, Read by Samuel West, Chivers Word for Word, 9hrs 30mins, £ 15.95

THIS IS one of those tapes that has you driving round the block to hear some more before you arrive home. John Wyndham's 1950s sci-fi thrillers are now classics, but in our own time of scares over genetic modifications this particular one has an added frisson. Published in 1951, it was in fact set around now - complete with what appeared to be a spectacular comet in the heavens. But this one is a deadly menace, blinding the human race, and leaving them fatally vulnerable to the triffid plants they have been exploiting... Samuel West's unabridged reading has a frank straightforwardness perfectly suited to the novel's period, and which emphasises the accuracy and economy of Wyndham's writing. As usual, only from ABC mail order (Freephone 0800 136919).

Falling, Read by Robert Lindsay and Janet Suzman, Macmillan, 9hrs, £ 19.99

I ALMOST stopped listening to Elizabeth Jane Howard's new novel after a few minutes of sheer hatred of Henry Kent, the leading male character, but it was hard to find another tape while in traffic. Then on came Janet Suzman, telling the same story from the heroine's point of view, and I began to get more and more fascinated. Soon, as is Howard's intention, I softened towards poor Harry, cruelly wounded by neglect in childhood. So too does Daisy Langrish, the playwright seeking a country retreat to whom he offers his services as a gardener - and before long much, much more. But is Henry what he seems? This is a brilliantly wrought emotional thriller, and the length of the abridgement - six rather than four cassettes - allows it full expression.

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