Dramatisation gets you further faster; add plenty of tape on each cassette as well, and you get real value for money. Charles Dickens's Our Mutual Friend (BBC, c 9hrs, pounds 16.99) is a darkly brilliant study of the corruptive power of wealth which could have been written with lottery winners in mind. Intelligently directed by Jane Morgan, the cast includes Simon Cadell, Tom Wilkinson and Bill Nighy.Reuse content
Squashing meaty novels into a two-cassette format can be a thankless task, and more publishers are extending to four cassettes without much of a hike in price. Even so, Flaubert's tragic tale of a mismatch, Madame Bovary (BBC, c 4hrs, pounds 12.99), emerges as something of a caricature. But there are some sharp observations on the human condition and Juliet Stevenson reads with the right accents of querulous sensibility.