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Books: Spoken word

The Penguin Audiobooks list goes from strength to strength. New this Spring is Garrison Keillor letting everything hang out in a lazy, compelling reading of his own Wobegon Boy (Faber/ Penguin, c 6hrs, pounds 10.99). Action alternates between the rural certainties of Wobegon and the modern amoralities of life in New York, where John Tollefson runs a radio station. There are jibes at the dumbing-down of radio and a farewell to a father whose generosity was only matched by his capacity to infuriate his son.

"You can never tell what hidden depths of savagery lie in the minds of the most respectable of women" is the theme of the first tale in The Letter and Other Stories (Penguin, unabridged, c 3hrs, pounds 8.99) by Somerset Maugham. Tony Britton and Clive Francis alternate in reading these cool, acutely observant stories.

Christina Hardyment