Books: Spoken word

Click to follow
Indy Lifestyle Online
Mike Harding's Footloose in the West of Ireland (Chivers, 7.5hrs, pounds 18.99) is a pragmatic prose love-song-cum-travelogue that knits together history, plant life, music, folklore and poetry into a brilliant portrait of a part of the world that goes about things in its own way and at its on speed. Read by the author with an engaging candour and punctuated with a variety of Irish music, much of it played by Harding himself.

Another kind of Irish journey, again punctuated by contemporary music, is offered by James Joyce's Ulysses (Naxos, 5hrs, pounds 9.99). It's abridged, of course, but there's plenty to convey the right true flavour of Joyce's singing, alliterative, punning prose. Jim Norton manages Leopold Bloom's inner musings, Buck Mulligan's posturing and Stephen Dedalus's experimental inquirings with impressive versatility, and Marcella Riordan rises to the challenge of Molly Bloom's long final soliloquy with a slow-burning fire.