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Title (sorting) URL Title (full) Subtitle Series Genre Compilation Box Set NAB Ident ISBN Digital ISBN Authors Readers CDs Download file size Runtime Extras BISAC CD availability Naxos Direct UK Naxos Direct US Rights/Restrictions Blurb CD – GBP RRP (inc. VAT) CD – US SRP (USD) Download – GBP (inc. VAT) Download – EUR (inc. VAT) Download – USD Released Product contents Translator Producer Director Adapted by Editor Compiled by Abridged by Review 1 Review 2 Review 3 Review 4 Review 5 Review 6
1,000 Years of Laughter (compilation) http://www.naxosaudiobooks.com/1000-years-of-laughter-compilation/ 1,000 Years of Laughter An anthology of classic comic prose Classic Fiction unabridged Single 426912 9789626342695 9789629547028 Griff Rhys Jones
4 73 05:00:15 FIC003000 Available Deleted Available World

Laughter is unique to man. This delightful anthology presents some of the funniest extracts in English literature. David Timson starts with Anglo-Saxon riddles and continues with medieval memories, Tudor comic turns and Restoration buffoonery. The rise of the novel in the eighteenth century brought classic humour from Swift, Sterne and Smollet, passing the mantle to Charles Dickens in the nineteenth century. Included here are rarities as well, from the antiquarian’s cupboard. There are also excerpts from children’s literature and twentieth-century classics as diverse as Dorothy Parker and P. G. Wodehouse. An entertainment from start to finish.

£16.99 $28.98 £11.00 €12.50 $19.00
20,000 Leagues Under the Sea (abridged) http://www.naxosaudiobooks.com/20000-leagues-under-the-sea-abridged/ 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea Classic Fiction abridged Single 201412 9789626340141 9789629545765 Jules Verne
John Carlisle
2 38 02:37:32 FIC004000 Deleted Available World

The year is 1866. The maritime world is gripped by fear after reported sightings of a huge and terrible sea monster. Monsieur Aronnax, a distinguished Professor of Natural History, pronounces the creature to be a giant narwhal and is invited to join an official expedition to track down the beast. But Professor Aronnax is proved wrong; the beast is not of the natural world, but a huge submarine. When he is pulled out of the sea by the enigmatic Captain Nemo, and imprisoned on the Nautilus, he experiences at first hand the marvels and perils of submarine life. 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea is possibly the first and finest work of science fiction plausible, terrifying and utterly gripping.

£10.99 $17.98 £7.00 €8.00 $12.00
20,000 Leagues Under the Sea (unabridged) http://www.naxosaudiobooks.com/20000-leagues-under-the-sea-unabridged/ 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea Classic Fiction unabridged Single 0241 9781781980118 9781781980125 Jules Verne
Bill Homewood
15 290 18:53:12 FIC004000 Available Available World

The year is 1866 and the maritime world is gripped by fear after reported sightings of a huge sea monster. Famous marine biologist Pierre Aronnax, accompanied by his loyal servant Conseil and the redoubtable Canadian harpooner Ned Land, joins the hunt to track down and incapacitate the creature. But their enemy is no sea beast… and they soon come face to face with the sinister Captain Nemo. The story is relentlessly thrilling, while containing beautifully written observations of underwater life.

£50.00 $89.98 £33.00 €37.00 $58.50 Aug16 F.P. Walter Samuel Howard Sarah Butcher
20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, Around the World in Eighty Days (abridged) http://www.naxosaudiobooks.com/20000-leagues-under-the-sea-around-the-world-in-eighty-days-abridged/ 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, Around the World in Eighty Days Classic Fiction abridged Single 23312 9789626342336 Jules Verne
Harry Burton
John Carlisle
4 75 05:07:44 FIC004000 Available Available Available World

The year is 1866. The maritime world is gripped by fear after reported sightings of a huge and terrible sea monster. Monsieur Aronnax, a distinguished Professor of Natural History, pronounces the creature to be a giant narwhal and is invited to join an official expedition to track down the beast. But Professor Aronnax is proved wrong; the beast is not of the natural world, but a huge submarine. To take on the bet – to go around the world in eighty days, faster than anyone had gone before – was madness. If Phileas Fogg missed a single connection he would lose £20,000. Phileas Fogg was an eccentric Englishman who lived a quiet ordered life and believed that, with technology and planning, nothing was unforseeable. But he could not plan for the ebullient nature of his French servant, Passepartout, for the adventures that crop up on their journey and for the totally unexpected collision with romance. The humour and freshness of Verne’s writing – vivid despatches from a newly accessible world – make these works the ideal subject for an Audiobook.

£16.99 $28.98 £11.00 €12.50 $19.00
Abraham Lincoln (selections) http://www.naxosaudiobooks.com/abraham-lincoln-selections/ The Essential Abraham Lincoln Speeches and letters by Abraham Lincoln The Essential Biographies selections Single 394312 9789626349434 9789629548353 Garrick Hagon
Peter Whitfield
Peter Marinker
Garrick Hagon
3 57 03:55:11 BIO011000 Available World

Abraham Lincoln (1809–1865) was one of the most influential presidents of the USA, uniting the country and abolishing slavery after a terrible civil war. On the 200th anniversary of his birth, his life and works are presented here in an easy introductory form. Through a balance of biography and the key speeches and letters, the man is brought to life, demonstrating his keen intelligence and determination, which was maintained all the way to his tragic death at the hand of an assassin.

£13.99 $22.98 £9.00 €10.50 $15.00 Jan09

The biography outlines the career of this lean, 6ft 4in man from the backwoods who became one of America’s greatest statesmen and brought an end to slavery. The eloquence of his speeches and the humanity of his letters are palpable. An authoritative, not sycophantic, narration.

Rachel Redford, The Observer

Adam Bede (unabridged) http://www.naxosaudiobooks.com/adam-bede-unabridged/ Adam Bede Classic Fiction unabridged Single 0155 9781843797838 9781843797845 George Eliot
Georgina Sutton
16 316 20:41:59 FIC004000 Available World

George Eliot’s first full-length novel, Adam Bede, is a profound rendering of 19th-century English pastoral life. This timeless story of seduction and betrayal follows the virtuous carpenter Adam Bede, whose world is soon disrupted when the all-too-beautiful Hetty betrays him for another villager. Her actions precipitate a turmoil of tragic events that shake the very foundations of their serene rural community. Eliot’s gift for leisurely and lyrical prose is in full effect here and her insight into human emotion and complexity is unrivalled.

£55.00 $98.98 £36.00 €40.50 $64.00 Feb15

Through the lens of literary realism, George Eliot examines the female role through Hetty, a woman tempted by illusions of grandeur, and Dinah, a woman whose life is dedicated to a religious calling as a Methodist itinerant preacher. Both women impact the heart of the honest carpenter Adam Bede. Georgina Sutton offers an expressive narration of Eliot’s novel. It’s clear that she grasps the tone of the prose through her delivery of the narrative voice, a voice that Eliot fills with many speculative asides. Sutton also convincingly portrays the country dialect of several characters, especially Adam and his brother, Seth, who both come across as good-hearted and noble. Sutton’s pleasant tone is engaging throughout and draws one into the drama in the fictional community of Hayslope.

D.M.W., AudioFile

Adventures of Brigadier Gerard, The (unabridged) http://www.naxosaudiobooks.com/adventures-of-brigadier-gerard-the-unabridged/ The Adventures of Brigadier Gerard Classic Fiction unabridged Single 0025 9781843794479 9781843794486 Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
Rupert Degas
6 100 06:53:20 FIC004000 Available Deleted Available World

With a horse between his thighs and a weapon in his grip, the dashing Brigadier Etienne Gerard, Colonel of the Hussars of Conflans, gallops through the Napoleonic campaigns on secret missions for his beloved Emperor and his country. He encounters danger and hair-breadth escapes but never loses his bravado, his eye for a pretty girl, his boastfulness or his enormous vanity. Gerard is Conan Doyle’s most lovable character. At times hilarious, at times touching, these stories are amongst Conan Doyle’s most popular.

£24.99 $41.98 £16.00 €18.50 $28.00 Feb11

Sir Arthur Conan Doyle may be best known for his Sherlock Holmes stories, but they were not his favorites. He loved the stories that promoted the chivalric ethos, even if they sometimes made fun of their heroes, as here. Gerard is a cavalry officer who is devoted to Napoleon and is incapable of seeing the world through any other lens. Rupert Degas is reliably excellent as the ego-inflated officer who fails to see the differences between French and English values, remaining fully confident through what most of us would consider the most embarrassing situations. But Degas never loses touch with the man’s innate courage, grace, and devotion to his principles.

D.M.H., AudioFile

Naxos Audiobooks continue to revive some long forgotten works by that genius writer of detective fiction, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. This time it is ‘The Adventures of Brigadier Gerard’ – a swashbuckling set of stories set in the Napoleonic Wars and including some pretty far fetched plots. Rupert Degas is the ideal reader for this type of narrative – his French sounding inflexions are truly a delight to listen to especially in the more tender parts of the tales. The seven hours of stories may be slightly heavy on the ear so it is advisable to take them one at a time but with the well chosen interludes taken from similarly swashbuckling Berlioz overtures, you really cannot miss out. I particularly enjoyed the action packed part on the capture of Saragossa as well as the final part on Waterloo with Degas truly in his element describing the bloodthirsty scenes of battlefield carnage. Yet another winner from the astonishingly diverse Naxos Audiobooks stable.

Gerald Fenech, Malta News Online

Sir Arthur Conan Doyle is best known for his Sherlock Holmes stories. But he is also the creator of Etienne Gerard, a calvary officer in the armies of Napoleon. The Adventures Of Brigadier Gerard is a collection of colorful (and often humorous) stories of Gerard’s missions during the Napoleonic Wars ranging from Spain and Italy to England and Russia. The Adventures […] are deftly and dramatically narrated by Rupert Degas who does the storytelling talents of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle full and complete justice. […] a technically flawless audio production. The result is pure entertainment and the highest possible recommendation for personal and community library audio book collections.

Library Bookwatch

Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, The (abridged) http://www.naxosaudiobooks.com/adventures-of-huckleberry-finn-the-abridged/ The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn Junior Classics abridged Single 207312 9789626340738 9789629544355 Mark Twain
Garrick Hagon
2 38 02:38:06 JUV007000 Available World

Floating down the Mississippi on their raft, Huckleberry Finn and Jim, a runaway slave, find life filled with excitement and the spirit of adventure. Join Huck and Jim and their old friend Tom Sawyer as they come up against low-down thieves and murderers, whilst being chased by Huck’s evil, drunken father who is after Huck’s treasure. It is a trip that you will never tire of.

£10.99 $17.98 £7.00 €8.00 $12.00
Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, The (unabridged) http://www.naxosaudiobooks.com/adventures-of-huckleberry-finn-the-unabridged/ The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn Classic Fiction unabridged Single 36012 9789626343609 9789629545741 Mark Twain
Garrick Hagon
9 165 11:24:04 FIC004000 Deleted Available World

Floating down the Mississippi on their raft, Huckleberry Finn and Jim, a runaway slave, find life filled with excitement and the spirit of adventure. Join Huck and Jim and their old friend Tom Sawyer as they come up against low-down thieves and murderers, whilst being chased by Huck’s evil, drunken father who is after Huck’s treasure. It is a trip that you will never tire of. In this new unabridged recording, Garrick Hagon brings his remarkable powers of vocal characterisation to the unforgettable portraits created by Twain.

£32.99 $59.98 £21.50 €24.00 $39.00
Adventures of Odysseus, The (unabridged) http://www.naxosaudiobooks.com/adventures-of-odysseus-the-unabridged/ The Adventures of Odysseus Junior Classics unabridged Single 211412 9789626341148 9789629543976 Benedict Flynn
Benjamin Soames
2 33 02:25:56 JUV007000 Available World

The Adventures of Odysseus is the story of what happened after the Trojan War when Odysseus, the most cunning of all the Greek heroes, left Troy and made his way back to his wife Penelope and his son Telemachus. It was first told by a poet named Homer nearly three thousand years ago and is retold in this new version especially for younger listeners.

£10.99 $17.98 £7.00 €8.00 $12.00
Adventures of Sherlock Holmes Vols. I-VI, The (unabridged) http://www.naxosaudiobooks.com/adventures-of-sherlock-holmes-vols-i-vi-the-unabridged/ The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes Vols. I-VI Classic Fiction unabridged Single 35312 9789626343531 Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
David Timson
18 312 21:09:14 FIC004000 Available Available Available World

This set brings together the twenty-four stories comprising the first volume of Dr Watson’s Sherlock Holmes reports – The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes. It includes such outstanding investigations as The Speckled Band, The Red-Headed League, The Adventure of the Greek Interpreter, and The Adventure of the Final Problem. They are read by the award winning David Timson, widely regarded as one of the finest presenters of the Sherlock Holmes canon.

£60.00 $107.98 £39.00 €44.00 $70.00
Adventures of Sherlock Holmes – Volume I, The (unabridged) http://www.naxosaudiobooks.com/adventures-of-sherlock-holmes-volume-i-the-unabridged/ The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes – Volume I The Speckled Band | The Adventure of the Copper Beeches The Stock-Broker’s Clerk | The Red-Headed League Classic Fiction unabridged Single 315212 9789626341520 9789629545062 Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
David Timson
3 55 03:44:38 FIC004000 Available World

In this collection are four of the finest cases of Mr Sherlock Holmes, narrated by his faithful friend and admirer Dr Watson. What was the horror of The Speckled Band or the secret behind the curious legacy for men of red hair? These and other puzzles are solved by this bloodhound of a genius.

£13.99 $22.98 £9.00 €10.50 $15.00
  • The Adventure of the Speckled Band
  • The Adventure of the Stock-Broker’s Clerk
  • The Adventure of the Copper Beeches
  • The Adventure of the Red-Headed League
Adventures of Sherlock Holmes – Volume II, The (unabridged) http://www.naxosaudiobooks.com/adventures-of-sherlock-holmes-volume-ii-the-unabridged/ The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes – Volume II The Engineer’s Thumb | Silver Blaze | The Scandal in Bohemia | The Five Orange Pips Classic Fiction unabridged Single 317012 9789626341704 9789629545079 Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
David Timson
3 53 03:38:20 FIC004000 Available World

In this collection are four of the finest cases of Mr Sherlock Holmes, narrated by his faithful friend and admirer Dr Watson. What was the mystery of the engineer’s thumb? What was behind the disappearance of the race horse? Why did masked royalty walk up to see Holmes in Baker Street? These and other puzzles are solved by this bloodhound of a genius.

£13.99 $22.98 £9.00 €10.50 $15.00
  • The Scandal in Bohemia
  • The Adventure of the Engineer’s Thumb
  • The Five Orange Pips
  • Silver Blaze
Adventures of Sherlock Holmes – Volume III, The (unabridged) http://www.naxosaudiobooks.com/adventures-of-sherlock-holmes-volume-iii-the-unabridged/ The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes – Volume III The Adventure of the Cardboard Box | The Musgrave Ritual | The Man with the Twisted Lip | The Adventure of the Blue Carbuncle Classic Fiction unabridged Single 319112 9789626341919 9789629545086 Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
David Timson
3 52 03:32:56 FIC004000 Available World

In this collection are four more individual cases for Mr Sherlock Holmes, narrated by his faithful friend and admirer Dr Watson. Once more, they are solved by this bloodhound of a genius.

£13.99 $22.98 £9.00 €10.50 $15.00
  • The Man with the Twisted Lip
  • The Musgrave Ritual
  • The Adventure of the Cardboard Box
  • The Adventure of the Blue Carbuncle
Adventures of Sherlock Holmes – Volume IV, The (unabridged) http://www.naxosaudiobooks.com/adventures-of-sherlock-holmes-volume-iv-the-unabridged/ The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes – Volume IV A Case of Identity | The Crooked Man | The Naval Treaty | The Greek Interpreter Classic Fiction unabridged Single 321312 9789626342138 9789629545093 Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
David Timson
3 52 03:31:09 FIC004000 Deleted Available World

Four more stories from the master detective. The mystery of the missing suitor is solved and Sherlock Holmes raises his whip… an Indian pot stands in the shadows of a Colonel’s death… serious affairs of state and international diplomacy are threatened by a theft… and surely evil intent lies behind threats in a hidden house. The cool observations and swift action of Sherlock Holmes resolves all.

£13.99 $22.98 £9.00 €10.50 $15.00
  • A Case of Identity
  • The Adventure of the Crooked Man
  • The Naval Treaty
  • The Greek Interpreter
Adventures of Sherlock Holmes – Volume V, The (unabridged) http://www.naxosaudiobooks.com/adventures-of-sherlock-holmes-volume-v-the-unabridged/ The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes – Volume V The Adventure of the Reigate Squire | The Adventure of the Beryl Coronet | The Boscombe Valley Mystery | The Yellow Face Classic Fiction unabridged Single 326612 9789626342664 9789629545109 Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
David Timson
3 53 03:39:35 FIC004000 Deleted Available World

Dr Watson comments ‘The stage lost a fine actor’ when Holmes chose to devote his formidable talents to the solution of crime. two of these stories, The Reigate Squire and The Adventure of Beryl Coronet, Holmes demonstrates his thespian powers as he unravels the mysteries. In the first he explains a rural murder while in the second, Holmes’ timely intervention prevents something of a national – even royal – scandal. The Boscombe Valley Mystery takes Holmes and Watson once again to the English countryside, but the famous detective uncovers old Australian animosities to get to the root of the problem. The Yellow Face, which concludes the selection, is one of the most fascinating in the whole canon, raising some key social issues of the time.

£13.99 $22.98 £9.00 €10.50 $15.00
  • The Reigate Squire
  • The Boscombe Valley Mystery
  • The Adventure of the Beryl Coronet
  • The Yellow Face
Adventures of Sherlock Holmes – Volume VI, The (unabridged) http://www.naxosaudiobooks.com/adventures-of-sherlock-holmes-volume-vi-the-unabridged/ The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes – Volume VI The Final Problem | The Adventure of ‘The Gloria Scott’ | The Adventure of The Noble Bachelor | The Adventure of The Resident Patient Classic Fiction unabridged Single 328012 9789626342800 9789629545116 Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
David Timson
3 48 03:16:18 FIC004000 Available World

In The Final Problem, perhaps the greatest of the short stories of Sherlock Holmes, the English detective encounters his most formidable rival, Professor Moriarty. ‘The Napoleon of Crime’ is how Holmes describes his adversary to his faithful companion, Dr Watson, as they move to the ultimate confrontation at the Reichenbach Falls. Also in this collection is the intriguing mystery of the disappearing bride in The Noble Bachelor and two threats from the past in Gloria Scott and The Resident Patient.

£13.99 $22.98 £9.00 €10.50 $15.00
  • The Adventure of the ‘Gloria Scott’
  • The Adventure of the Resident Patient
  • The Adventure of the Noble Bachelor
  • The Adventure of the Final Problem
Adventures of Tom Sawyer, The (abridged) http://www.naxosaudiobooks.com/adventures-of-tom-sawyer-the-abridged/ The Adventures of Tom Sawyer Junior Classics abridged Single 208012 9789626340806 9789629544362 Mark Twain
Garrick Hagon
2 39 02:38:26 JUV007000 Available World

The Adventures of Tom Sawyer is the story of a boy’s adventures growing up in a small town on the banks of the Mississippi river over a hundred years ago. The cheerful, adventurous hero plays truant to form a pirate band and, together with his best friend, Huckleberry Finn, finds fun and excitement, and buried treasure, along the shores of the great river.

£10.99 $17.98 £7.00 €8.00 $12.00
Adventures of Tom Sawyer, The (unabridged) http://www.naxosaudiobooks.com/adventures-of-tom-sawyer-the-unabridged/ The Adventures of Tom Sawyer Classic Fiction unabridged Single 786812 9789626348680 9789629545758 Mark Twain
Garrick Hagon
7 121 08:15:25 FIC004000 Available World

Tom Sawyer is a dare-devil, a schemer, a prankster, a main-chancer. His inventiveness and energy know no bounds; whenever his Aunt Polly thinks he is tucked up in bed, he is most likely creeping out into the night on deeds of daring – ‘not the Model Boy of the village,’ as the author puts it. In creating this humorous and dramatic story of childhood, Mark Twain has given us a vivid picture of life in a small town on the Mississippi in the mid-nineteenth century and created one of the most popular boy heroes in literature.

£19.99 $34.98 £13.00 €14.50 $23.00
Aeneid, The (abridged) http://www.naxosaudiobooks.com/aeneid-the-abridged/ The Aeneid Poetry abridged Single 427812 9789626342787 9789629546748 Virgil
Paul Scofield
4 145 05:16:02 POE014000 Available Available Available World

Virgil’s Aeneid, one of the greatest Classical poems, tells the story of Aeneas, son of Priam, after the fall of Troy. His quest is to find the site ‘in the west’ where he will found a new town prophesied to be the seat of a world empire – Rome. This great poem, in a modern translation by Cecil Day Lewis, is superbly read by the great classical actor Paul Scofield, with Jill Balcon.

£16.99 $28.98 £11.00 €12.50 $19.00 Cecil Day Lewis
Aeneid, The (unabridged) http://www.naxosaudiobooks.com/aeneid-the-unabridged/ The Aeneid Poetry unabridged Single 0196 9781843798866 9781843798873 Virgil
David Collins
10 200 13:01:31 POE014000 Available World

The masterpiece of Rome’s greatest poet, Virgil’s Aeneid has inspired generations of readers and holds a central place in Western literature. The epic tells the story of a group of refugees from the ruined city of Troy, whose attempts to reach a promised land in the West are continually frustrated by the hostile goddess Juno. Finally reaching Italy, their leader Aeneas is forced to fight a bitter war against the natives to establish the foundations from which Rome is destined to rise. This magnificent poem, in the modern translation by Cecil Day Lewis, is superbly read by David Collins.

£35.00 $62.98 £23.00 €26.00 $41.00 May15 Cecil Day Lewis

I hadn’t read any Virgil before listening to this engaging 1952 version of the classic tale of Aeneas escaping from Troy and eventually laying the foundations of Rome. All manner of gods and mythic characters are knitted into it and we find out why the Trojans were stupid enough to haul that wooden horse inside Troy, why poor Laocoön and his sons got strangled by serpents, why Aeneas ratted on Dido and so on and so on. Cecil Day-Lewis’s euphonious hexameters were meant to be easy on the ear, being written for broadcast on the BBC, and are given added force by colloquialisms such as Jupiter’s ‘storm troops’, the golden bough as a ‘passport’ to the underworld, the sneering description of Aeneas as a ‘Phrygian pansy’ and Pyrrhus as a ‘milksop’.

Christina Hardyment, The Times

The late poet laureate Cecil Day-Lewis’s translation of this Roman epic is idiosyncratic, but David Collins’s narration is consistently gripping. This is no small achievement, considering how remarkably passive Aeneas is for an epic hero. Letting Virgil do most of the work of distinguishing the characters, Collins brings the drama to life. His portrayal of Dido is particularly moving. Even in this modern (and, to some tastes, too modernised) version, Virgil’s classical Latin can be chilly. Collins adds the heat necessary to make us weep, if not for Hecuba, then at least for Dido and Andromache. There are several good recordings of The Aeneid, and we can add this one to the list.

D.M.W., AudioFile

Aesop’s Fables (selections) http://www.naxosaudiobooks.com/aesop-s-fables-selections/ Aesop’s Fables Junior Classics selections Single 120712 9789626342077 9789629548100 Aesop
Anton Lesser
1 19 01:18:42 JUV007000 Available Available Available World

How can the Tortoise run faster than the Hare? What happens when the Dog growls at its image? Or when the Country Mouse goes to supper with the Town Mouse? These wonderful stories have delighted adults and children for centuries, with their witty observations on both animals and humans. In the Fox, in the Crow, in the Lion, in the Ass who puts on a wolf’s skin, we see humankind with all its foibles. The stories are told with the enduring magic of a master storyteller, and set against the bright sounds of Vivaldi’s Four Seasons and other concertos.

£8.99 $14.98 £6.00 €6.50 $10.00
Afghanistan – In a Nutshell (unabridged) http://www.naxosaudiobooks.com/afghanistan-in-a-nutshell-unabridged/ Afghanistan – In a Nutshell History unabridged Single 196112 9789626349618 9789629548520 Tim Albone
Mark Hudson
Benjamin Soames
1 19 01:19:28 HIS026000 Available Available World

‘In a Nutshell’, the new 1-CD audiobook series from Naxos AudioBooks, continues with a fascinating history of Afghanistan. For centuries it has been the playground of big powers, from Alexander the Great to the British Empire and the Soviet Union. It has been torn by internal strife and ideological differences, yet Afghans, tribal though they may be, remain a proud nation. Here is a short history, setting the background to the current situation.

£8.99 $14.98 £6.00 €6.50 $10.00 Jun09

Afghanistan, with its poppies, forbidding geography, earthquakes and internecine clashes, has been invaded since the fourth century. This history ends with the present invasion by Nato forces and explains the tensions between Russia, USA and Britain that led to it.

Rachel Redford, The Observer

It took Alexander the Great six months to conquer Persia and three years to subdue Afghanistan, ‘a land of leonine and brave people’, he wrote to his mother, where ‘every foot of ground is like a wall of steel’. Two millennia on, it was Britain’s turn to take on the legendary warrior horsemen. In January 1842, three years after the start of the first Anglo-Afghan war (we’re now on the fourth), the beleaguered British garrison in Kabul, escorting 1,500 civilians, began the desperate retreat to Jalalabad. As they crossed the snows of the Hindu Kush, they were massacred by Pashtun tribesmen, leaving a single British survivor to tell the story. In 1979, 30,000 Soviet troops were dispatched to help Kabul’s new liberal government fight the Islamist mujahideen guerrillas, in whose ranks a youthful Osama bin Laden was already making a name. They retreated 10 years later with a butcher’s bill of 15,000 dead and 65,000 wounded, leaving behind a million dead Afghans. No country as ethnically, politically and religiously fragmented as Afghanistan, with its warlords, honour codes, Taliban fanatics, suicide bombers and a single illegal source of revenue – opium poppies – could expect an easy ride, but since the Soviet occupation it has not had a single year of peace. If only all guides to complex subjects were as clear, compact and impartial.

Sue Arnold, The Guardian

after the quake (unabridged) http://www.naxosaudiobooks.com/after-the-quake-unabridged/ after the quake UFU in Kushiro | Landscape with Flatiron | All God’s Children Can Dance | Thailand | Superfrog Saves Tokyo | Honey Pie Contemporary Fiction unabridged Single 443212 9789626344323 9789629546229 Haruki Murakami
Rupert Degas
Teresa Gallagher
Adam Sims
4 63 04:19:52 FIC029000 Deleted Available World excl. USA and Canada

In 1995, the Japanese city of Kobe suffered a massive earthquake. Nearly 6,000 people died. after the quake was the imaginative response from Japan’s leading novelist, Haruki Murakami: six stories, each dealing not directly with the catastrophe but the wider seismic effect it had on the emotional lives of people many miles away. It became a catalyst for individuals to reassess their lives with unexpected consequences for themselves and their families and friends around them. after the quake is Murakami’s most popular short story collection.

£16.99 $28.98 £11.00 €12.50 $19.00
  • UFO in Kushiro
  • Landscape with Flatiron
  • All God’s Children Can Dance
  • Thailand
  • Superfrog Saves Tokyo
  • Honey Pie 1
  • Honey Pie 2

The connection with the 1995 Kobe earthquake in these six unabridged stories is curiously nebulous, but it keys with their uncomfortable sense of dislocation. Junpei, like Murakami, broke away from his parents long ago and doesn’t call them after the quake; Yoshiya’s mother insists he is a son of God, but on a train, he pursues a man he believes to be his father. Relationships are intense but ultimately unfulfilling, and obsessions, like Junko’s with building beach fires, are all-absorbing but purposeless. The narrators succeed in conveying the striking, vibrant reality of these worlds and their aimless, intriguing weirdness.

Rachel Redford, The Observer

Age of Innocence, The (unabridged) http://www.naxosaudiobooks.com/age-of-innocence-the-unabridged/ The Age of Innocence Classic Fiction unabridged Single 0234 9781843799788 9781843799795 Edith Wharton
Laurel Lefkow
9 167 11:07:31 FIC004000 Available Available Available World

‘The real loneliness is living among all these kind people who only ask one to pretend!’ Awarded the 1921 Pulitzer Prize (the first to be presented to a woman), Edith Wharton’s The Age of Innocence is a powerful depiction of love and desire in New York’s glamorous Gilded Age. When Newland Archer, happily engaged to May Welland, meets his  fiancée’s cousin Ellen, his entire future is cast into doubt: strong-willed, witty, and entirely unpretentious, Ellen is unlike any woman he has ever met. He is torn between his infatuation for her and his duty to marry May. In subtle and elegant language, Wharton delivers a critical look at the social mores of the time.

£32.99 $59.98 £21.50 €24.00 $39.00 Sep16 Hilary Field, Genevieve Helsby Daniel Murguialday

Edith Wharton was looking back to her own innocence when in 1920, in her late fifties, she wrote The Age of Innocence, a story of the cracks that were beginning to appear in old-fashioned fin de siècle New York society. Newland Archer is about to be married when his fiancée’s cousin returns to New York, in search of a divorce from her abusive Polish husband, and his complacent, sedate world rocks on its pedestal. In the best Brief Encounter tradition, the lovers fight their feelings, little realising that their passion is well-understood by their nearest and dearest. It won the Pulitzer prize for fiction, the first awarded to a woman author, and it still has a haunting ‘road not taken’ quality that leaves the listener musing on might-have-beens. Laurel Lefkow, who can sound marvellously raunchy reading such titles as The Devil Wears Prada, adopts a precise well-behaved diction perfectly matched to the novel.

Christina Hardyment, The Times

Agnes Grey (unabridged) http://www.naxosaudiobooks.com/agnes-grey-unabridged/ Agnes Grey Classic Fiction unabridged Single 612812 9789626341285 9789629549329 Anne Brontë
Rachel Bavidge
6 110 07:34:11 FIC004000 Available World

From its opening sentences Agnes Grey introduces a heroine who is honest, perceptive and charming. Unfortunately, the Bloomfields, who engage her as a governess, are rather less appealing, and the incarnation of the suppressed cruelties and hypocrisies of the Victorian age. When Agnes moves to a marginally less alarming family, one of her charges sets out to disrupt her only romantic hope. Critical, satirical, direct, and honest, Agnes Grey is a fine reflection of its author.

£19.99 $34.98 £13.00 €14.50 $23.00 May10

The only respectable calling for poor but educated young women in Victorian England was that of governess. Brontë’s 1847 novel tells the story of governess Grey’s struggles with the undisciplined Bloomfield children and the callous Murray siblings. Bavidge’s British-laced reading is perfectly tuned to Grey’s efforts to make her way in an unsympathetic world as the governess tries to instill her charges with good sense and kindness, but is confronted with insolence, prejudice, and snobbery. Young Tom Bloomfield reveals his temperament through nasally condescending tones, while his younger sister simpers and whines. One Murray daughter sounds condescending and calculating, and the other child is a hoyden with rough and crude speech patterns, even though her family is a member of the gentry. Grey speaks with a clear and gentle British accent. A scene in which a character seduces and then haughtily rejects a suitor’s advances is redolent of Brontë’s satiric view of British class snobbery.

Mary McCay, Booklist

Aida (unabridged) http://www.naxosaudiobooks.com/aida-unabridged/ Opera Explained – Aida Opera Explained – Music unabridged Single 558009 9781843790969 9781843793069 Thomson Smillie
David Timson
1 29 01:03:15 MUS028000 Available World

Ancient Egypt and the war with Ethiopia is the setting for Verdi’s grandest opera. It is the story of the love between Rhadames, the Egyptian general and Aida, an Ethiopian slave, and the jealousy of Amneris, daughter of the King of Egypt. It was written in 1871 to a commission from the Khedive of Egypt to inaugurate the new opera house in Cairo. Aida generally is considered one of the most spectacular of Verdi’s operas. But Thomson Smillie, in his fascinating introduction to the work, presented by actor David Timson, says it is, more accurately ‘a chamber opera with a grand march through the middle of it’. The historic background – how and why it came to be composed – is clearly explained. This is followed by the plot, the characters, and the principal arias and musical moments – a perfect way of getting to know the work.

£5.99 $12.99 £4.00 €4.50 $7.80
Alexandria Quartet, The (abridged) http://www.naxosaudiobooks.com/alexandria-quartet-the-abridged/ The Alexandria Quartet Justine | Balthazar | Mountolive | Clea Modern Classics abridged Single 24012 9789626342404 Lawrence Durrell
Nigel Anthony
12 238 15:40:53 FIC000000 Available Deleted Available World

This atmospheric, poetic quartet of novels, undoubtedly one of the great English works of the post-Second World War period, is set in wartime Alexandria, with its politics, passions, corruption and vice. Durrell’s experimental form presents the narrative from different viewpoints, allowing the story to unfold gradually. It is richly compelling, especially in this quietly powerful reading by Nigel Anthony.

£42.00 $73.98 £27.00 €31.00 $48.00
Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland (abridged) http://www.naxosaudiobooks.com/alice-s-adventures-in-wonderland-abridged/ Alice's Adventures in Wonderland Junior Classics abridged Single 213712 9789626341377 9789629543853 Lewis Carroll
Fiona Shaw
2 35 02:22:34 JUV007000 Available World

Fiona Shaw gives a wonderfully fresh reading of Carroll’s classic tale, making his fantastical characters thoroughly believable through an impression of voices. Vivid sound effects together with music by Delius, Parry and Bruckner complete this delightful production.

£10.99 $17.98 £7.00 €8.00 $12.00
Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland (unabridged) http://www.naxosaudiobooks.com/alice-s-adventures-in-wonderland-unabridged/ Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland Junior Classics unabridged Single 338412 9789626343845 9789629543860 Lewis Carroll
Jo Wyatt
Sean Barrett
Andrew Branch
Charles Collingwood
Teresa Gallagher
Steve Hodson
David Horovitch
Nigel Lambert
Hayward Morse
Richard Pearce
Anne Rosenfield
Liza Ross
Christopher Scott
Jill Shilling
Stephen Thorne
David Timson
3 43 03:57:56 JUV007000 Available Available World

Alice’s adventures, funny, inventive and disturbing, have fascinated children and adults alike since their publication. This is a new unabridged recording using many voices to take the parts of The White Rabbit, the Mad Hatter, the Queen of Hearts and the Cheshire Cat – and, of course, Alice herself. It makes for a roller-coaster ride of delightful fantasy.

£13.99 $22.98 £9.00 €10.50 $15.00 Garrick Hagon and the Story Circle Wolfgang Dienst

The unabridged Alice in Wonderland is read by David Horovitch with other voices playing the characters. Alice actresses can be twee and precocious but Jo Wyatt is utterly convincing.

Sue Arnold, The Guardian

Allan Quatermain (unabridged) http://www.naxosaudiobooks.com/allan-quatermain-unabridged/ Allan Quatermain Classic Fiction unabridged Single 0088 9781843795902 9781843795919 H. Rider Haggard
Bill Homewood
10 178 11:07:56 FIC004000 Available World

We have met the intrepid hunter-tracker Allan Quatermain before, in Rider Haggard’s marvellous King Solomon’s Mines. This time, grieving from the tragic loss of his son, Quatermain longs to return to his beloved Africa. He sets out in search of a lost white tribe, the Zu-Vendis, ruled by two beautiful sister Queens. Once again, Quatermain’s companions are the indefatigable Sir Henry Curtis and Captain Good, and the magnificent Zulu warrior Umslopogaas. The journey is incredibly dangerous, and thrillingly told. After a fantastic underground journey by canoe, our heroes are embroiled in a bloody civil war when both queens fall in love with the irresistibly handsome Curtis.

£35.00 $62.98 £23.00 €26.00 $41.00 Sep12
An Enquiry Concerning Human Understanding (unabridged) http://www.naxosaudiobooks.com/an-enquiry-concerning-human-understanding-unabridged/ An Enquiry Concerning Human Understanding Philosophy unabridged Single 0157 9781843797876 9781843797883 David Hume
Hugh Ross
5 93 06:03:54 PHI000000 Available Available World

As intriguing today as when it was first published, Hume’s An Enquiry Concerning Human Understanding is a fascinating exploration into the nature of human knowledge. Using billiard balls, candles and other colourful examples, Hume conveys the core of his empiricism: that true knowledge can only be gained through sensory experience. No other philosopher has been at the forefront of the mind than David Hume; physics, psychology, neuroscience – connections to Hume are everywhere. Here is the book that Immanuel Kant confessed had awoken him from his ‘dogmatic slumber’.

£19.99 $34.98 £13.00 €14.50 $23.00 Nov15

Hugh Ross reads Hume’s brief but important philosophical tract as the philosopher himself might, thinking his ideas through as he speaks, explaining them in an avuncular fashion, sounding as if he’s anxious to make them understood – while his skeptical inquiry devastatingly undermines cause and effect, free will, miracles, and skepticism. Ross’s use of intonation, emphasis, and expressiveness to mirror and, in a way, explicate the sense of the text is highly skilled. His British-accented voice is pleasant and clear, and his manner accessible, fitting Hume’s essayistic tone and famous clarity of style (though the arguments do demand close attention). Hume’s writing and Ross’s expressive rendering make listening to this text an enjoyable, thought-provoking walk to the edge of an epistemological cliff and over.

W.M., AudioFile

Ancient Egypt – The Glory of the Pharaohs (unabridged) http://www.naxosaudiobooks.com/ancient-egypt-the-glory-of-the-pharaohs-unabridged/ Ancient Egypt – The Glory of the Pharaohs Junior Classics unabridged Single 0052 9781843795001 9781843795018 David Angus
Nicholas Boulton
2 36 02:26:00 HIS002030 Available World

Ancient Egypt – The Glory of the Pharaohs tells us about civilisation under the pharaohs, of mysterious statues and tombs, incredible obelisks, the Sphinx… In this recording, the ancient Egyptian kingdom is brought to life in a way that fuels the listener’s imagination, teaching and entertaining in equal measure.

£10.99 $17.98 £7.00 €8.00 $12.00 Apr12

Ancient Egypt – The Glory of the Pharaohs is the unabridged audiobook rendition of David Angus’s classic non-fiction exploration of the incredible ancient civilization of Egypt. Egypt’s grand statues, gigantic tombs, towering obelisks, legendary pyramids, and ineffable Sphinx are all vividly described and explained. Listeners of all ages will thoroughly enjoy this exciting and educational audiobook, smoothly narrated by award-winning radio performer Nicholas Boulton.

Library Bookwatch, Midwest Book Review

Ancient Greek Philosophy – An Introduction (unabridged) http://www.naxosaudiobooks.com/ancient-greek-philosophy-an-introduction-unabridged/ Ancient Greek Philosophy – An Introduction Philosophy unabridged Single 644412 9789626344446 9789629547370 Tom Griffith
Hugh Griffith
Bruce Alexander
6 201 07:16:42 PHI002000 Available Available Available World

The philosophy of Ancient Greece provides the background of Western ethical thought and politics. In this approachable introduction, Tom Griffith, a leading translator of Plato, covers the main ground from the Pre-Socratics through Plato, Aristotle, the Stoics and the Epicureans. In each case, the figures are introduced before a compilation of key texts in lively translations.

£24.99 $41.98 £16.00 €18.50 $28.00 Tom Griffith
Andersen’s Fairy Tales (selections) http://www.naxosaudiobooks.com/andersen-s-fairy-tales-selections/ Andersen's Fairy Tales Junior Classics selections Single 201212 9789626340127 9789629543723 Hans Christian Andersen
Erica Johns
2 38 02:34:51 JUV007000 Available World

The world of Hans Christian Andersen is seen through the eyes of children. There is the everyday wonder of an ugly duckling being transformed into a swan; the puffed-up Emperor being fooled by his own importance; the tender tragedy of a little match girl; the upright honesty of John rewarded by his travelling companion. By bringing true feelings to these stories, Andersen’s tales have become part of universal folklore.

£10.99 $17.98 £7.00 €8.00 $12.00
  • The Emperor’s New Clothes
  • The Tinderbox
  • The Travelling Companion
  • The Ugly Duckling
  • The Little Match Girl
  • The Swineherd
  • Big Claus and Little Claus

Gorgeous orchestral music contributes to the dramatisation of these charming tales. In ‘The Emperor’gs New Clothes’, narrator Erica Johns creates the ideal huffy voice for the emperor, shady-sounding voices for the swindlers, and a realistic child’s voice when all is revealed. In ‘The Tinder Box’, listeners can almost see the crafty witch as she cajoles the soldier to steal with her creepy voice. The ugly duckling quacks believably as Johns elegantly describes nature. The hunting dogs’ splashes into the water are also appropriately frightening and dramatic. Listening is an excellent way to enjoy Andersen’s humour and wise lessons.

S.G.B., AudioFile

Anna Karenina (abridged) http://www.naxosaudiobooks.com/anna-karenina-abridged/ Anna Karenina Classic Fiction abridged Single 408112 9789626340813 9789629545697 Leo Tolstoy
Laura Paton
4 74 05:06:09 FIC004000 Available World

Anna Karenina has been described as the perfect Russian novel. Trapped in a loveless marriage, Anna Karenina is defenceless against the power of her passions once they are unleashed by the adoration of Count Vronsky. Having defied the rules of nineteenth-century Russian society, Anna is forced to pay a heavy price. Human nature, with all its failings, is the fabric of which this great and passionate work is composed.

£16.99 $28.98 £11.00 €12.50 $19.00 Aylmer and Louise Maude
Anna Karenina (unabridged) http://www.naxosaudiobooks.com/anna-karenina-unabridged/ Anna Karenina Classic Fiction unabridged Single 13012 9789626341308 9789629549343 Leo Tolstoy
Kate Lock
31 599 41:00:31 FIC004000 Available Available World

Anna Karenina is beautiful, married to a successful man, and has a son whom she adores. But a chance meeting at a train station in Moscow sets her passionate heart alight, and she is defenceless in the face of Count Vronsky’s adoration. Having defied the rules of nineteenth-century Russian society, Anna is forced to pay a heavy price. Human nature, with all its failings, is the fabric of which this great and intense work is composed. Anna Karenina has been described as the perfect Russian novel.

£90.00 $162.98 £59.00 €66.00 $106.00 Mar10 Aylmer and Louise Maude

Yes, it’s expensive, but would you expect to pay less for a 41-hour audio of the world’s greatest love story? Dostoevsky called it a flawless masterpiece. There’s a five-hour abridged version with music for £16.99, read with heartrending passion by Laura Paton, but it’s essentially a taster. Don’t settle for less than all eight courses.

Sue Arnold, The Guardian

Tolstoy’s magnificent panoramic novel Anna Karenina is a daunting listening proposition. Bear in mind that it was written as a serial, published in monthly installments over four years, and download it to take in regular doses (walking the dog or on your commute to and from work). Kate Lock rises to the challenge of this marathon of narration nobly, skilfully reflecting in voice the development of the initially air-headed Kitty and the clumsy, obtuse Levin, and their realisation, from the terrible outcome of the affair between Anna and Vronsky, that happiness cannot be built on another’s pain. It is worth downloading a character list to help you to sort out the names of the enormous cast.

Christina Hardyment, The Times

Anne of Avonlea (abridged) http://www.naxosaudiobooks.com/anne-of-avonlea-abridged/ Anne of Avonlea Junior Classics abridged Single 216912 9789626341698 9789629544157 L.M. Montgomery
Liza Ross
2 34 02:19:39 JUV007000 Deleted Available World

This is the second volume in the poignant yet amusing tale of the perky red-headed Anne of Green Gables. This classic of children’s literature is set in Canada at the beginning of the century and is one of the best-selling titles in children’s literature ever.

£10.99 $17.98 £7.00 €8.00 $12.00
Anne of Green Gables (abridged) http://www.naxosaudiobooks.com/anne-of-green-gables-abridged/ Anne of Green Gables Junior Classics abridged Single 212312 9789626341230 9789629544164 L.M. Montgomery
Liza Ross
2 38 02:37:08 JUV007000 Available World

Eleven-year-old orphan Anne Shirley has red hair, a vivid imagination and cannot stop talking. Quite a shock for old Matthew and Marilla Cuthbert who wanted a boy to help them on the farm… Anne is soon the talk of the town with her funny ways and endless adventures, but it is not long before she has won the hearts of everyone. This classic story is set in Canada at the beginning of the twentieth century and is one of the most enduring favourites of children’s literature.

£10.99 $17.98 £7.00 €8.00 $12.00
Arabella (unabridged) http://www.naxosaudiobooks.com/arabella-unabridged/ Arabella Classic Fiction unabridged Single 0185 9781843798637 9781843798644 Georgette Heyer
Phyllida Nash
9 164 10:44:15 FIC004000 Available World

Perhaps the most deeply cherished novel among Heyer fans, Arabella is the story of a poor girl who captures the heart of a handsome and wealthy bachelor. When Arabella first arrives in London, she has only one mission: to snare a rich husband. She thus pretends to be a rich heiress and soon finds herself pursued by the most eligible bachelors in the city. But she has her sights on one man only: the much-hunted Mr Beaumaris. Our feisty heroine deals the worldly-wise Beaumaris a deft hand in the game of love; at first grudgingly charmed, he soon becomes smitten. However, what will he think of her deceitful charade? Will it ruin her chance to be with the perfect man? Arabella contains some of Heyer’s most witty dialogue and romantic banter; with its delightful and laugh-out-loud passages, there’s no wonder it remains the fan favourite.

£32.99 $59.98 £21.50 €24.00 $39.00 Dec14

Phyllida Nash really excels in this sort of material, and I enjoyed her performance enormously. She differentiates between the various characters very effectively, and all her characterisations are carefully and appropriately observed. Her melodious speaking voice is naturally deep, so adopting and sustaining a lower pitch for the male characters is absolutely no problem for her, and she also has no trouble going in the opposite direction, and using lighter tones to portray the women. As with any romance, the narrator’s interpretation of the central couple is key, and I found her portrayal of Beaumaris to be particularly satisfying. She skilfully conveys the dry wit and kindness of heart that lurks beneath his aura of world-weariness, his willingness to laugh at himself and the depth of his affection for Arabella. I’ve seen concerns expressed that she sounds too old to be narrating a story with such a young heroine, but I disagree. Ms Nash is an incredibly accomplished actress, and perfectly able to – and does – perform characters of any age convincingly. Moreover, she delivers the narrative stylishly and with an impressive command of the language and sense of period.

Carol Sissons, AudioGals

Arabian Nights, The (abridged) http://www.naxosaudiobooks.com/arabian-nights-the-abridged/ The Arabian Nights Classic Fiction abridged Single 302912 9789626340295 9789629544683 Richard Burton
Philip Madoc
3 54 03:43:34 FIC004000 Available Available World

Though The Arabian Nights are generally known as stories for children, they were originally tales for adults full of adventure, sexuality, violence and the supernatural. They certainly inspired the imagination of Sir Richard Burton, the nineteenth-century explorer, linguist and erotologist who brought all his worldly experience and a superbly expressive prose style to bear on the tales of Sinbad the Seaman and Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves. Scheherazade must keep her king entertained with stories if she is to avoid the promised sentence of death. Philip Madoc’s sonorous performance allows the tales to weave their own enchantment as they have done down the centuries.

£13.99 $22.98 £9.00 €10.50 $15.00
Aristotle – An Introduction (unabridged) http://www.naxosaudiobooks.com/aristotle-an-introduction-unabridged/ Aristotle – An Introduction Philosophy unabridged Single 485412 9789626348543 9789629547394 Hugh Griffith
Hugh Ross
4 73 05:01:47 PHI002000 Available Available Available World

No thinker has had a more profound influence on western civilisation than Aristotle. Whether we realise it or not, his work has been one of the main props of our culture for over two thousand years. Underlying all of it is a conviction that system and order can be found to govern everything, even human conduct. In the Ethics and Politics Aristotle examines what is the best kind of life, and what is the best kind of society for making this possible.

£16.99 $28.98 £11.00 €12.50 $19.00

What is life? How should we live it? And why are difficult books so much easier to digest on audio than in print? Ever since I heard Jim Norton reading Ulysses and John Rowe transforming Proust’s impenetrable prose into a novel I wish I’d read years ago, I now recommend everyone who has struggled unsuccessfully with Paradise Lost or A Brief History of Time to get the audio version instead. Even so, there were passages in the Griffith brothers’ admirably digestible guide to the often wacky belief systems of some of those pre-Socratic thinkers, cynics, sceptics, Epicureans et al that I had to rewind a few times. There’s Heraclitus, for instance, who advised that sexual pleasures should be confined to winter and believed that everything was composed of and reverted to fire. The eightfold division of the soul upheld by the Stoics also took a bit of unravelling, but it was worth it if only to appreciate that Stoicism originally meant a great deal more than grin and bear it. Having several readers brings the Platonic dialogues to life, and I defy anyone not to be moved by Socrates’ cool, courageous speech to the Athenian jury which has just condemned him to death for impiety. We may have über-technology, the internet, DNA and The Moral Maze, but the ethical beliefs and clear-headedness of those legendary first thinktanks – Plato’s Academy, Aristotle’s Lyceum, Zeno’s Stoa and the Garden of Epicurus – still have a lot to teach us.

Sue Arnold, The Guardian, 29 March 2008

Around the World in Eighty Days (abridged) http://www.naxosaudiobooks.com/around-the-world-in-eighty-days-abridged/ Around the World in Eighty Days Classic Fiction abridged Single 203312 9789626340332 9789629545772 Jules Verne
Harry Burton
2 37 02:30:12 FIC004000 Available World

To take on the bet – to go around the world in eighty days, faster than anyone had gone before – was madness. If Phileas Fogg missed a single connection he would lose £20,000. Phileas Fogg was an eccentric Englishman who lived a quiet ordered life and believed that, with technology and planning, nothing was unforseeable. But he could not plan for the ebullient nature of his French servant, Passepartout, for the adventures that crop up on their journey and for the totally unexpected collision with romance. The humour and freshness of Verne’s writing – vivid despatches from a newly accessible world – make Around The World In Eighty Days an ideal subject for an audiobook.

£10.99 $17.98 £7.00 €8.00 $12.00
Around the World in Eighty Days (unabridged) http://www.naxosaudiobooks.com/around-the-world-in-eighty-days-unabridged/ Around the World in Eighty Days Classic Fiction unabridged Single 0231 9781843799726 9781843799733 Jules Verne
Bill Homewood
6 118 07:39:13 FIC004000 Available Available World

Undoubtedly one of the most celebrated tales of all time, this is both high-octane thriller and fascinating travelogue. Phileas Fogg, intrepid Victorian gentleman-about-town, accepts a wager that he cannot travel around the world in 80 days. Naturally, he immediately sets off, accompanied by his French manservant Passepartout. They are pursued by a police officer, Detective Fix, who is foolishly convinced that Fogg is a bank robber. Much hilarity ensues. On the way, Fogg bravely rescues Aouda, a beautiful Indian princess, from a ceremony of ritual sacrifice. Unexpectedly, our thriller becomes a love story.

£24.99 $41.98 £16.00 €18.50 $28.00 Apr16
Arthur Conan Doyle, A Life (abridged) http://www.naxosaudiobooks.com/arthur-conan-doyle-a-life-abridged/ Arthur Conan Doyle, A Life Biographies abridged Single 224212 9789626342428 9789629547301 Hesketh Pearson
Tim Pigott-Smith
2 39 02:38:05 BIO007000 Available World

Conan Doyle (1859–1930) will always be remembered for the character of Sherlock Holmes, but he was a prolific writer – of short stories, of science fiction and historical fiction – including The Exploits of Brigadier Gerard. In his comprehensive biography, Pearson considers how his life is reflected in his books – including his background as a doctor and his enduring (and public) belief in spiritualism.

£10.99 $17.98 £7.00 €8.00 $12.00
Aspern Papers, The (unabridged) http://www.naxosaudiobooks.com/aspern-papers-the-unabridged/ The Aspern Papers Classic Fiction unabridged Single 0238 9781843799863 9781843799870 Henry James
Adam Sims
3 59 03:46:52 FIC004000 Available Available World

In The Aspern Papers, a cold and ruthless literary biographer travels to Venice on the trail of personal letters belonging to the deceased American poet Jeffrey Aspern. His journey takes him to a dilapidated, rambling house belonging to an elderly woman, named Juliana Bordereau, and her lonely niece, Miss Tina. Just how far will he go to get what he wants? Will morality confront his personal ambition and literary curiosity?

£13.99 $22.98 £9.00 €10.50 $15.00 Jun16

A plot, according to some critics, starts with a person with a problem. The unnamed narrator of this classic, ably narrated by Adam Sims, doesn’t even know what his real problem is. Sims brings to life the protagonist’s pursuit of some papers concerning the fictional poet Jeffrey Aspern, revealing along the way just how unaware he is of the effects of his actions on those around him. There is a considerable challenge in portraying a character who only inches toward self-awareness. Sims makes him sound young, callow, and almost – but not quite – likable. The narrator’s treatment of Tita Bordereau is callous, but Sims makes clear just who gains and who loses from the connection.

D.M.H., AudioFile

At the Mountains of Madness (unabridged) http://www.naxosaudiobooks.com/at-the-mountains-of-madness-unabridged/ At the Mountains of Madness Classic Fiction unabridged Single 0090 9781843795940 9781843795957 H.P. Lovecraft
William Roberts
4 71 05:03:40 FIC004000 Available World

At the Mountains of Madness first appeared in 1936, in the February, March and April editions of the American magazine Astounding Stories. One of H.P. Lovecraft’s most chilling works, it draws on Edgar Allan Poe’s Narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym, as well as Lovecraft’s deep fascination with the Antarctic. The sinister discoveries made by a group of explorers in At the Mountains of Madness are testament to the author’s enormous powers of imagination.

£16.99 $28.98 £11.00 €12.50 $19.00 Oct12
Awakening, The (abridged) http://www.naxosaudiobooks.com/awakening-the-abridged/ The Awakening Classic Fiction abridged Single 210812 9789626341087 9789629544720 Kate Chopin
Liza Ross
2 38 02:36:13 FIC004000 Available World

This is the moving and powerful story of Edna Pontellier, a beautiful young wife and mother who discovers her true feelings and identity through her love for Robert Lebrun, and in so doing challenges the bourgeois assumptions of her day. First published in 1899 in America, it prompted shock and outrage, but has since come to be recognised as a modern classic.

£10.99 $17.98 £7.00 €8.00 $12.00
Bach, Johann Sebastian (unabridged) http://www.naxosaudiobooks.com/bach-johann-sebastian-unabridged/ Life & Works – Johann Sebastian Bach Life & Works – Life and Works unabridged Single 558051 9781843790228 9781843793724 Jeremy Siepmann
Jeremy Siepmann
John Shrapnel
Trevor Nichols
Ruth Sillers
David Timson
4 128 04:34:43 116-page booklet BIO004000 Available World

Although now beloved and revered by millions as the greatest composer who ever lived, Johann Sebastian Bach (1685–1750) was best known in his lifetime as an organist, and was eclipsed in fame as a composer by two of his twenty children. For the last twenty-seven years of his life he was a schoolteacher and choir director whose duties extended to meal supervision and dormitory inspection. Yet throughout his career he composed a vast body of music which is amongst the most joyful, dancing and enrapturing ever written. This portrait-in-sound includes many examples of the music that made him immortal. With compelling narration by Jeremy Siepmann, character portrayals by acclaimed actors, and the interpolation of over twenty-five substantial musical extracts reflecting the development of one of music’s most enduringly awe-inspiring composers, we are transported back three centuries straight into the life of Johann Sebastian Bach. This innovative sense of immediacy is at the heart of this comprehensive audio-biography, depicting the life of a composer whose music is universally admired.

£19.99 $34.98 £13.00 €14.50 $23.00
Bad Birdwatcher’s Companion, A (unabridged) http://www.naxosaudiobooks.com/bad-birdwatcher-s-companion-a-unabridged/ A Bad Birdwatcher's Companion ...or a personal introduction to Britain’s 50 most obvious birds Non-fiction unabridged Single 444612 9789626344460 9789629547042 Simon Barnes
Simon Barnes
4 70 04:47:10 NAT004000 Available World

Simon Barnes is one of Britain’s leading bird writers and humorists. His weekly column in The Times, his essays for the RSPB magazine and his two books on bad bird-watching have made him one of the characters of the bird world. Here he reads his own illuminating introductions to the fifty main birds of Britain, supported by the distinguishing bird song of each species. He not only gives helpful identifying features, but enriches them with whimsical observations on their characters and tendencies. It is a delightful text, superbly presented by the author himself.

£16.99 $28.98 £11.00 €12.50 $19.00

As a committed non-twitcher, I’m eternally grateful to Simon Barnes for inspiring me to get up at daybreak this morning to listen to the dawn chorus. His latest quirky bird book, with its gloriously uplifting recordings of birdsong, is tailor-made for audio and will help you to identify the 50 British birds he writes so engagingly and enthusiastically about. Don’t worry, this isn’t a field guide full of statistics that requires you to buy binoculars, keep a diary and make endless lists. It is that rarest of manuals, a handbook that makes you want to go out and discover for yourself if all the fascinating things he has told you about robins, blackbirds, yellowhammers and buzzards are really true. If chaffinches were rare, he writes, they’d be prized above Siberian ruby-throats and red-flanked bluetails. Here he is writing about chaffinches in spring: “The cock is outrageous, admire him – a cap of more or less Wedgwood blue, conker-brown back and a breast of the tartiest pink any designer could come up with.” If you follow the precise instructions for identification at the start of each section, you can’t fail. “Wren: where to look – tangled undergrowth, low down. When to look – all year round. What to look for – tiny tawny bird, cocky tail. What to listen for – astonishing volume.” This is followed by a generous earful of wren song. I love his descriptions of, say, mistle thrushes – “big, chunky and hops in a bold, rather in-your-face way” – and song thrushes – “the jazz musicians of suburbia”. By the way, wood pigeons don’t coo. What they’re actually saying, in a cooing sort of way, is “steal two cows taffy”. Don’t believe me? Get out there and listen.

Sue Arnold, The Guardian

Yes, I know I recommended this three years ago but, like the above authors, I can trace my addiction to birds (well, birdsong, really – I can’t see birds) to one particular book. This one. The brilliant thing about Barnes’s guide to 50 British birds (apart from its wit, charm and spot-on descriptions – ‘Swifts are profoundly committed to their habitat of the sky. As they fly they scream like customers on a Big Dipper, hooliganing round the rooftops, screaming at the tops of their voices, the ultimate avian flying machine. They lift the heart’) is that you get to hear a snatch of their songs. Bird-wise, audio is the best.

Sue Arnold, The Guardian

Nothing could be more appropriate for the great outdoors than A Bad Birdwatcher’s Companion, by the Times writer Simon Barnes. Specially constructed for audio, with examples of the songs of our best-loved twitterers prefacing a salmagundi of curious facts about each bird, it is designed, Barnes says, for those whose hearts lift at the sound of the dawn chorus and a melody from a tree, but who can’t identify the singers because they never get round to opening a field guide. Barnes makes amateur twitching easy, with witty mnemonics to help you remember bird calls.

Christina Hardyment, The Times

Ballet Stories (unabridged) http://www.naxosaudiobooks.com/ballet-stories-unabridged/ Ballet Stories Coppelia | Sleeping Beauty | Nutcracker | Swan Lake | Giselle Junior Classics unabridged Single 223112 9789626342312 9789629543747 David Angus
Jenny Agutter
2 26 01:48:05 JUV007000 Available World

The stories of the most popular ballets are told in refreshing style against the backdrop of the music written by Delibes, Tchaikovsky and Adam. Naxos Audiobooks draws on its own roots in classical music to present the definitive introduction for children in this sympathetic reading by Jenny Agutter.

£10.99 $17.98 £7.00 €8.00 $12.00
  • Coppélia
  • The Sleeping Beauty
  • The Nutcracker
  • Swan Lake
  • Giselle
Balthazar (abridged) http://www.naxosaudiobooks.com/balthazar-abridged/ Balthazar Modern Classics abridged Single 304612 9789626340462 9789629545864 Lawrence Durrell
Nigel Anthony
3 57 03:56:14 FIC000000 Deleted Available World

The politics of love, the intrigues of desire … love and murder, moved obscurely in the dark corners of Alexandria’s streets and squares, brothels and drawing-rooms – moved like a great congress of eels in the slime of plot and counter-plot…’ In Balthazar, the second volume in Durrell’s Alexandria Quartet, the story and the characters come more clearly into focus. Darley, the reflective Englishman, receives from Balthazar, the pathologist, a mass of notes which attempt to explain what really happened between the tempestuous Justine, her husband Nessim, Clea the artist, Pursewarden the writer; new figures emerge and play key roles. Balthazar, in his ‘Interlinear’, explains and warns.

£13.99 $22.98 £9.00 €10.50 $15.00
Barber of Seville, The (unabridged) http://www.naxosaudiobooks.com/barber-of-seville-the-unabridged/ Opera Explained – The Barber of Seville Opera Explained – Music unabridged Single 558008 9781843790891 9781843793052 Thomson Smillie
David Timson
1 36 01:18:13 MUS028000 Available World

The Barber of Seville is Rossini’s most popular opera. Its effervescent overture (written originally for another work!) presents a perfect platform for the amusing plot in which the barber, Figaro, stage-manages a romance between Count Almaviva and Rosina, and puts to flight the old suitor, Dr Bartolo. ‘Largo al Factotum’ is one of the most popular arias in opera – nearly 200 years after its first performance it is still one of the great show-stoppers. But why was the opera received with boos and catcalls at its first performance in 1816, and why did Rossini return to the plot and environment presented so sublimely by Mozart? Opera writer Thomson Smillie and actor David Timson present the background in their informative but entertaining manner.

£5.99 $12.99 £4.00 €4.50 $7.80
Barchester Towers (unabridged) http://www.naxosaudiobooks.com/barchester-towers-unabridged/ Barchester Towers Classic Fiction unabridged Single 0147 9781843797661 9781843797678 Anthony Trollope
David Shaw-Parker
17 248 21:44:39 FIC004000 Available World

Barchester Towers, the sequel to The Warden, is the second novel in Trollope’s major series, the Chronicles of Barsetshire. It focuses on the power struggle between Archdeacon Grantly, Mr Slope and the Proudies as they fight for control of the diocese of Barchester. Meanwhile, another struggle is taking place for the heart of Eleanor Bold. Who will win her? The vile Mr Slope, the idling Bertie Stanhope or someone else entirely? This is a witty and sparkling novel about greed, hate and love; Trollope captures the intricacy of human emotion and character with warmth, humour, wonderful characterisation and, of course, perfect dialogue.

£55.00 $98.98 £36.00 €40.50 $64.00 Jan14

Trollope is one of our greatest comic novelists, as well as having an extraordinary talent for taking you confidentially and irresistibly into the flow of his story. Oblivious of the snail-like pace of Oxford’s flood-impeded traffic, I was grinning from ear to ear as David Shaw-Parker explodes into the clerical indignation that follows Obadiah Slope’s iconoclastic sermon in Barchester Cathedral. ‘“Abominable,” groaned the dean. “Abominable,” muttered the meagre doctor. “Abominable,” re-echoed the chancellor, uttering a sound from the bottom of his deep chest. “I really think it was,” said Mr Harding.’ Proof positive that Trollope wrote with an ear to being read aloud.

Christina Hardyment, The Times

David Shaw-Parker’s exemplary reading of Trollope’s masterpiece is like sitting in your club in a comfortable chair after a good meal and listening to one of the particularly good-natured other members tell you a story about some people he knows. His tone is confiding and personal, perfectly capturing the spirit of Trollope’s narrative voice. There’s no attempt to impersonate characters; Shaw-Parker’s voice changes just enough that we are never in doubt who is speaking or what kind of person the speaker is. (The unctuous Mr Slope is particularly fine.) There are occasional peculiar changes in the sound quality for a phrase or two, but these are minor distractions from a charming and witty performance.

Winner of AudioFile Earphones Award

A.C.P., AudioFile

Shaw-Parker follows up his outstanding recording of The Warden (also available from Naxos) with an exceptional reading of the sequel, perhaps Trollope’s most beloved novel. Romance vies with church politics as Archbishop Grantly battles against the new bishop and his smarmy assistant for control of religious life in Barsetshire. Shaw-Parker totally embraces his role as narrator, and in delightfully plummy tones, he guides listeners through the twisty plot, witty dialogue, and humorous asides. His animated portrayal of the large cast enlivens characters, from the poor pensioners to elite government officials. The narration highlights the strengths of this charming tale and, despite the novel’s size, makes this a compelling listening experience.

Joyce Saricks, Booklist

Barnaby Rudge (abridged) http://www.naxosaudiobooks.com/barnaby-rudge-abridged/ Barnaby Rudge Classic Fiction abridged Single 690812 9789626349083 9789629548148 Charles Dickens
Sean Barrett
6 107 07:18:33 FIC004000 Available World

Barnaby Rudge, one of only two historical novels by Dickens, deals with the ‘Popery’ riots of 1780. Read here by one of Britain’s most popular readers, Sean Barrett, (his reading of Bleak House was widely praised) in a useful 6CD abridgement. The recording is part of the extended Dickens collection offered in both abridged and unabridged form by Naxos AudioBooks. The only available version of the novel on audiobook.

£19.99 $34.98 £13.00 €14.50 $23.00 Mar09

Barnaby, the vulnerable man-child, prompts some of Dickens’s finest writing. Overall, however, it’s not one of his best novels, although Sean Barrett’s magical voice somehow persuades you that it is.

Rachel Redford, The Observer

Barnaby Rudge (unabridged) http://www.naxosaudiobooks.com/barnaby-rudge-unabridged/ Barnaby Rudge Classic Fiction unabridged Single 90912 9789626349090 9789629548209 Charles Dickens
Sean Barrett
22 392 25:20:59 FIC004000 Available Available World

For the background to this historical novel, a tale of mystery, suspense and unsolved murder, Dickens chose the anti-Catholic Gordon Riots of 1780. Mayhem reigns in the streets of London, vividly described by Dickens, and the innocent Barnaby Rudge is drawn into the thick of it. Against the public disorder, Dickens tells of the private discord within families – with fathers and sons at loggerheads – and creates a wealth of colourful characters: the sinuously evil Lord Chester; the pretty and vivacious Dolly Varden; and the host and regulars at the Maypole Inn – a symbol of security in those uncertain and violent times.

£70.00 $128.98 £46.00 €51.55 $84.00 Aug10

Barnaby, the vulnerable man-child, prompts some of Dickens’s finest writing. Overall, however, it’s not one of his best novels, although Sean Barrett’s magical voice somehow persuades you that it is.

Rachel Redford, The Observer

After writing Oliver Twist and Nicholas Nickleby, the author next turned to historical fiction, using the notorious Gordon Riots of 1780, a clash between Catholics and Protestants, as the backdrop for this novel. It’s a dark story but one that yields rich prose and a murder mystery. Narrator Sean Barrett has the kind of elastic, wide-ranging voice that is well suited to Dickens’s writing style. Barrett can affect a sprightly youngster, a wise but weathered old man, a scheming politician, and an assortment of women, all of whom play major roles in this classic tale. It’s a joy to listen to him alternate between characters and his own deep, robust reading voice, an accomplishment he keeps up for 25 hours.

R.I.G., AudioFile

The long hours put in by this household’s squad of Santa’s elves raced by as we listened, high-Victorian style, to Sean Barrett giving the performance of his audio career as the narrator of Charles Dickens’s Barnaby Rudge. I can’t recommend it highly enough. Dickens is brilliant heard aloud and the book, written in short instalments, lends itself well to being your own book at bedtime or your reading during your daily commute. Set during the anti-Roman Catholic Gordon riots in London during the 1780s, it has an utterly loveable simpleton hero and three of the best villains known to literature: the smooth and cynical Sir John Chester, the devil-may-care and unhinged inn-servant Hugh, and Dennis, the whimsical hangman. Add the heart-of-oak Gabriel Vardon and his disastrously flirtatious daughter Dolly, plus a Romeo and Juliet love affair between the Anglican son and the Catholic daughter of sworn enemies, and the mid is as rich and unexpected as a good plum pud.

Christina Hardyment, The Times

Forget that Kindle loaded with literary classics. Headphones are far more comfortable on the beach. Sean Barrett gives the performance of his audio career as the narrator of Charles Dickens’s Barnaby Rudge. Dickens is brilliant heard aloud, as he intended his novels to be narrated in instalments. Set during the anti-Catholic Gordon riots in London in the 1780s, Barnaby Rudge has a loveable simpleton hero and three first-rate villains: the smooth and cynical Sir John Chester, the devil-may-care inn servant Hugh, and Ned Dennis, a whimsical hangman. Add the heart-of-oak Gabriel Varden and his flirtatious daughter Dolly, plus a Romeo and Juliet love affair between the Anglican son and the Catholic daughter of sworn enemies, and the mix is rich and unexpected.

Christina Hardyment, The Times

Barry Lyndon (unabridged) http://www.naxosaudiobooks.com/barry-lyndon-unabridged/ Barry Lyndon Classic Fiction unabridged Single 0121 9781843797081 9781843797098 William Makepeace Thackeray
Jonathan Keeble
11 194 13:15:15 FIC004000 Available World

Like Tom Jones before him, Barry Lyndon is one of the most lively and roguish characters in English literature. He may now be best known through the colourful Stanley Kubrick film released in 1975, but it is Thackeray who, in true 19th-century style, shows the darker side of this 18th-century hero; hence it remains a startling novel. Following the death of an English officer, Barry flees his native Ireland and attempts to establish himself as one of England’s aristocratic elite. Through backstabbing and scheming he reaches the level of society to which he always aspired. However, intent on criticizing the period’s social order, Thackeray ensures that this success is soon followed by the hero’s ultimate decline. Jonathan Keeble’s energetic reading imbues the period with colour and illuminates the sheer inventiveness of Thackeray’s literary and topical satire.

£38.50 $67.98 £25.00 €28.50 $44.00 Jan13

Thackeray’s classic tale of Barry Lyndon, who escapes his life on the Emerald Isle to pursue a more luxurious existence in England, is reimagined in this audio edition, narrated by Jonathan Keeble. Reading in a rich, accented voice and making use of understated narration, Keeble immediately transports listeners back to the 18th century. His tone is firm and commanding, and he digs deep into Thackeray’s prose to precisely capture the very essence of Lyndon. Keeble’s narration is well paced, his timing impeccable. And while this audiobook weighs in at about 13 hours – a lengthy commitment for the casual listener – Keeble manages to keep his audience engaged for the duration.

Publishers Weekly

In this 1844 classic, English author ­ Thackeray delights readers with the tale of Barry Lyndon, a classically unreliable narrator. Lyndon is an Irish rogue who joins the British army after an ill-fated love affair and then goes on to fame and fortune as a fashionable gambler. As in his masterpiece, Vanity Fair, Thackeray presents his characters accurately and realistically. His portrayal of the dissolute, unscrupulous protagonist, a degenerate who thinks he is royalty among men, is masterly. Barry Lyndon may be unlikable, but the beauty of the words and the depth of the story make for a fantastic read. British voice artist Jonathan Keeble brings this amusing tale to life with his rich and wonderfully faceted voice. VERDICT: Recommended for all fans of classic English literature.

Erin Cataldi, Franklin College Library, Indiana

This classic promises an entertaining look at the corruption, duplicity and ambition of Thackeray’s ironic narrator, Redmond Barry Lyndon. A confident social upstart, Redmond draws little empathy from the listener as he expounds upon his villainous actions to obtain wealth and prominence. Jonathan Keeble captures Redmond’s voice perfectly in his narration. Keeble has a deep, bold voice that becomes especially emphatic when his narrator grows heated, and his expert use of intonation often leaves Redmond’s veracity open for interpretation. This audiobook offers Keeble the challenge of creating not only the haughty Redmond but also a diverse set of characters, from Irish commoners to German aristocracy. Keeble meets the challenge admirably, providing a unique vocal personality for each character. His narration enlivens this intriguing fictional autobiography.

D.M.W., AudioFile

Bartleby the Scrivener and other stories (unabridged) http://www.naxosaudiobooks.com/bartleby-the-scrivener-and-other-stories-unabridged/ Bartleby the Scrivener and other stories The Lightning-Rod Man | The Bell Tower Classic Fiction unabridged Single 240112 9789626344019 9789629545550 Herman Melville
William Roberts
2 39 02:38:57 FIC004000 Available World

Melville’s Bartleby is a classic American short story, a strange tale of an assiduous copyist whose catch-phrase is ‘I would prefer not to’. It is joined here by two other stories from The Piazza Tales, Melville’s idiosyncratic collection: The Lightning-Rod Man and The Bell Tower.

£10.99 $17.98 £7.00 €8.00 $12.00
  • Bartleby the Scrivener
  • The Lightning-Rod Man
  • The Bell-Tower
Beethoven, Ludwig van (unabridged) http://www.naxosaudiobooks.com/beethoven-ludwig-van-unabridged/ Life & Works – Ludwig van Beethoven Life & Works – Life and Works unabridged Single 558024 9781843790914 9781843793700 Jeremy Siepmann
Jeremy Siepmann
Bob Peck
Neville Jason
David Timson
Elaine Claxton
Karen Archer
4 138 04:56:07 184-page booklet BIO004000 Available World

For many people, Beethoven is the greatest composer who ever lived. In this portrait-in-sound, actors’ readings combine with his music to reveal a titanic personality, both vulnerable and belligerent, comic and tragic, and above all heroic, as he comes to grips with perhaps the greatest disability a musician can suffer. No man’s music is more universal, few men’s lives are more inspiring. In every sense but one – his modest height – he was a giant. The great bonus of this audio-biography is that the development of Beethoven’s music can be heard in the context of his life. What did he write in those early, ambitious years when he was at the peak of his musical powers? What did he write when beset with anxiety over his failing hearing? And what was the music that insisted on pouring out of him, even though he couldn’t hear it himself? Jeremy Siepmann draws us into the private world of Ludwig van Beethoven, with the composer portrayed with rugged vividness by Bob Peck.

£19.99 $34.98 £13.00 €14.50 $23.00
Ben Hur (abridged) http://www.naxosaudiobooks.com/ben-hur-abridged/ Ben Hur Classic Fiction abridged Single 237512 9789626343753 9789629545789 Lew Wallace
Jeff Harding
2 38 02:38:14 FIC004000 Available World

Ben Hur could be said to be the first blockbuster. When it was published in 1880, it sold over two million copies and was translated into numerous languages. It combines all the best elements of popular classic, epic and action story against a background of authoritative historical detail. The pace and immediacy of Ben Hur was the basis of its appeal to film-makers – Charlton Heston’s portrayal of the title role is one of the classics of the cinema. Wallace’s original novel has been largely forgotten now, but as this vivid reading shows, the story – together with the sweeping rhythm of the writer’s prose – make it ideally suited to the audiobook.

£10.99 $17.98 £7.00 €8.00 $12.00
Beowulf (unabridged) http://www.naxosaudiobooks.com/beowulf-unabridged/ Beowulf Poetry unabridged Single 242512 9789626344255 9789629546359 Benedict Flynn
Crawford Logan
2 35 02:24:09 POE014000 Currently unavailable Available World

The oldest long poem in Old English, written about 1000 A.D., Beowulf tells the story of a great warrior in Southern Scandinavia in both youth and maturity. The monster Grendel terrorises the Scyldings of Hrothgar’s Danish Kingdom until Beowulf defeats him. As a result he has to face her enraged mother. Beowulf dies after a battle against a fierce dragon. The tale is powerfully performed here by Crawford Logan in a lively modern verse translation from the original West Saxon dialect by Benedict Flynn.

£13.99 $22.98 £9.00 €10.50 $15.00 Benedict Flynn
Best Of Our Island Story, The (abridged) http://www.naxosaudiobooks.com/best-of-our-island-story-the-abridged/ The Best Of Our Island Story Junior Classics abridged Single 443812 9789626344385 9789629544140 H.E. Marshall
Anna Bentinck
Daniel Philpott
4 76 05:13:33 JNF025070 Deleted Available World

Our Island Story by H. E. Marshall is an Edwardian history book for younger listeners (aged six–twelve years old) which tells the story of England, concluding with the reign of Queen Victoria. Having released it unabridged in three volumes, Naxos AudioBooks now offers an attractive collection of the main stories and personalities. This skilful abridgement nevertheless maintains the narrative of British history, from the arrival of Julius Caesar to the height of the British Empire and the long reign of Queen Victoria.

£16.99 $28.98 £11.00 €12.50 $19.00
Beyond Good and Evil (unabridged) http://www.naxosaudiobooks.com/beyond-good-and-evil-unabridged/ Beyond Good and Evil Translated by Ian Johnston Philosophy unabridged Single 687712 9789626348772 9789629547813 Friedrich Nietzsche
Alex Jennings
7 123 08:24:49 PHI000000 Available Available Available World

Continuing where Thus Spoke Zarathustra left off, Nietzsche’s controversial work Beyond Good and Evil is one of the most influential philosophical texts of the nineteenth century and one of the most controversial works of ideology ever written. Attacking the notion of morality as nothing more than institutionalised weakness, Nietzsche criticises past philosophers for their unquestioning acceptance of moral precepts. Nietzsche tried to formulate what he called ‘the philosophy of the future’. Alex Jennings reads this new translation by Ian Johnston.

£19.99 $34.98 £13.00 €14.50 $23.00 Ian Johnston
Billy Budd, Sailor (unabridged) http://www.naxosaudiobooks.com/billy-budd-sailor-unabridged/ Billy Budd, Sailor Classic Fiction unabridged Single 330012 9789626343005 9789629545581 Herman Melville
William Roberts
3 52 03:34:38 FIC004000 Available World

A maritime classic from the master pen of Herman Melville. Written some forty years after Moby Dick, Melville’s Billy Budd is a moving tale of good versus evil. Set aboard a British navy ship at the end of the eighteenth century, a young, innocent sailor’s charm and good nature put the men around him at ease. Ship-life agreed with Billy. He made friends quickly and was well liked, which infuriated John Claggart, the ship’s cold-blooded superior officer. Mutiny was a continual threat greatly feared by naval officers. Even minor offences were dealt with harshly to keep crews in their place – regardless of whether the accused was guilty or innocent. The envious Master-at-Arms becomes obsessed with the destruction of the ‘Handsome Sailor’ and torments the young man until his false accusations lead to an eventual charge of treason against Billy.

£13.99 $22.98 £9.00 €10.50 $15.00
Birds in Town and Village (unabridged) http://www.naxosaudiobooks.com/birds-in-town-and-village-unabridged/ Birds in Town and Village Non-fiction unabridged Single 0091 9781843795964 9781843795971 W.H. Hudson
Neville Jason
6 108 07:23:13 NAT043000 Available World

William Henry Hudson was a founding member of the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB). Though born in Argentina, Hudson came to England in 1874, where he remained until his death in 1922. Absorbed by nature, and in particular by the lives and activities of birds, his acute observations on wildlife led to some charming books which helped establish the pastime of bird watching. Birds in Town and Village is one of his classics. It is a truly engaging rumination on birds, as he watched them go about their daily lives. It is unfailingly charming, and read with an easy, relaxed tone by Neville Jason.

£24.99 $41.98 £16.00 €18.50 $28.00 Dec12

This is the delightful 1893 classic from W.H. Hudson, a founding member of the RSPB. His memories go back to when five sparrows were sold for three farthings, and linnets, considered a pest, were made into pies. His plea to a hunter is to ‘put aside his fowling piece’ and for women to eschew hummingbird feathers in their hats. His descriptions are charming, his observations of habit and song acute.

Rachel Redford, The Oldie

Birth of Tragedy, The (unabridged) http://www.naxosaudiobooks.com/birth-of-tragedy-the-unabridged/ The Birth of Tragedy Philosophy unabridged Single 0131 9781843797272 9781843797289 Friedrich Nietzsche
Duncan Steen
5 94 06:05:43 PHI000000 Available World

Friedrich Nietzsche’s The Birth of Tragedy out of the Spirit of Music was published in 1872. In 1869, at the age of 24, he had been appointed a professor of classical philology at the University of Basel, a remarkable position for one of his age, and the book was his first significant publication. It did little, however, to help his reputation as a scholar; his views were controversial and aroused strong criticism in some quarters, while his deliberate espousal of the cause of the composer Richard Wagner was, to say the least, unhelpful. Nietzsche later revised his views on Wagner and re-issued The Birth of Tragedy in 1886 under the title The Birth of Tragedy, or Hellenism and Pessimism, introducing it with An Attempt at a Self-Criticism. The present reading includes this last, his 1871 Preface to Richard Wagner and the original book itself, with its famous discussion of the Apollonian and Dionysian in Greek tragedy.

£19.99 $34.98 £13.00 €14.50 $23.00 Nov13
Black Beauty (abridged) http://www.naxosaudiobooks.com/black-beauty-abridged/ Black Beauty Junior Classics abridged Single 216512 9789626341650 9789629544256 Anna Sewell
Jonathan Keeble
2 32 02:12:11 JUV007000 Available World

Black Beauty, the friendly, patient stallion with a white blaze upon his forehead, is one of the most familiar figures in children’s literature. After the first lively carefree years in the fields, Black Beauty learns to accept the saddle and bridle and the rule of his masters. But a succession of misfortunes shows that the life of a horse can be harsh and painful. This touching portrait, full of drama and sadness, is as moving now as when it was first written in 1877.

£10.99 $17.98 £7.00 €8.00 $12.00
Black Gang, The (unabridged) http://www.naxosaudiobooks.com/black-gang-the-unabridged/ The Black Gang Classic Fiction unabridged Single 639112 9781843793915 9781843793922 Sapper
Roy McMillan
6 114 07:48:00 FIC002000 Deleted Available World

Bulldog’s back! This time, there is a plot to foment a revolution in England, a plot that has left the Police baffled and the nation at the mercy of a master criminal. A disguised clergyman, a beautiful sidekick, an arcane poison, car chases and abductions all fail to see off Hugh Drummond and his gang of ex-Army friends. But when the plotters capture Drummond’s wife, the game is up… isn’t it? Undaunted, charming, brave and resourceful, Bulldog Drummond is an archetypal English adventure hero, and the forerunner of The Saint and James Bond.

£19.99 $34.98 £13.00 €14.50 $23.00 Sep10

The Black Gang (1922), the second book (of ten) in the Bulldog Drummond series, finds Captain Hugh Drummond, DSO, MC, married to Phyllis Benton but still bored with calm civilian life in England. Villain Carl Peterson and his female accomplice Irma have escaped to the Continent but Drummond has enlisted some ex-army buddies to round up the remaining Bolshevik thugs trying to destabilize English society. They are soon dubbed “The Black Gang” by the media because of their long black coats and black masks. After they have captured and enlisted about fifty of the baddies, Peterson comes back disguised as an American clergyman helping poor Europeans. He is accompanied by his “daughter” Janet. He is furious about the loss of six priceless diamonds. Scotland Yard begins to notice the escapades of the Black Gang. Fortunately his old school chum Sir Bryan Johnstone, the Director of Criminal Investigations and Chief Inspector McIver think Hugh is a witless ninny. It takes Hugh a long time to see through Peterson’s disguise. In the meantime Phyllis is kidnapped and held on an estate surrounded by an electrified fence and a gang of goons. Hugh must also deal with a large vicious dog and a murderous Bolshevik named Yulowski who enjoys beating people to death with a rifle butt. There is a fair amount of anti-Semitism in the story typical of the 1920’s. The author, Herman Cyril McNeile, wrote under the pen name “Sapper” because serving officers were not allowed to publish under their own names. However, so popular was the series that it appeared on film and radio. After McNeile’s untimely death in 1937, his good friend Gerard Fairlie continued to create more adventures for Drummond. The series is narrated by Roy McMillan, a director, writer, actor and abridger. He is especially adept with accents (British, Russian, German, American) as well as believable female characters. He maintains the frantic pace of the action nicely. The series is highly recommended to fans of adventure novels.

Janet Julian, soundcommentary.com

Private eye Bulldog Drummond is just slightly over 80 years old. Despite his age and controversial nature, he lives on in fond memories of many who have come across him in a variety of ways. The private detective has probably entertained and shocked readers, radio listeners, film-goers and comic book enthusiasts in equal measure. There are ten original Bulldog Drummond novels written by Sapper, a.k.a. Herman Cyril McNeile, seven written following his death by his friend Gerard Fairlie, who had served as Sapper’s model for Drummond, and a final two by Henry Reymond. All of them feature the private eye of British upper-middle-class origins in books that have the format of an unabashed thriller. Drummond is unlike Agatha Christie’s cerebral, yet entertaining characters Miss Marple and Hercule Poirot, who came into being around the same time as Sapper’s far more muscular and robust detective.

Now Naxos AudioBooks has come out with an unabridged audio book of the second Bulldog Drummond novel, The Black Gang. Published in 1922, it pits Drummond and his clubby chums against Carl Peterson, a man reminiscent of Sherlock Holmes’ nemesis, Moriarty. Bond’s creator, Ian Fleming, admitted Peterson, in turn, served as the model for the evil Blofeld with whom James Bond battled on behalf of Her Majesty’s Secret Service. Admittedly, Fleming and Conan Doyle, Holmes’ creator, wrote much more nuanced books than Sapper, but the lack of refinement does not detract in the least bit from the thriller aspects of The Black Gang.

So, who is Drummond? He is described by his creator as retired British Army Captain Hugh Drummond, DSO, MC. He is wealthy and bored after serving in the trenches of France in World War I, and seeks a way to fill his time with adventure. Working as a private eye seems to be his idea of a good way to find the excitement he craves. On his first assignment in a book called simply Bulldog Drummond, which came out in 1920, he stumbles across the evil Carl Peterson, who desires world domination. Besides, Drummond’s original ad for a job in The Times leads to his first assignment from a young woman, Phyllis Benton, who ends up becoming his wife. In 1922, upon the publication of The Black Gang, he once again gets ensnared in Peterson’s evil plans.

As for McNeile, he adopted the nom de plume ’Sapper’ because British officers were not allowed to write under their own name. As he had served in the Royal Engineers, choosing to call himself ’Sapper’ seemed natural. He began his writing career in 1915 with several short stories about his experiences in the trenches. But instead of placing the focus on war’s horror, he kept an up-beat tone that made his tales immensely popular. He served with distinction and gained the Military Cross for bravery in the first and second battles of Ypres. But he chose his friend Fairlie as the model for Drummond because he had served in the Scots Guards, had been an Army boxing champion, and served on the British bobsled team that ended up in the 1924 Olympics. He, thereby, suited the image of Drummond more than the dapper though bookish McNeile.

The Black Gang is probably the best of the four books dealing with this gang. Actor Roy McMillan is highly effective as the reader of this tale in audio book format. His vocal impersonations of the various characters, good and evil – there are no shades in between these two – are excellent. For those who recall Bulldog Drummond from radio programs, this version of The Black Gang will lead them on a sentimental, albeit violence-charged journey into the past.

The Black Gang, in addition to all of the other Bulldog Drummond stories, contains passages that will make today’s audience squirm because – and rightly so – the team that put this audio book on disc did not choose to make it politically correct. Consequently, the listener gets a novel of its time: jingoistic and prone to racial slurs. While we do not like such images today, to change the references would rob the novel of its original flavor, which includes the snobby attitudes of the 1920s British upper crust and the fears of the lower. One still shudders at the idea that now some schools have chosen to give their students a sanitized Adventures of Tom Sawyer to read in which the ’N-word’ has been expurgated. Talk about changing history. No matter how bad the past has been, to remove the truth from it denies what has been achieved for the better today.

Without giving away too much of the plot of The Black Gang, Peterson is once again attempting a coup d’état to enable a pro-communist takeover of Britain. He does so strictly for his own profit, not for political belief. The Black Gang, headed by Drummond and consisting of his clubby public school friends, even aided by Phyllis, manages to foil him once again. We also meet the clueless Sir Brian Johnstone, New Scotland Yard’s director of criminal investigation and Chief Inspector McIver, who are disturbed by the activities of the secret, black-dressed, black-hooded Black Gang. A certain popular mystique surrounds this gang, seemingly consisting of ruffians who have a tendency to beat up London’s lower class of criminals, even abducting them for re-education.

In the books that featured the Black Gang, Sapper made no attempt to give dimensions to his characters. He wrote on the surface, aiming for entertainment with a dash of melodrama, peppered by violence, and nothing more. That is why his detective attracted the movie industry and stars such as Ronald Coleman, Ralph Richardson, and Walter Pidgeon portrayed him. With such starry company from the past, Roy McMillan is in good company and listeners can be sure they will have a few evenings of good entertainment. They can also be assured that The Black Gang is no more two-dimensional than most current TV offerings. And this audio book comes without commercial interruption!.

Alidë Kohlhaas, Lancette Arts Journal

Black Moth, The (unabridged) http://www.naxosaudiobooks.com/black-moth-the-unabridged/ The Black Moth Classic Fiction unabridged Single 0144 9781843797593 9781843797609 Georgette Heyer
Julian Rhind-Tutt
9 170 11:38:09 FIC004000 Available World

When the dashing Jack Carstares is unfairly accused of cheating at cards, he leaves the country in disgrace. Returning some years later disguised as a highwayman, his reappearance heralds a dramatic chain of events that includes a Duke, a damsel, a duel and not one, but two kidnappings. Written when she was just seventeen, The Black Moth was Heyer’s first novel, but it bears many of the hallmarks of her later romances, being vivid, witty and peppered with historical insight.

£32.99 $59.98 £21.50 €24.00 $39.00 Jul13

Now published for the first time as an audiobook, and written when she was only 19, Georgette Heyer’s The Black Moth is a much more refined recreation of the past. It is, however, rather more raunchy than her later comedies of manners, which she liked to think of as a mix of Dr Johnson and Jane Austen. The narrator Julian Rhind-Tutt enters in with a will on the skulduggery of ‘Devil’ Andover, the pluck of Diana Beauliegh and the gallantry of highwayman Jack Carstares.

Christina Hardyment, The Times

Julian Rhind-Tutt is simply superb in his narration of this delightful and charming Regency romance, written in 1921, the first novel by Georgette Heyer, ‘the Queen of Regency Romance’. In this tale, the hero turns highwayman after he takes the blame for his younger brother’s cheating at cards. The handsome hero must save the beautiful lady who helps him when he is wounded when she’s later kidnapped by the dastardly duke, played by Rhind-Tutt to sneering perfection. He easily moves from the commanding voice of the hero to the shrill voices of the hero’s sister-in-law and her friends and positively reeks of snobbery and villainy when portraying the duke. Filled with interesting details of the period combined with an expert narration, this audio offering is captivating.

A.C.P., AudioFile

Black Tulip, The (unabridged) http://www.naxosaudiobooks.com/black-tulip-the-unabridged/ The Black Tulip Classic Fiction unabridged Single 0033 9781843794639 9781843794646 Alexandre Dumas
Peter Joyce
7 124 08:57:42 FIC004000 Deleted Available World

When tulip-grower Cornelius van Baerle is framed for treason and sentenced to death, he is powerless against the brutal factional politics that put him in prison. But Rosa, the jailer’s daughter, is beautiful and strong-willed, and when they fall in love she determines not only to save him but also to grow the near mythical flower: the black tulip. Set in the savage turmoil of Holland’s late 17th century, this intimate novel celebrates the power of integrity over obsession, and tolerance over violence; and it creates in the black tulip a symbol of humanity’s potential.

£27.99 $47.98 £18.00 €20.50 $31.00 Sep2011

Published in 1850 and set against the turbulence of 17th-century Holland, this is a dramatic story of obsession, adventure, danger and romantic love. Its star is the black tulip, symbol of triumph over evil. Tulip fanatic Cornelius van Baerle is framed for treason by his jealous neighbour, but his sentence is commuted just as the executioner’s axe is raised. In prison Rosa, the jailor’s daughter, nurtures Cornelius’s dream of producing the mythical bloom. A masterly narration re-creates the full magnificence of Dumas’s theatre.

Rachel Redford, the Observer

The black tulip has come to be synonymous with the concept of artificial demand: that anything, if arbitrarily deemed rare or valuable enough, can become so expensive that its real worth is forgotten. We have come to know of certain black tulips in our own time, including the demand which was created when banks started buying up mortgaged-backed securities and the resulting fall-out. Alexandre Dumas’s The Black Tulip takes us back to an early example of this in seventeenth-century Holland, where the cultivation of tulips of all colors was a pastime of the wealthy. The Haarlem Horticultural Society devises a contest to award the person who can grow a black tulip a prize of one hundred thousand guilders (which seemed to have been a great deal of money at that time). Naturally, because greedy human beings are involved, the race to be the first one to grow the black tulip compels certain ‘tulip-fanciers’ to go to any lengths – including incrimination – to win the prize.

Cornelius van Baerle is an affluent tulip-fancier who has successfully cultivated many types of tulips. He takes up the black tulip challenge and gets very close but his envious neighbor, Mynheer Isaac Boxtel, discovers a means to get van Baerle imprisoned and hopefully executed so that Boxtel may grow the tulip and win the prize. Van Baerle would be ruined were it not for the beneficence and creative scheming of the jailer’s daughter, Rosa, who falls in love with van Baerle when he is locked up in her father’s jail, and maneuvers to save both him and the tulip.

The Black Tulip’s beginning is rather tough going for a modern listener, especially one not familiar with, or particularly interested in, the complicated political machinations of Holland four centuries ago. Dumas uses a rather lengthy, melodramatic exposition to explain the background of his main character, Cornelius van Baerle, and the ways in which this background was used to land van Baerle in prison on trumped-up charges, all in an effort to steal away the prize. If The Black Tulip were written today, there is no doubt that there would be less discussion of this old Dutch political wrangling, but once listeners make their way through this, the twists of the plot draw us in and the exposition is neatly tied to the story’s final thrilling conclusion.

A fascinating story, intertwined with a true-love tale and some truly funny moments –including Rosa’s sarcastic replies to van Baerle when he tries to convince her that he loves her more than the tulip – make The Black Tulip withstand the more than hundred and fifty years that have passed since it was published, and the emergence of more modern examples of artificial demand.

Peter Joyce, a stage, radio, and television actor, revels in the reading of Dumas’s characters and this high-stakes story. He expresses the excitement of certain crucial moments– will Rosa succeed in convincing the prince of Boxtel’s treachery in time? – through his beautiful and deep voice, carrying the listener with him through the telling.

Joanna Theiss, SoundCommentary

Alexandre Dumas is known mostly for The Three Musketeers and The Count of Monte Cristo. His novel The Black Tulip deserves to be better known, and Naxos has done something about it. In an excellently real audiobook, we are taken to late seventeenth-century Holland. There, the conflict between the Dutch and France is one theme of the book, and the obsession with tulips is another. Treason, deceit, greed and love drive the story of The Black Tulip. Peter Joyce gives it a highly dramatic reading that makes listening to the story almost compulsive.

Alide Kohlhaas, Seniors Review

The quest to grow a black tulip doesn’t have the same narrative appeal as Dumas’s Count of Monte Cristo or Three Musketeers, but it provides adventure enough for those who love the great melodramas of the nineteenth century. Peter Joyce delivers a fine rendition of Dumas’s meaty prose and is especially good at depicting villains and brutal jailers, less effective at conveying his nubile heroine. Although this is a lesser work by Dumas, the author’s judicious detachment, voiced so well in Joyce’s calm and untroubled delivery, holds the promise throughout that innocence will triumph and justice eventually prevail: The villain will be vanquished, and the power of the black tulip will somehow open the prison doors and unite the fateful lovers.

D.A.W., AudioFile

Blake, William (selections) http://www.naxosaudiobooks.com/blake-william-selections/ The Great Poets – William Blake The Great Poets – Poetry selections Single 147212 9789626344729 9789629546458 William Blake
Robert Glenister
Michael Maloney
Stephen Critchlow
1 15 01:02:24 POE005020 Available Available Available World

Naxos AudioBooks begins its new series of Great Poets – represented by their most popular poems on one CD – with William Blake, whose 250th anniversary of birth falls this year. This CD contains all of his most popular works – Tyger, the Auguries of Innocence, Jerusalem, as well as some lesser-known poetry that demonstrates the range and power of his verse. They are strikingly read by Robert Glenister, Michael Maloney and Stephen Critchlow.

£8.99 $14.98 £6.00 €6.50 $10.00

Auguries of Innocence
Introduction to Songs of Innocence
A Cradle Song
Introduction to Songs of Experience
A Dream
The Chimney Sweeper
The Chimney-Sweeper
The Divine Image
A Divine Image
from The Gates of Paradise, For The Sexes, Prologue
Infant Joy
Gnomic Verses
The Fly
Song
Holy Thursday
HolyThursday
Laughing Song
The Garden of Love
from An Island in the Moon
A Little Boy Found
A Little Boy Lost
The Little Girl Found
A Little Girl Lost
I Heard an Angel
The Human Abstract
Night
from Jerusalem
London
The Land of Dreams
Nurse’s Song
Love’s Secret
A Poison Tree
preface to Milton
The Little Vagabond
On Art and Artists
The Sick Rose
Ah, Sunflower
The Voice of the Ancient Bard
To The Muses
The Lamb
The Tiger
On Another’s Sorrow

Bleak House (abridged) http://www.naxosaudiobooks.com/bleak-house-abridged/ Bleak House Classic Fiction abridged Single 844312 9789626344439 9789629544867 Charles Dickens
Sean Barrett
Teresa Gallagher
9 165 11:15:48 FIC004000 Deleted Available World

The long, drawn-out case of Jarndyce versus Jarndyce provides the background to this novel which takes us into Dickens’ world of impoverished people on the street, lovers fallen on hard times and the grand riches of the upper classes. It is read movingly by Sean Barrett as the main narrator and Teresa Gallagher as the young Esther Summerson.

£29.99 $54.98 £19.50 €22.00 $36.00
Bleak House (unabridged) http://www.naxosaudiobooks.com/bleak-house-unabridged/ Bleak House Classic Fiction unabridged Single 43112 9789626344316 9789629544874 Charles Dickens
Sean Barrett
Teresa Gallagher
28 1,031 35:15:31 FIC004000 Available World

A complex plot of love and inheritance is set against the English legal system of the mid-nineteenth century, with all its tortuous avenues and disguised resolutions. Here is the firm, Jarndyce & Jarndyce, the young orphan and ward of court Esther Summerson (who tells much of the story). As always, it is the skilled pen of Dickens himself that creates the momentum with his acute eye for both individual characters and their traits, and the backdrop of Victorian London.

£85.00 $152.98 £55.00 €63.00 $98.00
Bliss and Other Stories (unabridged) http://www.naxosaudiobooks.com/bliss-and-other-stories-unabridged/ Bliss and Other Stories Classic Fiction unabridged Single 289612 9789626348963 9789629547677 Katherine Mansfield
Juliet Stevenson
2 38 02:34:38 FIC004000 Available Available World

One of Katherine Mansfield’s finest short stories, Bliss, introduces us to Bertha, who experiences a sense of rapture as she reflects on her life. On her walk home one day, she is overwhelmed by a sense of bliss and contentment. However, her joy later turns to disappointment as she discovers her husband is having an affair with her new friend Pearl. Katherine Mansfield became well-known for her focus on psychological conflicts and complex characters; and Bliss displays these qualities brilliantly, exploring themes of marriage, adultery and duplicity. This set also contains five other short stories by Katherine Mansfield – Mr Reginald Peacock’s Day, Pictures, The Little Governess, Feuille D’Album, and A Dill Pickle.

£10.99 $17.98 £7.00 €8.00 $12.00

Juliet Stevenson is the perfect narrator for these six delicately observed stories. In one, Bertha in her white dress and jade beads presides over a dinner party, her happiness to be obliterated by seeing her husband kiss heavy-lidded Pearl; in another, ex-lovers meet again beside a Japanese vase of paper daffodils. Unbeatable.

Rachel Redford, The Observer

Blithe Spirit (unabridged) http://www.naxosaudiobooks.com/blithe-spirit-unabridged/ Blithe Spirit Directed by Sheridan Morley Drama unabridged Single 226312 9789626342633 9789629546823 Noel Coward
Corin Redgrave
Kika Markham
Joanna Lumley
Thelma Ruby
2 32 02:10:54 DRA003000 Available Available World

When novelist Charles Condomine invites a medium into his house in order to learn about the occult for his new book, the last thing he or his second wife dream is that the séance will bring back his first wife, Elvira, who wants Charles all to herself! Things are further complicated by the fact that only Charles can see her, which results in some hilarious exchanges and misunderstandings. Elvira’s plots to get him to ‘the other side’ do not go to plan however, and instead of Charles dying in her contrived ‘accident’ his new wife does! Many consider this to be one of Coward’s best and most unusual farces.

£10.99 $17.98 £7.00 €8.00 $12.00 Nicolas Soames Sheridan Morley Mike Etherden
Body Snatcher and Other Stories, The (unabridged) http://www.naxosaudiobooks.com/body-snatcher-and-other-stories-the-unabridged/ The Body Snatcher and Other Stories Classic Fiction unabridged Single 298212 9789626349823 9789629548803 Robert Louis Stevenson
Roy McMillan
2 36 02:26:42 FIC004000 Available World

A dark night, a graveyard and the suspicion of murder… The Body Snatcher is one of Robert Louis Stevenson’s most chilling tales. After many years, a chance encounter between two former medical students forces them to recall their sinister past and foul play that was better left buried. Perfect for long winter nights, these stories have been specially selected to create an atmosphere of fear and uncertainty. Read by Roy McMillan, with Naxos AudioBooks’s trademark of carefully chosen music.

£10.99 $17.98 £7.00 €8.00 $12.00 Oct09

Otherworldly but this time seriously scary is Robert Louis Stevenson’s The Body Snatcher and other stories read by Roy McMillan. Perfectly chilling tales of graveyards and murder.

Kati Nicholl, Daily Express

Although The Body Snatcher, The Poor Thing and The Bottle Imp are not as well known as Stevenson’s Treasure Island, Kidnapped, Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde and Child’s Garden of Verses, they are well worth listening to. The Body Snatcher, a gruesome tale, probably the best known of the three has been made into at least one horror movie. Two medical student assistants are responsible for taking in dead bodies in the middle of the night to be dissected by the other students. What happens when Fettes, the younger one, recognizes two of them? The Poor Thing is a Joseph Jacobs-like fairy tale in which an odd little wraith tells a poor man he will be his son one day. The Bottle Imp reminds one of an Arabian Nights tale and O. Henry’s The Gift of the Magi: who will best love and outdo the sacrifice of the loved one? Roy McMillan’s mellow, low key reading is richly done. Most enjoyable.

Mary Purucker, SoundCommentary.com

Boneland (unabridged) http://www.naxosaudiobooks.com/boneland-unabridged/ Boneland Contemporary Fiction unabridged Single 0109 9781843796367 9781843796374 Alan Garner
Robert Powell
4 72 04:56:39 FIC000000 Available World

Boneland is Alan Garner’s continuation of the story thread which began in his first and enduringly popular fantasy children’s novel, The Weirdstone of Brisingamen. The Weirdstone was published in 1960 (it has never been out of print since), and The Moon of Gomrath followed, in 1963. This took the story further with the same two children, Colin and Susan. But Boneland is particularly fascinating because it takes the story into adulthood, with Colin again the main proponent. Boneland is read by the experienced actor Robert Powell, at the request of Alan Garner himself. Powell notes that he has ‘known Alan for 40 years – we are old friends, and of course I knew Weirdstone of Brisingamen and The Moon of Gomrath. So I was delighted that after all these years, Alan wrote the sequel – and particularly delighted to be asked to record Boneland. I would have been upset if anyone else had been asked.’

£16.99 $28.98 £11.00 €12.50 $19.00 Sep12

I’ve been listening to Boneland while doing my early morning walks through the fields and the woods here at the Kinrowan Estate. It took me just a week to work my way through this amazing work by Alan Garner.

Let’s start off with what Boneland isn’t: despite sharing a primary character with The Weirdstone of Brisingamen and The Moon of Gomrath, beloved children’s novels known as The Adderly Tales that were published in 1957 and 1964, this is very much an adult novel not intended for the pleasure of children whatsoever. Indeed its tone is more akin to what the late Robert Holdstock did in his Ryhope Wood series than anything else Alan Garner has done excepting Thursbitch and Strandloper.

Fortunately I have not read The Adderly Tales, as the two much earlier novels are called. I will listen to them as Naxos has done them as audiobooks because I’m now curious as to how this story started oh so long ago. And I must say that many of the reviewers (and fans of the previous novels) would have been fairer reviewers if they had treated this as the separate work it indeed is.

That primary character is Colin, now fifty years older than in The Adderly Tales, and he’s now convinced he’s going mad. It’s important to add that Garner thinks that The Adderly Tales were ‘very poor on characterization’ as he said in a 1989 interview, but Boneland is not. Indeed Colin and all other characters here feel like real individuals, a result of good writing by the author and superb voicing by the narrator Robert Powell who, as Naxos notes correctly, ‘delivers Garner’s poetic prose with the conviction and understanding that come from being a longtime collaborator with the author. Powell’s Lancashire accent is especially good in the scenes of dialogue between Colin and his psychiatrist, Meg, who is determined to get to the bottom of Colin’s fascination with Celtic magic’.

(Side-note: as with Garner’s The Owl Service, music from the Naxos back catalogue is used here to great effect.)

It is a very tight tale with just three primary characters – Colin, Meg, and an unnamed narrator – living at some point in the distant past. Powell’s voicing is so superb that each feels like an actual individual to me. There’s an echoing effect used on the narration by the third character, which gives a slightly eerie feel.

Colin is either quite mad or has had a very strange life. He is under the care of Meg, a therapist, who is trying to get him to deal with his belief that he has a sister who disappeared when they were still children. Colin thinks he’s insane and Meg thinks he’s not quite there, and she wants him to finally face whatever trauma he’s refusing so far to deal with. Oh and he has an ability to recall literally everything in his life after twelve years and nine months but nothing before that time. Or so he says.

The other story is the life and death of what sounds to be a shaman. It’s an amazing story, which I’ll say nothing about. All you need to know is that it takes place where Colin lives, but that’s true of everything Garner does as his use of true geography in a story is intrinsic to what happens in all his stories including The Stone Book Quartet.

If you hear this story told as it is here and you have not read the earlier novels, you’ll no doubt leave quite puzzled as to what exactly happened. Did Colin have a sister, or did he, as the result of some trauma as a child, just imagine had a sister? Why is Meg so determined to get him to confront his past self?

The ending will surprise you and I’ll not say why, as that’d spoil it for you. I will say that many of those who had read (and deeply loved) The Weirdstone of Brisingamen and The Moon of Gomrath oh so many years ago weren’t terribly happy with this conclusion to the story as it suggests things weren’t as they appeared to be. It’s neither a neat resolution, nor is it an upbeat ending. Garner in the end leaves it up to us to decide what happened oh so long ago.

One final note: this was originally to be voiced by Philip Madoc, a Welshman who had lived in the area of England where all three novels are set. He died in 2011 before he could so. I think the use of a different narrator given the fifty years in time between the first two books and this one actually makes for a better theatre of the mind.

Now I’m off to start my listening to The Adderly Tales. That should be interesting!

Iain Nicholas Mackenzie, Sleeping Hedgehog

Winner of AudioFile Earphones Award

Professor Colin Whisterfield is a brilliant astrophysicist. He believes the stars are telling him a story. He reads them like he reads ancient myths and Jungian psychology. Often he hears his sister’s voice calling to him from the heavens. Narrator Robert Powell delivers Garner’s poetic prose with the conviction and understanding that come from being a longtime collaborator with the author. Powell’s Lancashire accent is especially good in the scenes of dialogue between Colin and his psychiatrist, Meg, who is determined to get to the bottom of Colin’s fascination with Celtic magic. In Garner’s Tolkienesque first novels, The Weirdstone of Brisingamen (1960) and The Moon of Gomrath (1963), 12-year-old twins Colin and Susan were whisked into a world of fierce wizards and dwarves. This philosophical finale to the Weirdstone trilogy, featuring the adult Colin, is very much worth the fifty-year wait.

B.P., AudioFile

Brahms, Johannes (unabridged) http://www.naxosaudiobooks.com/brahms-johannes-unabridged/ Life & Works – Johannes Brahms Life & Works – Life and Works unabridged Single 558071 9781843790570 9781843793748 Jeremy Siepmann
Jeremy Siepmann
Jasper Britton
Karen Archer
Ruth Sillers
Neville Jason
Nicholas Boulton
David Timson
4 139 04:59:31 136-page booklet BIO004000 Available World

Brahms is one of the best loved yet most controversial of all the Romantics. Almost uniquely, his works have never suffered the slightest period of eclipse. Profoundly emotional yet governed by an iron discipline, the music, like the man, is a fascinating, entertaining, often deeply moving blend of opposites. He had a gift for friendship and a capacity for love far beyond the ordinary, yet no man could be ruder or more hurtful. Though humble, he was consumed by a sense of destiny, and his inner life, coloured by his adoration and fear of women, found expression in some of the greatest music ever written. Listening to this audio-biography is leaping inside the life and times of a great German Romantic, understanding the man who was haunted by the ghost of Beethoven for years and was forty-three before he wrote his first symphony. Accompanied by a richly detailed booklet, this 4-CD set is a sympathetic, absorbing account of a fascinating composer.

£19.99 $34.98 £13.00 €14.50 $23.00
Breath of French Air, A (unabridged) http://www.naxosaudiobooks.com/breath-of-french-air-a-unabridged/ A Breath of French Air Classic Fiction unabridged Single 0247 9781781980019 9781781980026 H.E. Bates
Philip Franks
4 66 04:25:26 FIC000000 Available Available World

In the second novel in the Pop Larkin series, the Larkin family descends upon Brittany in France. Like fish out of water, they find that things don’t quite turn out their way: the weather is less than ideal, the food is awful and the hotel is in a bad state of repair. But things slowly improve as Pop manages to sweet-talk Mlle Dupont, Angela Snow and her sister Iris, and Charley and Mariette celebrate their first wedding anniversary. A Breath of French Air is a delightful book full of nostalgia, fun and frivolity.

£16.99 $28.98 £11.00 €12.50 $19.00 Mar16
Brief Lives (abridged) http://www.naxosaudiobooks.com/brief-lives-abridged/ Brief Lives Biographies abridged Single 237812 9789626343784 9789629547233 John Aubrey
Brian Cox
2 38 02:38:03 BIO000000 Deleted Available World

William Shakespeare, Sir Walter Raleigh, Thomas Hobbes – three of the greatest Englishmen who ever lived. They, and many others, are here remembered by another great Englishman, John Aubrey, whose Brief Lives are some of the wittiest and most moving miniature portraits ever written. Aubrey – a scholar, antiquarian and close observer of both the foibles and the courage of his contemporaries – lived through the upheavals of the English Civil War in the seventeenth century. His little biographies are amusing, ribald, moving; a testament to the brevity of human existence and one of the most precious relics of a distant age.

£10.99 $17.98 £7.00 €8.00 $12.00

Brief Lives was posthumously published from the notebooks of the well-connected 17th-century biographer John Aubrey. Behind its unassuming title is a treasure trove of outrageous gossip about famous people. By talking to people who knew his subjects, Aubrey offered bizarre personal details about such celebrities as Walter Raleigh and Ben Jonson, Francis Bacon and René Descartes. Brian Cox reads these extracts with a nice 17th-century precision.

Christina Hardyment, The Times

Brothers Karamazov, The (abridged) http://www.naxosaudiobooks.com/brothers-karamazov-the-abridged/ The Brothers Karamazov Classic Fiction abridged Single 830612 9789626343067 9789629545048 Fyodor Dostoyevsky
Tim Pigott-Smith
8 154 10:33:52 FIC004000 Available World

Dostoyevsky’s famous and well-regarded 1880 novel The Brothers Karamazov is a tale of bitter family rivalries. Three brothers live in a small, typical Russian town. Their father, a selfish, cunning, lascivious figure with little love for them, tries to maintain his control over them and anyone who comes within his orbit. The roots of dissent, unhappiness, hope, ambition and desire run deep in this community as everywhere, and Dostoyevsky brings them to the fore with an unexpected death. The atmospheric spell of this great work of Russian literature is maintained throughout by a masterly reading by Tim Pigott-Smith.

£29.99 $54.98 £19.50 €22.00 $36.00
Brothers Karamazov, The (unabridged) http://www.naxosaudiobooks.com/brothers-karamazov-the-unabridged/ The Brothers Karamazov Classic Fiction unabridged Single 0113 9781843796824 9781843796831 Fyodor Dostoyevsky
Constantine Gregory
29 540 37:01:19 FIC004000 Available World

Fyodor Dostoyevsky is a titanic figure among the world’s great authors, and The Brothers Karamazov is often hailed as his finest novel. A masterpiece on many levels, it transcends the boundaries of a gripping murder mystery to become a moving account of the battle between love and hate, faith and despair, compassion and cruelty, good and evil.

£85.00 $152.98 £55.00 €63.00 $98.00 Jul13
Browning, Robert (selections) http://www.naxosaudiobooks.com/browning-robert-selections/ The Great Poets – Robert Browning The Great Poets – Poetry selections Single 192212 9789626349229 9789629548230 Robert Browning
David Timson
Patience Tomlinson
1 19 01:16:20 POE000000 Available World

Robert Browning’s popular poems The Pied Piper of Hamelin and How They Brought the Good News are often anthologised, but it is in his dramatic lyrics such as My Last Duchess and the chilling Porphyria’s Lover that his poetic genius shines. Browning, with his unusual use of language, can be a challenging poet, but one who is always rewarding. This selection shows the many imaginative facets of this often neglected Victorian poet.

£8.99 $14.98 £6.00 €6.50 $10.00 May10
  • How They Brought the Good News from Ghent to Aix
  • Life in a Love
  • A Light Woman
  • The Statue and the Bust
  • My Last Duchess
  • The Confessional
  • A Grammarian’s Funeral
  • The Pied Piper of Hamelin
  • ‘You should have heard the Hamelin people…’
  • The Lost Leader
  • Soliloquy of the Spanish Cloister
  • The Laboratory
  • Porphyria’s Lover
  • Evelyn Hope
  • Home Thoughts from Abroad
  • Pippa’s Song
Buddha’s Noble Eightfold Path, The (unabridged) http://www.naxosaudiobooks.com/buddha-s-noble-eightfold-path-the-unabridged/ The Buddha’s Noble Eightfold Path Religion unabridged Single 541612 9789626344163 9789629547479 Urgyen Sangharakshita
Kulananda
5 81 05:34:41 REL007000 Available World

The Eightfold Path is the most widely known formulation of the Buddha’s teaching. It is ancient, reaching back to the Buddha’s very first discourse, and it is highly venerated as a unique treasury of wisdom and practical guidance. The teaching of The Eightfold Path challenges us to grasp the implications of that vision, and asks us to transform ourselves in its light. Like the teaching itself, this work covers every aspect of life.

£19.99 $34.98 £13.00 €14.50 $23.00
Bulldog Drummond (unabridged) http://www.naxosaudiobooks.com/bulldog-drummond-unabridged/ Bulldog Drummond Classic Fiction unabridged Single 712912 9789626341292 9789629549336 Sapper
Roy McMillan
7 126 08:38:39 FIC002000 Deleted Available World

Demobilised officer, finding peace incredibly tedious, would welcome diversion. Legitimate if possible; excitement essential. When Captain Hugh Drummond, DSO, MC placed that advertisement, he was looking for adventure. What he finds is an international plot headed by the greatest criminal mastermind in the world. For the sake of the beautiful Phyllis, he faces murderous schemers, acid baths and even wild animals in his attempts to save her father – and his own life. In this, his first appearance, Bulldog Drummond is charming, undaunted and endlessly resourceful: the template of the modern action hero.

£19.99 $34.98 £13.00 €14.50 $23.00 Jan10

Many older listeners will have fond childhood memories of reading Bulldog Drummond. Herman McNeile (1888–1937), a vital link between Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and Ian Fleming and rich in 1920s social colour, is ripe for revival. He used the pseudonym Sapper for his tales of the trenches because, as a serving member of the Armed Forces he was required to do so, and he kept it on for the nine Drummond novels. These are summed up by the narrator and presenter Roy McMillan as ‘James Bond written by P. G. Wodehouse’. Our hero’s adventures begin when he inserts a personal advert asking for ‘diversion, legitimate if possible, excitement essential’. He gets it in spades in the non-stop action that follows.

Christina Hardyment, The Times

Burns, Robert (selections) http://www.naxosaudiobooks.com/burns-robert-selections/ The Great Poets – Robert Burns The Great Poets – Poetry selections Single 196812 9789626349687 9789629548582 Robert Burns
Forbes Masson
1 19 01:18:29 POE005020 Available Available Available World

The 250th anniversary of the birth of Robert Burns (1759–1796), one of the most popular of poets, is celebrated in 2009. A pioneer of the Romantic movement, works such as A Red, Red Rose, A Man’s a Man for a’ That and the ubiquitous Auld Lang Syne, have made him an international figure. Naxos AudioBooks’ popular Great Poets series marks the anniversary with a CD bringing together all the key works.

£8.99 $14.98 £6.00 €6.50 $10.00 Jan09

A Man’s a Man for a’ That
A Red, Red Rose
A Winter Night
Address to a Haggis
Address to the Unco Guid
Ae Fond Kiss
Apology for Declining an Invitation to Dine
Auld Lang Syne
Bessy and her Spinnin’ Wheel
Epistle to a Young Friend
Holy Willie’s Prayer
I’ll Meet Thee on the Lea Rig
Man Was Made to Mourn
My Bonie Mary
My Love She’s but a Lassie Yet
On a Suicide
Robert Bruce’s March To Bannockburn
Such a Parcel of Rogues In A Nation
Tam O’Shanter – A Tale
The Banks o’ Doon
The Cotter’s Saturday Night
From The Jolly Beggars
To a Louse On seeing one on a lady’s bonnet, at church
To a Mouse On turning her up in her nest with the plough
To Mary in Heaven

Call of Cthulhu and Other Stories, The (unabridged) http://www.naxosaudiobooks.com/call-of-cthulhu-and-other-stories-the-unabridged/ The Call of Cthulhu and Other Stories Classic Fiction unabridged Single 0014 9781843794257 9781843794264 H.P. Lovecraft
William Roberts
4 64 04:23:18 FIC004000 Available World

At the heart of these stories, as with all the best of Lovecraft’s work, is the belief that the Earth was once inhabited by powerful and evil gods, just waiting for the chance to recolonise their planet. Cthulhu is one such god, lurking deep beneath the sea until called into being by cult followers who – like all humans – know not what they do. It is because of these dark, mythic tales with their terrified awareness of the limits of Man’s knowledge, that H.P. Lovecraft is one of the most influential American writers.

£16.99 $28.98 £11.00 €12.50 $19.00 Oct10
  • The Call of Cthulhu
  • The Hound
  • The Dunwich Horror
  • Dagon

One of our favorite narrators, William Roberts is a film actor whose audio projects are rare delights. He once narrated Strangers on a Train, which I rank as one of the 10 best audiobook recordings ever. Here we have “The Call of Cthulhu” by classic horror author H.P. Lovecraft, which includes the title story, plus The Hound and The Dunwich Horror. Outstanding.

http://audiobookstoday.blogspot.com/

H.P. Lovecraft is the master of dark tales, envisaging that in a time before this the Earth was inhabited by evil gods who now wait to retake all that was theirs. Naturally, they are worshipped by a few humans who kid themselves that they can control events. The Call of Cthulhu and Other Stories read by William Roberts is full of monstrous beings and dark deeds – gorgeous!

Kati Nicholl, The Daily Express

Call of the Wild, The (abridged) http://www.naxosaudiobooks.com/call-of-the-wild-the-abridged/ The Call of the Wild Classic Fiction abridged Single 206412 9789626340646 9789629545505 Jack London
Garrick Hagon
2 38 02:37:44 FIC004000 Available World

Buck is living the good life in the soft South, when he is snatched and transported to the savagery of the Northland, where the Klondike gold rush has brought out rough basic instincts of survival in men – and dogs. He adjusts to the gruelling regime of a sled dog, which almost kills him, but he survives to find a new and fulfilling way of life. The Call of the Wild is not only a classic ‘ripping yarn’, but also an enduring masterpiece of the inescapable laws of nature.

£10.99 $17.98 £7.00 €8.00 $12.00
Call of the Wild, The (unabridged) http://www.naxosaudiobooks.com/call-of-the-wild-the-unabridged/ The Call of the Wild Classic Fiction unabridged Single 392312 9789626349236 9789629548247 Jack London
William Roberts
3 54 03:40:35 FIC004000 Available World

Buck is living the good life in the soft South, when he is snatched and transported to the savagery of the Northland. There, the Klondike gold rush has brought out rough basic instincts of survival in men – and dogs. He adjusts to the gruelling regime of a sled dog, which almost kills him, but he survives to find a new and fulfilling way of life. The Call of the Wild is not only a classic tale, but also an enduring masterpiece of the inescapable laws of nature. Now in unabridged form in a new reading by William Roberts.

£13.99 $22.98 £9.00 €10.50 $15.00 Feb09

In the great tradition of classic animal stories, Jack London’s Call of the Wild, read by William Roberts, is a wrenching story. From the peril Buck the sled dog faces in the Arctic to the suffering he endures under brutal masters, listening to his adventure is no tame experience. Roberts has a voice that could have belonged to one of this era’s gold panners. He sounds like a grizzled man who would never display overt emotion but who, nonetheless, can tell a captivating yarn. While Roberts doesn’t use great character range, he lets London’s writing – especially the passages about the mysterious, enchanting call of the wild – ring with its startling beauty.

R.L.G., AudioFile

Jack London’s deceptively simple direct way of writing combined with one of best dog stories ever, is why this book is such an enduring classic. And TV, film and stage actor William Roberts’s reading is perfect. His robust voice, his ability to keep listeners glued, and the fond care with which he reads is spellbinding. When gold is found in the Klondike, there is a great need for sled dogs. Buck, part St. Bernard and part Scotch shepherd is stolen and moves from his happy life as ‘king’ of the Santa Clara ranch where he lives a life of adventure, peril, though also often cruelty, to Alaska. There is a string of tales from his ‘taming’ to the ways of sled pulling, to the inept trio who are doomed, dog fighting, survival, and finally to meeting John Thornton and their mutual love and understanding for one another. The longer he lives in Alaska, the more in tune with the ancestral ways of his dog ancestors Buck becomes, dreaming of old half clad masters and ‘shades of all manner of dogs, half-wolves and wild wolves’ until he is drawn deep into the wilderness. This listener found this to be one of the best recordings I’ve listened to in a long time; I had to be careful while driving and listening because I got caught up in being in one of my favorite places and living the life of a dog. Any parent or librarian looking for something short and exciting for a child, young adult or family listening can’t go wrong with Roberts’s performance and Call of the Wild, a guaranteed hit!

Mary Purucker, SoundCommentary.com

This was the story first published in 1903 that made the struggling writer Jack London famous. Listen to William Roberts’s majestic reading and you will understand why. Set in the 1890s Klondike gold rush, it tells how Buck, a huge wolfhound, is stolen from his pampered Californian home and becomes a sled dog in the arctic wastes of the Yukon. As brutal as his successive masters are, the pack of dogs he is harnessed alongside is even deadlier. How Buck survives the rule of club and fang is a classic, once misguidedly described as a children’s book because it is narrated by a dog. Of course it is an allegory – civilisation versus the old primordial instinct for survival at any price – but for pure excitement and adventure it has no equal.

Sue Arnold, The Guardian

Candide, and Zadig (unabridged) http://www.naxosaudiobooks.com/candide-and-zadig-unabridged/ Candide, and Zadig Classic Fiction unabridged Single 688112 9789626348819 9789629547820 Voltaire
Neville Jason
6 104 07:03:48 FIC004000 Available World

Voltaire’s razor-sharp satire on philosophical optimism Candide is coupled here with another of the author’s most celebrated works, Zadig. Both challenge the moral and philosophical orthodoxies of the day with humour and sly wit, whilst parodying the clichéd formulas of so many contemporary novels. Candide traces the fortunes of its titular character, a staunch optimist who eventually becomes disillusioned by a series of hardships and misfortunes. Zadig likewise follows its main character Zadig, a Babylonian philosopher, as he is subjected to the whims of Fate and the machinations of those around him.

£19.99 $34.98 £13.00 €14.50 $23.00
Candle in the Wind & The Book of Merlyn, The (unabridged) http://www.naxosaudiobooks.com/candle-in-the-wind-and-the-book-of-merlyn-the-unabridged/ The Candle in the Wind & The Book of Merlyn Classic Fiction unabridged Single 988012 9789626348802 9789629547615 T.H. White
Neville Jason
9 150 10:16:56 FIC004000 Available World

One of the most inventive and charming retellings of the Arthurian legend, this is the final part of The Once and Future King. In these last two books, the ageing king faces the greatest challenge of his reign, when his own son threatens to overthrow him and destroy everything he has worked for. In The Book of Merlyn, Arthur’s tutor Merlyn reappears, and the ancient magician teaches him that, even in the face of apparent ruin, there is still hope.

£32.99 $59.98 £21.50 €24.00 $39.00
Canterbury Tales II, The (unabridged) http://www.naxosaudiobooks.com/canterbury-tales-ii-the-unabridged/ The Canterbury Tales II Poetry unabridged Single 325612 9789626342565 9789629546472 Geoffrey Chaucer
Philip Madoc
Frances Jeater
John Rowe
Charlie Simpson
John Moffatt
3 51 03:30:12 POE022000 Available Available Available World

Four more delightful tales from one of the most entertaining storytellers of all time. Though writing in the thirteenth century, Chaucer’s wit and observation comes down undiminished through the ages, especially in this accessible modern verse translation. The stories vary considerably from the uproarious Wife of Bath’s Tale, promoting the power of women to the sober account of patient Griselda in the Clerk’s Tale.

£13.99 $22.98 £9.00 €10.50 $15.00

The Clerk’s Tale
The Wife of Bath’s Tale
The Nun’s Priest’s Tale
The Reeve’s Tale

Frank Ernest Hill John Tydeman Sarah Butcher
Canterbury Tales III, The (unabridged) http://www.naxosaudiobooks.com/canterbury-tales-iii-the-unabridged/ The Canterbury Tales III The Summoner’s Tale | The Friar’s Tale | The Manciple’s Tale | The Physician’s Tale | The Seaman’s Tale | The Lawyer’s Tale | The Prioress’s Tale Poetry unabridged Single 330412 9789626343043 9789629546489 Geoffrey Chaucer
Tim Pigott-Smith
Timothy West
Michael Maloney
Philip Madoc
Stephen Tompkinson
Charles Kay
Rosalind Shanks
Sean Barrett
3 52 03:33:32 POE022000 Available Deleted Available World

Chaucer’s The Canterbury Tales, a collection of narratives written between 1387 and 1400, tells of a group of thirty people from all layers of society who pass the time along their pilgrimage to Canterbury by telling stories to one another, their interaction mediated (at times) by the affable host – Chaucer himself. Naxos AudioBooks’ third volume presents the tales of six people, here in an unabridged modern verse translation (by Frank Ernest Hill, (1935)). This is an ideal way to appreciate the genuinely funny and droll talent of England’s early master storyteller. Seven leading British actors bring the medieval world into the twenty-first century, and at least in terms of character, not much seems to have changed!

£13.99 $22.98 £9.00 €10.50 $15.00

The Summoner’s Tale
The Friar’s Tale
The Manciple’s Tale
The Doctor’s Tale
The Lawyer’s Tale
The Seaman’s Tale
The Prioress’s Tale
The Physician’s Tale

Frank Ernest Hill John Tydeman Sarah Butcher
Canterbury Tales, The (abridged) http://www.naxosaudiobooks.com/canterbury-tales-the-abridged/ The Canterbury Tales The Prologue | The Knight’s Tale | The Miller’s Tale | The Pardoner’s Tale | The Merchant’s Tale | The Franklin’s Tale Poetry abridged Single 304412 9789626340448 9789629546465 Geoffrey Chaucer
Philip Madoc
Edward de Souza
Anthony Donovan
Clive Merrison
Clive Swift
Anton Lesser
3 49 03:21:40 POE022000 Available Available Available World

Chaucer’s greatest work, written towards the end of the fourteenth century, paints a brilliant picture of medieval life, society, and values. The stories range from the romantic, courtly idealism of The Knight’s Tale to the joyous bawdy of the Miller’s; all are told with a freshness and vigour in this modern verse translation that make them a delight to hear.

£13.99 $22.98 £9.00 €10.50 $15.00

The Prologue
The Knight’s Tale
The Miller’s Tale
The Pardoner’s Tale
The Merchant’s Tale
The Franklin’s Tale

Frank Ernest Hill Nicolas Soames Perry Keenlyside
Canterville Ghost, The (unabridged) http://www.naxosaudiobooks.com/canterville-ghost-the-unabridged/ The Canterville Ghost Classic Fiction unabridged Single 197412 9789626349748 9789629548735 Oscar Wilde
Rupert Degas
1 19 01:17:29 FIC012000 Available World

A terrifying ghost is haunting the ancient mansion of Canterville Chase, complete with creaking floorboards, clanking chains and gruesome disguises – but the new occupants seem strangely undisturbed by his presence. Deftly contrasting the conventional gothic ghost story with the pragmatism of the modern world, Wilde creates a gently comic fable of the conflict between old and new. Rupert Degas’s hilarious reading brings the absurdity and theatricality of the story to life.

£8.99 $14.98 £6.00 €6.50 $10.00 Oct09

When it comes to handling ghosts, the characters in Oscar Wilde’s The Canterville Ghost are far bolder than Ebenezer Scrooge in A Christmas Carol. When Marley’s ghost comes rattling his chains, you may remember, the old miser drops his gruffness in the face of his old associate’s awful warnings. Not Wilde’s Hiram B. Otis, an ‘American minister’ who purchases an English country house and moves in with his family despite dire warnings that it is haunted.

The ghost, Sir Simon Canterville – who’s been scaring the daylights out of the house’s inhabitants since his death in 1584 – wastes no time in mounting a haunt. In the dead of night, Otis hears chains clanking in the halls and beholds an awful sight:

Right in front of him he saw, in the wan moonlight, an old man of terrible aspect. His eyes were as red burning coals; long grey hair fell over his shoulders in matted coils; his garments, which were of antique cut, were soiled and ragged, and from his wrists and ankles hung heavy manacles and rusty gyves.

‘My dear sir,’ said Mr. Otis, ‘I really must insist on your oiling those chains, and have brought you for that purpose a small bottle of the Tammany Rising Sun Lubricator.’

Oiling those chains! Rupert Degas is pitch-perfect in the Naxos recording – quite a departure from some of his previous Naxos recordings, including Cormac McCarthy’s The Road and Kafka’s The Trial. The grimness and desperation of those stories is far from the desperation Sir Simon faces with the Otises. No matter what he does, he can’t bloody well scare them! The couple’s twins boys hit him in the knees with pea-shooters, and, when Mrs. Otis hears the ghost’s terrible laugh, her reaction is: ‘I am afraid you are far from well … and have brought you a bottle of Dr. Dobell’s tincture. If it is indigestion, you will find it a most excellent remedy.’

Degas captures the nasally voices of the Americans (for Wilde, Americans are the ones with the accents) and Sir Simon’s exasperated harrumphs – which turn, later, into sighs of relief as somebody finally pities him: the Otises’ daughter, Virginia. Degas gives listeners a hilarious performance that’s an ideal antidote for the shivers if you’ve seen Paranormal Activity.

Nick Owchar, Los Angeles Times

British actor Degas’ gift for accents and flair for the dramatic make him an excellent choice to read Wilde’s beloved gothic ghost story set in Great Britain. A ghost has been haunting residents at Canterville Chase for centuries. But these poltergeist powers seem lost on the Otis family from America. Degas’ reading is lively, brisk, and laced with just the right amount of foreboding, and he subtly raises pitch during suspenseful moments. Degas gives Mr. Otis the deep, monotone, matter-of-fact tenor of a dull diplomat, while he portrays Mrs. Otis, a Manhattan socialite, in a much higher register, pretentious and pinched. The ghost, frustrated and world-weary over failure to frighten, is appropriately raspy and guttural. Each chapter is introduced by classical music and abundant sound effects – rattling chains, creaking floorboards, thunder and lightning – to greatly enhance the mood. Perfect for a dark and stormy night.

Allison Block, Booklist

Anyone who is only familiar with the old Margaret O’Brien and Charles Laughton movie version or one of the more recent versions of The Canterville Ghost will enjoy meeting the Otises and the ghostly Sir Simon as Wilde actually envisioned them. When the American Minister to the court of St. James purchases Canterville Chase and is warned of the ghost, he declines to believe in it and says he will ‘take the furniture and the ghost at evaluation.’ As Sir Simon proceeds to haunt (and he has fearsomely haunted before) he comes to believe in him, but he and his family will brook no nonsense. They give him something to oil his noisy chains. The twin sons bedevil him, and the daughter takes pity on him.

Rupert Degas is an excellent narrator with his fine cultured British voice as the present Lord Canterville, the past Sir Simon, and with a pretty good set of American accents for all members of the Otis family, male and female … This is such fun to hear the authentic and brilliant Wilde and it is very enjoyable family listening for all ages.

Mary Purucker, SoundCommentary.com

Captive – Part I, The (abridged) http://www.naxosaudiobooks.com/captive-part-i-the-abridged/ The Captive – Part I Modern Classics abridged Single 319012 9789626341902 9789629546090 Marcel Proust
Neville Jason
3 55 03:45:21 FIC000000 Available World excl. USA and Canada

Volume IX of the Naxos AudioBooks recording of Remembrance of Things Past. In The Captive, Part I, Marcel’s obsessive love for Albertine makes her virtually a captive in his Paris apartment.

£13.99 $22.98 £9.00 €10.50 $15.00
Captive – Part II, The (abridged) http://www.naxosaudiobooks.com/captive-part-ii-the-abridged/ The Captive – Part II Modern Classics abridged Single 320312 9789626342039 9789629546106 Marcel Proust
Neville Jason
3 58 03:56:36 FIC000000 Deleted Available World excl. USA and Canada

The fractured relationship between Albertine and Marcel continues, with Marcel’s fixations of his lover’s outside interests driving the affair to a bitter conclusion. Neville Jason’s outstanding abridgement and performance of this great classic draws near a conclusion with only two more volumes to go – The Fugitive and Time Regained. This is the tenth volume in this widely admired series.

£13.99 $22.98 £9.00 €10.50 $15.00
Captive, The (unabridged) http://www.naxosaudiobooks.com/captive-the-unabridged/ The Captive Classic Fiction unabridged Single 0104 9781843796220 9781843796237 Marcel Proust
Neville Jason
16 570 19:54:39 FIC000000 Available Available World excl. USA and Canada

Remembrance of Things Past is one of the monuments of 20th-century literature. Neville Jason’s unabridged recording of the work runs to 150 hours. The Captive is the fifth of seven volumes. The Narrator’s obsessive love for Albertine makes her virtually a captive in his Paris apartment. He suspects she may be attracted to her own sex. Based on the translation by C. K. Scott Moncrieff.

£55.00 $98.98 £36.00 €40.50 $64.00 Sep12 C. K. Scott Moncrieff
Carmen (unabridged) http://www.naxosaudiobooks.com/carmen-unabridged/ Opera Explained – Carmen Opera Explained – Music unabridged Single 558010 9781843790365 9781843793076 Thomson Smillie
David Timson
1 31 01:05:54 MUS028000 Available World

Carmen is among the most popular operas for all the obvious reasons: great characters, a gripping story and fabulous music. But what sets it on a pinnacle is an amazing combination of three factors: a sizzling gipsy heroine (one of the most psychologically complex and compelling characters in all theatre), great atmosphere (Spain, hot sun, the bull-ring) and the prodigality of melodic invention – one great tune after another, at least a dozen of which are the staples of Madison Avenue and the animated cartoon. Like a surprising number of opera-house staples, Carmen was not a success at its first performance. In fact, it is likely that its failure contributed to the early death of the composer. But as Thomson Smillie shows in his accessible introduction, the emotionally driven nature of its heroine and her admirers, Don José and Escamillo, makes Carmen unforgettable. As always in the Opera Explained series, the music itself plays an integral role.

£5.99 $12.99 £4.00 €4.50 $7.80
Casebook of Sherlock Holmes – Volume I, The (unabridged) http://www.naxosaudiobooks.com/casebook-of-sherlock-holmes-volume-i-the-unabridged/ The Casebook of Sherlock Holmes – Volume I The Problem of Thor Bridge, The Adventure of the Mazarin Stone, The Adventure of the Creeping Man, The Adventure of the Sussex Vampire, The Adventure of the Three Garridebs, The Adventure of the Blanched Soldier Classic Fiction unabridged Single 446512 9789626344651 9789629545123 Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
David Timson
4 68 04:41:32 FIC004000 Available Available World

These six cases are among the last undertaken by Sherlock Holmes before he retired to the Sussex downs. However, the problems facing the sleuth are as diverse and challenging as ever. With seeking the whereabouts of the stolen Mazarin Diamond, discovering the importance of being called Garrideb, encountering a mysterious murder on Thor Bridge, searching for eternal youth and the threat of a Vampire in Sussex, there is no sign of Holmes’s deductive powers slowing down. David Timson’s award-winning series is widely acknowledged to be among the very best interpretations of the master sleuth.

£16.99 $28.98 £11.00 €12.50 $19.00
  • The Problem of Thor Bridge
  • The Adventure of the Mazarine Stone
  • The Adventure of the Creeping Man
  • The Adventure of the Sussex Vampire
  • The Adventure of the Three Garridebs
  • The Adventure of the Blanched Soldier

It’s just a regular day for Sherlock Holmes and his admiring sidekick Dr Watson – no sooner has a cipher of seemingly random numbers been rapidly revealed by the razor-sharp Baker Street sleuth to contain a dire warning, than a policeman turns up to whisk the two men off to a moated castle where someone has been murdered in baffling circumstances. Holmes sees the hand of his deadly enemy Professor Moriarty behind the deed, but the roots of the tale turn out to be in the violent gang culture of the Pennsylvania coalfields. This backstory extends Arthur Conan Doyle’s The Valley of Fear beyond the usual length for a Holmes adventure, although David Timson, who reads the story, has to work hard to keep us entertained until the great detective comes back on the scene.

Karen Robinson, The Sunday Times

With The Casebook of Sherlock Holmes Volume I David Timson has almost completed his unabridged reading of the entire Sherlock Holmes Canon – and what a triumph it is! As fine an achievement in its way as the complete BBC Radio 4 dramatisation. Once again Mr Timson proves that he is the equal of any of our great ‘voice men’, capable of creating a living character by the pitch of his voice and the rhythm of his speech. As an example, there are bellicose old autocrats in four of the six stories here (‘Thor Bridge’, ‘The Mazarin Stone’, ‘The Creeping Man’, and ‘The Blanched Soldier’) but each comes across as a unique individual. The stories themselves vary considerably in quality; Mr Timson has treated the worst as seriously as the best – and so unintentionally made me aware while listening of just how poor the writing is in ‘The Mazarin Stone!’. As usual, David Timson himself has provided perceptive and informative notes to the stories, and Sarah Butcher has chosen thoroughly appropriate music, this time by Saint-Saëns, Grieg and Borodin.

Roger Johnson, The Newsletter of the Sherlock Holmes Society of London

Casebook of Sherlock Holmes – Volume II, The (unabridged) http://www.naxosaudiobooks.com/casebook-of-sherlock-holmes-volume-ii-the-unabridged/ The Casebook of Sherlock Holmes – Volume II The Veiled Lodger | The Illustrious Client | The Three Gables | The Retired Colourman | The Lion’s Mane | Shoscombe Old Place, Plus: The Wonderful Toy – written by David Timson Classic Fiction unabridged Single 486212 9789626348628 9789629545130 Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
David Timson
4 77 05:17:36 FIC004000 Available Available World

In the last six stories written by Conan Doyle featuring Sherlock Holmes and Dr Watson, the duo face some of their most challenging cases. In The Adventure of the Illustrious Client, Holmes puts his own life in danger as he tries to cut short a young girl’s infatuation with the notorious wife-murderer Baron Gruner. Why is Mrs. Maberley offered a handsome price for the Three Gables, provided she leaves at once and takes nothing with her? Even in his retirement, Holmes’s skills are called upon, as he follows a trail of death on the Sussex coast in The Adventure of the Lion’s Mane.

£16.99 $28.98 £11.00 €12.50 $19.00
  • The Veiled Lodger
  • The Illustrious Client
  • The Three Gables
  • The Retired Colourman
  • The Lion’s Mane
  • Shoscombe Old Place
  • The Wonderful Toy

Seven more truly ingenious criminal cases, only some of whose arch villains are the intellectual match of the legendary violin-playing, opium-smoking Baker Street sleuth, as he modestly observes to his long-suffering sidekick Dr Watson. Here’s one Baron Adelbert Gruner, “cool as ice, silky voiced, poisonous as a cobra with a superficial suggestion of afternoon tea, and all the cruelty of the grave behind it”. If Holmes’s insufferable conceitedness didn’t get under your skin (and David Timson portrays him brilliantly), you probably wouldn’t enjoy it as much.

Sue Arnold, The Guardian

Castle of Otranto, The (abridged) http://www.naxosaudiobooks.com/castle-of-otranto-the-abridged/ The Castle of Otranto Classic Fiction abridged Single 237912 9789626343791 9789629545796 Horace Walpole
Neville Jason
2 37 02:33:31 FIC004000 Available World

The Castle of Otranto is regarded as the first Gothic novel. The son of Manfred, Prince of Otranto, is mysteriously killed on his wedding day by a huge helmet. The event leads to a fast-paced story of jealous passion, intrigue, murder and supernatural phenomena unfolding in an atmosphere of thunderclaps, moonlight, and dark castle walls – mirroring the inner turmoils of the characters themselves. Horace Walpole’s tale, an immediate success when it first appeared in 1764, is a classic of its genre.

£10.99 $17.98 £7.00 €8.00 $12.00
Castle of Otranto, The (unabridged) http://www.naxosaudiobooks.com/castle-of-otranto-the-unabridged/ The Castle of Otranto Classic Fiction unabridged Single 0186 9781843798651 9781843798668 Horace Walpole
Neville Jason
4 71 04:40:02 FIC004000 Available World

The Castle of Otranto is regarded as the first Gothic novel. The son of Manfred, Prince of Otranto, is mysteriously killed on his wedding day by a huge helmet. The event leads to a fast-paced story of jealous passion, intrigue, murder and supernatural phenomena unfolding in an atmosphere of thunderclaps, moonlight and dark castle walls – mirroring the inner turmoils of the characters themselves. Horace Walpole’s tale, an immediate success when it first appeared in 1764, is a classic of its genre.

£16.99 $28.98 £11.00 €12.50 $19.00 Aug14
Castle, The (unabridged) http://www.naxosaudiobooks.com/castle-the-unabridged/ The Castle Classic Fiction unabridged Single 0004 9781843794059 9781843794066 Franz Kafka
Allan Corduner
10 189 13:04:46 FIC004000 Deleted Available World

A land-surveyor, known only as K., arrives at a small village permanently covered in snow and dominated by a castle to which access seems permanently denied. K.’s attempts to discover why he has been called constantly run up against the peasant villagers, who are in thrall to the absurd bureaucracy that keeps the castle shut, and the rigid hierarchy of power among the self-serving bureaucrats themselves. But in this strange wilderness, there is passion, tenderness and considerable humour. Darkly bizarre, this complex book was the last novel by one of the 20th century’s greatest and most influential writers.

£35.00 $62.98 £23.00 €26.00 $41.00 Nov10

This novel-length parable by the brilliant master of existential angst Franz Kafka was published posthumously in 1926. Our hero, K. (pronounced ’Kah’ in this recording), enters a small village ready to assume duties as municipal surveyor. He finds that the mysterious, bureaucratic, and wilful denizens of the nearby castle exercise absolute and self-serving rule over the precincts, and choose to throw obstacle after obstacle in his path. At times humorous and always nightmarish, this unfinished existential parable, while already powerful on the page, gains additional potency from British actor-director Allan Corduner’s spot-on narration. He treats the shocking and bizarre with matter-of-fact cool while breathing life into the dramatis personae. Through his efforts we feel K’s humiliation and alienation, and it makes us shiver.

AudioFile Earphones Award Winner

Y.R., AudioFile

Cathedrals – In a Nutshell (unabridged) http://www.naxosaudiobooks.com/cathedrals-in-a-nutshell-unabridged/ Cathedrals – In a Nutshell Non-fiction unabridged Single 138712 9781843793878 9781843793908 Jonathan Gregson
Roy McMillan
1 19 01:17:52 ARC016000 Available World

For almost two millennia, cathedrals have been among the most imposing, astonishing and inspiring buildings in Europe. Regardless of faith, their scale and architectural daring has never ceased to spark wonder. This guide traces the development of the cathedral from its earliest beginnings as a Bishop’s house, through the Romanesque and Gothic periods and up to the most extravagant contemporary designs around the world. In doing so, it sheds light on social, religious and architectural history, as well as bringing the story of these extraordinary buildings to life.

£8.99 $14.98 £6.00 €6.50 $10.00 Sep10

Original audiobook productions are increasing in number and variety. Jonathan Gregson, who was accidentally dropped into the font at his christening in St Paul’s Cathedral, Calcutta, developed a critical eye for architecture that serves him well in Cathedrals – In a Nutshell. Although Gregson begins with an appreciation of the great European cathedrals, he ranges onwards and outwards to ebulliently Baroque cathedrals in South America, ’corrugated-iron Gothic’ in colonial Africa and such triumphs of modern engineering as the Metropolitan Cathedral of Christ the King in Liverpool from 1967, the concrete triumphalism of the Metropolitan Cathedral in Brasília and the $300 million Basilica of Our Lady of Peace in Ivory Coast, the world’s largest church, built in 1990. Roy McMillan narrates with his customary intelligent energy.

Christina Hardyment, The Times

Cavalleria rusticana (unabridged) http://www.naxosaudiobooks.com/cavalleria-rusticana-unabridged/ Opera Explained – Cavalleria rusticana Opera Explained – Music unabridged Single 558080 9781843790846 9781843793205 Thomson Smillie
David Timson
1 36 01:16:41 MUS028000 Available World

Cavalleria rusticana is the short opera that has all the elements of a grand opera compressed into a single highly dramatic time span. The story of love, lust, blood-feud and betrayal played out against the pageantry of the Easter celebrations in a Sicilian village delivers an emotional wallop because of the youthful vigour and musical wealth of its great score which includes the glorious Easter Hymn and the deeply moving Intermezzo. Mascagni was never to repeat his youthful success but this brief work is enough to ensure his immortality.

£5.99 $12.99 £4.00 €4.50 $7.80
Cellist of Sarajevo, The (unabridged) http://www.naxosaudiobooks.com/cellist-of-sarajevo-the-unabridged/ The Cellist of Sarajevo Contemporary Fiction unabridged Single 633312 9789626343333 9789629549510 Steven Galloway
Gareth Armstrong
6 77 05:28:11 FIC000000 Available World

Sarajevo, in the 1990s, is a hellish place. The ongoing war devours human life, tears families apart and transforms even banal routines, such as acquiring water, into life-threatening expeditions. Day after day, a cellist stations himself in the midst of the devastation, defying the ever-present snipers to play tributes to victims of a massacre. A true story of a cellist’s resistance helps to form this pivotal event in Steven Galloway’s extraordinary novel. Against this, the author touchingly describes three ordinary townspeople and their efforts to retain their humanity, sanity and autonomy as war takes hold of their lives. This bestselling novel is immediate, vivid and deeply affecting on audiobook, fully immersing the listener in the havoc of war.

£19.99 $34.98 £13.00 €14.50 $23.00 Jan10

Steven Galloway’s The Cellist of Sarajevo is set in war-torn Sarajevo in the Nineties. When 22 civilians are killed as they queue for water a cellist determines to play the piece of music that gives him the most hope, Tomaso Albinoni’s Adagio in G minor, at the same spot every day for 22 days in their memory.

Meanwhile, three other Sarajevans live their lives in constant peril. Kenan, frightened but determined to make the dangerous, daily journey to fetch water for his family; Dragan, who has to cross the city to get to the bakery where he works; and Arrow, the nom de guerre of a young sniper assigned to protect the cellist. Wonderfully moving.

Kati Nicholl, Express.co.uk

Why did the Sarajevan cross the road? To get to the other side without fatally exposing himself to sniper fire. In Sarajevo, the city that was under siege for three hellish years in the early 1990s, every excursion outside was a risk. ‘Sniper alley’ wasn’t just the road that international journalists took between the airport and the Holiday Inn, reflects Kenan, one of the three intertwined characters enduring the almost unendurable in this novel. Kenan braves the streets to collect water for his family; Dragan has to go to the bakery where he works; and Arrow is on a mission to pick off with her rifle the gunmen aiming at her area. Amid it all, a cellist emerges daily to play Albinoni’s Adagio at the spot where the enemy wiped out a bread queue – a real event around which Galloway has created this intimate chamber-piece novel. Strains of the haunting work, played by Sarah Butcher in a specially made recording, add to the book’s power to move.

Karen Robinson, Sunday Times

Steven Galloway’s The Cellist of Sarajevo is an elegant fictional embroidery of a true protest: that of the cellist Vedran Smailovic, who mourned the deaths of 22 people – who were queuing outside a shop when a missile struck them – by playing Albinoni’s Adagio on the same spot on 22 successive days, despite the ubiquitous snipers. The novel shows how the cellist’s protest affects other people’s struggles with their consciences. One is a sniper who finds that her task of protecting the cellist presents her with ethical problems. Gareth Armstrong narrates with impeccable pace and timing, beautifully counter-pointed by Sarah Butcher’s playing of Albinoni’s music.

Christina Hardyment, The Times

Unlike Khaled Hosseini and Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, both of whom are natives of the war-torn countries in which their bestselling first novels were set, Galloway has no personal experience of the city in which this grim story of survival through the Bosnian war takes place. His main characters, however – including the cellist and Arrow, a female sniper shooting at the Serbian soldiers bombarding Sarajevo from the surrounding hills – are based on real people. The story is simple. A shell explodes in the market. The cellist witnesses the carnage from his window and, for the following 22 days, takes a stool and his cello to the marketplace and plays Albinoni’s famous adagio in memory of the 22 victims. It makes headlines around the world. The cellist represents the return of hope to a besieged city. Within a week, the Serbs have sent a sniper to kill him, but Arrow has the situation in hand. Or has she? Sarajevo’s enemies are not confined to the surrounding hills: there are hostile agents, spies and traitors in the city, the army, the government itself, exploiting the horror of war for their own ends. The style is spare, the reading remorseless, the pressure relentless. This is a book you won’t easily forget.

Sue Arnold, The Guardian

In 1990s Sarajevo, war is devouring people’s lives. In the midst of this vividly conveyed hell of massacre and destruction, one cellist braves the snipers to play his tribute to the dead. This is based on a true story and includes Albinoni’s haunting Adagio.

Rachel Redford, The Observer

Charles Dickens: A Portrait in Letters (selections) http://www.naxosaudiobooks.com/charles-dickens-a-portrait-in-letters-selections/ Charles Dickens: A Portrait in Letters Biographies selections Single 0116 9781843796886 9781843796893 Charles Dickens
Simon Callow
4 61 04:10:00 BIO007000 Available World

Those who only know Charles Dickens from his novels will be fascinated to discover the private and personal Dickens in this selection of his letters. His sister-in-law Georgina Hogarth thought they expressed his individuality; his friend Forster thought them literature. They give us a portrait of a complex man with so many different facets to his personality, ranging from the serious, when discussing social issues, to the outrageously humorous when writing merely to entertain his many friends. 200 years after his birth he still enlightens and entertains us.

£16.99 $28.98 £11.00 €12.50 $19.00 Oct12

Charles Dickens hoped that none of the many letters he wrote would ever surface after he was gone. In fact, he implored his friends and relatives to destroy them. But, luckily, many of these letters have survived, and they paint a fascinating picture of him as a man.

Always the actor and novelist, Dickens loved to assume a character in his writing, seeking to entertain his audience as much as convey information. Letter writing seems to have been as much a joy to him as working on his novels.

In this audio presentation of Charles Dickens: A Portrait in Letters, Simon Callow shares some of his more interesting letters. Focusing on themes like friendship, work, travel, the theatre, and love, the letters are arranged to dig deeper into his personality. And the letters themselves are read with the sense that Dickens is reading them aloud as he is writing them. Interspersed between the letters, some general information about Dickens or the intended recipient are provided.

The novels of Dickens have enchanted readers, and his fans will enjoy a more intimate look at this very interesting man. I highly recommend Charles Dickens: A Portrait in Letters.

Alice Berger, Bergers Book Reviews

Dickens leaps out from these letters as a man of energy and empathy. He’s horrified by the levity of the crowd at a barbarous public execution ‘as though the name of Christ had never been heard’; disgusted by the universal expectoration in America which left drawing-room carpets as if they’d been covered in oysters; indelibly marked by tending a dying man after the Staplehurst train crash. Above all, he’s a superb dramatist, which makes Simon Callow an inspired choice of narrator.

Rachel Redford, The Oldie

Not surprisingly, over his lifetime, Dickens wrote many letters. David Timson and Simon Callow find the man behind the letters, exploring Dickens’s emotions – from joy and humour to confusion, great sadness, and resignation. Timson is as interested in the material as the listener will be. His crisp tenor voice is a pleasant contrast to Callow’s deeper, rounder tones. Callow is a full cast unto himself. Not only is he Dickens but he also creates a complete panoply of prominent and lesser-known recipients of Dickens’s letters. Callow and Timson create myriad personalities with varying accents, tones, class distinctions and personal idiosyncrasies that are nearly flawless.

S.J.H., AudioFile

Childe Harold’s Pilgrimage (unabridged) http://www.naxosaudiobooks.com/childe-harold-s-pilgrimage-unabridged/ Childe Harold’s Pilgrimage Poetry unabridged Single 0137 9781843797418 9781843797425 Lord Byron
Jamie Parker
4 76 04:55:17 POE005020 Available Available World

Childe Harold’s Pilgrimage is a fascinating portrait of 19th-century Europe, disillusioned and ravaged by the revolutionary and Napoleonic wars. The protagonist, whose breathtaking journey echoes Byron’s own life story, plunges into the exciting unknown: the nature of humanity and the transformative effects of travel burst through the pages in four powerful cantos of Spenserian stanzas. Here is the poem that set Byron on his meteoric rise to fame in London society.

£16.99 $28.98 £11.00 €12.50 $19.00 Jul15

AudioFile Earphones Award

Narrator Jamie Parker wisely avoids poetic affectation or awkward emphasis on rhyme or rhythm in reading Byron’s long poem on his European travels, which introduced the world-weary ‘Byronic hero’. Parker emphasises sense, letting it direct his reading, but the rhyme and rhythm come through as a kind of lyrical, mellifluous prose, bathing the listener in a lush flow of words. His reading is admirably clear, expressive, and emotional. Listeners who try reading the poem themselves may find that Parker’s narration is actually easier to understand. Nonetheless, the density of allusions – references to earlier history and literature as well as to Byron’s own time – will make this a challenge for most listeners. It’s still worthwhile, and in Parker’s rendition an absorbing and beautiful piece.

W.M., AudioFile

“I woke up one morning and found myself famous,” Byron recalled after the publication in 1812 of the first two cantos of his versified travelogue, Childe Harold’s Pilgrimage, fruit of a two-year grand tour. Until then he had been despised as a dissolute show-off; suddenly he was the toast of literary society. Byron’s remarkable portrait of Spain, Albania and Greece as they were during the Napoleonic wars is laced with tips on seduction (“Maidens, like moths, are ever caught by glare”), political satire and rapture about literature, landscape, architecture and dashing national attire. The poem was completed in 1818, extended with reflections on Waterloo and a melancholic elegy on Italy’s decline. Written to be listened to in Regency drawing rooms to the flutter of fans and cocked lorgnettes, there is no better way of experiencing it than Jamie Parker’s beautifully judged performance.

Christina Hardyment, The Times

Children of the New Forest, The (abridged) http://www.naxosaudiobooks.com/children-of-the-new-forest-the-abridged/ The Children of the New Forest Junior Classics abridged Single 388212 9789626348826 9789629547554 Frederick Marryat
Glen McCready
3 53 03:43:21 JUV007000 Available World

The Children of the New Forest is Captain Marryat’s classic children’s adventure story. The four Beverley children find themselves orphaned when their father is killed by Cromwell’s army at the outset of the English Civil War. The book follows their experiences as they are forced to abandon their aristocratic title and go into hiding in the New Forest. Read superbly by Glen McCready, this new abridgement is aimed at 7–12 year olds.

£13.99 $22.98 £9.00 €10.50 $15.00

Set in seventeenth-century England during King Charles’s deposition, this story features four orphaned children who are adopted by a forester. He has rescued them from the “Roundhead” troops who killed their Royalist father (loyal to King Charles). As the forester’s adopted “grandchildren,” the four Beverly children must adapt to rustic life, learning to cook, hunt, and sew. Narrator Glen McCready’s details these activities with a quiet pleasure that is contagious. McCready’s dignified British voice is well suited to this old-fashioned adventure story filled with the classic themes of resourcefulness, self-reliance, and courage. As McCready’s narration skillfully illuminates the children’s growing maturity and wisdom, the story becomes all the more satisfying.

J.C.G., AudioFile

Children’s Favourites (selections) http://www.naxosaudiobooks.com/children-s-favourites-selections/ Children’s Favourites Junior Classics selections Single 241312 9789626344132 9789629544447 2 32 02:15:51 JUV038000 Available World

An enchanting collection of favourite songs from the past. Included are I’m A Lonely Little Petunia, Sparky’s Music Mix-up, I know an old lady, Popo the Puppet, The Kings’s New Clothes, and many more, sung by such unique entertainers as Danny Kaye and Groucho Marx.

£10.99 $17.98 £7.00 €8.00 $12.00
Chilling Ghost Stories (compilation) http://www.naxosaudiobooks.com/chilling-ghost-stories-compilation/ Chilling Ghost Stories Classic Fiction compilation Single 291112 9789626349113 9789629547707 M.R. James
Edgar Allan Poe
Oscar Wilde
Ambrose Bierce
Charles Dickens
Anthony Donovan
2 36 02:27:36 FIC012000 Available World

A chilling collection of ghost stories containing Rats by M. R. James, The Raven and Berenice by Edgar Allan Poe, The Birthday of the Infanta by Oscar Wilde, A Tough Tussle by Ambrose Bierce and The Signalman by Charles Dickens. In Rats, Mr Thompson comes to regret his decision to investigate a locked room in a country inn, and in The Signalman, the subject of the story is haunted by ghostly appearances that always precede tragic events.

£10.99 $17.98 £7.00 €8.00 $12.00
Chopin, Frédéric (unabridged) http://www.naxosaudiobooks.com/chopin-frandeacutedandeacuteric-unabridged/ Life & Works – Frédéric Chopin Life & Works – Classic Fiction unabridged Single 558001 9781843790921 9781843793687 Jeremy Siepmann
Jeremy Siepmann
4 139 04:57:28 164-page booklet BIO004000 Available Available Available World

Frédéric Chopin is the pianist-composer par excellence. Regarded as one of the most mesmerising performers of his day, he lives on in his music – his waltzes, mazurkas, études, preludes, nocturnes, three piano sonatas, two piano concertos and much more. Here, his life, from his birth in Poland, his famous affair with the French writer George Sand, to his death at the age of thirty-nine in Paris, is told with his music featuring prominently. We think of Chopin as a ‘frail, sheltered genius’ but this forthright portrait demonstrates he was far more boisterous than that. Cheerful as a youth, it was only later that the glare of publicity, the change from local to national celebrity, made Chopin guard his privacy more carefully. This is clearly presented in Jeremy Siepmann’s sympathetic account of the life of one of the key figures in Romantic music, and emphasised in the very personal portrayal by the English classical actor Anton Lesser. The accompanying booklet is packed with extra information about Chopin’s life and background.

£19.99 $34.98 £13.00 €14.50 $23.00
Christmas Carol, A (unabridged) http://www.naxosaudiobooks.com/christmas-carol-a-unabridged/ A Christmas Carol Classic Fiction unabridged Single 332912 9789626343296 9789629545000 Charles Dickens
Anton Lesser
3 47 03:13:09 FIC004000 Available World

A Christmas Carol is the best-known and best-loved of Dickens’ ‘Christmas Books’, and the story of the miser Scrooge’s redemption has become as much part of the Christmas tradition as plum pudding and carols themselves. Will Tiny Tim live to see another Christmas? Can Scrooge recover his humanity and learn to love the fellow men he seems to despise? Dickens will make you laugh and make you cry as you follow Scrooge’s supernatural adventures on Christmas Eve…

£13.99 $22.98 £9.00 €10.50 $15.00
Christmas Celebration, A (compilation) http://www.naxosaudiobooks.com/christmas-celebration-a-compilation/ A Christmas Celebration Classic Fiction unabridged Box Set 33012 9789626343302 Anton Lesser
5 84 05:42:11 FIC058000 Available Deleted Available World

Here is a perfect coupling for those Christmas evenings of Christmas journeys. The greatest Christmas story is Dickens’ A Christmas Carol which has never lost its charm as Scrooge learns compassion and love. The Christmas Collection is a varied, well chosen selection of words, stories, essays, poems and reflections made by writer Christina Hardyment.

£19.99 $34.98 £13.00 €14.50 $23.00
Christmas Collection, The (unabridged) http://www.naxosaudiobooks.com/christmas-collection-the-unabridged/ The Christmas Collection Classic Fiction unabridged Single 214912 9789626341490 9789629545017 Christina Hardyment
Peter Jeffrey
John Moffatt
David Timson
Susan Engel
Simon Harris
Liza Ross
Benjamin Soames
2 37 02:31:08 FIC058000 Available Available World

Christmas brings out the best and the worst in us, as can be seen in this evocative anthology. Among what Thomas Love Peacock calls the ‘many poetical charms in the heraldings of Christmas’ there are eulogies by saints and diatribes from curmudgeons. Here, Christmas is expounded by divines, sung by rustics, deplored by philosophers and made mystical in stories. This collection includes complete versions of old favourites and new discoveries: a sermon by Lancelot Andrewes, an account of Christmas under the Puritans, a first, poverty-stricken Christmas in turn-of-the-century New York and a Mummers’ play. Adding the final touch is the music: from traditional Christmas carols and Corelli to Benjamin Britten. On this recording, Christmas past brings alive Christmas present.

£10.99 $17.98 £7.00 €8.00 $12.00 Oct10

There is a sure way to get into the Christmas spirit. Listen to readings about Christmas, from a recipe dating back to 1394 to stories about 20th century Christmas in wartime and all those years in-between. The Christmas Collection is read in fine readings by seven actors, known to us from the stage and film as well as from behind the microphone. There are two CDs in this collection. They offer us an insight into the past, yet confirm that the Christmas season has not really changed. By dividing the readings into Advent, Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, Curmudgeonly Christmases, Partying, and offerings of Food for Thought, we can hear echoes from the past reverberating in our own time. The Partying segment on CD 2 consists of a Christmas Mummers’ Play as celebrated in Leicestershire in 1863. This is not unlike mummers plays performed in Newfoundland to this day. The origin in the New World dates back to the 1600s when they were brought there by immigrants from England and later Ireland. The spirit of Christmas is positively emphasized through musical interludes that not only introduce each section, but are also brought in just before several readings within the six sections. They are charmingly complementary to the readings and are from Naxos recordings that feature carols, and music by Corelli, Britten, Bach and others. There are two items that were not read in quite the manner one expects. Track 13 on CD 1, A Visit from St. Nicholas, which we know here as The Night Before Christmas, does not sound right with an English accent. This is not the fault of David Timson, who otherwise does some wonderful readings in this collection. It’s just that we are used to a North American accent. The other item that failed to totally capture my imagination is Track 1 on this CD, A Recipe for Christmas Pastry: Anon. 1394. The recipe is great and offers a look at a distant Christmas past. Susan Engel, however, is not totally convincing in her Middle English pronunciation. During the Middle English period the ’e’ at the end of a world was not pronounced as we tend to do now, as a double-e (deep), but more like an ’e’ in let. She also pronounces ’ye’ as ’eye’, rather than ’the’, for what looked like the letter ’y’ in Middle English was actually the letter representing the ’th’ sound. We somehow have forgotten this. So, if you see a shop called ’Ye Old Shoppe’, do not say ’Yee old shoppee’, but ’The old shoppe’ (remember ’e’ as in let). But enough of my curmudgeonly ways. This is a great collection to put on as an entertainment at Christmas for oneself as well as guests, especially the young ones. It will keep them occupied while one is busy preparing the Christmas feast. This audio CD is far more entertaining and revealing of what Christmas is and was about than some television program. One cannot list all the personalities who are represented in this Christmas anthology. Here a just a few: William Shakespeare, Robert Herrick, Nicholas Breton, John Betjeman, Thomas Hardy, Christina Rossetti, Charles Dickens, Hans Christian Anderson and Alfred, Lord Tennyson.

Alidë Kohlhaas, Lancette Arts Journal

Christmas Stories (unabridged) http://www.naxosaudiobooks.com/christmas-stories-unabridged/ Christmas Stories Classic Fiction unabridged Single 0237 9781843799849 9781843799856 Charles Dickens
David Timson
11 218 14:11:36 FIC058000 Available Available Available World

Charles Dickens was a major contributor to the Victorian romantic revival of Christmas traditions. With their heart, humour and good morals, Dickens’s Christmas stories have made the author’s name synonymous with the season. Here we present four charming novellas to complete his series that began with A Christmas Carol, with echoes of sleigh bells throughout. The stories include The Chimes, The Cricket on the Hearth, The Battle of Life and The Haunted Man.

£38.50 $67.98 £25.00 €28.50 $44.00 Nov16
  • The Chimes
  • The Cricket on the Hearth
  • The Battle of Life
  • The Haunted Man
Anthony Anderson Thomas Goose

A delightful collection, and the perfect companion to whichever performance of A Christmas Carol you prefer. Two of the stories here – The Chimes and The Cricket on the Hearth – are readily available elsewhere; but the other two, The Battle of Life and The Haunted Man, are harder to come by. And David Timson is the Dickens narrator nonpareil, and even if you have other versions of the stories, his interpretations are always a treat.

Customer Review, Audible

Clare, John (unabridged) http://www.naxosaudiobooks.com/clare-john-unabridged/ The Great Poets – John Clare The Great Poets – Poetry unabridged Single 0094 9781843796022 9781843796039 John Clare
David Shaw-Parker
1 15 01:01:12 POE000000 Available World

John Clare was the forgotten Romantic poet, until the late twentieth century. Known by his contemporaries as the ‘Peasant Poet’ he recorded in his poems the natural landscape of rural England before the Industrial Revolution. His poems rival Wordsworth’s for their sensitivity to nature and pantheism: ‘I feel a beautiful providence ever about me,’ Clare wrote. But his life was a long struggle against poverty and mental collapse. Some of his finest poems were written in the local asylum.

£8.99 $14.98 £6.00 €6.50 $10.00 Aug13
  • To John Clare
  • Morning
  • The Robin’s Nest
  • The Cuckoo
  • Summer
  • Insects
  • The Skylark
  • In Hilly-Wood
  • The Nightingale’s Nest
  • First Love
  • Song’s Eternity
  • Remembrances
  • Summer Evening
  • Badger
  • To a Fallen Elm
  • Love and Solitude
  • Autumn Birds
  • November
  • The Flood
  • Farewell
  • What Is Life?
  • I Am
  • Christmas
  • The Peasant Poet

Even many people who know poetry aren’t familiar with John Clare. Why listen to this reading of some of his work, then? ‘The Peasant Poet’, as he was known, fit in with his contemporaries, the Romantics, but, unlike them, his knowledge of nature was from working in it, not strolling in it. Narrator David Shaw-Parker takes advantage of the poetry’s strong structural elements and uses emphasis to aid interpretation. He also varies his voice to match the tone of each poem – from the pure rustic to the elevated, almost erudite, tone Clare sometimes achieved despite his almost total lack of formal education. This is a fine introduction to Clare’s work.

D.M.H., AudioFile

Classic American Poetry (compilation) http://www.naxosaudiobooks.com/classic-american-poetry-compilation/ Classic American Poetry Poetry unabridged Single 219812 9789626341988 9789629546366 Emily Dickinson
Robert Frost
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
Ralph Waldo Emerson
Walt Whitman
Garrick Hagon
Liza Ross
William Hootkins
Kate Harper
James Goode
Alibe Parsons
2 37 02:31:41 POE000000 Available Available Available World

The United States themselves are, essentially, the greatest poem’ said Walt Whitman. Here are the much-loved examples of the free spirit of America in all its glory.

£10.99 $17.98 £7.00 €8.00 $12.00
Anne Bradstreet
The Author to her Book
Edward Taylor
Upon a Spider Catching a Fly
Anonymous
Navajo Mountain Song
Philip Freneau
The Indian Student
Philip Freneau
The Wild Honeysuckle
Francis Scott Key
The Star Spangled Banner
William Cullen Bryant
The Prairies
Ralph Waldo Emerson
The Snow-Storm
John Greenleaf Whittier
Telling the Bees
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
The Song of Hiawatha from the Wooing: At the doorway of his wigwam
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
My Lost Youth
Edgar Allan Poe
A Dream within a Dream
Edgar Allan Poe
Annabel Lee
Edgar Allan Poe
To Helen
Edgar Allan Poe
The Raven
Oliver Wendell Holmes
Old Ironsides
Jones Very
The Indian’s Retort
Henry David Thoreau
Sic Vita
Henry David Thoreau
Pray to what earth does this sweet cold belong
Julia Ward Howe
The Battle Hymn of the Republic
Herman Melville
The Martyr
Walt Whitman
Out of the Cradle Endlessly Rocking
James Russell Lowell
Science and Poetry
Anonymous
Frankie and Johnny
Frederick Goddard Tuckerman
An upper chamber in a darkened house
Emily Dickinson
A narrow fellow in the grass
Emily Dickinson
My life closed twice before its close
Emily Dickinson
I taste a liquor never brewed
Emily Dickinson
Because I could not stop for death
Emily Dickinson
I like to see it lap the miles
Emily Dickinson
The wind begun to rock the grass
Frances E W Harper
Bury Me in a Free Land
Sydney Lanier
The Stirrup-Cup
Emma Lazarus
The New Colossus
Anonymous
I sometimes think I’d rather crow
Stephen Crane
A newspaper is a collection of half-injustices
Stephen Crane
Do not weep, maiden, for war is kind
Paul Lawrence Dunbar
Sympathy
Sarah Morgan Bryan Piatt
A Lesson in a Picture
Edward Arlington Robinson
Miniver Cheevy
Robert Frost
The Road Not Taken
Robert Frost
Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening
Robert Frost
The Death of the Hired Man
Amy Lowell
Meeting-House Hill
Carl Sandburg
Chicago
Carl Sandburg
They all Want to Play Hamlet
Vachel Lindsay
The Flower-fed Buffaloes
Wallace Stevens
The Emperor of Ice-Cream
Wallace Stevens
Peter Quince at the Clavier
Elinor Wylie
Wild Peaches
Elinor Wylie
Pretty Words
Robinson Jeffers
Hurt Hawks
Alan Seeger
Rendezvous
Edna St Vincent Millay
What my lips have kissed, and where, and why
Dorothy Parker
De Profundis
Dorothy Parker
Resumee
Dorothy Parker
General Review of the Sex Situation
E E Cummings
anyone lived in a pretty how town
E E Cummings
somewhere I have never travelled, gladly beyond
Stephen Vincent Benet
American Names
Langston Hughes
Theme for English B
Langston Hughes
Trumpet Player: 52nd Street
Ogden Nash
You Bet Travel is Broadening
Howard Nemerov
September, the First Day of School
Alice Walker
How Poems Are Made/A Discredited View
Garrick Hagon and Nicolas Soames Beth Hammond Garrick Hagon
Classic American Short Stories (unabridged) http://www.naxosaudiobooks.com/classic-american-short-stories-unabridged/ Classic American Short Stories An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge | The Veteran | The Notorious Jumping Frog of Calaveras County | The Last Leaf | After Twenty Years | While the Auto Waits | A Retrieved Reformation | Brown Wolf Classic Fiction unabridged Single 221212 9789626342121 9789629544737 O. Henry
Jack London
Ambrose Bierce
Mark Twain
Stephen Crane
William Roberts
2 38 02:35:30 LCO002000 Available World

Five great American short story writers, dating from the turn of the nineteenth/twentieth centuries are represented here. Different in atmosphere and writing style, they nevertheless caught the mood and concerns of the day in a way that was distinctly American. Bierce’s ‘An Occurence at Owl Creek Bridge’ leaves echoes in the imagination; the stories by Crane and London recall the themes of the Civil War and the Klondike for which they are well known. Twain’s humour is to the fore in ‘The Notorious Jumping Frog of Calaveras County’ and O. Henry’s sharp observation makes his neat tales a joy to listen to. An attractive and accessible collection.

£10.99 $17.98 £7.00 €8.00 $12.00
  • An Occurrence At Owl Creek Bridge
  • The Veteran
  • The Notorious Jumping Frog of Calaveras County
  • Brown Wolf
  • After Twenty Years
  • A Retrieved Information
  • While the Auto Waits
  • The Last Leaf
  • Makes the Whole World Kin
Classic American Short Stories, More (unabridged) http://www.naxosaudiobooks.com/classic-american-short-stories-more-unabridged/ More Classic American Short Stories A Horseman in the Sky | Regret | Eclipse | The Bride Comes to Yellow Sky | The Cop and the Anthem | The Princess and the Puma | The Whirligig of Life Classic Fiction unabridged Single 244112 9789626344415 9789629544744 Ambrose Bierce
Kate Chopin
James Fenimore Cooper
Stephen Crane
O. Henry
Garrick Hagon
Liza Ross
2 37 02:33:55 LCO002000 Available World

Here are seven stories from master American writers of the nineteenth century. They vary from sinister tales by Ambrose Bierce – why is that window boarded up? – and a reflective moment in the life of a woman without children, forced to look after children, to classic short stories by O. Henry and Stephen Crane. There is even an elegiac description of an eclipse by James Fenimore Cooper, author of The Last of the Mohicans. Read with sensitivity and skill by Garrick Hagon and Liza Ross.

£10.99 $17.98 £7.00 €8.00 $12.00
  • A Horseman in the Sky
  • Regret
  • Eclipse
  • The Bride Comes to Yellow Sky
  • The Cop and the Anthem
  • The Princess and the Puma
  • The Whirligig of Life
Classic Erotic Verse (selections) http://www.naxosaudiobooks.com/classic-erotic-verse-selections/ Classic Erotic Verse Poetry selections Single 293812 9789626349380 9789629548315 Edward de Souza
Matthew Marsh
Stella Gonet
David Timson
Benjamin Soames
2 38 02:38:25 POE023020 Available Deleted Available World

A witty, bawdy, erotic but classic collection of poetry designed to celebrate the most sensual of human pleasures. Over the ages many poets have put pen to paper in celebration of that most raw and yet most beautiful of human instincts – erotic love. This anthology includes verse by Herrick, Marlowe, Jonson, Byron, Verlaine, Whitman, Yeats, Cummings and, from our own time, John Betjeman. All aspects of erotic love are to be found in these poems – from the bawdy to the sensuous and tender.

£10.99 $17.98 £7.00 €8.00 $12.00 Jan09
Anonymous
Green rushes with red shoots
Bhartrhari
If the forest of her hair
Christopher Marlowe
Either she was foul
Lord Byron
Don Juan
John Wilmot, Earl of Rochester
Ancient person of my heart
John Keats
The Eve of St Agnes (excerpt)
Anonymous
She lay all naked
Liu Yung
Before lowering the perfumed curtain
D H Lawrence
New Year’s Eve
John Donne
The Flea
Robert Herrick
I abhor the slimie kisse
Richard Brinsley Sheridan
The Geranium
Aphra Behn
The Willing Mistress
Hafiz
Ode 44
Sir Thomas Wyatt
My lut awake
Sir Francis Kyanston
On Cynthia’s Embrace
John Wilmot, Earl of Rochester
Naked she lay
Amaru
When his mouth faced my mouth
Anonymous
Madrigal
Robert Herrick
The Vine
Thomas Nash
The Choice of Valentines
Robert Graves
Down, Wanton, Down
Anonymous
The Four and Twentieth Day of May
Robert Herrick
Upon the Nipple’s of Julia’s Breast
Vidyapati
Style of the new moon
Thomas Randolph
The Milkmaid’s Epithalamium
Aphra Behn
To the Fair Clorinda
Vidyapati
Twin Hills
Charles Baudelaire
Imagine the magic
Hafiz
Ode 173
Bhartrhari
Three Poems
John Betjeman
A Subaltan’s Love Son
John Donne
To His Mistress Going to Bed
William Wordsworth
The Glow Worm
E E Cummings
May I feel said he
Robert Herrick
A sweet disorder in the dress
William Cartwright
Tell me no more
Liu Hsalo-Wei
For my wife
Alfred Lord Tennyson
Now sleeps the crimson petal
Thomas Carew
On the Marriage of TK and CC
D H Lawrence
Figs
Algernon Charles Swinburne
In the Orchard
Robert Herrick
To Julia’s Petticoat
Robert Browning
Now
Walt Whitman
From pent-up aching rivers
John Dryden
The Posture
Alfred Lord Tennyson
Mariana
Algenon Charles Swinburne
Before Parting
Ts’ao Chih
A beautiful woman
William Blake
The Sick Rose
W B Yeats
A Last Confession
Ben Jonson
Doing, a filthy pleasure is
Sharon Olds
The Connoisseuse of Slugs
Sir Thomas Wyatt
They flee from me
John Betjeman
Late-Flowering Lust
Anonymous
Nizam
Walt Whitman
A Glimpse
Paul Verlaine
Thousands and Three
Walt Whitman
The Beautiful Swimmer
Arthur Rimbaud
My mouth is often joined against his mouth
Marie Madeleine
Foiled Sleep
Christina Rossetti
Laura and Lizzie Asleep
Samuel Taylor Coleridge
Christabel and Geraldine
Emily Dickinson
Wild Nights, Wild Nights
Pierre de Louys
Penumbra from Chansons de Bilitis
Christopher Marlowe
Hero and Leander
Sir Charles Sedley
On the Happy Corydon and Phyllis
Francis Beaumont
Salmacis and Hermaphroditus (excerpt)
W B Yeats
Leda and the Swan
W B Yeats
Leda and the Swan

Rummaging through my poetry collection for something vaguely Valentine-related – Burns, Sonnets from the Portuguese, even Classic FM’S 100 Favourite Love Poems – I came across this. Be warned: soppy hearts and pretty flowers it most definitely isn’t, even if some of your favourite garden-centre poets are here – Wordsworth, for instance, and Herrick, who elsewhere lamented, “Fair daffodils, we weep to see / You haste away so soon”. He’s less preoccupied with horticultural matters here, viz: “I abhor the slimy kiss / Which to me most loathsome is. / Those lips please me which are placed / Close, but not too strictly laced; / Yielding I would have them, yet / Not a wimbling tongue admit. / What should poking-sticks make there, / When the ruff is set elsewhere?” The title poem is by John Wilmot, Earl of Rochester, infamous 17th-century bisexual libertine whose X-certificate verses leave little if anything to the imagination. The same goes for Stella Gonet’s passionate – no, let’s not mince words, pornographic – reading of Swinburne’s “In the Orchard”. And prurient to boot, because the lovers writhing in the moonlight are clearly male. “Nay, slay me now; nay, for I will be slain; / Pluck thy red pleasure from the teeth of pain . . . Slay me ere day can slay desire again; / Ah God, ah God, that day should be so soon.” Erotic doesn’t have to be hot and sweaty. Heaven forbid that anyone should mention sweat and Emily Dickinson, belle of Amherst, in the same breath, but something surely must have loosened just a little, a hairpin, a button, as she wrote “Wild nights! Wild nights! / Were I with thee, / Wild nights should be / Our luxury! // Futile the winds / To a heart in a port, / Done with the compass, / Done with the chart. // Rowing in Eden! / Ah! the sea! / Might I but moor / Tonight in thee.” With contributions from Hafez, Baudelaire, Tsao Chih, Whitman etc, you get a feel for what turns lovers from other cultures on. Long hair does it for Persians, knitting for Chinese. My favourite is “The Connoisseuse of Slugs” by Sharon Olds, which disgusted me first time round – I hate creepy crawlies – but now makes me laugh out loud. She’s right – erotic doesn’t have to mean serious, either. Sex can be hilarious, especially when you’re comparing naked men becoming aroused to the little knobs popping out at the top of a slug’s antennae: “The slow / elegant being coming out of hiding and / gleaming in the dark air, eager and so / trusting you could weep.” Bravo, Ms Olds.

Sue Arnold, The Guardian

Classic Fairy Stories (compilation) http://www.naxosaudiobooks.com/classic-fairy-stories-compilation/ Classic Fairy Stories Three Little Pigs | Dick Whittington | Beauty and the Beast | Goldilocks and the Three Bears | Puss in Boots | Jack and the Beanstalk | Ali Baba Junior Classics compilation Single 222212 9789626342220 9789629544416 Bernard Cribbins
2 38 02:36:51 JUV012000 Available World

A delightful collection of famous fairy stories. How does The Brave Little Tailor become a king? How can the defenceless little pig keep the hungry fox at bay? And what happens when Jack climbs his beanstalk and encounters a giant singing Fee Fi Fo Fum? These stories, and the more gentle tale of Beauty and the Beast,have enchanted generations of children, and retain their magic even in the computer age.

£10.99 $17.98 £7.00 €8.00 $12.00
  • The Brave Little Tailor
  • The History of Dick Whittingdon
  • Goldilocks and the Three Bears
  • The Princess on the Glass Hill
  • The Story of the Three Little Pigs
  • Beauty and the Beast
  • Jack and the Beanstalk
  • Puss in Boots
Classic Ghost Stories (selections) http://www.naxosaudiobooks.com/classic-ghost-stories-selections/ Classic Ghost Stories The Signal Man, Oh, Whistle and I’ll Come to You, My Lad, The Mezzotint, To Be Taken With a Grain of Salt, Rats Classic Fiction selections Single 245912 9789626344590 9789629544881 Charles Dickens
M.R. James
Stephen Critchlow
2 37 02:30:51 FIC012000 Available Available World

These stories are designed to engender a chill in the listener which is not just due to the season. Stephen Critchlow, a characterful actor, is a collector of ghost stories and relishes putting across those slightly odd moments when things don’t just seem to follow the normal process. Charles Dickens was chilling enough in his novels – one only has to remember the entry of Magwitch in Great Expectations! – but as a writer set deeply in the Victorian era and unashamedly a lover of the melodramatic, it comes as no surprise that one of the greatest classics of the genre was The Signalman. As a medieval scholar of a later period (1862–1936) M. R. James had a very different temperament but produced a string of classic ghost stories, of which The Mezzotint is one of the best known.

£10.99 $17.98 £7.00 €8.00 $12.00
  • The Signal Man
  • Oh, Whistle and I’ll Come To You, My Lad
  • The Mezzotint
  • To Be Taken With A Grain Of Salt
  • Rats

The narrators in this brief anthology of spooky tales by Charles Dickens and M. R. James are men of learning and reason – sceptical if not scornful of paranormal phenomena. Which makes their accounts of inexplicable, terrifying goings-on all the more haunting, especially as both writers are masters of the telling detail and the build-up of suspense. Dickens contributes two stories: a spectral harbinger of railway disaster and the ghostly presence of the victim at a murder trial. The offerings from James, the doyen of the English spinechiller, involve a haunted engraving, a very nasty piece on rats, and ‘Oh, Whistle and I’ll Come to You, My Lad’, in which an academic has a hair-raising visitation on the East Anglian coast. With its suitably unsettling music – the viola is ideal for creating a spooky atmosphere – they succeed in James’s aim of “causing readers to feel pleasantly uncomfortable”.

Karen Robinson, The Sunday Times

Classic Poems for Boys (unabridged) http://www.naxosaudiobooks.com/classic-poems-for-boys-unabridged/ Classic Poems for Boys Junior Classics unabridged Single 0102 9781843796183 9781843796190 Various
Benjamin Soames
Roy McMillan
Rachel Bavidge
Jasper Britton
Robert Glenister
Anton Lesser
Benjamin Zephaniah
1 16 01:05:08 JUV070000 Available Available Available World

Classic Poems for Boys comprises a delightfully varied set of poems for 5-10-year olds. From rousing favourites like Felicia Dorothea Hemans’s Casabianca and John Keats’s A Song About Myself, to dreamy, thoughtful poems by Rudyard Kipling and Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, this is a collection to be treasured.

£8.99 $14.98 £6.00 €6.50 $10.00 Jul12
Felicia Dorothea Hemans
Casabianca
Rudyard Kipling
If
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
The Arrow and the Song
William Makepeace Thackeray
At the Zoo
Hilaire Belloc
The Vulture
Lewis Carroll
The Walrus and the Carpenter
Lewis Carroll
How Doth the Little Crocodile
Benjamin Zephaniah
Talking Turkeys
G.K. Chesterton
The Donkey
William Wordsworth
The Village Blacksmith
Edward Lear
There Was an Old Man with a Beard
Lewis Carroll
You are Old Father William
Rudyard Kipling
A Smuggler’s Song
William Blake
The Tyger
Percy Bysshe Shelley
Ozymandias
Lord Byron
The Destruction of Sennacherib
Sir Walter Scott
Lochinvar
Rudyard Kipling
Gunga Din
Robert Browning
The Pied Piper of Hamelin
Alfred Lord Tennyson
The Charge of the Light Brigade
Rudyard Kipling
The Ballad of East and West
W.S. Gilbert
A Nightmare
John Keats
A Song About Myself
Sarah Butcher

All the narrators in this production excel, but Michael Caine’s rendering of Kipling’s If and Benjamin Zephaniah’s delivery of his own Talking Turkeys are standouts. A century or more ago, this was the home entertainment system: young people would memorise popular poems and recite them after dinner. Some of the poetry here is light entertainment (W.S. Gilbert’s and Lewis Carroll’s, for example), and some, like If, is moral exhortation. There are also tales of adventure (Casabianca and The Tale of East and West are fine examples) that carry moral lessons. Some of the morals may be dated, but the poems deserve to be experienced as they were intended – read aloud by expert readers.

D.M.H., AudioFile

Classic Poems for Girls (unabridged) http://www.naxosaudiobooks.com/classic-poems-for-girls-unabridged/ Classic Poems for Girls Junior Classics unabridged Single 0103 9781843796206 9781843796213 Various
Roy McMillan
Laura Paton
Anne-Marie Piazza
Benjamin Soames
1 16 01:04:45 JUV070000 Available Available Available World

Classic Poems for Girls is a collection of over 25 funny, whimsical and moving poems for 5–10-year olds, designed to fuel the imagination. From the adventures of the Jumblies, who sail away in a sieve, to the sticky end of a girl named Matilda, to the courtship of a maiden who lived long ago in a kingdom by the sea, there’s a poem to suit any feeling or mood. Seasoned Naxos AudioBooks readers Roy McMillan, Laura Paton, Anne-Marie Piazza, and Benjamin Soames work their magic on the works of Edward Lear, Louisa May Alcott, Christina Rossetti and many more.

£8.99 $14.98 £6.00 €6.50 $10.00 Jul12
Lewis Carroll
The Lobster Quadrille
Lewis Carroll
To the Looking-Glass World it was Alice that Said
Lewis Carroll
How doth the Little Crocodile
Lewis Carroll
The Owl and the Pussycat
Edward Lear
The Nutcrackers and the Sugar Tongs
Edward Lear
The Quangle Wangle’s Hat
Edward Lear
The Yonghy-Bonghy-Bo
Edward Lear
The Jumblies
Sarah Catherine Martin
The Comic Adventures of Old Mother Hubbard and her Dog
Hilaire Belloc
Matilda
Anonymous
A Guinea Pig Song
Anonymous
Two Little Kittens
Laura Richards
Eletelephony
Robert Louis Stevenson
A Good Play
Louisa May Alcott
The Rock and the Bubble
Robert Louis Stevenson
Bed in Summer
Jane Taylor
The Star
Thomas Hardy
Weathers
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
There was a Little Girl
Mary Howitt
The Spider and the Fly
Oliver Herford
A Tragedy in Rhyme
Christina Rossetti
A Rose has Thorns as well as Honey
Christina Rossetti
A Birthday
Christina Rossetti
Flint
William Wordsworth
Daffodils
John Keats
To Mrs Reynold’s Cat
John Keats
Old Meg
Emily Dickinson
A Light Exists in Spring
William Blake
The Tyger
Edgar Allan Poe
Annabel Lee
Christopher Marlowe
The Passionate Shepherd to His Love
Alfred Lord Tennyson
The Lady of Shalott
Robert Burns
A Red Red Rose
Sarah Butcher

From the nonsense poems of Lewis Carroll and Edward Lear, through to the works of Robert Louis Stevenson, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, Emily Dickinson, Alfred Lord Tennyson, Christina Rossetti, and more, familiar and classic poems are ably performed by Roy McMillan, Laura Paton, Anne-Marie Piazza, and Benjamin Soames. There are poems about guinea pigs, kittens, and tigers, and others about lost love and of tragedy. Classical musical interludes, which are identified and credited in the CD insert, separate poems every few performances, often segueing into poems of a different type; otherwise the magic is all in the reading and the cadence of these rhyming tales. Especially entertaining is Anne-Marie Piazza’s performance of The Rock and the Bubble. All readers perform the poetry dramatically and expressively; occasional British and Scottish accents make the works more elegant. While some of the poems may be familiar as nursery rhymes (Old Mother Hubbard, The Owl and the Pussycat), others are certainly more mature (Birthday by Christina Rossetti, Annabel Lee by Edgar Allan Poe, The Passionate Shepherd to His Love by Christopher Marlowe). The accompanying booklet lists the poems and authors and introduces some of the classic pieces and the performers. Why these particular poems were selected for girls is not explained. Listeners will want to replay this CD again and again.

MaryAnn Karre, West Middle School, Binghamton, New York

As an introduction to classic poetry, this audiobook is simply delightful. It starts off with memorable children’s rhymes, including works by Lewis Carroll, Edward Lear, and Louisa May Alcott. As the listener moves through the collection, the poetry grows in sophistication with poems by John Keats, Christina Rossetti, and William Wordsworth. Short clips of classical music provide pleasant transitions between segments. The cast members take turns reading the various poems, and all of them deliver the works with close attention to cadence and elocution. They read with enthusiasm, often bringing in vocal characterisations when appropriate. An excellent choice for children, this production provides a tasteful selection of poetry classics.

D.M.W., AudioFile

Classic Romance (compilation) http://www.naxosaudiobooks.com/classic-romance-compilation/ Classic Romance Great romantic moments from literature including Pride and Prejudice, Jane Eyre, Wuthering Heights, Romeo and Juliet, Around the World in Eighty Days Classic Fiction unabridged Single 443012 9789626344309 9789629544751 Helen Davies
Alex Jennings
4 70 04:49:37 FIC004000 Available Deleted Available World

This is a diverting delight, a window on romance in literature. There are high lovers and low lovers, tragic lovers, comic lovers, and lovers who shouldn’t be doing what they are doing at all and certainly not then and there. There is even Fanny Hill trying not to discover what physical love is about when set upon by an old roué who has paid for the privilege. Though of special interest for lovers and their special lover’s day of St Valentine, it is an amusing and sometimes surprising collection.

£16.99 $28.98 £11.00 €12.50 $19.00

Mea culpa, mea maxima culpa for not bringing this gem to your attention sooner. A little of the blame must rest with the nice young man who helped me to sort out my audio library last summer and put this between Classic FM’s Top 100 All-Time Favourites and Cradle Songs from the Caucasus. It does have music, but only to introduce some of the most famous declarations of love ever made. They’re all here: Shakespeare’s Henry V wooing Princess Katharine in pigeon franglais; Jane Eyre still managing to sound straitlaced sitting on Mr Rochester’s lap; Molly Bloom’s voluptuous recollections in tranquility of an amorous tryst on Howth Head; the Owl on guitar (small) serenading his beautiful Pussycat. Alas, love being both a many-splendoured thing and merely a madness, not all these legendary lovers live happily ever after. Spare a sobering thought for Adam and Eve (yes, of course they’re here, starting the whole show rolling), Guinevere and Lancelot (that other loitering knight who fell foul of La Belle Dame Sans Merci), Heathcliff and Cathy, Vronsky and Anna, Frankie and Johnny. Why is it that the potency of passion is directly commensurate with the level of restraint employed to describe it? Barbara Cartland’s testosteroned Romeos and swooning, décolletée heroines had nothing on Mr Darcy and Elizabeth Bennet, buttoned up to the neck and probably wearing gloves, exchanging mutual assurances of undying devotion. ‘Elizabeth… immediately, though not very fluently, gave him to understand that her sentiments had undergone so material a change… as to make her receive with gratitude and pleasure his present assurances. The happiness which this reply produced was such as he had probably never felt before, and he expressed himself on the occasion as sensibly and as warmly as a man violently in love can be supposed to do.’ Jane Austen on true love is the lick.

Sue Arnold, The Guardian

Classic Women’s Short Stories (unabridged) http://www.naxosaudiobooks.com/classic-women-s-short-stories-unabridged/ Classic Women's Short Stories The Garden Party | Daughters of the Late Colonel | Lilacs | Ma’ame Pelagie | A Mark on the Wall Classic Fiction unabridged Single 223812 9789626342381 9789629544768 Katherine Mansfield
Kate Chopin
Virginia Woolf
Carole Boyd
Liza Ross
Teresa Gallagher
2 39 02:41:17 LCO019000 Available World

Five stories from influential women writers of the nineteenth century and the first decades of the twentieth century. New Zealand-born Katherine Mansfield settled in England where she wrote a series of short stories that are widely recognised as among the finest of the twentieth century for their economy, clarity, sensitivity and effect. ‘The Garden Party’ is one of her most famous, while ‘Daughters of the Late Colonel’ shows a wonderful sense of wit. Kate Chopin, writing in the last years of the nineteenth century, broke new ground with her daring view of women as individuals with human needs. ‘Lilacs’ and ‘Ma’ame Pelagie’ are sympathetic portraits of women with differing dilemmas. Woolf’s ‘A Mark on the Wall’ shows, in short story form, the turmoil within the stillness which became such a mark of her later novels.

£10.99 $17.98 £7.00 €8.00 $12.00
  • The Garden Party
  • The Daughters of the Late Colonel
  • Lilacs
  • Ma’ame Pelagie
  • The Mark on the Wall
Clea (abridged) http://www.naxosaudiobooks.com/clea-abridged/ Clea Modern Classics abridged Single 306612 9789626340660 9789629545888 Lawrence Durrell
Nigel Anthony
3 57 03:54:50 FIC000000 Deleted Available World

‘I knew that Clea would share everything with me, withholding nothing – not even the look of complicity which women reserve only for their mirrors.’ In Clea, the concluding part of The Alexandria Quartet, Darley returns to Alexandria now caught by war-fever. The conflagration has its effect on his circle – on Nessim and Justine, Balthazar and Clea, Mountolive and Pombal – a clarity of purpose emerges as the story moves towards its cadence.

£13.99 $22.98 £9.00 €10.50 $15.00
Clumsy Ghost and Other Spooky Tales, The (unabridged) http://www.naxosaudiobooks.com/clumsy-ghost-and-other-spooky-tales-the-unabridged/ The Clumsy Ghost and Other Spooky Tales Junior Classics unabridged Single 0054 9781843795049 9781843795056 Alastair Jessiman
Anna Britten
David Blake
Roy McMillan
Edward Ferrie
Margaret Ferrie
David Angus
Sean Barrett
Harry Somerville
Anne-Marie Piazza
Roy McMillan
Thomas Eyre
2 37 02:32:06 JUV069000 Available World

In this entertaining anthology of seven new ghost stories, written especially for Naxos AudioBooks, we meet all kinds of phantoms in different situations: a kind-hearted but accident-prone spectre unwittingly upsetting a family home, as well as ghosts in ancient Egypt, on board a pirate ship, and in a Newcastle swimming pool. Engaging and slightly sinister, The Clumsy Ghost and Other Spooky Tales is a delightful shiver for all the family.

£10.99 $17.98 £7.00 €8.00 $12.00 Oct11
  • The Clumsy Ghost by Alastair Jessiman, read by Sean Barrett
  • By the Hot Green Water by Anna Britten, read by Harry Somerville
  • Unable to Connect by David Blake, read by Anne-Marie Piazza
  • The Stillness written and read by Roy McMillan
  • The Piper Boy by Edward Ferrie, read by Thomas
  • The Weeping Tree by Margaret Ferrie, read by Anne-Marie Piazza
  • The Book of Imhotep by David Angus, read by Sean Barrett

Winner of AudioFile Earphones Award

These seven ghost stories were written specially for Naxos AudioBooks, and the production is first-class. Excellent writing and perfect narration are a common thread among the tales of historical ghosts, an accident-prone ghost, and spirits from ancient Egypt. Sean Barrett offers a perfectly tuned narration of The Clumsy Ghost. Gorgeous classical music adds to the atmosphere and presentation. In Unable to Connect, Anne-Marie Piazza portrays a girl whose dying mother tries to reach her on a phone with a ringtone from SWAN LAKE. The music adds to the heartbreak. Each casting is sublime, all dialogue is smooth and clear, and the narrators are memorable. The stories, which also touch on bravery and lost opportunity, are ideal for family listening.

S.G.B., AudioFile

Coleridge, Samuel Taylor (selections) http://www.naxosaudiobooks.com/coleridge-samuel-taylor-selections/ The Great Poets – Samuel Taylor Coleridge The Great Poets – Poetry selections Single 135212 9781843793526 9789629549596 Samuel Taylor Coleridge
Michael Sheen
John Moffatt
Sarah Woodward
Anton Lesser
David Timson
Benjamin Soames
1 19 01:19:28 POE005020 Available World

Samuel Taylor Coleridge, in collaboration with his friend William Wordsworth, revolutionised English poetry; in 1798 they produced their Lyrical Ballads, poems of imagination and reflection using ‘the language of men’. They pointed the way forward for a generation of Romantic poets. Coleridge’s addiction to opium affected his poetic output, and yet the handful of poems he did produce were innovative. These ranged from the quietly conversational to the wildly imagined, and include two of the greatest in English literature: Kubla Khan and The Rime of the Ancient Mariner.

£8.99 $14.98 £6.00 €6.50 $10.00 May10
  • Kubla Khan
  • The Rime of the Ancient Mariner
  • Love
  • Frost at Midnight
  • This Lime-Tree Bower My Prison
  • Christabel
Communist Manifesto, The (unabridged) http://www.naxosaudiobooks.com/communist-manifesto-the-unabridged/ The Communist Manifesto Classic Fiction unabridged Single 0032 9781843794615 9781843794622 Karl Marx
Friedrich Engels
Charles Armstrong
2 28 01:53:40 PHI019000 Available Available Available World

Without question one of the most significant books in modern history, The Communist Manifesto is a brief, populist pamphlet that distils the core ideas of Communism into accessible prose. Published just months before violent uprisings threatened to destabilise much of the European establishment, it outlines a view of history as a constant battle between the classes that will inevitably result in revolution. An angry call for a stateless world where the workers are no longer exploited, its depiction of the remorseless nature of the remorseless nature of modern capitalism is as alarming and striking now as it was in 1848.

£10.99 $17.98 £7.00 €8.00 $12.00 Feb11
Complete Casebook of Sherlock Holmes, The (unabridged) http://www.naxosaudiobooks.com/complete-casebook-of-sherlock-holmes-the-unabridged/ The Complete Casebook of Sherlock Holmes Classic Fiction unabridged Box Set 888812 9789626348888 9781843793557 Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
David Timson
8 146 09:59:08 FIC004000 Available Available World

This is the final box-set in David Timson’s epic, widely acclaimed Sherlock Holmes cycle. The release brings together two previous volumes into one complete set, including such favourites as The Adventure of the Three Garridebs, The Adventure of the Sussex Vampire and The Adventure of the Illustrious Client.

£29.99 $54.98 £19.50 €22.00 $36.00 Dec09

David Timson delivers an outstanding performance in this highly recommended audiobook of a collection of Conan Doyle’s Casebook that features lesser-known tales–like “The Adventure of the Blanched Soldier” and “The Adventure of the Retired Colourman”–in a refreshing break from the recent rash of Holmes audiobooks focusing on Conan Doyle’s earlier and more famous stories. Timson–who has narrated the entire Holmes canon–is a revelation; he captures the essence of the text, delivering perfect renditions for every character and vividly creating for the listener the rich and wonderful world of crime-ridden Victorian London. (Mar.)

Publishers Weekly- audio review

Complete Sherlock Holmes, The (unabridged) http://www.naxosaudiobooks.com/complete-sherlock-holmes-the-unabridged/ The Complete Sherlock Holmes Classic Fiction unabridged Box Set 97812 9789626349786 Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
David Timson
60 1090 72:57:00 FIC004000 Available Available Available World

More than a century since his conception, Sherlock Holmes remains the epitome of the private detective. In this remarkable collection are all the 60 stories – 56 short stories and four longer novels – which relate the work and skill of the legendary Holmes. In a remarkable tour de force, David Timson reads them all: this is arguably one of the greatest voice achievements in recorded history. Each story is presented with classical music, making this special 60-CD set one of the most collectable audiobooks ever released. It also comes with a booklet containing comprehensive notes on the background and content of each story. And there is even a new Sherlock Holmes story, specially written by David Timson.

£180.00 $250.00 £117.00 €132.50 $163.00 Apr09

Sir Arthur Conan Doyle has been given a fitting tribute in The Complete Sherlock Holmes, 150 years after his birth. I’ve enjoyed David Timson’s spirited readings of the stories ever since The Speckled Band appeared in 1999. He is one of those narrators who sinks himself so convincingly into character, so subtly differentiating timbre, dialect and accent, that you can hardly believe that the reading is being done by a cast of one – this requires extraordinary versatility given the 228 disguises in the four novels and 56 stories starring Holmes that Conan Doyle penned. Timson told me that he elected to go back to the original Strand Magazine version of the tales, warts and all. Conan Doyle never proofread his work, believing that the sweeping energy of the telling was more important than accuracy of detail: “What matter if I can hold my readers?” he said. Hold them he and Timson certainly do.

Christina Hardyment, The Times

David Timson must have had difficulty returning to his real self after this recording tour de force – every nuance in his voice is Holmes. All 56 stories and four novels are here: 60 CDs with a chunky booklet. Years of top listening.

Rachel Redford, The Observer

Who knows how the art of fictional detection might have fared had a certain military surgeon attached to the 5th Northumberland Fusiliers in the second Afghan war not run into a former colleague from Barts hospital one day in Piccadilly circa 1880. Dr John H Watson had been invalided out of the army on a pension of 11s 6d a day and was now, he told his old acquaintance, searching for somewhere to live. How strange, said Dr Stamford, Watson was the second person he’d met that day looking for lodgings, or at least someone to share his comfortable rooms at 221b Baker Street. After lunch they’d take a hansom to the hospital and he’d introduce him to a Mr Sherlock Holmes, who would almost certainly be conducting some outlandish scientific experiment, such as beating corpses with a stick in the dissection room to verify how far bruises may be produced after death. You know the rest. Actually, you don’t – probably not even the half of it. This is the first time the entire Holmes canon – four novels, umpteen adventures and scores of stories with such titles as “The Adventure of the Engineer’s Thumb” and “The Man With the Twisted Lip” – has been published in a single package. Here’s where I eat my hat and confess that, far from being lukewarm as I’ve claimed more than once about the legendary sleuth, I am now as addicted to the delights of elementary deduction as Holmes was to opium. What prompted the U-turn? It’s hard to pinpoint. The unhurried build-up of the Holmes/Watson buddy relationship, maybe, described so endearingly by the latter, those fireside evenings with the doctor deep in a surgical treatise while his flatmate deciphers the inscriptions on a 15th-century palimpsest with a magnifying glass. Then there’s Holmes’s unpredictable character: Stamford thinks he’s cold-blooded, but Watson has heard him play the violin. He has published learned papers on ciphers, cigar ash, bicycle tyre impressions, chemistry; but has never heard of Carlyle. He can be bumptious, charming, cruel, but he’s never boring. And finally there’s David Timson’s wonderful voice, bringing Conan Doyle’s vast and extraordinary cast from every level of Victorian society to life. What a marathon, what a result.

Sue Arnold, The Guardian

You might say that David Timson is to Sherlock Holmes audio what Jeremy Brett was to Sherlock TV – except the actor who embodied the legendary detective so memorably (and melancholically) for Granada managed only 41 outings before his death in 1995. In ‘The Complete Sherlock Holmes’, a smart, unabridged box set celebrating Arthur Conan Doyle’s 150th birthday, Timson reads all 56 short stories and four novellas and even contributes one of his own. Timson’s ‘The Adventure of the Wonderful Toy’ is a fond pastiche; but it is more than that. Cleverly, and rather sweetly, it offers a fictional justification for the whole audio project, as Holmes encounters that futuristic new invention, the phonograph, and a man who wants to record the detective’s reedy tones for posterity. Listening to the existing stories en masse certainly highlights some lampoonable linguistic tics (one client ‘ejaculates’ four times in a single meeting) and a few careless inconsistencies (medical papers have apparently been written about how one bullet could have caused a war wound in both Dr Watson’s shoulder and his leg). But it also confirms Conan Doyle as the greatest escapist in British literature. Ten years in the recording, this is the sort of labour of love that doesn’t usually make it out of the garden shed. Should you spot Timson in the street, please offer him a Persian slipper full of tobacco from us.

Bella Todd, TimeOut

I have always avoided purchasing any of David Timson’s audiobooks for Naxos, reasoning that I would rather hear a full-cast dramatisation of any story than one man reading all of them aloud. Now that Naxos has released a beautiful box set of all Timson’s recordings, I realise just how mistaken I have been. Over a period of several years, Timson has achieved a feat comparable with the BBC’s dramatisations starring Clive Merrison and Michael Williams. As far as I am aware, he is the only reader to have tackled the entire Canon. And he has proved himself equal to the task. All of Conan Doyle’s stories are represented in this 60 disc-set, providing nearly 73 hours of listening pleasure – which is an entirely accurate description of the set’s contents. I’m happy to report that Timson’s work is among the best currently available, not simply of Holmes readings, but of audiobooks in general. His unfussy delivery puts the stories first – and while this may seem like a redundant observation, consider how our appreciation or otherwise of the Canon has been coloured by over a century’s-worth of literary criticism, much of it bloody-mindedly determined to strip away the sheer fun of the Adventures of Sherlock Holmes through an unhealthy and unhelpful obsession with dates, weather reports and the legibility of Watson’s handwriting. Timson has no hidden agenda: he is content to give us the stories as they were meant to be enjoyed, and we can bask in the elegant simplicity of Conan Doyle’s effortless prose, which has dated hardly at all in the last hundred and twenty years. As a performer, Timson is remarkably free of ego. He’s not out to show off his undoubted abilities by giving every character an outlandish accent or over-ripe delivery (although his sharp, incisive Holmes puts me in mind of Robert Hardy, who played the Master in a series of albums recorded in the early 1970s). Nor, as is the case with far too many audiobooks on the market nowadays, is he simply a disinterested reader, relaying each line with the minimum interest and enthusiasm possible. David Timson may not be a household name – in fact, I was surprised to discover that he played Horace Blatt in the Poirot episode Evil Under the Sun – but his relative anonymity is a blessing rather than a hindrance, since we are not distracted by considerations of how “so-and-so” tackles the Canon. The Canon itself is, quite rightly, the star. As an additional treat, the final disc contains Timson’s own tale, The Adventure of the Wonderful Toy. Having delivered every word of every tale, he is in an excellent position to know what makes a good Sherlock Holmes story. In the accompanying 200-page booklet, the he modestly suggests that the story might be treated as a parody, but he is hardly being fair on himself: this is a perfectly legitimate pastiche, with a highly appropriate theme – that of the recording of famous voices, Holmes’s included. Any quibbles concerning the set are minor indeed, but given that this is a complete collection of Holmes tales, it might have been nice to see the Apocrypha represented – at the very least, The Field Bazaar and How Watson Learned the Trick. Also, the CDs appear in the box set in the order they were originally released, rather than in publication order. But considering the difficulty of finding the story of one’s choice in W.S. Baring-Gould’s annotated collection, this is the mildest of inconveniences, and certainly not one that should dissuade you from making this the centrepiece of your audio collection.

M.J. Elliott, The Sherlock Holmes Society of London

Composers’ Letters (selections) http://www.naxosaudiobooks.com/composers-letters-selections/ Composers’ Letters Music selections Single 203012 9781843795735 9781843795735 Jan Fielden
Jeremy Nicholas
Daniel Philpott
Edward de Souza
Anton Lesser
Benjamin Soames
Hugo Godwin
2 36 02:28:07 MUS020000 Available Available World

In Composers’ Letters, the voices of the great figures of classical music come alive through their correspondence. Set against the music we know and love, Mozart, Beethoven, Schubert, Wagner, Tchaikovsky and many more talk openly about their music, their hopes and fears, their love, their sadness and their struggles in realising their artistic hopes in a commercial world. Poignant, funny, revealing, informative and so often direct and honest, these letters offer a fascinating insight into the personalities that created our Western musical tradition.

£10.99 $17.98 £7.00 €8.00 $12.00

Winner of AudioFile Earphones Award

In a perfect and perfectly delightful use of the audio format, this offering pairs accomplished and well-cast actors with letters written by famous composers. The letters are given chronologically, from J.S. Bach’s writing about career and money difficulties in the seventeenth century through the letters of Haydn, Mozart, Beethoven, Brahms and others up to Tchaikovsky and Stravinsky in the twentieth. A brief and helpful historical note precedes each composer’s section and, best of all, the music he’s writing about accompanies and illuminates the words. Age-appropriate actors voice composers writing in old age while lighter, boyish voices bring us young Mozart, or Chopin as a determined and very broke youth writing home from Paris. This reviewer’s only possible complaint would be that the book isn’t twice as long.

B.G., AudioFile

Confessions of an English Opium-Eater (unabridged) http://www.naxosaudiobooks.com/confessions-of-an-english-opium-eater-unabridged/ Confessions of an English Opium-Eater Non-fiction unabridged Single 0212 9781843799177 9781843799184 Thomas de Quincey
Gunnar Cauthery
3 54 03:41:25 BIO000000 Available World

Thomas De Quincey’s highly charged and hauntingly accurate account of laudanum addiction is considered the root of all drug novels. From Poe to Burroughs, Confessions of an English Opium-Eater influenced a variety of literary writers. After being prescribed the drug as pain relief for a chronic condition, De Quincey soon found himself compelled by the opium experience. His dreams are recounted here in every hallucinatory detail: threatening Roman armies, sunken cities, and German mountaintops… De Quincey’s vivid memories will evoke wonder and curiosity in the listener.

£13.99 $22.98 £9.00 €10.50 $15.00 Oct15
Confucius – In a Nutshell (unabridged) http://www.naxosaudiobooks.com/confucius-in-a-nutshell-unabridged/ Confucius – In a Nutshell Biographies unabridged Single 0019 9781843794356 9781843794363 Neil Wenborn
Nigel Carrington
1 19 01:18:41 BIO009000 Available World

Confucius stands alone among the world’s great thinkers. Perhaps no other teacher has exerted so powerful a hold over so many people for so long. For two and a half millennia his sayings, preserved and developed by generations of his followers, have shaped the cultural and political life of the world’s most populous nation, and they continue to offer fresh insights for today’s globalised society. This audiobook sets Confucius’s life and teachings in the context of the long history of China, and examines the origins, meanings and influence of one of history’s most enduring philosophical traditions.

£8.99 $14.98 £6.00 €6.50 $10.00 Sep10

In China, apart from a period in the twentieth century, the influence of the moral philosophy of Kong Fuzi (Confucius) has lasted for 25 centuries. This is one of the excellent and expanding Naxos ’In a Nutshell’ series which comes with an erudite booklet placing Confucius in context. The slim volume which distils the branches of his philosophy, Analects, is explored showing how many tenets (’Do not impose on others what you yourself do not desire’) are subsumed into world religions.

Rachel Redford, The Oldie

When I began to listen to this CD, I knew absolutely nothing about Confucius and Confucianism. Now I know that there was a historical Confucius (a latinizing of his Chinese name). He was born in mid-6th Century B.C.E. and wrote the Analects which is a collection of brief aphoristic precepts on personal, social and governmental morality. Other books have accreted to the Analects, including one by an ancient interpreter, and they form the written philosophy. The central aphorism of Confucianism is very similar to the Golden Rule in the Judeo-Christian moral systems. Do unto others as you would have them do to you. Other important aspects are self-control and thinking on a larger social scale as opposed to the usual small scale of self-involvement. He taught by comparing behavior. Confucius believed in destiny. To attain governmental appointments in the Chinese bureaucracy, candidates were quizzed on the precepts of Confucianism from the middle ages until 1905. Confucianism is having a resurgence both in China and the West. The audio book is nicely divided into historical, philosophical and social facets of Confucianism. Narrator Nigel Carrington, television and voice-over actor, speaks clearly with a soft British accent and conveys the meaning of the written words consistently. This is an excellent introduction to the precepts of Confucianism and its role in history. I look forward to reviewing others in this series.

Laura Zelasnic, SoundCommentary.com

Connecticut Yankee, A (abridged) http://www.naxosaudiobooks.com/connecticut-yankee-a-abridged/ A Connecticut Yankee Junior Classics abridged Single 221812 9789626342183 9789629544386 Mark Twain
Kenneth Jay
2 36 02:25:44 JUV007000 Deleted Available World

The author of Huckleberry Finn and Tom Sawyer enjoys an unexpected fantasy as a nineteenth-century Yankee finds himself whisked back in time to an age of chivalry and knighthood – with some unusual consequences.

£10.99 $17.98 £7.00 €8.00 $12.00
Convenient Marriage, The (abridged) http://www.naxosaudiobooks.com/convenient-marriage-the-abridged/ The Convenient Marriage Classic Fiction abridged Single 0022 9781843794417 9781843794424 Georgette Heyer
Richard Armitage
4 75 05:06:50 FIC004000 Available World

Horatia Winwood is the youngest and the least attractive of the three Winwood sisters. She also has a stammer. But when the enigmatic and eminently eligible Earl of Rule offers for her oldest sister’s hand – a match that makes financial and social sense, but would break her heart – it is Horatia who takes matters into her own impetuous hands. Can she save her family’s fortune? Or is she courting disaster? Witty, charming, elegant and always delightful, Georgette Heyer – the undisputed Queen of Regency Romance – brings the whole period to life with deft precision and glorious characters.

£16.99 $28.98 £11.00 €12.50 $19.00 Aug10

After his readings of Sylvester and Venetia, two of Heyer’s popular Regency romances, [Richard Armitage] has now recorded an abridged version of The Convenient Marriage for Naxos.

First published in 1934, just before Heyer embarked on the first of her Regency novels, The Convenient Marriage is set earlier than the Regency, in 1776. But like all of her historical romances, it’s witty and warm, well-researched, and tells an engaging, if predictable, story with her characteristic light touch.

It starts, unusually, with the marriage of the hero and heroine. 17-year-old Horatia Winwood (Horry), is short, plain, heavy-browed and has a stammer, while the 35-year-old Earl of Rule is handsome, experienced and wealthy. They make an unlikely couple, and as the title suggests, their union is one of convenience.

The novel actually begins with Rule just having offered for, and been accepted by, Elizabeth Winwood, the oldest and prettiest of the three Winwood sisters. But far from being pleased with such a catch, Lizzie is miserable. She’s in love with an impoverished lieutenant, Edward Heron, but knows she must marry money to save the family from the financial ruin threatened by the gambling and extravagances of their brother Pelham.

However, her youngest sister Horry, ever the pragmatist, sees a solution. She knows that Rule wants to marry into her distinguished family, knows that he does not love Lizzie, and therefore reasons that one Winwood sister will do him as well as another. So she goes to see him and offers herself as a wife in place of Lizzie. Young, naive and enthusiastic, she is delightfully candid with him, admitting that her family is ‘shockingly poor’, and that she is ‘not a beauty’. At first astonished by her proposal, Rule is eventually won over by her. She promises she will not interfere with his life, and he promises to become Heron’s patron so that he can marry Lizzie.

The story the novel tells is, of course, how this unlikely marriage of convenience turns into one based on mutual love. As the new Countess of Rule throws herself with enthusiasm into the pleasures offered by London society and her husband’s money, those who do not wish her well circle around her – the villainous Lord Lethbridge, an old enemy of Rule’s, Lady Massey, Rule’s mistress, and Crosby Delincourt, Rule’s heir if Horry does not provide him with sons. In spite of the scrapes that she gets herself into, the tolerance and kindness displayed by Rule towards his young wife reassure us that, duels, highwaymen and a missing brooch notwithstanding, a happy ending awaits us in the final chapter.

As with his previous audiobooks, Richard Armitage peoples this one with a variety of voices and accents. A heroine with a stammer (which he renders faithfully) could easily become irritating, but instead we’re presented with a captivating character, a girl of spirit whose faults stem merely from her youth and inexperience (the scene in which she proposes to Rule is a particular delight). He also catches Rule’s amused tolerance for Horry and her doings, and the languidness that masks a keen intelligence.

The supporting characters are equally well drawn, from upper class women (the Winwood sisters’ mother, Lady Winwood, and their gossipy cousin, Theresa Maulfrey) to lower class men (Hawkins the highwayman, and various servants). Equally enjoyable are his voices for Pelham, Horry’s spendthrift but good-hearted brother, Sir Roland Pommeroy, his friend and accomplice in his inept attempts to rescue her from one of her scrapes, and perhaps best of all, the ‘odious toad’ Crosby Delincourt.

As with Sylvester and Venetia, short pieces of chamber music between the chapters set the mood – in this case, excerpts from the piano trios of Louis Spohr.

Annette Gill, © RichardArmitageOnline.com, 2007–2010

I loved reading chapter two… but I loved, loved, loved hearing it! It makes such a great dramatic scene! Horatio’s awkwardness and Lord Rule’s graciousness and charm… I think it would be hard for anyone to listen to Richard Armitage perform that little scene without falling a little in love.

Most romance books are about courtship not marriage. Most leave the ‘happily ever after’ to your imagination. Of course, the couple stays together forever and after. We don’t see any differently. So it is interesting to see a romance novel concerned with the marriage – with what happens after the ‘I do.’

Listening to the novel (abridged though it may be) gave me a greater appreciation for Georgette Heyer. Why? While I’ve always appreciated Heyer’s dialogue – it being a chance for her characters to be witty, charming, or romantic – I appreciate it even more having heard it performed. The wit seems funnier. The action scenes even more dramatic. The love scenes even more romantic. I wouldn’t have thought it possible for one narrator to convey the chemistry between two characters – but with Armitage narrating it works really well.

Becky Laney, Becky’s Book Reviews

This delightful romp was made all the more enjoyable by this new audio recording by British stage and screen actor Richard Armitage. This is his third foray into Georgette Heyer for Naxos Audiobooks. His skill at unique characterization and resonant, velvetly voice transports the listener like Cinderella to the Ball. Unfortunately, once the story ends, so does the enchantment. My solution was to start it again. For me, a new audio recording combining fanciful storyteller Georgette Heyer and the sultry and seductive voice of Richard Armitage is like la petite mort. Hopefully they are not few and far between.

Laurel Ann, Austenprose

What distinguishes Georgette Heyer from that other doyenne of romantic escapism, Barbara Cartland, is her intelligence. Her heroines aren’t silly, they’re charming. Horatia Winwood, for instance, the 17-year-old heroine of this delicious soufflé of a story set in 1776 only a few doors down from the unhappy Countess of Strathmore’s Grosvenor Square mansion, runs rings round all those tiresome Cartland airheads. Viscount Winwood, Horatia’s brother, has vast gambling debts. To save the family honour and her eldest sister Elizabeth from being, ahem, locked in a loveless marriage to the wealthy but intolerably ancient Earl of Rule, 35 (Lizzie is in love with a penniless soldier), Horatia offers herself as a substitute bride. It’s not much of a sacrifice. Personally I’d have had the languid, mocking, exquisite Lord Rule, with his scented coats and weary eyelids that ‘drooped over eyes that could become as keen as the brain behind’, if he were 105. Heyer makes you laugh and long to be in love all over again. I said she was intelligent.

Sue Arnold, The Guardian

Georgette Heyer’s writing is sometimes a delight and sometimes a little overwhelming since her attention to detail (both with language and customs of the Regency period) forces your brain to work a little harder to keep up. Horatia, the youngest sister of an impoverished but titled family, decides to offer herself in marriage to Lord Rule, in place of her older, more comely sister who is already in love with someone else. He’s chosen Horatia’s family for their connections rather than love or money, and agrees with Horatia’s deal even though she is just 17 and has a noticeable stammer.

Lord Rule and Horatio reach an agreement that neither will interfere in the other’s life but when Horatia befriends Rule’s enemy, Lord Lethbridge, the game begins. The Convenient Marriage actually steps over some lines that many of today’s romance readers draw in the proverbial sand. For instance, Rule has a mistress he does not give up at marriage. And hoydenish, outrageous Horatia steps over the boundaries set for young women of the ton a number of times – something I found amusing at first. That amusement faded as the story unfolded and I found myself becoming more annoyed by her shenanigans.

Lord and Lady Rule demonstrate with a passionate kiss at the end that all’s well that ends well. Don’t expect any more passion than that from Heyer, however. Although it was an abridged version, I suspect that Lady Rule remained untouched until after the story ended with that kiss.

Richard Armitage is a wonderful, deep-voiced narrator who is perfectly matched to Heyer’s prose and his heroes are truly to-die-for, baritone, and hunky sounding. He performs a variety of women’s voices, some stretching the limits of his voice, and in The Convenient Marriage, he treats us with a very entertaining ‘macaroni’ falsetto voice complete with lisp. Not having read the full story, I can’t say whether that is implied or actually written into the character, but let’s just say this particular dandy is voiced as someone who does not chase after women. Ever. Armitage did a credible stammer for Horatia all the way through – and wasn’t that annoying!

All in all, Richard Armitage provides a top-notch narration that makes The Convenient Marriage an above average listen for me.

Melinda, All About Romance

Coral Island, The (abridged) http://www.naxosaudiobooks.com/coral-island-the-abridged/ The Coral Island Junior Classics abridged Single 394012 9789626349403 9789629548339 R.M. Ballantyne
Wayne Forester
3 54 03:43:03 JUV007000 Available World

An enduringly popular classic of children’s fiction, The Coral Island tells the story of three boys stranded on a seemingly idyllic desert island. Thoughtful Ralph, clever, brave Jack and mischievous Peterkin soon find, however, that their new home has more than a few surprises in store! Wayne Forester’s energetic reading brings this classic adventure vividly to life. The Coral Island inspired a whole genre of adventure literature, influencing Robert Louis Stevenson’s Treasure Island and William Golding’s Lord of the Flies.

£13.99 $22.98 £9.00 €10.50 $15.00 Sep09

And if Lord of the Flies is one of their A-level texts, they may just be interested to know that this 1857 Boys’ Own adventure story about pirates, cannibals and how to survive on a Pacific island with a broken telescope and a rusty penknife was what inspired William Golding’s novel. He even pinched Ballantyne’s names, Ralph and Jack, for his leading characters – though there the resemblance ends. Here the boys are shining stiff-upper-lip products of empire who risk all to help each other and their friend Peterkin, who may or may not be the piggy in the middle. He sounds as if he went to a better school. This is Peterkin telling his chums what he thinks of being shipwrecked on a desert island: ‘I have made up my mind that it’s capital, first-rate, the best thing that ever happened to us. We’ve got an island all to ourselves. We’ll take possession in the name of the King, then we’ll build a charming villa and plant a lovely garden round it, stuck all full of the most splendiferous tropical flowers, and we’ll farm the land . . . and be merry.’ That’s how small boys wearing round black straw hats, worsted socks and pocket handkerchiefs with 16 portraits of Lord Nelson printed on them and a union flag in the middle used to talk in the mid 19th century.

Sue Arnold, The Guardian

Corinthian, The (unabridged) http://www.naxosaudiobooks.com/corinthian-the-unabridged/ The Corinthian Classic Fiction unabridged Single 0181 9781843798552 9781843798569 Georgette Heyer
Georgina Sutton
7 128 08:22:02 FIC004000 Available World

The accomplished Corinthian Sir Richard Wyndham is wealthy, sophisticated, handsome and supremely bored. Tired of his aristocratic family constantly pressuring him to get married, he determines to run away after meeting the delightful, unconventional heroine Penelope Creed. Penelope, literally, falls into his life late one night as she hangs from the window of her aunt’s house − she too attempting to escape the pressures of forced marriage. The two allies become embroiled in a series of hilarious madcap adventures as they cross-dress, run into escaped criminals and save people from their own dramatics. Little do they predict their feelings for one another blossoming into romance.

£27.99 $47.98 £18.00 €20.50 $31.00 Sep14

A truly entertaining farce, enlivened by the most wonderful narration by Georgina Sutton. Ms Sutton gives each character a fully-fledged personality, some subtle, more over-the-top, with the perfect bored air for Richard contrasted with the matter-of-fact-ness of Pen who is constantly fascinated with their grand adventure. It’s farce, it’s a road trip/cabin trip, it features cross-dressing and just a touch of suspense – and it’s funny. I am not always a fan of Heyer’s books, but I found The Corinthian completely delightful and captivating when I read it in print many years ago, and even more so in audio.

Melinda Parmer, AudioGals

Così fan tutte (unabridged) http://www.naxosaudiobooks.com/cosi-fan-tutte-unabridged/ Opera Explained – Così fan tutte Opera Explained – Music unabridged Single 558069 9781843790877 9781843793151 Thomson Smillie
David Timson
1 37 01:18:40 MUS028000 Available World

Così fan tutte contains some of Mozart’s most sublime music. On one level, the opera is purely a social anecdote about young people falling in and out of love; but Mozart was a supreme sensualist and a great humanist, and invested the tale with all his understanding of humanity and young love. In this title, David Timson refutes the charge that Mozart squandered his genius on a work full of trivial nonsense and proves this ‘miraculous yet problematic’ opera to be a great work of theatre. To listen to this thought-provoking examination of the characters and the music is both thoroughly enriching and great fun.

£5.99 $12.99 £4.00 €4.50 $7.80
Cossacks, The (unabridged) http://www.naxosaudiobooks.com/cossacks-the-unabridged/ The Cossacks Classic Fiction unabridged Single 613112 9789626341315 9789629549350 Leo Tolstoy
Jonathan Oliver
6 103 07:02:58 FIC004000 Available World

Dissolute, disenchanted Dmitri Olénin decides to join the Army as a cadet and is despatched to the Caucasus. There, he is transformed by seeing how the indigenous people live in harmony with nature, how their lives have more meaning than those of the superficial social elite in Moscow, and he finds a new sense of self and purpose. But nothing is ever quite that simple. Love and loyalty are tested to the very limits in this semi-autobiographical novella, which is one of Tolstoy’s best-loved works.

£19.99 $34.98 £13.00 €14.50 $23.00 Feb10 Aylmer and Louise Maude

… And now for something completely different. When you think of Tolstoy, you most likely think of his epic novels, like Anna Karenina or War and Peace. You probably don’t think of his shorter pieces like The Cossacks, a shorter novella that is considered to be the author’s autobiography. The book centers around an unhappy Muscovite nobleman named Dmitri Olénin who joins the army in search of adventure and purpose in his life. He winds up in the Caucasus and is intrigued by the geography and the simple people who live there. Along the way, he discovers himself and falls in love for the first time, and in turn discovers the pain love can bring. We meet a cast of characters that includes the manly Cossack soldier Lukashka, the beautiful Cossack girl Maryanka, and the larger-than-life grandfather figure, Uncle Yeroshka, each of who play an important role in the life education of Olénin. Since this has always been one of my favorite books, I was curious to see how it translated into the audiobook format. The voice work is done by Jonathan Oliver, an English actor who has over a decade of experience reading audiobooks for the blind. At first, I was a little thrown by his English accent, as I know many Russians personally, and I always lent a Russian accent to The Cossacks characters in my mind. But as the story progressed, I got used to Oliver’s accent and it became very natural sounding, as he took on the life of the characters. He also did a wonderful job of changing out his vocal style as each different character spoke, making it easy to tell who was speaking as the conversations took place. I especially liked his portrayal of Uncle Yeroshka, the colorful old man of the Cossack village who takes Olénin under his wing. Oliver’s voice bellows and rings out with intensity, bringing the character to life in incredible fashion. Oliver is obviously very familiar with the story as well as Tolstoy in general, and he adds touches here and there to make the story even more special. For example, he reads the descriptive sections with the same enthusiasm as the speaking roles, painting a perfect picture of the Cossack village and the activities of its inhabitants as they go about daily life. He also sings their songs with a convincing air, staying in character the whole time. As far as classic literature goes, this one is an easy listen. It is not too long, and the story moves quickly, filled with adventure and a touch of innocent romance. Plus, it is a great introduction to Tolstoy without getting lost in the epic length of some of his other works. Highly recommended.

Mish Mash, http://mishmashmusic.blogspot.com/

Tolstoy’s novella tells how a young, aristocratic Russian, doing military service among the Cossacks in the Caucasus, learns about life, love, and himself, upsetting his previous notions. Jonathan Oliver performs, rather than reads, varying the voices adeptly from person to person and among men and women, matching speech to how it’s described, providing the proper expression and emotions. His voice is strong; he’s best at Cossack men, especially the rambunctious Daddy Eroshka. The use of strong British accents to represent Russian accents, while reasonable for a British production, may strike American listeners as odd – but it’s the best way to go, and the distraction passes. This is an able reading of a fine, subtle work.

W.M., AudioFile

Cotillion (abridged) http://www.naxosaudiobooks.com/cotillion-abridged/ Cotillion Classic Fiction abridged Single 489712 9789626348970 9789629548179 Georgette Heyer
Clare Wille
4 74 05:04:51 FIC004000 Available World

Cotillion, one of the most popular historical novels by Regency romance expert Georgette Heyer, is presented in Naxos AudioBooks style, with classical music enhancing the production. Kitty Charing comes to London from the country to find a husband and secure her fortune. It is the first of two Heyer titles planned for 2009. Clare Wille was widely praised for her reading of Cranford.

£16.99 $28.98 £11.00 €12.50 $19.00 Apr09

I own all of Georgette Heyer’s Regency romances – and Naxos’ delicious recording of Cotillion, wonderfully read by Claire Wille, has joined them on my Heyer shelf. Here lively Kitty Charing, whose extremely rich adopted uncle, wants her to marry one of his nephews, invites them all to his estate. Only the handsome rake, Jack Westruther, doesn’t put in an appearance – and, of course, it’s Jack that Kitty wants. Intent on making him jealous – and enjoying the delights of London, Kitty persuades another of the nephews, the Honourable Freddy Stanton, a dandy of some wit and kindness, to pretend to be engaged to her. Characters charming and comic, romance fervent and frowned upon – the perfect antidote to gloom-and-doom on any day of the year.

Kati Nicholl, Daily Express

I am so encouraged that Naxos Audiobooks is venturing into Heyerland with their first audio recording of one of Georgette Heyer’s most beloved novels Cotillion, considered one of the greatest Regency romances of all time. Up until this new recording, Heyer audios could only be obtained through sources in England, at astronomical prices. This abridged audio is read by Clare Willie and contains four CDs. Hopefully, if it sells well, they will in future bring us additional unabridged versions. Publisher’s description: Young Kitty Charing stands to inherit a vast fortune from her irascible great-uncle Matthew – provided she marries one of her cousins. Kitty is not wholly adverse to the plan, if the right nephew proposes. Unfortunately, Kitty has set her heart on Jack Westruther, a confirmed rake, who seems to have no inclination to marry her anytime soon. In an effort to make Jack jealous, and to see a little more of the world than her isolated life on her great-uncle’s estate has afforded her, Kitty devises a plan. She convinces yet another of her cousins, the honorable Freddy Standen, to pretend to be engaged to her. Her plan would bring her to London on a visit to Freddy’s family and (hopefully) render the elusive Mr Westruther madly jealous. Thus begins Cotillion, arguably the funniest, most charming of Georgette Heyer’s many delightful Regency romances.

Georgette Heyer deserves the recognition implicit in her inclusion in the Naxos Classic Fiction list, and Cotillion is an excellent first choice. Her funniest book, it is a plucky-innocent-reforms-rake parody, written in her prime in 1953. It features the orphaned Kitty Charing, who is piqued by the “devilish handsome” Jack Westrother’s failure to turn up when her guardian tells his great-nephews that his fortune goes with her hand. Kitty pretends to be engaged to her cousin Freddy to do a London season. Cue dress-shop scenes, but also social realities as she discovers the expediency of the marriage market. Heyer immersed herself in 18th-century literature, and listening to Clare Wille’s reading you appreciate her gift for the right phrase.

Christina Hardyment, The Times

Uncle Matthew decrees that adopted Kitty will inherit if she marries one of her cousins. Kitty fancies Jack the cad and coaxes gentle Freddy into a mock engagement so she can pursue him in London. But of course, amidst a flutter of meticulously detailed bonnets and dresses, it all gets horribly complicated – is Jack just after the old man’s ‘roll of soft’ rather than Kitty? And does she really love Freddy after all? The deft narration captures the spirit of this Regency romance which is set, with historical accuracy, in 1816.

Rachel Redford, The Observer

For both period feel and satisfying plot, Georgette Heyer is hard to beat. Cotillion is her funniest book, a tongue-in-cheek parody of what starts as a predictable “plucky innocent reforms a rake” tale. The orphaned Kitty Charing is enamoured of her cousin Jack Westrother, a “devilish handsome out-and-outer of a Corinthian”, but piqued by his failure to turn up when her guardian tells his great-nephews that his fortune goes with her hand. She persuades her dandyish cousin Freddy (a “veritable tulip and a pink of the ton”) to pretend to be engaged to her so that she can do a London season. Cue sumptuous dress-shop and drapery scenes, but also sharp social realities as Kitty discovers that most girls on the marriage market have to put expediency before love. Excellent and hilarious twists of fortune ensue, and I defy you to guess the outcome. Clare Wille’s spirited reading makes you appreciate Heyer’s gift for finding the right colourful phrase for every occasion.

Christina Hardyment, The Times

Council of Justice, The (unabridged) http://www.naxosaudiobooks.com/council-of-justice-the-unabridged/ The Council of Justice Classic Fiction unabridged Single 0030 9781843794578 9781843794585 Edgar Wallace
Bill Homewood
4 76 05:16:26 FIC004000 Available World

The Four Just Men, in this second of Wallace’s ingenious series of thrillers, pit themselves against The Red Hundred, an organisation dedicated to international anarchy, led by the charismatic, mysterious and beautiful assassin, the Woman of Gratz. As always, the avengers’ methods are meticulously planned and ruthlessly executed.

£16.99 $28.98 £11.00 €12.50 $19.00 Aug11

Just occasionally you get a narrator who is so perfectly matched to his material that you can’t help but smile. The orotund sonority of Bill Homewood’s voice gives a stately and cinematic intensity to Edgar Wallace’s The Council of Justice. Bombs and bombast, passion and punch-ups, and a mind-boggling escape from execution keep the listener agog.

Christina Hardyment, The Times

Wallace’s classic crime novel – which marks the second appearance of his ’Four Just Men’ and was first published in 1908 – is given a distinguished reading by narrator Bill Homewood. The Council (as the Four Just Men are also known) is a group of wealthy, like-minded gentlemen who band together to deal out their own harsh and deadly judgements to criminals outside the reach of the law. This time around, the Council turns its attention to a dangerous group of anarchists called the Red Hundred, and its most captivating member, the mysterious Woman of Gratz. Homewood’s rich, eloquent narration fits perfectly with Wallace’s tale of post-Victorian intrigue. His dignified delivery of the book’s descriptive passages perfectly captures the era’s drawing rooms and gentleman’s clubs where stories are shared over brandy and cigars. At the same time, Homewood manages to embody a wide range of characters, giving each its own distinctive voice. Although the story can be melodramatic and over the top, Homewood does such an entertaining job that the listener can just sit back, relax, and enjoy the fun.

Publishers Weekly

The Council of Justice is a critically acclaimed novel by English writer Edgar Wallace, the co-creator of King Kong, who died in 1932. In an understated yet effective performance, Bill Homewood brings Wallace’s work to life. The second novel in the Four Just Men series focuses on four anarchists who believe they are above the law as they protect society. They kill for a greater cause – that of justice. The story is more complex and more intellectual than many contemporary novels, yet Homewood’s methodical style and measured tone help make the dialogue accessible. His narration allows listeners to focus on why four men believe their perspective is more accurate than everyone else’s. The Council of Justice is an excellent introduction to this master writer.

D.J.S., AudioFile

Count of Monte Cristo, The (abridged) http://www.naxosaudiobooks.com/count-of-monte-cristo-the-abridged/ The Count of Monte Cristo Classic Fiction abridged Single 203912 9789626340394 9789629545222 Alexandre Dumas
Bill Homewood
2 38 02:38:12 FIC004000 Available World

The Count of Monte Cristo is a tale of revenge and retribution. Edmond Dantès, a young, energetic sailor, is falsely accused of treason on his wedding day and incarcerated in the forbidding Château d’If. His escape and ultimate revenge on those who wronged him makes this one of the most thrilling stories in French literature, as compelling now as when it was first published in 1846.

£10.99 $17.98 £7.00 €8.00 $12.00
Count of Monte Cristo, The (unabridged) http://www.naxosaudiobooks.com/count-of-monte-cristo-the-unabridged/ The Count of Monte Cristo Classic Fiction unabridged Single 13412 9789626341346 9789629549381 Alexandre Dumas
Bill Homewood
41 769 52:43:38 FIC004000 Available World

On the eve of his marriage to the beautiful Mercedes, having that very day been made Captain of his ship, the young sailor Edmond Dantès is arrested on a charge of treason, trumped up by jealous rivals. Incarcerated for many lonely years in the isolated and terrifying Chateau d’If near Marseille, he meticulously plans his brilliant escape and extraordinary revenge. Of all the ‘Masked Avengers’ and ‘Caped Crusaders’ in literature, the Count of Monte Cristo is at once the most daring and the most vulnerable. Alexandre Dumas (père), master storyteller, takes us on a journey of adventure, romance, intrigue, and, ultimately, redemption.

£120.00 $219.98 £78.00 €88.00 $143.00 Jul10

If you are already dismayed by the length and price of this famous story of revenge set in France against a backdrop of turbulent Bonapartist politics, you could cop out and buy the two-CD abridgement for £10.99. It would be about as satisfying as booking a table at Le Gavroche and ordering scrambled eggs, but 52 hours, I agree, is a long haul. Dumas père is chiefly remembered for this, for The Three Musketeers, and for fathering Alexander Dumas fils, author of La Dame aux Camélias. It’s a terrific story. Edmond Dantès, a charismatic young seaman, just promoted to captain, is framed by jealous rivals, falsely accused of being a pro-Bonaparte spy and arrested minutes before his marriage to the beautiful Mercedes. He is sentenced to life imprisonment at the notorious Château d’If, where, 14 years later, a fellow inmate, a priest on his deathbed, reveals the whereabouts of a massive treasure on the tiny island of Monte Cristo. Dantès escapes, finds the treasure, buys a peerage and sets about his revenge. Take it on your gap year.

Sue Arnold, The Guardian

The Count of Monte Cristo is an extraordinary, long, complex work with a very simple story idea: a young man is horribly wronged, emerges from prison with a new life and a vast fortune, and uses that plus his very good mind to wreak vengeance on the people who ruined his life. It’s fantastic, in every meaning of the word; it’s different from what I expected and from nearly everything I’ve read before; it’s a great adventure yarn with a lovely little romance thrown in (almost entirely counterbalanced by wrecked relationships, but still lovely)… In fact…

‘Has it got any sports in it?’

‘Are you kidding? Fencing, fighting, torture, revenge, giants, monsters, chases, escapes, true love, miracles…’

The giants and monsters are figurative in The Count, but they’re in there – they are in there. There’s actually very little fencing or fighting, and the torture is almost all mental, but… yeah. It’s all there.

The story is, at its heart, very simple. A strong and handsome and capable young man is well on his way to having a golden life, complete with the girl he loves, until jealousy in those around him has him sent to prison on false charges. There he sits for seventeen years as the world spins on without him, his only relief from the dark solitude a fellow prisoner who takes him on a mad journey to escape, teaching him everything he could ever need to know about everything while they work at it. When he finally does escape, he embarks on a mad quest of his own, to have a subtle, vicious revenge on everyone who harmed him.

I listened to the Audible audiobook read by Bill Homewood, and had a wonderful time – he made 52 hours and 45 minutes seem like only four days.

No, I kid – he gave a magnificent performance. The audiobook I chose for a Goodreads Buddy Read of The Count of Monte Cristo – narrated by Bill Homewood – is in 6 parts, totalling 52 hours & 45 minutes. In other words, two days, four hours, and forty-five minutes. Funnily enough, other versions were of wildly varying lengths – unabridged editions run between 45 hours and the one I picked, 52 hours and 45 minutes. There were also several abridged editions – from a dramatic presentation lasting an hour (how??) to a 17 hour abridgement – but despite its being the longest out there I liked the sample of this, and I think it was a good choice: Mr Homewood is an excellent companion. I can only assume some translations were more succinct than others, or that where Mr Homewood uses a different (extremely well done) voice for each character (resulting in different cadences), and gives each line its full dramatic weight, someone reading in one level tone might get through the material more quickly. For me a big part of the enjoyment was listening to the performance – he went all out on it, conveying real emotion and suspense and humour and dread in a magnificent one-man show. He deserves an award. Most actors’ performances are one character in some fraction of a film or play or TV episode between one and three hours; this was 100% of nearly 53 hours, and fantastic. (I spent no little time marvelling at how he kept the voices straight. I would be doing constant re-takes after reading Danglars’s lines in Villefort’s voice or some such.) (Not to mention the occasional cut to edit out my frustrated exclamations of ‘Wait, who the *&$! is THIS, now??’)

Stewartry, agoldoffish.wordpress.com

Cousin Kate (unabridged) http://www.naxosaudiobooks.com/cousin-kate-unabridged/ Cousin Kate Classic Fiction unabridged Single 0182 9781843798576 9781843798583 Georgette Heyer
Jilly Bond
10 184 11:57:15 FIC004000 Available World

When young and beautiful governess Kate Malvern finds herself unemployed, she is taken in by Minerva Broome, the aunt she has never met, and whisked away to the majestic country home of Staplewood. However, things are not as they seem: strange things start to happen in the manor and Staplewood soon turns from an inviting stately house to a cold and gloomy mansion with a dreadful secret! One of Georgette Heyer’s later novels, Cousin Kate sees the author take a more experimental turn as she blends the Regency romance genre with the suspenseful style of Gothic horror.

£35.00 $62.98 £23.00 €26.00 $41.00 Oct14
Cousin Phillis (unabridged) http://www.naxosaudiobooks.com/cousin-phillis-unabridged/ Cousin Phillis Classic Fiction unabridged Single 435412 9781843793540 9789629549619 Elizabeth Gaskell
Joe Marsh
3 58 03:57:22 FIC004000 Available World

Cousin Phillis – a miniature masterpiece – is set in the 1840s, when the coming of the railway was changing the face of England, and quiet rural communities, coming into contact with the outside world, were changed for ever. The story focuses on the effect these changes have on a naïve country girl, Phillis, as she encounters love, with all its pains and pleasures, for the first time.

£13.99 $22.98 £9.00 €10.50 $15.00 May10

Set in the 1840s, this is a moving story of rural innocence, the pain of lost love and the testing of fierce religious faith. Phillis is her Minister father’s intellectual equal; she studies Latin as she peels the potatoes and her father labours with the men on the family farm. When her cousin’s friend recuperates at the farm and helps Phillis with her Italian, the inevitable happens.

Rachel Redford, The Oldie

Cranford (unabridged) http://www.naxosaudiobooks.com/cranford-unabridged/ Cranford Classic Fiction unabridged Single 685012 9789626348505 9789629545321 Elizabeth Gaskell
Clare Wille
6 103 07:02:35 FIC004000 Available Available Available World

In the village of Cranford, decorum is maintained at all times. Despite their poverty, the ladies are never vulgar about money (or their lack of it), and always follow the rules of propriety. But this discretion and gentility does not keep away tragedy; and when the worst happens, the Amazons of Cranford show the true strength of their honest affections. A masterpiece of social comedy, Cranford is as moving as it is funny, and as sharp as it is tender.

£19.99 $34.98 £13.00 €14.50 $23.00

Welcome to the quiet backwater of Cranford. The women are in charge, because the men mostly have business elsewhere. So the desperate gentlewomen keep busy sublimating more basic urges into a passion for Victorian social niceties. Clare Wille is delightfully warm and compassionate as the young narrator Mary Smith, fondly recounting the “elegant economies” of her Cranford circle of spinsters and widows. Yet neither Mary’s narrow field of focus nor the delicacy of her humour preclude sharp observations about the frailties of human nature or warnings of the disruption that events in the wider world are about to visit on her unsuspecting friends. The plotlines – a mésalliance between a titled lady and one of the town’s few virile men, a financial scandal, a beturbanned magician, a prodigal’s return – were probably pretty sensational when the novel was first published, but are most important as the frame on which Gaskell constructs a beguiling picture of a dying society. The BBC 1 costume-drama version shouldn’t put Wille’s telling of the original in the shade.

Karen Robinson, The Sunday Times

Done that, been there, seen the TV serial, got the T-shirt (Miss Matty is the lick), but have you read the book? The problem with screen adaptations of period pieces is that they inevitably fall into the same trap. Put a theatrical dame into a bonnet and willy-nilly, no matter how many Baftas she’s bagged, she becomes a pantomime dame. Cranford wasn’t inhabited exclusively by daft old biddies wearing bonnets, shawls and frozen expressions of scandalised incredulity; Mrs Gaskell wrote about real people – some, admittedly, with eccentric ways, but nonetheless genuine. What makes her best-known book, a quintessentially English take on the discreet charm of the bourgeoisie, so beguiling is the gently ironic tone of the young narrator, Mary Smith. This is the fourth Cranford I’ve heard – Prunella Scales did the last – and for once, in Clare Wille, they’ve got the right-aged reader. Mary (unlike Prunella) doesn’t judge. She observes. Her cool, clear gaze misses nothing in this mid-Victorian provincial backwater. You can hear her smiling at its preoccupations with thrift, etiquette, class, crochet, ribbons, gossip and the growing coolness between Miss Jenkins, doyenne of the tea table, and Captain Brown, who finds Boz more entertaining than Samuel Johnson. ‘It was the only difference of opinion they had ever had, but that difference was enough. Miss Jenkins could not refrain from talking at Captain Brown, and though he did not reply, he drummed with his fingers, which action she felt and resented as very disparaging to Dr Johnson.’ Oh, if only life were still as simple.

Sue Arnold, The Guardian

Clare Wille’s performance of this gently satirical look at a genteel English village in the first half of the nineteenth century may be the wittiest I’ve ever heard. Like a kinder version of E. F. Benson’s Mapp v. Lucia novels, Gaskell’s ladies of Cranford have their jealousies and their vanities. They also have moments of quiet tragedy (a lost brother, a suitor rejected to please the family but never forgotten) and of high drama. Wille made me laugh aloud at the pompous trumpeting of the late Reverend Jenkins. When Miss Poe comes in out of breath, you could swear Wille was running up stairs while delivering her lines. Her performance is always fully engaged, at one with the story, which is itself a small gem.

B. B., AudioFile Magazine

To prime myself for Return to Cranford, the new Masterpiece Classic sequel to last year’s award-winning mini-series Cranford on PBS, I wanted to read Mrs Gaskell’s original novel that it was adapted from. Since I am always short of reading time, I chose instead to listen to an audio recording, my favorite pastime during my commute to work. After a bit of research on Cranford audio book recordings, I settled on the Naxos AudioBooks edition. From my experience with their recording of Jane Austen’s novels I knew the quality would be superior. I was not disappointed.

A witty and poignant portrait of small town life in an early Victorian-era English village, Cranford was first published in 1851 as a serial in the magazine Household Words edited by Charles Dickens. Inspired by author Elizabeth Gaskell’s (1810–1865) early life in Knutsford in Cheshire where she was raised by an aunt after her mother’s death and father’s subsequent re-marriage, the novel revolves around the narrator Miss Mary Smith and the Amazons of the community: the authoritative Miss Deborah Jenkyns and her kindhearted but timid younger sister Matty, the always well informed Miss Pole and the self-important aristocratic Mrs Jamieson. This gentle satire of village life does not supply much of a plot – but amazingly it does not matter. Gaskell has the incredible talent of making everyday occurrences and life events totally engrossing. Miss Matty’s conservative friends, the middle-aged spinsters and widows of Cranford, do not want their quaint life and traditions altered one bit. They like Cranford just as it has always been, therefore when the industrial revolution that swept through England in the 1840’s encroaches upon their Shangri-La, they lament and bustle about attempting to do everything in there power to stop the evil railroad’s arrival. Gaskell is a deft tactician at dry humor, not unlike her predecessor Jane Austen, and the comedy in Cranford balanced with a bit of tragedy is its most endearing quality.

This unabridged audio book recording is aptly read by Clare Wille whose sensitive and lyrical interpretation of Gaskell’s narrative enhanced my enjoyment of the story by two fold. Her rendering of the different characters with change of timbre and intonation was charmingly effective. My favorite character was of course the kindhearted Miss Matty. Even though she is of a certain age she has a child-like naïveté refreshingly seeing her friends and her world in simple terms. In opposition to our present day lives of cell-phones, blackberries and information overload, a trip to Cranford was a welcome respite. I recommend it highly.

2010 marks the 200th anniversary of author Elizabeth Cleghorn Gaskell nee Stevenson’s birth on 29 September 1810 in Chelsea, which was then on the outskirts of London. In celebration of her bi-centenary, Naxos Audiobooks will be releasing three additional recordings of her novels: North and South in February again read by Clare Wille, Wives and Daughters in March read by Patience Tomlinson and Cousin Phillis in May read by Joe Marsh. Happily, I will be enjoying many hours of great Gaskell listening this year.

Laurel Ann, Austenprose.com

Crime and Punishment (abridged) http://www.naxosaudiobooks.com/crime-and-punishment-abridged/ Crime and Punishment Classic Fiction abridged Single 300912 9789626340097 9789629545024 Fyodor Dostoyevsky
Michael Sheen
3 54 03:43:29 FIC004000 Deleted Available World

A century after it first appeared, Crime and Punishment remains one of the most gripping psychological thrillers. A poverty-striken young man, seeing his family making sacrifices for him, is faced with an opportunity to solve his financial problems with one simple but horrifying act: the murder of a pawnbroker. She is, he feels, just a parasite on society. But does the end justify the means? Rodion Romanovitch Raskolnikov makes his decision and then has to live with it. Dostoyevsky, in masterly fashion, contrasts the comedy and tragedy of life in St Petersburg with the anguish and turmoil of Raskolnikov’s inner life.

£13.99 $22.98 £9.00 €10.50 $15.00
Crime and Punishment (unabridged) http://www.naxosaudiobooks.com/crime-and-punishment-unabridged/ Crime and Punishment Classic Fiction unabridged Single 0140 9781843797494 9781843797500 Fyodor Dostoyevsky
Constantine Gregory
17 338 22:02:41 FIC004000 Available World

A century after it first appeared, Crime and Punishment remains one of the most gripping psychological thrillers. A poverty-striken young man, seeing his family making sacrifices for him, is faced with an opportunity to solve his financial problems with one simple but horrifying act: the murder of a pawnbroker. She is, he feels, just a parasite on society. But does the end justify the means? Rodion Romanovitch Raskolnikov makes his decision and then has to live with it. Dostoyevsky, in masterly fashion, contrasts the comedy and tragedy of life in St Petersburg with the anguish and turmoil of Raskolnikov’s inner life.

£55.00 $98.98 £36.00 €40.50 $64.00 Sep13

Almost a century and a half after it first appeared, this classic psychological crime novel is still widely read and studied. Set in St. Petersburg, the main character, Rodion Romanovitch Raskolnikov decides to murder a pawnbroker to whom he is indebted. He justifies his action because he sees her as just a parasite on society and tests his belief that murder is permissible in pursuit of a higher purpose. However, for him the result is months of turmoil and anguish. Narrator Constantine Gregory’s experience as an actor, dialogue coach, and ‘voice’ serves him well here. He has more than 20 years’ experience in all these capacities on international projects with many major film directors and stars from Danny Boyle to Terry Gilliam and with actors such as Anthony Hopkins, Nicole Kidman, George Clooney and many others. Constantine is excellent when voicing laughter and drunkenness and conveys the suffering of the characters poignantly. His interpretation is dramatic and very accessible in this dark and depressing novel. I found his voicing of Raskolnikov not distinctive enough. Still, this is an excellent reading for listeners new to this classic and for listeners familiar with the book, Gregory’s reading provides a unique experience.

Sue Rosensweig, Sound Commentary

Daniel Deronda (unabridged) http://www.naxosaudiobooks.com/daniel-deronda-unabridged/ Daniel Deronda Classic Fiction unabridged Single 0160 9781843797937 9781843797944 George Eliot
Juliet Stevenson
28 543 36:06:33 FIC004000 Available Available World

Following a chance meeting at a gambling hall in Europe, the separate lives of Daniel Deronda and Gwendolen Harleth are immediately intertwined. Daniel, an Englishman of uncertain parentage, becomes Gwendolen’s redeemer as she, trapped in a loveless marriage, finds herself drawn to his spiritual and altruistic nature. But Daniel’s path is set when he rescues a young Jewish woman from suicide… Daniel Deronda, George Eliot’s final novel, is a remarkable work, encompassing themes of religion, imperialism and gender within its broad scope.

£85.00 $152.98 £55.00 €63.00 $98.00 Oct15

Winner of AudioFile Earphones Award

It’s difficult to overstate the quality of this work. The precision with which narrator Juliet Stevenson brings each character to life is impressive. Each of them – the long-suffering Gwendolyn, the singular Mirah, even the altruistic Daniel himself – lives as a distinct personality in the telling of the story. Listening to Stevenson, one notes that the effectiveness of her presentation is due in large part to her understanding of George Eliot’s work. Far from being a story of star-crossed lovers, the novel explores the trappings of desire, consequences, and Victorian England’s reception of those of the Jewish faith. Stevenson’s thoughtful treatment of the audiobook’s emotion and commentary merits the 36 hours it spans, even for those already familiar with Eliot.

N.J.B, AudioFile

Darling Buds of May, The (unabridged) http://www.naxosaudiobooks.com/darling-buds-of-may-the-unabridged/ The Darling Buds of May Classic Fiction unabridged Single 0246 9781843799986 9781843799993 H.E. Bates
Philip Franks
4 65 04:21:42 FIC004000 Available Available World

When Cedric Charlton, an unsuspecting tax inspector, arrives at the door of the Pop Larkin farm, he soon forgets the purpose of his visit: the fun-loving Ma and Pop Larkin distract him at every turn with strawberries, cream, alcohol, and their attractive young daughter, Mariette. Well known through the popular TV series starring David Jason and Catherine Zeta-Jones, The Darling Buds of May is the quintessential feel-good country romp. It will have you falling wholeheartedly in love with the Larkin family and their carefree ways of living. So grab a bowl of ice cream, pull out a deck chair, and share in the ‘perficktion’ of country life.

£16.99 $28.98 £11.00 €12.50 $19.00 Jan16

Still smarting from coughing up tax due? Solace yourself by listening to Philip Franks’s nicely paced narration of H.E. Bates’s The Darling Buds of May. Pop Larkin has a sunny view of the world and an unabashedly eyes-tight-shut approach to taxation. Since his luscious daughter Mariette has a bun in her oven that Ma Larkin didn’t bake, when the naïve and sentimental Cedric Charlton arrives from the Inland Revenue to ask about profits, Pop quickly identifies him as an ideal husband. H.E. Bates was inspired to invent the Larkin family while on holiday in Kent, when a beaming man holding a wad of bank notes came into the village shop and purchased ice-creams and strawberries galore for his enormous family. Altogether ‘perfick’ escapist listening – and there are four sequels.

Christina Hardyment, The Times

Cedric Charlton arrives on the Larkin doorstep, determined to get Pop to complete his tax form. But the crafty junk dealer has other ideas. Distracting him with food, alcohol, and his beautiful daughter, Mariette, Pop tries to keep him from his mission.

Charlton wants to keep his focus, but finds he enjoys Mariette’s company too much to consider leaving any time soon. And the joys of the country become dearer and dearer to his heart. As his visit is extended, he experiences his first strawberry season, as well as a horse riding competition, and learns how to eat country-style. Will he choose to go back to his tax office, or will he stay with the Larkins for a while and see what country living has to offer him?

The Darling Buds of May is read by Philip Franks, who does a wonderful job with these voices. While listening, one can easily picture each of the unique characters, as well as the scenery around them. The story is told from multiple perspectives, and it reads more like a play than a novel, with only the props missing. This light-hearted and humorous story is best enjoyed while relaxing on a summer day. I really enjoyed this recording and hope Naxos AudioBooks plans to do more in this series.

Alice Berger, Bergers Book Reviews

Darwin – In a Nutshell (unabridged) http://www.naxosaudiobooks.com/darwin-in-a-nutshell-unabridged/ Darwin – In a Nutshell Biographies unabridged Single 194412 9789626349441 9789629548360 Peter Whitfield
Peter Whitfield
1 18 01:13:41 BIO007000 Deleted Available World

Naxos AudioBooks launches a new 1 CD introductory series In a Nutshell with Darwin, marking the 200th anniversary of the birth of the English naturalist. Peter Whitfield explains how Darwin came to his revolutionary views following his voyage on the Beagle – and his initial reluctance to publish his findings.

£8.99 $14.98 £6.00 €6.50 $10.00 Feb09

Peter Whitfield’s In a Nutshell: Darwin is exactly what it claims to be. In a little over an hour, Whitfield presents a biography of Charles Darwin and an overview of his life’s work. The “nutshell” part of the title may suggest that the production rushes through the facts, but that’s not the case. Whitfield has a pleasant voice, and the prose is smooth and interesting. The audio is a leisurely experience that can be likened to taking a walk while discussing Darwin and his theory of evolution. This is an hour well spent; listeners will learn much, after which they can decide whether or not to delve into the subject in more detail. Winner of AudioFile Earphones Award

S.D.D., AudioFile

A useful instant bicentenary guide, which gives you exactly what it says on the tin: family history, biography, succinct synopsis of what natural selection really means and what effect it had on the Victorian establishment. At the 1860 Oxford debate, Bishop Wilberforce asked Thomas Huxley, “Darwin”s bulldog”, if he was descended from apes on his father’s or his mother’s side. Vicious stuff, and it’s still raging.

Sue Arnold, The Guardian

I never knew that for 20 years Darwin suffered from a mysterious and debilitating condition that caused heart palpitations, nausea and stomach cramps. Was it chagas disease, picked up from South American beetles during his five-year Beagle voyage? Or purely psychosomatic, due to stress and dread of the negative reception his book would receive? Even his wife Emma was giving him stick about it. So he kept his head down and confined his theories to finches, turtles and moles, leaving humans out of the picture until his next bestseller, The Descent of Man, in 1871.

Author, poet, and historian Whitfield (Landmarks in Western Science) celebrates the 200th anniversary of Charles Darwin’s birth with this marvelous “nutshell” summary of the English naturalist’s life and his important contributions to science, reminding listeners of Darwin’s continued impact. The author himself narrates, his distinctly British reading conveying Darwin’s own British culture and his well-paced delivery helping to sustain interest. This title, one of many future “nutshell” works from this publisher to cover various other fields of study in a similarly cogent, succinct manner, serves as a useful introduction to Darwin’s life and work and nicely bookends the more comprehensive approach to audio learning offered by The Teaching Company and Recorded Books’ “Modern Scholar” series. Highly recommended.

Dale Farris, Groves

In a nutshell, this ‘nutshell’ audio production is great. Everyone can benefit from a Cliff Notes style review of what they studied in school. Whitfield provides a clear, straight-forward account of Charles Darwin and his theory of evolution. He concentrates on Darwin as a personality. Raised in an academic, upper-class, family, Darwin had many advantages as a young man and he didn’t squander them. Sober and reflective, he was also sensitive to the effect his ideas would have on the conventionally faithful, including his wife. Uninterested in being a firebrand, after his famous Galapagos Island trip, he happily returned to a quiet life at his country home where he refined his thoughts and theories. Still, they did rock the world and continue to be a source of controversy. They are also largely immutable. Whitfield narrates with warmth and precision.

Nancy Chaplin, SoundCommentary.com

David Copperfield (abridged) http://www.naxosaudiobooks.com/david-copperfield-abridged/ David Copperfield Classic Fiction abridged Single 415112 9789626341513 9789629544898 Charles Dickens
Anton Lesser
4 77 05:16:32 FIC004000 Available World

This much-loved novel was, by Dickens’s own admission, his ‘favourite child’. It is easy to see why, with its colourful characters ranging from the repulsive Uriah Heep to the endlessly improvident Micawbers, and dominated throughout by the moving story of David’s search for a family and a home…

£16.99 $28.98 £11.00 €12.50 $19.00
David Copperfield (unabridged) http://www.naxosaudiobooks.com/david-copperfield-unabridged/ David Copperfield Classic Fiction unabridged Single 0078 9781843795698 9781843795704 Charles Dickens
Nicholas Boulton
28 603 36:10:55 FIC004000 Available World

Recognised as one of the greatest works of English fiction, David Copperfield tells the story of a young man, from his painful childhood, through chance, tragedy and adventure, to self-knowledge and happiness. It includes some of Dickens’s most vividly memorable characters. The cruelly saturnine Mr Murdstone; the redoubtable Betsey Trotwood; the charismatic Steerforth; the ever-so-’umble Uriah Heep; the magnificently spendthrift Mr Wilkins Micawber; the spiteful Miss Dartle; the faithful Traddles; and scores more – all are part of a story that is by turns enchanting, enthralling, comic and moving.

£85.00 $152.98 £55.00 €63.00 $98.00 Feb12

When Dickens’s last unfinished book, The Mystery of Edwin Drood, comes out in May, Naxos will have recorded all of his novels unabridged, totalling 440½ hours of incomparable entertainment by the world’s greatest storyteller. Without the tributes and mass coverage of his bicentenary, I might have forgotten just how great a writer he is, hence my 2012 mission to become reacquainted with Dombey, Rudge, Nickleby, Chuzzlewit, Pickwick – the whole gang. David Copperfield was my introduction to Dickens and, in a way, to audio. Sister Agnes de Sales reading it aloud after supper in the convent as we darned our socks may not have been as affecting as Nicholas Bolton’s Mr Peggotty a-searching through the whole wide world for to bring back Little Em’ly, his darling niece, but it regularly reduced us to tears. Thus encouraged we moved on to Great Expectations, Hard Times et al. for ourselves, but that was a long time ago. If you’ve lost the Dickens habit, be patient. It takes a little while to adjust to his unhurried pace, the leviathan sentences, the digressions, the repetitions. ‘Oh my lungs and liver no! Oh my eyes and whiskers, no! Oh my legs and…’ etc, roars the terrifying second-hand clothes dealer in Chatham when 10-year-old Davey (penniless, hungry and running away from a wretched life in London to look for his only living relative in Dover) tentatively suggests that 18 pence is a fair price for his jacket. Don’t give it to him, for God’s sake, you want to scream, don’t trust him, he’s a rogue – but of course he does and sits outside on the doorstep all day until he gets the money. Well, some of it. Bullied, beaten, cheated, put upon – will our poor, trusting, irritatingly innocent hero never be free of the Steerforths, the Heeps, the waiters who snaffle his dinner, the carriers who run off with his goods? Of course he will, because there are as many decent, heartwarming Mr Dicks and Dr Strongs, especially in David Copperfield, as there are crooks. Naxos does cheaper abridged versions of all 17 books, but they’re just snacks. You need a proper dinner.

Sue Arnold, the Guardian

Winner of AudioFile Earphones Award

Probably any well-trained actor can make a good thing of Uriah Heep. Still, Nicholas Boulton’s Heep is miraculously visual. You’ll remember that in addition to being poisonously “’umble,” Heep writhes a good deal. Boulton somehow makes his voice sinuously whiney, such that you actually see Heep coiling one horrible leg around the other while he smarms somebody. Still, it was Boulton’s Betsy Trotwood that completely undid me. At her first cry of strangled outrage,”Janet! Donkeys!” I laughed out loud in the garden and startled the dog. If you haven’t read Copperfield since school, you’ll be surprised. The sentimentality seems worse than ever, but Dickens’s eccentrics are even more shrewdly conceived than you remember. Pair that with this glorious performance, and you’ve got audio heaven.

AudioFile Magazine

Probably any well-trained actor can make a good thing of Uriah Heep. Still, Nicholas Boulton’s Heep is miraculously visual. You’ll remember that in addition to being poisonously ‘umble’, Heep writhes a good deal. Boulton somehow makes his voice sinuously whiney, such that you actually see Heep coiling one horrible leg around the other while he smarms somebody. Still, it was Boulton’s Betsy Trotwood who completely undid me. At her first cry of strangled outrage, ‘Janet! Donkeys!’ I laughed out loud in the garden and startled the dog. If you haven’t read Copperfield since school, you’ll be surprised. The sentimentality seems worse than ever, but Dickens’s eccentrics are even more shrewdly conceived than you remember. Pair that with this glorious performance, and you’ve got audio heaven.

B.G., AudioFile

De Profundis (unabridged) http://www.naxosaudiobooks.com/de-profundis-unabridged/ De Profundis With an Introduction Written and Read by Merlin Holland Classic Fiction unabridged Single 0210 9781843799139 9781843799146 Oscar Wilde
Simon Russell Beale
5 75 04:54:56 FIC004000 Available Available Available World

Written during his time in Reading Gaol, De Profundis is Oscar Wilde’s moving letter to Lord Alfred Douglas, whose relationship with Wilde led to the poet’s imprisonment. Here Wilde repudiates Lord Alfred and reflects on his ordeal, acknowledging how the depths of his sorrow have helped liberate him towards a fuller, freer wisdom. Brimming with beautiful passages, De Profundis is a profound and inspiring treatise on the meaning of suffering.

£19.99 $34.98 £13.00 €14.50 $23.00 Oct15

De Profundis (From the Depths) is perhaps the least read of Wilde’s major works, and the most heartbreakingly sincere. Merlin Holland, Wilde’s grandson, delivers his own moving introduction, and Simon Beale narrates the book-length letter as though he were talking about his own life. The tone is sometimes bitter but always striving toward love as Wilde tries to explain his situation: He wrote the work from Reading Gaol to Lord Alfred Douglas, the lover who bore so much responsibility for the writer’s imprisonment for homosexuality. Beale manages the difficult emotional transitions as Wilde moves from castigating Douglas to discussing suffering as the path to Christian love to expressing his hope of meeting Douglas again after his release. Beale never lets the leaps seem strained or unnatural. This is a reading that the work deserves.

Winner of AudioFile Earphones Award.

D.M.H., AudioFile

Dead Souls (abridged) http://www.naxosaudiobooks.com/dead-souls-abridged/ Dead Souls Classic Fiction abridged Single 428412 9789626342848 9789629545345 Nicolai Gogol
Gordon Griffin
4 73 05:01:42 FIC004000 Available World

Gogol’s great Russian classic is the Pickwick Papers of Russian Literature. It takes a sharp but humorous look at life in all its strata, but especially the devious complexities in the country with its landowners and serfs. We are introduced to Chichikov, a businessman who, in order to trick the tax authorities, buys up dead ‘souls’ or serfs whose names still appear on the government census. Despite being a dealer in phantom crimes and paper ghosts, he is the most beguiling of Gogol’s characters. Gogol’s obsession with attempting to display ‘the untold riches of the Russian soul’ eventually led him to madness, religious mania and death. Dismissed by him as merely ‘a pale introduction to the great epic poem which is taking shape in my mind’, Dead Souls is the culmination of Gogol’s genius.

£16.99 $28.98 £11.00 €12.50 $19.00
Death of a Salesman (abridged) http://www.naxosaudiobooks.com/death-of-a-salesman-abridged/ Death of a Salesman Drama abridged Single 199712 9789626349977 9789629548933 Arthur Miller
Thomas Mitchell
Arthur Kennedy
Elia Kazan
2 21 01:26:18 DRA001000 Available Deleted Available World excl. USA and Canada

Arthur Miller’s most famous play, Death of a Salesman, has become a key text in Western literature. This unusually powerful recording, made for radio in 1953, was directed by Elia Kazan who premiered the play. It features Thomas Mitchell and Arthur Kennedy as father and son. Willy, a travelling salesman, based in New York, relentlessly chases material success. As the disappointing nature of his reality crowds in upon him, Willy and his family suffer the tragic cost of his delusions of greatness. A domestic tragedy, a cynical indictment of materialism and the American Dream, and a profoundly moving story of one man’s struggle to maintain his dignity in the face of continual adversity – Miller’s play is essential listening.

£10.99 $17.98 £7.00 €8.00 $12.00 Dec09 Elia Kazan

The 1953 radio production of Arthur Miller’s masterpiece, Death of a Salesman, with Thomas Mitchell and Arthur Kennedy, gets the Broadway treatment by Elia Kazan (who premiered the play). It was a sensation to audiences in 1949 and continues to move with its mix of cynical satire, realism and pathos.

Robert Giddings, Tribune Magazine

Death of Ivan Ilyich, The (unabridged) http://www.naxosaudiobooks.com/death-of-ivan-ilyich-the-unabridged/ The Death of Ivan Ilyich Classic Fiction unabridged Single 385112 9789626348512 9789629545703 Leo Tolstoy
Oliver Ford Davies
3 42 02:51:12 FIC004000 Available World

Drawing on the experience of his own struggle to find enlightenment and a deeper spiritual understanding of life, Tolstoy in The Death of Ivan Ilyich takes us on the final journey towards death with Ivan Ilyich, who, falling victim to an incurable illness, ponders on his own life – its shallowness and lack of compassion, wondering what is the meaning of it all. At times sombre, at times satirical, Tolstoy’s novel raises questions about the way we live and how we should strive even at the end to seek final redemption. It is a powerful masterpiece of psychological exploration, and has influenced writers as diverse as Hemingway and Nabokov.

£13.99 $22.98 £9.00 €10.50 $15.00 Aylmer and Louise Maude

Tolstoy wrote his short novel The Death of Ivan Ilyich after a dark night of the soul that led him to question his entire life, and eventually to find comfort in Christianity and peasant simplicities. The book is a coded version of his suffering and makes tough, but ultimately deeply rewarding listening. Oliver Ford Davies, the philosopher and actor fresh from a memorably gruff rendering of Diogenes Laertius for the Naxos audiobook Ancient Greek Philosophy, makes the dying Ilyich touchingly human.

Christina Hardyment, The Times

Painfully and slowly, Judge Ivan Ilyich is dying and, as he does so, he comes to recognise the truth about his impeccable life. For all his propriety and success, it has been meaningless and empty. Ilyich loathes his wife and realises his ‘concerned’ colleagues are merely waiting to step into his shoes. And he recognises the selfless devotion with which he is cared for by the peasant boy Gerasim as the only real truth in the whole of his own shallow life. Only at the end, when Ilyich breaks through the ‘black sack’ of death, is he absolved. Ford Davies’s leisurely narration and the passages of Russian music complement Tolstoy’s serious theme and his presentation of Ilyich’s anguished emotions is masterly.

Rachel Redford, The Observer

Enough of these homegrown comedies of manners. There aren’t many jokes in this relentless novella about a cold, calculating, materialistic minor member of the St Petersburg judiciary, whose only ambition is to keep up with the Ivanovs. Until, that is, he falls ill with a mysterious terminal disease that opens his eyes to the shallowness of his friends, his family and, most of all, himself. Tolstoy’s prose is majestic, his pace measured, his characters unflinchingly true to life, his message bleak. If you’ve never read any Tolstoy, best not start with this one – you might top yourself before you get round to Anna Karenina.

Sue Arnold, The Guardian, 16 February 2008

In the lovely, low tones of a fine storyteller, Oliver Fox Davies guides us through the stages of Tolstoy’s mini masterpiece. Davies’s skill with inflection, even within words, heightens the social satire of the early section and shifts with Ilyich’s slide into ever increasing pain and irritability. With the terror and anguish of approaching death, his voice grows convincingly hoarse. Until his illness, Ivan Ilyich had never reflected on his life. But he slowly comes to see his life as ‘a terrible, huge deception which had hidden life and death.’ As he lays dying, his lifelong friends think of the promotions that may come their way, and his wife ‘began to wish he would die, but she didn’t want him to die because then his salary would cease.’ He has always avoided human connection, but through the tender ministrations of a peasant he comes to recognize the ‘mesh of falsity’ in which he’s lived. Written more than a century ago, Tolstoy’s work still retains the power of a contemporary novel.

Publisher’s Weekly, January 2008

Tolstoy’s novella offers a penetrating examination of the Christian faith and the nature of life and death. Listeners will also be sure to delight in Tolstoy’s sharp and sometimes satirical eye for the very modern-sounding details of the life of a nineteenth-century Russian bureaucrat. With masterful ease, a warm tone, and conversational pacing, British actor Oliver Davies captures Ivan Ilyich’s preoccupation with interior decorating and debt and his avoidance of family weddings and home remedies. Then the shadow of death wipes away all trivialities and pretence. This work’s prose and performance are so vivid, so human, and so listenable that there’s no doubt why Tolstoy stands as one of the giants of world literature.

B. P., AudioFile Magazine

Decameron, Selections from The (abridged) http://www.naxosaudiobooks.com/decameron-selections-from-the-abridged/ Selections from The Decameron Classic Fiction abridged Single 438012 9789626343807 9789629544614 Boccaccio
Stephen Thorne
Nickie Rainsford
Alison Pettitt
Teresa Gallagher
Polly Hayes
Siri O’Neal
Jonathan Keeble
Daniel Philpott
James Goode
4 68 04:41:13 FIC004000 Available Deleted Available World

Here are sixteen tales from one of the great works of the Middle Ages. Ten young people have fled for a while the terrible effects of the Black Death in Florence and, in an idyllic setting, tell a series of brilliant stories, by turns humorous, bawdy, tragic and provocative. This celebration of physical and sexual vitality is Boccaccio’s answer to the sublime other-worldliness of Dante’s Divine Comedy

£16.99 $28.98 £11.00 €12.50 $19.00 Nicolas Soames Sarah Butcher Perry Keenlyside
Decline & Fall of the Roman Empire – Part 1, The (abridged) http://www.naxosaudiobooks.com/decline-and-fall-of-the-roman-empire-part-1-the-abridged/ The Decline & Fall of the Roman Empire – Part 1 History abridged Single 607112 9789626340714 9789629547141 Edward Gibbon
Philip Madoc
6 115 07:54:30 HIS002020 Available Available Available World

Gibbon’s The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire is one of the greatest texts in the English language. In magisterial prose, Gibbon charts the gradual collapse of the Roman rule from Augustus (23 B.C. – A.D. 14) to the first of the Barbarian kings, Odoacer (A.D. 476 – A.D. 490). It is a remarkable account, with the extravagant corruption and depravity of emperors such as Commodus, Caracalla and Elagabalus contrasted by the towering work of Constantine, Julian and other remarkable men. It remains the standard work of scholarship on the subject two hundred years after it was written; yet equally important, in its sheer accessibility, it is an unforgettable story.

£24.99 $41.98 £16.00 €18.50 $28.00

No need to ask what I did this summer: Edward Gibbon is not an author to be taken lightly or hastily, which is probably why Naxos got Philip Madoc to read it. His voice has that orotund, authoritative quality (I dare say Moses had it too) that makes you stop whatever you are doing to listen.

It took Gibbon twenty years to complete his famous history; the three volumes were published between 1776 and 1788. This abridgement splits the epic neatly in half, the western empire ruled from Rome and Milan in Part I and the eastern empire, from Constantinople, in Part II. Gibbon’s style, as you would expect of a product of the Enlightenment, is cool, lucid, classical and rhythmic. I urge you to savour the sweeping magnanimity of his opening sentence – ‘In the second century of the Christian era the empire of Rome comprehended the fairest part of the earth and the most civilised portion of mankind’ – because from here on it’s pretty much downhill all the way to May 29 1453, when the Ottomans finally sacked Constantinople.

Ask most people what they know of the Roman empire and chances are they’ll tell you about gladiators, roads, baths, Russell Crowe and a handful of colourful emperors all pre-290 AD whom they have seen fleshed out by the RSC or BBC drama department. Gibbon deals with the post-Augustan empire, those twelve turbulent centuries when its future was constantly under threat from invading Huns, Goths, Persians, Parthians, Mongols and Turks. As fierce as the enemy without was the enemy within. ‘It is almost superfluous to enumerate the unworthy successors of Augustus. Their unparalleled vices and the splendid theatre on which they were acted have saved them from oblivion. The dark, unrelenting Tiberius, the furious Caligula, the feeble Claudius, the profligate and cruel Nero, the beastly Vitellius and the timid, inhuman Domitian are condemned to everlasting infamy.’

Other factors besides barbarians and loose living conspired against the purple: the rise of Christianity and Islam; the increasing power of the Praetorian Guard, who dispensed with emperors as carelessly as swatting flies; the insidious seepage of foreigners into the legions, diluting their fighting spirit. There are awesome descriptions of cities being sacked, palaces plundered, matrons and virgins ‘subjected to injuries more terrible than death’. Virgins had a rough ride in ancient Rome. There are also delicate vignettes of women like Zenobia, Queen of Palmyra, who had a dark complexion and eyes that sparkled with an uncommon fire. ‘When speaking of a lady these trifles become important,’ says Gibbon, whose jokes are strictly limited to maybe one every 300 years. Still, you have to admire a man who can guide you with such elegant dexterity through a millennium fraught with seismic power shifts, where the sheer weight of numbers leaves you reeling: 300,000 Christians hiking through Europe to Jerusalem on the first crusade, 700,000 Mongol horsemen galloping across Asia behind Genghis Khan. Even abridged, Gibbon is no picnic, but he is definitely a meal worth sitting down to. The intermittent extracts from Schumann’s sonorous ‘Julius Caesar’ overture aren’t exactly citron frappé but they help to refresh your palate between courses.

Sue Arnold, The Guardian

Decline & Fall of the Roman Empire – Part 2, The (abridged) http://www.naxosaudiobooks.com/decline-and-fall-of-the-roman-empire-part-2-the-abridged/ The Decline & Fall of the Roman Empire – Part 2 History abridged Single 612212 9789626341223 9789629547158 Edward Gibbon
Philip Madoc
6 104 07:10:30 HIS002020 Available Deleted Available World

Edward Gibbon’s Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire occupies an immortal place in the pantheon of historical masterpieces. This six-disc recording covers the final three volumes of Gibbon’s work, tracing ten centuries in the life of the eastern half of the empire, whose capital city was Constantinople. Among the many figures who stride across Gibbon’s stage here are the emperor Justinian I, a noble statesman and successful warrior, brought low by his lascivious wife, the former prostitute Theodora; the murdering Basil I, a peasant who nonetheless proved himself a worthy figure upon which to drape the purple; and the final emperor of all, Constantine XI, who died on the battlements of Constantinople in 1453, valiantly fighting a losing battle to prevent the Turks from gaining a city they had craved for centuries. It is still the work that sets the standard for all histories of the period.

£24.99 $41.98 £16.00 €18.50 $28.00
Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, Volume I, The (unabridged) http://www.naxosaudiobooks.com/decline-and-fall-of-the-roman-empire-volume-i-the-unabridged/ The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, Volume I History unabridged Single 0125 9781843797159 9781843797210 Edward Gibbon
David Timson
18 347 22:40:30 HIS002020 Available Available World

The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire has always maintained its initial appeal to both the general public and scholars alike. Its sheer scale is daunting, encompassing over a millennium of history, covering not merely the Western Empire from the days of the early emperors to its extinction in AD 476, but also the Eastern Empire, which lasted for another thousand years until the Turks vanquished it in 1453. But Gibbon’s style, part historical fact and part literature, is enticing, and the sheer honesty of the man, who endeavours to be scrupulously impartial in his presentation, endears him to the reader. In this recording, David Timson incorporates the most salient of Gibbon’s footnotes. In Volume I (chapters IXV), Gibbon opens by setting the scene with the Empire as it stood in the time of Augustus (d. AD 14) before praising the time of the Antonines (AD 98–180). The death of Marcus Aurelius and the accession of Commodus and his successors ushers in turbulent and dangerous times which were only occasionally marked by a wise and temperate ruler. The volume ends in AD 324, with Constantine the Great becoming undisputed Roman emperor, uniting both the East and Western Empires.

£60.00 $107.98 £39.00 €44.00 $70.00 Jan14

This first instalment in Naxos’s ambitious audio edition of Gibbon’s classic history of the Roman Empire boasts a standout performance from veteran narrator Timson. Beginning in 14 C.E. during the time of Augustus, this volume covers everything up to 324 C.E. when Constantine the Great becomes emperor of Rome. While reading a history of this size and scope would likely prove an immense challenge to any narrator, Timson handles his duties with great aplomb. His narration is crisp, clear, and commanding. His tone is both intellectual and full of authority, and he modifies his pacing and annunciation to highlight points of particular importance or interest. When reading footnotes to the text, Timson slightly alters his tone to signal to readers the transition to and from these ancillary sections. This masterful performance of a classic work is a must listen for anyone who loves history.

Publishers Weekly

Gibbon’s monumental history of the later Roman Empire and its fall is given a spirited treatment by David Timson, who narrates with expressiveness, brisk pacing, and intonation and modulation sensitive to the sense of the text. He fully uses the rare opportunities for voice characterisation or acting – in the reading of letters, for instance – but without overdoing, keeping the expression appropriate for a serious history. His very British accent helps provide a clarity much needed in the coils of Gibbon’s sometimes complex syntax. At times, however, he’s a shade too quick for dense prose laden with archaic usages, ancient place names, and many obscure personages, and the listener can get lost. But overall, he provides a fine reading of this massive and difficult work.

W. M., AudioFile

Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, Volume II, The (unabridged) http://www.naxosaudiobooks.com/decline-and-fall-of-the-roman-empire-volume-ii-the-unabridged/ The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, Volume II History unabridged Single 0126 9781843797166 9781843797227 Edward Gibbon
David Timson
18 345 22:32:20 HIS002020 Available World

The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire has always maintained its initial appeal to both the general public and scholars alike. Its sheer scale is daunting, encompassing over a millennium of history, covering not merely the Western Empire from the days of the early emperors to its extinction in AD 476, but also the Eastern Empire, which lasted for another thousand years until the Turks vanquished it in 1453. But Gibbon’s style, part historical fact and part literature, is enticing, and the sheer honesty of the man, who endeavours to be scrupulously impartial in his presentation, endears him to the reader. In this recording, David Timson incorporates the most salient of Gibbon’s footnotes. In Volume II (Chapters XVI–XXVI), Gibbon continues his powerful history of the Empire, shining the spotlight on some of the best-known figures and their impact on the growing influence of Christianity, including Nero and, three centuries later, Constantine, whose establishment of Constantinople resulted in the division of the Empire into East and West. Gibbon also presents a sympathetic portrait of Julian, whose wisdom, courage and clarity bore the hallmarks of the great emperor that Rome needed.

£60.00 $107.98 £39.00 €44.00 $70.00 Mar14

This version includes Gibbon’s lengthy (and often essential) footnotes, inserted into the body of the text (with the words ‘footnote’ and ‘end footnote’ before and after). I believe the result is the best audiobook version of this classic. The reader is excellent: always energetic, while bringing the required weight, wit, and occasional sarcasm into his delivery.

Customer review, Audible

Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, Volume III, The (unabridged) http://www.naxosaudiobooks.com/decline-and-fall-of-the-roman-empire-volume-iii-the-unabridged/ The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, Volume III History unabridged Single 0127 9781843797173 9781843797234 Edward Gibbon
David Timson
16 322 21:04:44 HIS002020 Available World

The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire has always maintained its initial appeal to both the general public and scholars alike. Its sheer scale is daunting, encompassing over a millennium of history, covering not merely the Western Empire from the days of the early emperors to its extinction in AD 476, but also the Eastern Empire, which lasted for another thousand years until the Turks vanquished it in 1453. But Gibbon’s style, part historical fact and part literature, is enticing, and the sheer honesty of the man, who endeavours to be scrupulously impartial in his presentation, endears him to the reader. In this recording, David Timson incorporates the most salient of Gibbon’s footnotes. In Volume III (chapters XXVII–XXXVI), Gibbon charts the fall of the Western Empire. Starting with the reign of Emperor Gratian (d. AD 383), his survey moves to political and religious issues in the East and West before covering the increasing military power of the Barbarians. Occasionally a great Roman general emerges to stem the tide, but internecine power struggles see the Western Empire weakened, until Gaul, Britain, Spain and other territories find themselves, as the 5th century advances, unable to rely on Rome for defence.

£55.00 $98.98 £36.00 €40.50 $64.00 May14
Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, Volume IV, The (unabridged) http://www.naxosaudiobooks.com/decline-and-fall-of-the-roman-empire-volume-iv-the-unabridged/ The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, Volume IV History unabridged Single 0128 9781843797180 9781843797241 Edward Gibbon
David Timson
19 374 24:49:00 HIS002020 Available World

The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire has always maintained its initial appeal to both the general public and scholars alike. Its sheer scale is daunting, encompassing over a millennium of history, covering not merely the Western Empire from the days of the early emperors to its extinction in AD 476, but also the Eastern Empire, which lasted for another thousand years until the Turks vanquished it in 1453. But Gibbon’s style, part historical fact and part literature, is enticing, and the sheer honesty of the man, who endeavours to be scrupulously impartial in his presentation, endears him to the reader. In this recording, David Timson incorporates the most salient of Gibbon’s footnotes. In Volume IV (Chapters XXXVII–XLVI), Gibbon explores the state of the Roman provinces after the dissolution of the Western Empire, and examines the reasons for its fall − not excluding its ‘immoderate greatness’. He then moves to the Empire in the East and its rule under Justinian (527−565), whose formidable leadership saw the re-fortification of Constantinople and the frontiers of the Eastern Empire. However, dangerous times remain ahead as the Persians make attempts to siege Constantinople. Gibbon ends with the state of the Eastern Empire in the sixth century and its weaknesses after a long war.

£60.00 $107.98 £39.00 €44.00 $70.00 Jul14
Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, Volume V, The (unabridged) http://www.naxosaudiobooks.com/decline-and-fall-of-the-roman-empire-volume-v-the-unabridged/ The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, Volume V History unabridged Single 0129 9781843797197 9781843797258 Edward Gibbon
David Timson
21 379 27:21:12 HIS002020 Available World

The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire has always maintained its initial appeal to both the general public and scholars alike. Its sheer scale is daunting, encompassing over a millennium of history, covering not merely the Western Empire from the days of the early emperors to its extinction in AD 476, but also the Eastern Empire, which lasted for another thousand years until the Turks vanquished it in 1453. But Gibbon’s style, part historical fact and part literature, is enticing, and the sheer honesty of the man, who endeavours to be scrupulously impartial in his presentation, endears him to the reader. In this recording, David Timson incorporates the most salient of Gibbon’s footnotes. In Volume V (Chapters XLVII−LVI), Gibbon further explores the influence of Christianity on the fall of the Roman Empire. He looks at the growth of the worship of Christian images and the resulting persecution by Leo III, emperor of the East. The conflict is intensified as a split develops between the Eastern and Western churches, a weakness that encourages attacks from Lombardy. Gibbon then moves to the foundation of the Moslem religion and the attempts of the Arabs to besiege Constantinople.

£65.00 $115.98 £42.00 €48.00 $75.00 Sep14
Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, Volume VI, The (unabridged) http://www.naxosaudiobooks.com/decline-and-fall-of-the-roman-empire-volume-vi-the-unabridged/ The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, Volume VI History unabridged Single 0130 9781843797203 9781843797265 Edward Gibbon
David Timson
22 435 28:29:00 HIS002020 Available World

The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire has always maintained its initial appeal to both the general public and scholars alike. Its sheer scale is daunting, encompassing over a millennium of history, covering not merely the Western Empire from the days of the early emperors to its extinction in AD 476, but also the Eastern Empire, which lasted for another thousand years until the Turks vanquished it in 1453. But Gibbon’s style, part historical fact and part literature, is enticing, and the sheer honesty of the man, who endeavours to be scrupulously impartial in his presentation, endears him to the reader. In this recording, David Timson incorporates the most salient of Gibbon’s footnotes. In Volume VI (Chapters LVII−LXXI), Gibbon ends his masterful history by charting the rise of the Turkish nation and the birth of the Ottoman Empire, which becomes an unstoppable force as it eventually captures the remains of the Eastern Empire. Weakened under the continuing schism of the Greek and Latin Christians, the strategically important site of Constantinople becomes an easy target for Sultan Mohammed II − much to the consternation and apathy of the West.

£70.00 $128.98 £46.00 €51.55 $84.00 Oct14
Descartes – An Introduction (selections) http://www.naxosaudiobooks.com/descartes-an-introduction-selections/ Descartes – An Introduction Philosophy selections Single 489812 9789626348987 9789629548186 Ross Burman
Jonathan Oliver
4 72 05:13:03 PHI000000 Available Deleted Available World

René Descartes is one of the formative figures in Western philosophy, logic and mathematics. His famous statement: ‘I think, therefore I am’, has become perhaps the most famous phrase in all of philosophy. Descartes’s ground-breaking writings attempted to establish unshakeable foundations of knowledge, and set a trend for subsequent Western philosophy, which has endlessly critiqued and expanded upon his ideas.

£16.99 $28.98 £11.00 €12.50 $19.00 Dec09

Cogito ergo sum notwithstanding, what else do you know about the 17th-century Frenchman regarded as the father of modern philosophy? The good thing about Naxos’s series of introductions to philosophers, which includes Plato, Aristotle and Nietzsche, is the way it gently guides you through what could be some pretty daunting theories of belief or, in Descartes’ case, doubt. Every excerpt from the original text is preceded by a brief explanation. Here, for example, is the intro to his Principles of Philosophy published in Latin in 1644: ‘Principles is divided into four parts covering metaphysics, physics, cosmology and geology, each with a number of titled paragraphs. In the preface Descartes describes his view of human knowledge using a tree as a metaphor. The branches are the applied sciences such as medicine, psychology, mechanics and even ethics. The trunk of physics supports these, and all are nourished by metaphysics or philosophy at the root.’ René Descartes (1596-1650) was Renaissance man epitomised – a brilliant polymath interested in so many different disciplines (the cartesian coordinates system is still used in maths) that, to give himself time and space to think, he abandoned Paris and spent nine years travelling, occasionally as a mercenary, throughout Europe. His lifelong habit of rising late began as a child, when he was sent away to a Jesuit school and managed to convince his teachers that his poor health required him to stay in bed for most of the morning. 50 years on he accepted a position at the Swedish court to teach philosophy to Queen Christina whose only free time, it turned out, was at 5am. Unused to chilly dawns, Descartes caught pneumonia and died, aged 53.

Sue Arnold, The Guardian

Diary of a Nobody, The (unabridged) http://www.naxosaudiobooks.com/diary-of-a-nobody-the-unabridged/ The Diary of a Nobody Classic Fiction unabridged Single 440312 9789626344033 9789629545369 George and Weedon Grossmith
Martin Jarvis
4 71 04:52:35 HUM000000 Available World

This delightful Victorian comic diary is a classic of English Humour which has never been out of print since its first publication in 1892. City clerk Charles Pooter asks: ‘Why should I not publish my diary… because I do not happen to be a “somebody”?’ He proceeds to catalogue all the social clangers he makes unwittingly as he bumbles his way through life, yet a sympathy develops for Pooter in the face of it all. The Diary of a Nobody is an ideal text for the talents of Martin Jarvis.

£16.99 $28.98 £11.00 €12.50 $19.00
Diary of Samuel Pepys, Selections from The (abridged) http://www.naxosaudiobooks.com/diary-of-samuel-pepys-selections-from-the-abridged/ Selections from The Diary of Samuel Pepys History abridged Single 428812 9789626342886 9789629547318 Samuel Pepys
Michael Maloney
4 57 03:55:35 HIS015000 Available Available World

The Diary of Samuel Pepys is perhaps the most well known collection of reminiscences. He maintained it, in secrecy, from 1660, the year of the Restoration, until 1669 when fear of blindness prevented his daily labours. Though it covers less than a decade, it offers a lively and detailed insight into a period and a personality – for he noted events in both public and private life. Famous passages include descriptions of The Plague and the Great Fire of London. In this presentation, key sections are set in historical context.

£16.99 $28.98 £11.00 €12.50 $19.00
Diary of Samuel Pepys, Volume I: 1660-1663, The (unabridged) http://www.naxosaudiobooks.com/diary-of-samuel-pepys-volume-i-1660-1663-the-unabridged/ The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Volume I: 1660-1663 History unabridged Single 0174 9781843798392 9781843798408 Samuel Pepys
Leighton Pugh
34 654 42:44:23 HIS015000 Available Available Available World

The Diary of Samuel Pepys is one of the most entertaining documents in English history. Written between 1660 and 1669, as Pepys was establishing himself as a key administrator in the Navy Office, it is an intimate portrait of life in 17th-century England, covering his professional and personal activities, including, famously, his love of music, theatre, food, wine and his peccadilloes. This Naxos AudioBooks production is the world premiere recording of the diary in its entirety. It has been divided into three volumes. Volume I covers the opening years of the Restoration and introduces us to many of the key characters − family, government and royalty. Pepys was there when Charles II returned to England, and he lived through those opening years of the Stuart monarchy, with its revenge on the regicides. He also recorded the reopening of theatres, and how England relaxed from years of the Puritan way of life.

£100.00 $162.98 £66.00 €71.28 $117.33 Jan15

Naxos AudioBooks has been ‘more of a cause than a business’ says its imaginative and discerning co-creator Nicolas Soames, who is now handing over the helm after 20 years, having published 800 classical titles amounting to more than 5,000 hours of listening. His swansong is a complete and unexpurgated recording in 100 CDs of the diary of Samuel Pepys.

The first instalment is published this month. In it, the 27-year-old Pepys witnesses the collapse of the post-Cromwell republic, and the restoration of Charles II; he also gives us an enthralling and addictive kaleidoscope of insights into everyday life in the 1660s. Pepys lards politics with trivia, hopping from his work as a naval administrator to family events, his manoeuvring to gain patronage, his drinking, flirting and rumpy-pumpy, his lessons on the flageolet and his comments on the weekly sermon. David Timson explains the context in prefaces, and Leighton Pugh is a splendid Pepys, reading at a steady jog trot, and unperturbed even by the recurring scatology. How best to listen to it? As it was written, I suggest, in regular daily instalments as you commute, work out in the gym, or walk the dog.

Christina Hardyment, The Times

Not many listeners are so thrilled by the minutiae of seventeenth-century English life that they will want to devote more than 115 hours to listening to this classic journal – but those who stick it out will be well rewarded. Narrator Leighton Pugh’s portrayal of Pepys is sometimes confiding, sometimes whiny, sometimes meditative about religion and politics, but always human. For 10 years, while Pepys was on the margins of the great actions of his time, he recorded every day’s events. From the discovery of a new public toilet to the restoration of King Charles II and the Great Fire of London, Pepys wrote down what he saw, and Pugh keeps it all lively. David Timson ably reads the historical introductions to each year.

D.M.W., AudioFile

The joy of an unexpurgated Pepys – without the bother of reading it oneself

We all know about Samuel Pepys witnessing the Great Fire in his Diaries, but how many have read the definitive Latham and Matthews nine-volume edition, published between 1970 and 1983, complete with Pepys’s coded sections and his inconsistent and archaic spellings? Certainly the only person in the world to have read it aloud in its unexpurgated entirety is Leighton Pugh, on this three-volume 116-hour Naxos recording released between January and May this year. Produced by Nicolas Soames and with prefaces to each volume written and read by David Timson, it is a superb feat.

Pugh had recorded 30 full-length audiobooks in the two years before this gargantuan challenge, an experience which helped him cope with the 40 gruelling recording days with their 10am–5pm routine. He had a mere fortnight to prepare Pepys’s 1.25 million words before the studio work started, but so thoroughly immersed in Pepys did he become that he must have had some difficulty in getting back into his own skin once it was all over.

Above all, he exudes joyful exuberance in his life

The Diaries open in 1660 when Pepys is 27, five years after his marriage to Elizabeth de St Michel (who had been 14 years old at the time) and two years since ‘it pleased God’ he was ‘cut of the stone’, the successful operation (without anaesthetic) to remove his gallstone. It was the year in which his Navy career began, when he became Clerk of the Acts to the Navy Board at a salary of £350 a year, a position acquired through the patronage of Edward Montagu, Earl of Sandwich, the husband of his great aunt.

One of the Diaries’ greatest delights is Pepys’s detailed charting of his rise in status. It has a strikingly contemporary ring to it: the important thing is ‘to see and be seen’, so he gives Elizabeth an £80 necklace for display at the theatre, and spends £50 on having his dining room ‘new done’. Nine years later in 1669, when fears for his eyesight bring the Diaries to an end, this son of a London tailor takes inordinate pride in his reputation and his £6,000 fortune. Keeping it in an iron chest, he is afraid of thieves, rising one night with a firebrand, only to find birds in the chimney. He entertains in rooms decked with portraits and mirrors, the spines of his books in his extensive library specially gilded and ‘very handsome to the eye’. And he has acquired the ultimate status symbol: a coach and two black horses with his boy sporting green and red livery. No wonder Elizabeth is ‘out of herself with joy’.

The historical events – including the Second Dutch War and Charles II’s Restoration – are well known from extracts, and give a cameo of the age; but it is the details of the unexpurgated, unabridged version which provide the unique insights. The pleasure Pepys felt at a victory over the Dutch in 1665 is as great as his pleasure in the new coloured suit he bought ‘for joy of the good news’. Two years after the Great Fire, Pepys’s cousin Anthony Joyce, maddened by his losses, threw himself into a deep pond, and Pepys used his influence with the King to ensure that Joyce’s estate would not be forfeited.

Above all, he exudes joyful exuberance in his life, from theatre and the pleasures of ‘discourse’, to the ‘muchness of business’ at the Navy Board, or hearing nightingales at 5am on his way to the Rope Yard. This delightful energy is conveyed through Pugh’s variation of tempo and tone and his skilful manipulation of Pepys’s complex dangling sentences, essential when the 1.25 million words are in the voice of Pepys alone, unrelieved by dialogue or other characters. He drops his voice in wonderment as Pepys’s ever-inquiring mind absorbs a new navigational aid, spies Jupiter through a 12-inch glass, or watches blood drained from one dog to another in a scientific experiment. Pugh’s tempo increases for Pepys’s tumbling words for that which ‘did wrap up’ his soul: singing remained for Pepys ‘the merriest enjoyment I must look for in the world’ and music ‘transported’ him. Playing his flageolet and singing with his wife and friends was one of his purest joys.

And then there are the glorious catalogues of foods relished: venison pasties, lobster, pullets, sturgeon, turkeys, oysters, goose pie and veal – and the calves fed with chalk to whiten their flesh. This lust for life was matched by his fully indulged priapic appetite, related in detail in a mix of languages expunged from previous editions, here presented conspiratorially by Pugh. Pepys was, as Elizabeth said of her music master, ‘as very a rogue for women as any in the world’. With women of all classes and ages, he enjoyed regular bouts of ‘tumbling and tossing’, mutual caressing, and doing as he says, ‘ce que je voudrais’. Having taken one woman ‘both devant and backward’ to his ‘grand plaisir’, he returned to Elizabeth, having bought Montaigne’s essays on the way. The crisis comes after eight years when his wife discovers him with Deb, her 18-year-old companion, his hand ‘in her cunny’. Elizabeth’s ensuing wild rages and Pepys’ genuine shame force him to keep his breeches tied – for a while, at least.

Rachel Redford, The Spectator

Diary of Samuel Pepys, Volume II: 1664-1666, The (unabridged) http://www.naxosaudiobooks.com/diary-of-samuel-pepys-volume-ii-1664-1666-the-unabridged/ The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Volume II: 1664-1666 History unabridged Single 0175 9781843798415 9781843798422 Samuel Pepys
Leighton Pugh
29 574 37:29:14 HIS015000 Available Available Available World

The Diary of Samuel Pepys is one of the most entertaining documents in English history. Written between 1660 and 1669, as Pepys was establishing himself as a key administrator in the Navy Office, it is an intimate portrait of life in 17th-century England, covering his professional and personal activities, including, famously, his love of music, theatre, food and wine, and his numerous peccadilloes. This Naxos AudioBooks production is the world-premiere recording of the diary in its entirety. It has been divided into three volumes. Volume II covers some of the most famous passages in the diary. Pepys was there, in London, during the terrible Plague of 1665. And he was there during the Great Fire of London the following year, playing an active role in the actual event and its aftermath.

£85.00 $152.98 £55.00 €63.00 $98.00 Mar15

Naxos AudioBooks has been ‘more of a cause than a business’ says its imaginative and discerning co-creator Nicolas Soames, who is now handing over the helm after 20 years, having published 800 classical titles amounting to more than 5,000 hours of listening. His swansong is a complete and unexpurgated recording in 100 CDs of the diary of Samuel Pepys.

The first instalment is published this month. In it, the 27-year-old Pepys witnesses the collapse of the post-Cromwell republic, and the restoration of Charles II; he also gives us an enthralling and addictive kaleidoscope of insights into everyday life in the 1660s. Pepys lards politics with trivia, hopping from his work as a naval administrator to family events, his manoeuvring to gain patronage, his drinking, flirting and rumpy-pumpy, his lessons on the flageolet and his comments on the weekly sermon. David Timson explains the context in prefaces, and Leighton Pugh is a splendid Pepys, reading at a steady jog trot, and unperturbed even by the recurring scatology. How best to listen to it? As it was written, I suggest, in regular daily instalments as you commute, work out in the gym, or walk the dog.

Christina Hardyment, The Times

Not many listeners are so thrilled by the minutiae of seventeenth-century English life that they will want to devote more than 115 hours to listening to this classic journal – but those who stick it out will be well rewarded. Narrator Leighton Pugh’s portrayal of Pepys is sometimes confiding, sometimes whiny, sometimes meditative about religion and politics, but always human. For 10 years, while Pepys was on the margins of the great actions of his time, he recorded every day’s events. From the discovery of a new public toilet to the restoration of King Charles II and the Great Fire of London, Pepys wrote down what he saw, and Pugh keeps it all lively. David Timson ably reads the historical introductions to each year.

D.M.W., AudioFile

The joy of an unexpurgated Pepys – without the bother of reading it oneself

We all know about Samuel Pepys witnessing the Great Fire in his Diaries, but how many have read the definitive Latham and Matthews nine-volume edition, published between 1970 and 1983, complete with Pepys’s coded sections and his inconsistent and archaic spellings? Certainly the only person in the world to have read it aloud in its unexpurgated entirety is Leighton Pugh, on this three-volume 116-hour Naxos recording released between January and May this year. Produced by Nicolas Soames and with prefaces to each volume written and read by David Timson, it is a superb feat.

Pugh had recorded 30 full-length audiobooks in the two years before this gargantuan challenge, an experience which helped him cope with the 40 gruelling recording days with their 10am–5pm routine. He had a mere fortnight to prepare Pepys’s 1.25 million words before the studio work started, but so thoroughly immersed in Pepys did he become that he must have had some difficulty in getting back into his own skin once it was all over.

Above all, he exudes joyful exuberance in his life

The Diaries open in 1660 when Pepys is 27, five years after his marriage to Elizabeth de St Michel (who had been 14 years old at the time) and two years since ‘it pleased God’ he was ‘cut of the stone’, the successful operation (without anaesthetic) to remove his gallstone. It was the year in which his Navy career began, when he became Clerk of the Acts to the Navy Board at a salary of £350 a year, a position acquired through the patronage of Edward Montagu, Earl of Sandwich, the husband of his great aunt.

One of the Diaries’ greatest delights is Pepys’s detailed charting of his rise in status. It has a strikingly contemporary ring to it: the important thing is ‘to see and be seen’, so he gives Elizabeth an £80 necklace for display at the theatre, and spends £50 on having his dining room ‘new done’. Nine years later in 1669, when fears for his eyesight bring the Diaries to an end, this son of a London tailor takes inordinate pride in his reputation and his £6,000 fortune. Keeping it in an iron chest, he is afraid of thieves, rising one night with a firebrand, only to find birds in the chimney. He entertains in rooms decked with portraits and mirrors, the spines of his books in his extensive library specially gilded and ‘very handsome to the eye’. And he has acquired the ultimate status symbol: a coach and two black horses with his boy sporting green and red livery. No wonder Elizabeth is ‘out of herself with joy’.

The historical events – including the Second Dutch War and Charles II’s Restoration – are well known from extracts, and give a cameo of the age; but it is the details of the unexpurgated, unabridged version which provide the unique insights. The pleasure Pepys felt at a victory over the Dutch in 1665 is as great as his pleasure in the new coloured suit he bought ‘for joy of the good news’. Two years after the Great Fire, Pepys’s cousin Anthony Joyce, maddened by his losses, threw himself into a deep pond, and Pepys used his influence with the King to ensure that Joyce’s estate would not be forfeited.

Above all, he exudes joyful exuberance in his life, from theatre and the pleasures of ‘discourse’, to the ‘muchness of business’ at the Navy Board, or hearing nightingales at 5am on his way to the Rope Yard. This delightful energy is conveyed through Pugh’s variation of tempo and tone and his skilful manipulation of Pepys’s complex dangling sentences, essential when the 1.25 million words are in the voice of Pepys alone, unrelieved by dialogue or other characters. He drops his voice in wonderment as Pepys’s ever-inquiring mind absorbs a new navigational aid, spies Jupiter through a 12-inch glass, or watches blood drained from one dog to another in a scientific experiment. Pugh’s tempo increases for Pepys’s tumbling words for that which ‘did wrap up’ his soul: singing remained for Pepys ‘the merriest enjoyment I must look for in the world’ and music ‘transported’ him. Playing his flageolet and singing with his wife and friends was one of his purest joys.

And then there are the glorious catalogues of foods relished: venison pasties, lobster, pullets, sturgeon, turkeys, oysters, goose pie and veal – and the calves fed with chalk to whiten their flesh. This lust for life was matched by his fully indulged priapic appetite, related in detail in a mix of languages expunged from previous editions, here presented conspiratorially by Pugh. Pepys was, as Elizabeth said of her music master, ‘as very a rogue for women as any in the world’. With women of all classes and ages, he enjoyed regular bouts of ‘tumbling and tossing’, mutual caressing, and doing as he says, ‘ce que je voudrais’. Having taken one woman ‘both devant and backward’ to his ‘grand plaisir’, he returned to Elizabeth, having bought Montaigne’s essays on the way. The crisis comes after eight years when his wife discovers him with Deb, her 18-year-old companion, his hand ‘in her cunny’. Elizabeth’s ensuing wild rages and Pepys’ genuine shame force him to keep his breeches tied – for a while, at least.

Rachel RedfordThe Spectator

Diary of Samuel Pepys, Volume III: 1667-1669, The (unabridged) http://www.naxosaudiobooks.com/diary-of-samuel-pepys-volume-iii-1667-1669-the-unabridged/ The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Volume III: 1667-1669 History unabridged Single 0176 9781843798439 9781843798446 Samuel Pepys
Leighton Pugh
29 551 36:03:05 HIS015000 Available Available Available World

The Diary of Samuel Pepys is one of the most entertaining documents in English history. Written between 1660 and 1669, as Pepys was establishing himself as a key administrator in the Navy Office, it is an intimate portrait of life in 17th-century England, covering his professional and personal activities, including, famously, his love of music, theatre, food, wine and his peccadilloes. This Naxos AudioBooks production is the world-premiere recording of the diary in its entirety. It has been divided into three volumes. Volume III presents the last three years of Pepys’s diary. By now he is in his mid-thirties and confident in his ability to deal with differing political factions within the Navy Office. His affection for his wife Elizabeth grows ever stronger despite his wandering eyes, and he finds he is worth £6,000 and more – a considerable sum for the son of a tailor who started with nothing. He becomes increasingly concerned about his sight, and it is with some regret that he stops writing his diary at the end of May 1669.

£85.00 $152.98 £55.00 €63.00 $98.00 May15

Naxos AudioBooks has been ‘more of a cause than a business’ says its imaginative and discerning co-creator Nicolas Soames, who is now handing over the helm after 20 years, having published 800 classical titles amounting to more than 5,000 hours of listening. His swansong is a complete and unexpurgated recording in 100 CDs of the diary of Samuel Pepys.

The first instalment is published this month. In it, the 27-year-old Pepys witnesses the collapse of the post-Cromwell republic, and the restoration of Charles II; he also gives us an enthralling and addictive kaleidoscope of insights into everyday life in the 1660s. Pepys lards politics with trivia, hopping from his work as a naval administrator to family events, his manoeuvring to gain patronage, his drinking, flirting and rumpy-pumpy, his lessons on the flageolet and his comments on the weekly sermon. David Timson explains the context in prefaces, and Leighton Pugh is a splendid Pepys, reading at a steady jog trot, and unperturbed even by the recurring scatology. How best to listen to it? As it was written, I suggest, in regular daily instalments as you commute, work out in the gym, or walk the dog.

Christina Hardyment, The Times

Not many listeners are so thrilled by the minutiae of seventeenth-century English life that they will want to devote more than 115 hours to listening to this classic journal – but those who stick it out will be well rewarded. Narrator Leighton Pugh’s portrayal of Pepys is sometimes confiding, sometimes whiny, sometimes meditative about religion and politics, but always human. For 10 years, while Pepys was on the margins of the great actions of his time, he recorded every day’s events. From the discovery of a new public toilet to the restoration of King Charles II and the Great Fire of London, Pepys wrote down what he saw, and Pugh keeps it all lively. David Timson ably reads the historical introductions to each year.

D.M.W., AudioFile

The joy of an unexpurgated Pepys – without the bother of reading it oneself

We all know about Samuel Pepys witnessing the Great Fire in his Diaries, but how many have read the definitive Latham and Matthews nine-volume edition, published between 1970 and 1983, complete with Pepys’s coded sections and his inconsistent and archaic spellings? Certainly the only person in the world to have read it aloud in its unexpurgated entirety is Leighton Pugh, on this three-volume 116-hour Naxos recording released between January and May this year. Produced by Nicolas Soames and with prefaces to each volume written and read by David Timson, it is a superb feat.

Pugh had recorded 30 full-length audiobooks in the two years before this gargantuan challenge, an experience which helped him cope with the 40 gruelling recording days with their 10am–5pm routine. He had a mere fortnight to prepare Pepys’s 1.25 million words before the studio work started, but so thoroughly immersed in Pepys did he become that he must have had some difficulty in getting back into his own skin once it was all over.

Above all, he exudes joyful exuberance in his life

The Diaries open in 1660 when Pepys is 27, five years after his marriage to Elizabeth de St Michel (who had been 14 years old at the time) and two years since ‘it pleased God’ he was ‘cut of the stone’, the successful operation (without anaesthetic) to remove his gallstone. It was the year in which his Navy career began, when he became Clerk of the Acts to the Navy Board at a salary of £350 a year, a position acquired through the patronage of Edward Montagu, Earl of Sandwich, the husband of his great aunt.

One of the Diaries’ greatest delights is Pepys’s detailed charting of his rise in status. It has a strikingly contemporary ring to it: the important thing is ‘to see and be seen’, so he gives Elizabeth an £80 necklace for display at the theatre, and spends £50 on having his dining room ‘new done’. Nine years later in 1669, when fears for his eyesight bring the Diaries to an end, this son of a London tailor takes inordinate pride in his reputation and his £6,000 fortune. Keeping it in an iron chest, he is afraid of thieves, rising one night with a firebrand, only to find birds in the chimney. He entertains in rooms decked with portraits and mirrors, the spines of his books in his extensive library specially gilded and ‘very handsome to the eye’. And he has acquired the ultimate status symbol: a coach and two black horses with his boy sporting green and red livery. No wonder Elizabeth is ‘out of herself with joy’.

The historical events – including the Second Dutch War and Charles II’s Restoration – are well known from extracts, and give a cameo of the age; but it is the details of the unexpurgated, unabridged version which provide the unique insights. The pleasure Pepys felt at a victory over the Dutch in 1665 is as great as his pleasure in the new coloured suit he bought ‘for joy of the good news’. Two years after the Great Fire, Pepys’s cousin Anthony Joyce, maddened by his losses, threw himself into a deep pond, and Pepys used his influence with the King to ensure that Joyce’s estate would not be forfeited.

Above all, he exudes joyful exuberance in his life, from theatre and the pleasures of ‘discourse’, to the ‘muchness of business’ at the Navy Board, or hearing nightingales at 5am on his way to the Rope Yard. This delightful energy is conveyed through Pugh’s variation of tempo and tone and his skilful manipulation of Pepys’s complex dangling sentences, essential when the 1.25 million words are in the voice of Pepys alone, unrelieved by dialogue or other characters. He drops his voice in wonderment as Pepys’s ever-inquiring mind absorbs a new navigational aid, spies Jupiter through a 12-inch glass, or watches blood drained from one dog to another in a scientific experiment. Pugh’s tempo increases for Pepys’s tumbling words for that which ‘did wrap up’ his soul: singing remained for Pepys ‘the merriest enjoyment I must look for in the world’ and music ‘transported’ him. Playing his flageolet and singing with his wife and friends was one of his purest joys.

And then there are the glorious catalogues of foods relished: venison pasties, lobster, pullets, sturgeon, turkeys, oysters, goose pie and veal – and the calves fed with chalk to whiten their flesh. This lust for life was matched by his fully indulged priapic appetite, related in detail in a mix of languages expunged from previous editions, here presented conspiratorially by Pugh. Pepys was, as Elizabeth said of her music master, ‘as very a rogue for women as any in the world’. With women of all classes and ages, he enjoyed regular bouts of ‘tumbling and tossing’, mutual caressing, and doing as he says, ‘ce que je voudrais’. Having taken one woman ‘both devant and backward’ to his ‘grand plaisir’, he returned to Elizabeth, having bought Montaigne’s essays on the way. The crisis comes after eight years when his wife discovers him with Deb, her 18-year-old companion, his hand ‘in her cunny’. Elizabeth’s ensuing wild rages and Pepys’ genuine shame force him to keep his breeches tied – for a while, at least.

Rachel RedfordThe Spectator

Dickinson, Emily (selections) http://www.naxosaudiobooks.com/dickinson-emily-selections/ The Great Poets – Emily Dickinson The Great Poets – Poetry selections Single 0146 N/A 978184379765 4 Emily Dickinson
Teresa Gallagher
1 20 01:16:46 POE005010 Available Available Available World

Born in Massachusetts in 1830, Emily Dickinson composed over 1770 poems; but apart from her closest friends, no-one knew she was writing at all. Only after her death was her astonishing output discovered and published. A reclusive figure for much of her life, few could have imagined the range of her subjects, the intensity of her imagination or the powerful delicacy of her writing. Emily Dickinson is one of America’s greatest writers. This selection includes 147 of her best known poems, and is a perfect introduction to her unique voice.

£8.99 $14.98 £6.00 €6.50 $10.00
  • A drop fell on the apple tree
  • A narrow Fellow in the Grass
  • A poor torn heart, a tattered heart
  • A something in a summer’s day
  • A still – Volcano – Life –
  • A toad can die of light!
  • A wounded deer leaps highest
  • After great pain, a formal feeling comes –
  • All the letters I can write
  • Ample make this bed
  • As imperceptibly as Grief
  • Because I could not stop for Death
  • Come slowly, Eden!
  • Dear March, come in!
  • Death is a dialogue between
  • Drowning is not so pitiful
  • Eden is that old fashioned House
  • Fame is a fickle food
  • Forbidden fruit a flavor has
  • Glee! The great storm is over –
  • He ate and drank the precious words
  • He touched me, so I live to know
  • Heart not so heavy as mine
  • Heart! We will forget him!
  • Her final summer was it
  • Hope is the thing with feathers
  • How the old Mountains drip with Sunset
  • I asked no other thing
  • I can wade grief
  • I cannot live with you
  • I died for beauty, but was scarce
  • I dreaded that first Robin, so
  • I dwell in Possibility –
  • I envy seas whereon he rides
  • I felt a Funeral, in my Brain
  • I gave myself to him
  • I had no cause to be awake
  • I had no time to hate, because
  • I have no life but this
  • I hide myself within my flower
  • I know some lonely houses off the road
  • I many times thought peace had come
  • I meant to have but modest needs
  • I never saw a moor
  • I should not dare to leave my friend
  • I stepped from plank to plank
  • I taste a liquor never brewed
  • I think the hemlock likes to stand
  • I took my power in my hand
  • If I can stop one heart from breaking
  • If recollecting were forgetting
  • I’ll tell you how the Sun rose
  • I’m Nobody! Who are you?
  • It might be easier
  • It tossed and tossed
  • It was not Death, for I stood up
  • It’s such a little thing to weep
  • Love is anterior to life
  • Mine by the right of the white election!
  • Much madness is divinest sense
  • My Life had stood – a Loaded Gun
  • Nature rarer uses yellow
  • Not with a Club, the Heart is broken
  • On this wondrous sea
  • One blessing had I, than the rest
  • One need not be a chamber – to be Haunted
  • Pain has an element of blank;
  • Safe in their Alabaster Chambers
  • Some keep the Sabbath going to church
  • Surgeons must be very careful
  • That after Horror – that ’twas us –
  • That I did always love
  • The brain within its groove
  • The Dying need but little, Dear
  • The grass so little has to do,
  • The grave my little cottage is
  • The leaves, like women, interchange
  • The one that could repeat the summer day
  • The rat is the concisest tenant.
  • The Soul has Bandaged moments
  • The soul should always stand ajar,
  • The waters chased him as he fled
  • The way I read a letter’s this:
  • The wind begun to rock the grass
  • There came a Wind like a Bugle –
  • There’s a certain slant of light,
  • There’s been a death in the opposite house
  • They might not need me – yet they might –
  • This is my letter to the world,
  • This World is not Conclusion.
  • ’Tis little I could care for pearls
  • ’Tis not that Dying hurts us so –
  • ’Twas like a Maelstrom, with a notch,
  • Unable are the Loved to die
  • We never know we go, – when we are going
  • What inn is this
  • While I was fearing it, it came,
  • Will there really be a morning?
  • You left me, sweet, two legacies

Teresa Gallagher gives Emily Dickinson a New England voice that succeeds in conveying the poet’s distinctive duality: her gentle, mystical other-worldliness underscored by a resolute strength. In these 99 poems, recurring words – sea, Heaven, sun – chime mantra-like, along with the lyrical assonance and rhyme. Dickinson is acutely sensitive to the beauty of light and nature – ‘the colour on the cruising cloud’ – while her metaphors and personification intrigue. Does the ‘door ajar’ shut her out or invite her in? Is the ‘realm of you’ Heaven or some paradise of earthly love? Even though recurrent themes are death and self-denial, the mood is airy and buoyant, like the angel’s wings Dickinson imagines she wears.

Rachel Redford, The Observer, 17 February 2008

Emily Dickinson is remembered as a nineteenth-century New England recluse, but she is reaching a wider audience than she could ever have expected via this Great Poets audio series. A wide range of the poet’s work is here and, as read by the charismatic Teresa Gallagher, the problem of how to turn dashes into pauses is managed with aplomb. To quote the great lady, ‘Beauty be not caused – it is’; and this is beautiful.

Waterstone’s Quarterly, Spring 2008

Teresa Gallagher has an agile voice and the delicate articulation necessary for interpreting the finely crafted poems of Emily Dickinson. Gallagher performs the poems with a simplicity and clarity that allow their beauty to flourish. However, Dickinson did not title her poems, so Gallagher does not have that convention as a way to mark the beginning of each work. Too often, there is not a long enough pause between poems, and without attention to the liner notes the poems can blur into each other. Nonetheless, the 99 poems selected from Dickinson’s canon of over one thousand are a choice presentation highlighted by Gallagher’s skillful performance. This production is a pleasurable retreat into Dickinson’s imaginary world.

R. F., AudioFile Magazine

Dickinson, Emily (selections) http://www.naxosaudiobooks.com/dickinson-emily-selections-2/ The Great Poets – Emily Dickinson The Great Poets – Poetry selections Single 185612 9789626348567 9789629546557 Emily Dickinson
Teresa Gallagher
1 20 01:16:46 POE005010 Available Available Available World

Born in Massachusetts in 1830, Emily Dickinson composed over 1770 poems; but apart from her closest friends, no-one knew she was writing at all. Only after her death was her astonishing output discovered and published. A reclusive figure for much of her life, few could have imagined the range of her subjects, the intensity of her imagination or the powerful delicacy of her writing. Emily Dickinson is one of America’s greatest writers. This selection includes 147 of her best known poems, and is a perfect introduction to her unique voice.

£8.99 $14.98 £6.00 €6.50 $10.00
  • A drop fell on the apple tree
  • A narrow Fellow in the Grass
  • A poor torn heart, a tattered heart
  • A something in a summer’s day
  • A still – Volcano – Life –
  • A toad can die of light!
  • A wounded deer leaps highest
  • After great pain, a formal feeling comes –
  • All the letters I can write
  • Ample make this bed
  • As imperceptibly as Grief
  • Because I could not stop for Death
  • Come slowly, Eden!
  • Dear March, come in!
  • Death is a dialogue between
  • Drowning is not so pitiful
  • Eden is that old fashioned House
  • Fame is a fickle food
  • Forbidden fruit a flavor has
  • Glee! The great storm is over –
  • He ate and drank the precious words
  • He touched me, so I live to know
  • Heart not so heavy as mine
  • Heart! We will forget him!
  • Her final summer was it
  • Hope is the thing with feathers
  • How the old Mountains drip with Sunset
  • I asked no other thing
  • I can wade grief
  • I cannot live with you
  • I died for beauty, but was scarce
  • I dreaded that first Robin, so
  • I dwell in Possibility –
  • I envy seas whereon he rides
  • I felt a Funeral, in my Brain
  • I gave myself to him
  • I had no cause to be awake
  • I had no time to hate, because
  • I have no life but this
  • I hide myself within my flower
  • I know some lonely houses off the road
  • I many times thought peace had come
  • I meant to have but modest needs
  • I never saw a moor
  • I should not dare to leave my friend
  • I stepped from plank to plank
  • I taste a liquor never brewed
  • I think the hemlock likes to stand
  • I took my power in my hand
  • If I can stop one heart from breaking
  • If recollecting were forgetting
  • I’ll tell you how the Sun rose
  • I’m Nobody! Who are you?
  • It might be easier
  • It tossed and tossed
  • It was not Death, for I stood up
  • It’s such a little thing to weep
  • Love is anterior to life
  • Mine by the right of the white election!
  • Much madness is divinest sense
  • My Life had stood – a Loaded Gun
  • Nature rarer uses yellow
  • Not with a Club, the Heart is broken
  • On this wondrous sea
  • One blessing had I, than the rest
  • One need not be a chamber – to be Haunted
  • Pain has an element of blank;
  • Safe in their Alabaster Chambers
  • Some keep the Sabbath going to church
  • Surgeons must be very careful
  • That after Horror – that ’twas us –
  • That I did always love
  • The brain within its groove
  • The Dying need but little, Dear
  • The grass so little has to do,
  • The grave my little cottage is
  • The leaves, like women, interchange
  • The one that could repeat the summer day
  • The rat is the concisest tenant.
  • The Soul has Bandaged moments
  • The soul should always stand ajar,
  • The waters chased him as he fled
  • The way I read a letter’s this:
  • The wind begun to rock the grass
  • There came a Wind like a Bugle –
  • There’s a certain slant of light,
  • There’s been a death in the opposite house
  • They might not need me – yet they might –
  • This is my letter to the world,
  • This World is not Conclusion.
  • ’Tis little I could care for pearls
  • ’Tis not that Dying hurts us so –
  • ’Twas like a Maelstrom, with a notch,
  • Unable are the Loved to die
  • We never know we go, – when we are going
  • What inn is this
  • While I was fearing it, it came,
  • Will there really be a morning?
  • You left me, sweet, two legacies

Teresa Gallagher gives Emily Dickinson a New England voice that succeeds in conveying the poet’s distinctive duality: her gentle, mystical other-worldliness underscored by a resolute strength. In these 99 poems, recurring words – sea, Heaven, sun – chime mantra-like, along with the lyrical assonance and rhyme. Dickinson is acutely sensitive to the beauty of light and nature – ‘the colour on the cruising cloud’ – while her metaphors and personification intrigue. Does the ‘door ajar’ shut her out or invite her in? Is the ‘realm of you’ Heaven or some paradise of earthly love? Even though recurrent themes are death and self-denial, the mood is airy and buoyant, like the angel’s wings Dickinson imagines she wears.

Rachel Redford, The Observer, 17 February 2008

Emily Dickinson is remembered as a nineteenth-century New England recluse, but she is reaching a wider audience than she could ever have expected via this Great Poets audio series. A wide range of the poet’s work is here and, as read by the charismatic Teresa Gallagher, the problem of how to turn dashes into pauses is managed with aplomb. To quote the great lady, ‘Beauty be not caused – it is’; and this is beautiful.

Waterstone’s Quarterly, Spring 2008

Teresa Gallagher has an agile voice and the delicate articulation necessary for interpreting the finely crafted poems of Emily Dickinson. Gallagher performs the poems with a simplicity and clarity that allow their beauty to flourish. However, Dickinson did not title her poems, so Gallagher does not have that convention as a way to mark the beginning of each work. Too often, there is not a long enough pause between poems, and without attention to the liner notes the poems can blur into each other. Nonetheless, the 99 poems selected from Dickinson’s canon of over one thousand are a choice presentation highlighted by Gallagher’s skillful performance. This production is a pleasurable retreat into Dickinson’s imaginary world.

R. F., AudioFile Magazine

Die Fledermaus (unabridged) http://www.naxosaudiobooks.com/die-fledermaus-unabridged/ Opera Explained – Die Fledermaus Opera Explained – Music unabridged Single 558070 9781843790860 9781843793168 Thomson Smillie
David Timson
1 37 01:19:34 MUS028000 Available World

Die Fledermaus is one of the few operatic works to which the phrase ‘never a dull moment’ can be truthfully applied. From the explosive opening of the famous overture – reminiscent of a volley of champagne corks – through the surging energy of the ‘Fledermaus Waltz’ and the many comic numbers, of which the accelerando trio is the finest, up to such huge concerted numbers as the ‘Duidu’ finale to Act II, this is an operetta which almost incarnates nostalgia. Thomson Smillie and David Timson infuse their exploration of Die Fledermaus with as much life as the operetta itself. The most rewarding and memorable extracts are included, and the whole piece is tantalisingly introduced – a trip to see it has to be the next step! Timson begins, “‘Nostalgia’, as the saying goes, ‘may not be what it used to be,’ but thank goodness we still have Johann Strauss’s Die Fledermaus!”

£5.99 $12.99 £4.00 €4.50 $7.80
Dinosaurs (unabridged) http://www.naxosaudiobooks.com/dinosaurs-unabridged/ Dinosaurs Junior Classics unabridged Single 0151 9781843797753 9781843797760 Jen Green
Benjamin Soames
2 40 02:34:14 JNF003050 Available World

Journey back in time to the age of the dinosaurs, the biggest, scariest creatures the world has ever known. Which dinosaurs hunted in packs like wolves? What was the deadliest dinosaur of them all? Which were the very largest species? Not all dinosaurs were bloodthirsty meat-eaters, but all were armed and dangerous. You are advised to keep well clear as we tour the world of the dinosaurs, taking a detailed look at all the most amazing species.

£10.99 $17.98 £7.00 €8.00 $12.00 Mar14

With at least half the children in the country besotted by all things Jurassic, here is a surefire hit for a car journey to and from a Dorset beach holiday. Green uses metaphors attuned to young listeners to tell the story of the awesome creatures that can be the size of chickens or ‘longer than two tennis courts and weighing more than 1,000 people’, and whose fossilised bones inspired legends of dragons and giants. Among much else that I didn’t know is that the famous fossil-hunter Mary Anning was 12 when she discovered her first Lyme Regis fossil, or that a Victorian banquet was held inside the concrete model of a giant iguanodon that you can still see at Crystal Palace Park, in South London.

Christina Hardyment, The Times

Benjamin Soames’s welcoming narration combines the tones of a teacher and a kindly storytelling uncle. The amount of information on dinosaurs is vast, covering their types, history, locations and much more. Short musical interludes conjuring images of the large beasts separate segments, preventing the plethora of information from being overwhelming. Periodically, the audio provides suggestions to help young listeners grasp the concepts being presented – such as describing how they might measure the distance between their own footsteps on a beach to grasp how scientists use fossilised footprints to capture dinosaurs’ speed. This engaging audio may send families searching for the book on which it is based, which includes 3D materials.

S.W., AudioFile

Discourse on the Origin and the Foundations of Inequality Among Men (unabridged) http://www.naxosaudiobooks.com/discourse-on-the-origin-and-the-foundations-of-inequality-among-men-unabridged/ Discourse on the Origin and the Foundations of Inequality Among Men Philosophy unabridged Single 0205 9781843799047 9781843799054 Jean-Jacques Rousseau
Neville Jason
5 91 05:52:33 PHI000000 Available Available World

Rousseau’s Discourse sets out to explore the origin of inequality among people, a journey that sees him trace the evolution of humans from the savage man to the foundations of civil society. With verve and passion, the philosopher argues that the birth of private property was the ‘beginning of evil’. Throughout the book we are led to consider the progress of language, reason, self-preservation, benevolence, pity and law – all through the lens of perhaps the most original thinker of the eighteenth century.

£19.99 $34.98 £13.00 €14.50 $23.00 Sep15

Rousseau’s early essay on the origins of man and society – using biology, anthropology and linguistics – is now mostly of historical interest, but Neville Jason’s skilled reading helps keep it enjoyable. His pleasant voice, distinguished-sounding accent, and somewhat rolling style – at the same time precise and conversational, intellectual but easygoing – matches Rousseau’s essayistic manner. Jason avoids becoming ponderous, moving the text fluidly but at a measured pace, which is helpful for the listener who is grappling with the ideas. He clearly understands what he’s reading and is able to give phrases and sentences their proper intonation and emphasis, which also aids the listener’s understanding. Audio may not seem the obvious choice for philosophy, but Jason’s narration makes it work.

W.M., AudioFile

Discover Music of the Baroque Era (unabridged) http://www.naxosaudiobooks.com/discover-music-of-the-baroque-era-unabridged/ Discover Music of the Baroque Era Music unabridged Single 495912 9789626349595 9789629548506 Clive Unger-Hamilton
Sebastian Comberti
4 126 04:32:52 MUS020000 Deleted Available World

Bach, Vivaldi and Handel are the three great composers of the Baroque era, though there are many other well-known figures, including Albinoni, Pachelbel and Scarlatti. This engaging introduction, interspersed liberally music, shows how the music of these composers graced the courts and churches of Europe from 1600-1750. It is a fascinating story.

£16.99 $28.98 £11.00 €12.50 $19.00 May09

The annus mirabilis of baroque music is 1685, the year in which its three greatest composers and performers – J.S. Bach, George Frederick Handel and Domenico Scarlatti – were all born. This comprehensive guide is packed with historical facts and riveting anecdotes (but for the silver button on his coat which deflected his opponent’s sword, Handel might have been killed in a duel aged 19). Reader Sebastian Comberti is a professional cellist and clearly knows what he’s talking about. Best of all, the text is punctuated with glorious bursts of famous and less well-known sonatas, cantatas, partitas, fugues, concertos and oratorios. Why have I never heard the wonderful aria “Leave Me to Weep” from Handel’s opera Rinaldo before? A must for every serious music lover, baroque or otherwise.

Sue Arnold, The Guardian

With 40 tracks illustrating the glory of baroque music, and a narration as lively as Vivaldi’s Spring, this is a delight. As well as providing details of the composers’ lives, this 2-CD set brings home what it must have been like to hear the music when it was first performed.

Rachel Redford, The Observer

The perusal of an improving book being one of Jeeves’s customary leisure pursuits, the dignified manservant would probably have enjoyed Clive Unger-Hamilton’s Discover Music of the Baroque Era which combines 40 glorious music tracks with a lively and informative explanation of why the period (roughly 1600 to 1750, the year J.S. Bach died) can stake an unbeatable claim to be music’s golden age. The first operas were written and performed, and the concerto, sonata and cantata were developed with vitality and brilliance. It is a cultural geography lesson, too, as the Italian peninsula’s musical dominance (with Monteverdi at the pinnacle) is overtaken by superstars from the German states, with the prolific genius of Bach dominating. Enjoy the words, which mix musicology with insights into the musicians’ private lives, then sit back and revel in the music.

Karen Robinson, The Sunday Times

This wonderful audiobook will delight music lovers and will serve as an excellent introduction to the Baroque era for those with no background at all. The bulk of the recording is made up of performances of either entire musical works or entire movements from concertos and symphonies. The amount of text is just right to explain and introduce each piece of music. Unger-Hamilton has the musical background to produce this work and in Comberti, born in London of Italian/German parents and himself a professional musician, the listener will find a the perfect narrator. His pronunciations of the several languages required (French, Italian, German) are impeccable and his knowledge and love for music are apparent. Comberti is a cellist and performs in recitals and with chamber music groups. He founded the Cello Classics recording label which has won international acclaim for its innovative programming. A booklet provides a listing of all the pieces played as well as performers.

Sue Rosenzweig, SoundCommentary.com

Discover Music of the Romantic Era (unabridged) http://www.naxosaudiobooks.com/discover-music-of-the-romantic-era-unabridged/ Discover Music of the Romantic Era Music unabridged Single 495212 9789626349526 9789629548445 David McCleery
Jeremy Siepmann
4 143 05:08:01 MUS020000 Available World

Amid a background of wars and revolution, the 19th century produced many of the world’s best-loved composers including Beethoven, Brahms, Chopin and Tchaikovsky. Discover Music of the Romantic Era charts the course of music through these turbulent but exhilarating times with more than 20 music excerpts. Lighthearted but authoritative, it tells the fascinating, often scandalous life stories of the nineteenth century’s greatest composers and describes how they created musical history.

£16.99 $28.98 £11.00 €12.50 $19.00 Mar09

This account of the great Romantics – Beethoven, Schumann, Chopin, Liszt et al – is glorious. It traces how their music evolved from the Classical era, and how their varied backgrounds and often tragic lives produced an explosion of invention and emotion. Illustrated with more than 20 music tracks.

Rachel Redford, The Observer

Naxos began in the music business and has an excellent catalogue of recordings to draw on, making this series on the lives and works of composers a natural for them. There’s no need to settle for description when you can hear Joseph Haydn’s actual music. With Audie-winning (for his work on Chopin) author and narrator Jeremy Siepmann and a fine supporting cast, this audiobook introduces us to the life and works—and the relation between the two—of one of the greatest of all composers. The inventor of the modern symphony and the string quartet, Haydn is one of the pillars of concert music, and this original audiobook leads us to a deeper understanding of man and music.

D.M.H., AudioFile Magazine

Divine Comedy, The (unabridged) http://www.naxosaudiobooks.com/divine-comedy-the-unabridged/ The Divine Comedy The Divine Comedy | The Inferno | Purgatory | Paradise | A Life of Dante Poetry unabridged Single 31512 9789626343159 Dante
Heathcote Williams
13 212 14:30:06 FIC004000 Available Deleted Available World

Dante’s vision, The Divine Comedy, has profoundly affected every generation since it first appeared in the early fourteenth century. The box set contains the trilogy of The Inferno, Purgatory, and Paradise, plus a biography of Dante – A Life of Dante – which puts the very personal nature of his poetry into perspective.

£45.50 $81.98 £29.00 €33.50 $53.00
Dog’s Heart, A (unabridged) http://www.naxosaudiobooks.com/dog-s-heart-a-unabridged/ A Dog’s Heart Classic Fiction unabridged Single 0002 9781843794028 9781843794035 Mikhail Bulgakov
Roy McMillan
3 55 03:45:41 FIC004000 Deleted Available World

When a respected surgeon decides to transplant human body parts into a stray dog, he creates a monster – drunken, profligate, aggressive and selfish. It seems the worst aspects of the donor have been transplanted as well. As his previously well-regulated home descends into riotous chaos, the doctor realises he will have to try to reverse the operation; but the dog isn’t so keen… Wild, uproarious and deliriously comic, Bulgakov’s short novel is at once a comment on the problems of 1920s Russia and a lasting satire on human nature.

£13.99 $22.98 £9.00 €10.50 $15.00 Nov10

Written in 1925 but not published in Russia for another 62 years, Bulgakov’s tale is a biting satire of the claim that communism will create a Better Man. Surgeon Preobrazhensky implants the pituitary gland and testicles of a drunken Bolshevik into a good-hearted stray dog he calls Sharik. The result, the savage “Sharikov”, is a monstrous travesty of every communist ideal who becomes a rapist and a cat-strangler. The narrator’s creation of the cast of characters, including the dog, is brilliant and brings out the blackness of Bulgakov’s comedy.

Rachel Redford, The Observer

A Dog’s Heart, Bulgakov’s 1925 satire on Stalinist Russia’s vision of transforming mankind, is ideal for reading aloud. Roy McMillan throws heart and soul into the opening howls of the tatty mongrel from whose point of view the story is at first told, and then in narrating the rest of the wacky tale of a surgeon’s efforts to make the dog human.

The problem is that he is as louche and outrageous a man as he was a dog. But that doesn’t disqualify him from denouncing the Professor to the secret police. The story ends with as much aplomb as it starts: grins throughout guaranteed.

Christina Hardyment, The Times

[…] I greatly enjoyed Roy McMillan’s perfect reading of Mikhail Bulgakov’s novel, A Dog’s Heart. This is perfect satire commenting not just on human nature but on 1920s Russia, when communism produced some strange paradoxes. In this tale we meet a respected surgeon who transplants human glands into a stray dog with dire results. The dog takes on all of the worst traits of the human donor.

Sadly, Bulgakov never lived to see this short novel – or any of his plays – published. Stalin banned all of his work although he spared the writer from the dire fate of some of the other intellectuals of his era. This unabridged audiobook offers many chuckles as well as food for thought.

Alide Kohlhaas, Seniors Review

Dombey and Son (abridged) http://www.naxosaudiobooks.com/dombey-and-son-abridged/ Dombey and Son Classic Fiction abridged Single 899012 9789626349908 9789629548889 Charles Dickens
David Timson
8 165 11:18:31 FIC004000 Available World

Dombey and Son is vintage Dickens and explores the classic themes of betrayal, cruelty and deceit. The novel follows the fortunes of Dombey, a businessman par excellence, who craves a son to inherit his enterprises. His family, and especially his daughter, the sweet and good-natured Florence, bear the brunt of his frustrations.

£29.99 $54.98 £19.50 €22.00 $36.00 Sep09
Dombey and Son (unabridged) http://www.naxosaudiobooks.com/dombey-and-son-unabridged/ Dombey and Son Classic Fiction unabridged Single 98912 9789626349892 9789629548872 Charles Dickens
David Timson
31 569 39:08:18 FIC004000 Available Available World

Dombey and Son is vintage Dickens and explores the classic themes of betrayal, cruelty and deceit. Dombey’s dysfunctional relationships are painted against a backdrop of social unrest in industrialised London, which is populated by a host of fascinating and memorable secondary characters. The complete and unabridged 1867 text is brought spectacularly to life by veteran reader David Timson.

£95.00 $133.98 £62.00 €70.00 $88.00 Oct09

‘Why didn’t money save me my Mama?’ asks frail little Paul of his father, made cruel by money and power. Eventually, through the saintly love of his neglected daughter, Dombey realises his faults. Dickens’s descriptions of the dark face of Progress are matched by the brilliant narration.

Rachel Redford, The Observer

Dickens’s minor characters are often the stars of his novels, and British actor David Timson gives each his or her idiosyncratic due in this wonderful, richly peopled production. Among them is a model Captain Cuttle, salty, bluff, ever constant to young ‘Wal’r’; a kindly, befuddled Mr. Toots; and Toots’s belligerent associate, the Game Chicken. The work is expensive, but Timson’s storytelling charisma assures that it will be returned to again and again.

Katherine A. Powers, The Washington Post

Don Giovanni (unabridged) http://www.naxosaudiobooks.com/don-giovanni-unabridged/ Opera Explained – Don Giovanni Opera Explained – Music unabridged Single 558115 9781843790785 9781843793212 Thomson Smillie
David Timson
1 37 01:18:59 MUS028000 Available World

Don Giovanni has long been regarded as Mozart’s supreme theatrical achievement. The subject seems unpromising – the last day in the life of the notorious womaniser Don Juan – but the skill of the librettist allied to the genius of Mozart at the very peak of his powers has created a work which is not only highly entertaining but reflects an incredible understanding of the human condition.

£5.99 $12.99 £4.00 €4.50 $7.80
Don Juan (unabridged) http://www.naxosaudiobooks.com/don-juan-unabridged/ Don Juan Poetry unabridged Single 0223 9781843799429 9781843799436 Lord Byron
Jonathan Keeble
12 236 15:19:39 POE005020 Available Available Available World

Lord Byron’s satirical take on the legend of Don Juan is a moving and witty poem that sees the young hero in a reversal of roles. Juan sheds his image as a womaniser and instead becomes the victim of circumstance as he is relentlessly pursued by every woman he meets. Comprising seventeen cantos of rhyming iambic pentameter, the poem is a crisp and accessible meditation on the madness of the world.

£42.00 $73.98 £27.00 €31.00 $48.00 May16

Byron never managed to finish this epic, but Jonathan Keeble narrates right up to the end of what did get done. This may be the only classic poem that rhymes ‘Euxine’ (a classical name for the Black Sea) with ‘pukes in’, but Keeble keeps up with the shifting moods and tones, which range from expressions of pure romantic love to snarky commentary on British politics (and poetic politics) of the 1820s. Keeble doesn’t overstress the rhyme or meter of Byron’s eight-line stanzas and goes over the top with emotions only when the text calls for it. This is, after all, mostly a comedic story, and although the jokes are almost two centuries old, Keeble keeps them fresh.

Winner of AudioFile Earphones Award.

D.M.H., AudioFile

Over this last week I listened to all seventeen cantos here in this version from Naxos, narrated by Jonathan Keeble. Believe me when I tell I couldn’t get enough of it. I suspect that you might have the same reaction. Not only did I hear it out, all twelve discs – I turned around and went back and started listening all over again. That’s how it stole up on me.

The Review of Arts, Literature, Philosophy and the Humanities

Don Quixote (abridged) http://www.naxosaudiobooks.com/don-quixote-abridged/ Don Quixote Classic Fiction abridged Single 302212 9789626340226 9789629544690 Miguel de Cervantes
Edward de Souza
3 48 03:17:24 FIC004000 Available World

The first European novel, and one of the greatest, is a marvellously comic study of delusion and its consequences: Don Quixote, the old gentleman of La Mancha, takes to the road in search of adventure and remains undaunted in the face of repeated disaster.

£13.99 $22.98 £9.00 €10.50 $15.00
Don Quixote (unabridged) http://www.naxosaudiobooks.com/don-quixote-unabridged/ Don Quixote Classic Fiction unabridged Single 0006 9781843794097 9781843794103 Miguel de Cervantes
Roy McMillan
29 528 36:08:08 FIC004000 Deleted Available World

An old man, enchanted by tales of knightly courage, puts on his rusty armour and sets out on a quest of his own. For him, the world is filled with giants, knights and a peerless mistress. Others, such as his earthy squire Sancho Panza, see windmills, sheep and vulgar serving girls. But such prosaic interpretations do not satisfy the greatest figure in Western literature: Don Quixote. Quixote’s story – moving, funny and thrilling – embodies the glory and absurdity, vanity and idealism, sorrow and delight of humanity. Cervantes created a hero for all time and for all mankind.

£85.00 $152.98 £55.00 €63.00 $98.00 Jun11
Dr Thorne (unabridged) http://www.naxosaudiobooks.com/dr-thorne-unabridged/ Dr Thorne Classic Fiction unabridged Single 0158 9781843797890 9781843797906 Anthony Trollope
David Shaw-Parker
18 350 22:47:22 FIC004000 Available World

Dr Thorne, the third novel in Anthony Trollope’s Chronicles of Barsetshire, sees the author steer away from the church politics of the first two novels and move towards the scandals and prejudice of the upper tiers of Victorian era aristocracies. It tells the tale of Frank Gresham and Mary Thorne, a couple intent on marriage despite their conflicting social backgrounds. Frank is engaged in a fierce battle with his family as his mother vehemently opposes the marriage and pushes him to marry a wealthy heiress; however, Frank shuns her attempts as he is determined to accept Mary on her own terms. Trollope’s classic, trademark prose shines in Dr Thorne: always solicitous, gentle and kind to his readers, the author peppers his narrative with wonderfully witty observations that will leave you smiling.

£60.00 $107.98 £39.00 €44.00 $70.00 Aug14
Dracula (abridged) http://www.naxosaudiobooks.com/dracula-abridged/ Dracula Classic Fiction abridged Single 311512 9789626341155 9789629545659 Bram Stoker
Brian Cox
Heathcote Williams
Dermot Kerrigan
Siri O’Neal
Michael Gould
Polly Hayes
Daniel Philpott
Matthew Warburton
Elaine Claxton
Peter Yapp
Benjamin Soames
Anna Britten
Laura Paton
Neville Jason
3 57 03:56:40 FIC004000 Available Available World

For a century Bram Stoker’s Dracula has reigned supreme as the undisputed masterpiece of horror writing. We have all grown up under the shadow of the elegant Count, at once an attractive, brutal and erotic creature of the night. In 1897 Bram Stoker wrote a story expressing the most persistent nightmare of the human condition. Take this opportunity to dream again…

£13.99 $22.98 £9.00 €10.50 $15.00 Nicolas Soames Heather Godwin
Dracula (unabridged) http://www.naxosaudiobooks.com/dracula-unabridged/ Dracula Classic Fiction unabridged Single 0190 9781843798736 9781843798743 Bram Stoker
David Horovitch
Jamie Parker
Joseph Kloska
Alison Pettitt
Clare Corbett
John Foley
David Thorpe
14 260 16:59:25 FIC004000 Available Available World

For a century Bram Stoker’s Dracula has reigned supreme as the undisputed masterpiece of horror writing. We have all grown up beneath the shadow of the elegant Count, at once an attractive, brutal and erotic creature of the night. In 1897 Bram Stoker wrote a story expressing the most persistent nightmare of the human condition. Take this opportunity to dream again…

£50.00 $89.98 £33.00 €37.00 $58.50 Mar15

Narrators David Horovitch, Jamie Parker, Joseph Kloska, Alison Pettitt and cast adopt the identities of the well-known characters of Bram Stoker’s classic: Jonathan Harker, Mina, Lucy, the Count and others. As the story is told in a series of diary entries and letters, Dracula himself comes off as both charming and caring – until his true form is revealed. Highlights of this production include a childlike portrait of Mina and a bone-chilling portrayal of Harker and Van Helsing as the tension of the twisted plot rises and Dracula’s sinister powers and needs are revealed. Fans of the genre will be reminded just how psychically unsettling this horror story is.

R.O., AudioFile

Read by a full cast of British stage and screen actors, this mesmerising production brings new life to this familiar and timeless horror classic, which follows a mysterious Transylvanian count’s attempt to establish a foothold in England and the terror and death that ensue. The novel, told through letters, diary entries, and news reports, documents Count Dracula’s activities and chronicles the efforts of a small group to destroy him. The power of the story stems from the ability of the actors to generate the increasingly ominous tone, and the fine cast excels in capturing each character and establishing this growing dread. From the first excerpts from lawyer Jonathan Harker’s journal, Jamie Parker reflects the growing unease in his voice as he travels to Transylvania to meet Dracula and to facilitate his move. Soon the terror is palpable as he shakily recounts the vision of Dracula climbing up and down the castle walls. Back in England, Harker’s fiancée, Mina, and vampire-hunter van Helsing battle for the body and soul of Lucy, Mina’s friend and Dracula’s victim. A breathless urgency builds as the cadre tracks Dracula down to destroy him. With occasional diverting interludes involving colourful locals to balance the somber mood, this audio makes a splendid choice for fans and for those new to the novel.

Pam Spencer Holley, Booklist

Dracula’s Guest and Other Stories (unabridged) http://www.naxosaudiobooks.com/dracula-s-guest-and-other-stories-unabridged/ Dracula’s Guest and Other Stories Classic Fiction unabridged Single 0075 9781843795636 9781843795643 Bram Stoker
Rupert Degas
5 82 05:41:36 FIC004000 Available World

Best known for his masterpiece of horror, Dracula, Bram Stoker wrote a number of other novels and many short stories, all on supernatural themes or filled with a physical terror reminiscent of Poe. Dracula’s Guest was originally part of the great novel, but was excised and published separately. Some of these stories, such as The Squaw, The Judge’s House and The Burial of the Rats, rank very high among classic tales of the macabre. These stories deserve to be better known for the light they shed on the enigmatic author of one of the world’s supreme literary adventures into the realm of nightmare.

£19.99 $34.98 £13.00 €14.50 $23.00 Oct12

Having demonstrated a wry touch in his reading of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s Brigadier Gerard stories, narrator Rupert Degas shifts gears smoothly with his narration of nine lesser-known works of terror from the author of Dracula. The title story – a section of the famous novel cut prior to publication – is a splendid introduction to both Stoker and Degas. Within a few short passages, the experiences of English solicitor Jonathan Harker, on business in Europe, change dramatically – particularly when he hears warnings against travelling on Walpurgis Night. Without added sound effects, Degas makes the reader hear the threatening cries and quiet isolation Harker experiences after his driver abandons him as night falls. A versatile array of accents enables Degas to ably portray all the stories’ many characters. Burial of the Rats, in which a tourist to France must flee for his life, is another highpoint.

Publishers Weekly

Rupert Degas demonstrates that he was the perfect choice of narrator for Bram Stoker’s collection of macabre short stories. Degas’s graceful use of pauses adds a deliciously suspenseful edge to each work. With impressive versatility, he fluidly transitions from harshly accented peasant to appropriately haughty nobleman. With a dramatic flair, he expertly delivers both hushed tones and frenzied exclamations. Degas is guaranteed to make listeners’ hearts race even when they already know what’s coming. His performance of these superb classics will enhance its appeal for any fan of nightmare adventure.

S.M., AudioFile

Dragon Tales (unabridged) http://www.naxosaudiobooks.com/dragon-tales-unabridged/ Dragon Tales Junior Classics unabridged Single 294912 9789626349496 9789629548414 Kenneth Grahame
Edith Nesbit
Bertie Carvel
Emma Gregory
2 33 02:17:07 JUV038000 Available World

Here is a collection of four delightful dragon stories by two master writers for children: The Reluctant Dragon by Kenneth Grahame and The Island of the Nine Whirlpools, The Fiery Dragon and The Last Dragon by Edith Nesbit. Presented with lively music and even the occasional amusing sound effect.

£10.99 $17.98 £7.00 €8.00 $12.00 Feb09
  • The Reluctant Dragon by Kenneth Grahame
  • The Island of the Nine Whirlpools by Edith Nesbit
  • The Fiery Dragon by Edith Nesbit
  • The Last of the Dragons by Edith Nesbit

Dragon Tales is an audiobook for young adults consisting of four classic tales about dragons with a difference. These dragons aren’t the usual fairytale monsters that incinerate kingdoms and capture princesses; they are far more distinctive – from a dragon who just wants to write poetry in his cave, to a dragon who is flummoxed by the strong will of a princess! A delightful ideal for car trips with young ones, Dragon Tales will appeal to parents too, and is highly recommended for gift-giving, as well as for public library children’s audiobook collections. The featured stories are The Reluctant Dragon, The Island of the Nine Whirlpools, The Fiery Dragon, and The Last of the Dragons.

Library Bookwatch, Midwest Book Review

Dubliners (unabridged) http://www.naxosaudiobooks.com/dubliners-unabridged/ Dubliners Modern Classics unabridged Box set 31312 9789626343135 9789629545949 James Joyce
Jim Norton
6 100 06:51:50 FIC004000 Available World

Dubliners is a collection of short stories about the lives of the people of Dublin around the turn of the century. Each story describes a small but significant moment of crisis or revelation in the life of a particular Dubliner, sympathetically but always with stark honesty. Many of the characters are desperate to escape the confines of their humdrum lives, though those that have the opportunity to do so seem unable to take it. These stories introduce us to the city, which fed Joyce’s entire creative output, and to many of the characters who made it such a well of literary inspiration. Rich in humour and musical allusion, they contain some of Joyce’s most powerful and moving prose.

£24.99 $41.98 £16.00 €18.50 $28.00
Dubliners – Part I (unabridged) http://www.naxosaudiobooks.com/dubliners-part-i-unabridged/ Dubliners – Part I Modern Classics unabridged Single 317312 9789626341735 9789629545925 James Joyce
Jim Norton
3 47 03:12:20 FIC004000 Deleted Available World

This volume contains the first ten stories from Dubliners, read in their original, unabridged form by Jim Norton who has established a special reputation for his recordings of Joyce for Naxos Audiobooks. The ten stories are: The Sisters, An Encounter, Araby, Eveline, After the Race, Two Gallants, The Boarding House, A Little Cloud, Counterparts, and Clay.

£13.99 $22.98 £9.00 €10.50 $15.00
  • The Sisters
  • An Encounter
  • Araby
  • Eveline
  • After the Race
  • Two Gallants
  • The Boarding House
  • A Little Cloud
  • Counterparts
  • Clay
Dubliners – Part II (unabridged) http://www.naxosaudiobooks.com/dubliners-part-ii-unabridged/ Dubliners – Part II Modern Classics unabridged Single 318312 9789626341834 9789629545932 James Joyce
Jim Norton
3 53 03:39:30 FIC004000 Deleted Available World

This volume continues the masterly unabridged reading of the short stories. It contains the last six stories from the collection: Clay, A Painful Case, Ivy Day in the Committee Room, A Mother, Grace, and perhaps the most well-known of all the stories (and the longest), The Dead. Jim Norton has established a special reputation for his recordings of Joyce for Naxos AudioBooks.

£13.99 $22.98 £9.00 €10.50 $15.00
  • A Painful Case
  • Ivy Day in the Committee Room
  • A Mother
  • Grace
  • The Dead
Dvořák, Antonín (unabridged) http://www.naxosaudiobooks.com/dvorak-antonin-unabridged/ Life & Works – Antonín Dvořák Life & Works – Life and Works unabridged Single 558101 9781843790709 9781843793762 Jeremy Siepmann
Jeremy Siepmann
Sean Barrett
Jonathan Keeble
Garrick Hagon
Caroline Friend
Daniel Philpott
Michael Tudor Barnes
4 128 04:35:07 CD-ROM + 136-page booklet BIO004000 Available World

One of the best loved composers of all time, Dvořák rose from rural origins to become not only a great but an influential composer. The first composer to put his native Bohemia on the musical map of the world, he was invited to do the same for America. One result was the famous ‘New World’ Symphony, which made him a household name across the globe. Writing music of irresistible colour, lilt and peasant vitality, he was also a melodist-in-a-million. This portrait-in-sound follows a lovable and in many ways a very simple man from haycart to imperial palace, from tragic loss to heart-warming joy, to pigeon-raising and world celebrity.

£19.99 $34.98 £13.00 €14.50 $23.00
Dylan Thomas (compilation) http://www.naxosaudiobooks.com/dylan-thomas-compilation/ The Essential Dylan Thomas Poems and stories The Essential Modern Classics compilation Single 434312 9789626343432 9789629546137 Dylan Thomas
Richard Burton
Philip Madoc
Richard Bebb
Jason Hughes
4 133 04:52:56 POE000000 Available World

This varied, well-chosen selection brings onto one CD set the best of Dylan Thomas. Here is the legendary recording of Under Milk Wood, with Richard Burton and Richard Bebb as narrators; but here also are two radio productions he wrote before that great classic, and though interesting in their own right, they show how Under Milk Wood grew gradually in his imagination. Thomas was a charismatic if idiosyncratic performer of his own poetry and stories and here is a representative selection. Performances of Dylan Thomas have since moved on and the greatness of the writer as a poet and storyteller are perhaps best heard in new recordings by actors of our own time. Here Bebb, Madoc, and Hughes share some of Thomas’s finest, most challenging and endearing works.

£16.99 $28.98 £11.00 €12.50 $19.00
  • Under Milk Wood
  • Return Journey To Swansea
  • Quite Early One Morning
  • Memories of Christmas
  • The Peaches
  • A Visit To Grandpa’s
  • The Followers
  • The Outing – A Story
Eagle of the Ninth, The (abridged) http://www.naxosaudiobooks.com/eagle-of-the-ninth-the-abridged/ The Eagle of the Ninth Junior Classics abridged Single 442312 9789626344231 9789629544317 Rosemary Sutcliff
Charlie Simpson
4 65 04:32:19 JUV016020 Available World

Roman Britain: Marcus Flavius Aquila, a young centurion is forced into retirement after a wound in his first major engagement against a rebel British tribe. It allows him the freedom to embark upon a dangerous mission to find out what happened to the Ninth Legion which, years before, disappeared in the savage lands of the Picts. Will he find out what happened to the men, led by his father, who never returned? And will he recover the Eagle, the symbol of Roman dominance and power? This junior classic has never been out of print since it was first published over fifty years ago. It is now presented in a fresh abridgement read in exciting manner by Charlie Simpson.

£16.99 $28.98 £11.00 €12.50 $19.00

Rosemary Sutcliffe’s gripping The Eagle of the Ninth, is about a young centurion’s search for a missing legion over Hadrian’s Wall. Read by Charlie Simpson against a background of thrilling music, and sparkling with detail about the Romans in Britain, it is perfect for boys of eight and over.

Amanda Craig, Independent on Sunday

In his chapter ‘Pax Romana’, Lacey touches on the lasting legacy of the Romans in Britain which, along with Hadrian’s wall and underfloor heating, included cabbages, apples, roses and the domestic cat. Sometime around AD117, the Ninth Legion, stationed in Eboracum, now York, marched north to put down a Caledonian rising and was never heard of again. Eighteen hundred years later archaeologists at Silchester dug up a wingless Roman eagle, the military emblem carried by the standard-bearer of every Roman legion. While it remained aloft the legion’s honour lived. Sutcliff’s novel is classed as a junior classic, but it’s no less adult than and every bit as entertaining as Bernard Cornwell’s Sharpe series. It follows the fate of the son of the Ninth Legion’s commander as he attempts to solve the mystery of the missing soldiers. Life beyond Hadrian’s wall and the protection of the red-crested legionaries is a dangerous place. Sutcliff evokes a dark, threatening landscape full of lonely lochs and mist-shrouded mountains, where the mystic arts are more powerful than shield walls. Charlie Simpson reads it as if he believed every word.

Sue Arnold, The Guardian

Charlie Simpson gives an excellent reading of Rosemary Sutcliffe’s The Eagle of the Ninth. Forcibly retired from the Roman army because of a wound, young centurion Marcus Flavius Aquila goes in search of the Ninth Legion, led by his father, which disappeared many years before. Exciting and informative – and recently released as the movie The Eagle.

Kati Nicholl, Daily Expresss

Edgar Allan Poe (selections) http://www.naxosaudiobooks.com/edgar-allan-poe-selections/ The Essential Edgar Allan Poe With a biography by Roy McMillan The Essential Poetry selections Single 692112 9789626349212 9789629547738 Edgar Allan Poe
Kerry Shale
John Chancer
William Roberts
6 109 07:33:29 POE005010 Available Available Available World

Released to coincide with the two-hundredth anniversary of the author’s birth in January 1809, this selection of well-loved chilling tales from the master of the supernatural is a perfect Christmas gift. The short stories include The Murders in the Rue Morgue, The Pit and the Pendulum, The Tell-Tale Heart, The Masque of the Red Death, and The Fall of the House of Usher. This release also features additional poetry by Poe and a new biography especially written for Naxos AudioBooks by Roy McMillan.

£19.99 $34.98 £13.00 €14.50 $23.00
  • Tamerlane
  • Dreams
  • Spirits of the Dead
  • A Dream
  • The Lake
  • The bowers whereat, in dreams I see
  • Fairy-Land
  • To Helen
  • Israfel
  • Lenore
  • Sonnet: To Zante
  • The Haunted Palace
  • Sonnet: Silence
  • The Conqueror Worm
  • Dream-Land
  • Eulalie
  • The Raven
  • (Not long ago, the writer of these lines …)
  • Ulalume: A Ballad
  • The Bells
  • A Dream Within a Dream
  • For Annie
  • To My Mother
  • Annabel Lee

This collection of 8 short stories, 23 poems, and a short biography of Poe is narrated by three readers: John Chancer, William Roberts, and Kerry Shale. Shale begins with “The Murders in the Rue Morgue.” He employs a high-pitched French accent to represent Dupin and affects a surprised, somewhat immature tone for the narrator. Some of Poe’s endless descriptions bog down the pacing. Listeners may want to head right to “The Pit and the Pendulum,” read by Roberts, who is a master of the verbal adrenaline rush. His tones lower as the pendulum descends and speed up to match the petrified shrieks. Shale recites the poetry selections; cue up to “Lenore” and zip over to “The Raven” to experience a perfect audible pairing of love lost and unmitigated grief. Chancer provides a simple yet engaging reading of Poe’s biography. Suitably macabre mood music marks transitions between the selections. The celebration of Poe’s 200th birthday brings renewed interest in the author’s works.

Kaite Mediatore Stover, Booklist

Edwin Drood (unabridged) http://www.naxosaudiobooks.com/edwin-drood-unabridged/ Edwin Drood Classic Fiction unabridged Single 0092 9781843795988 9781843795995 Charles Dickens
David Timson
9 154 10:32:01 FIC004000 Deleted Available World

Through a mist of decay and opium, Dickens weaves a tale of murder and mystery in this, his last novel. Set in the fictional cathedral town of Cloisterham, John Jasper, the choir-master, takes an obsessive interest in his nephew Edwin Drood and his fiancée Rosa Bud. But when young Edwin disappears on Christmas Eve, has Jasper killed him? Alas, we’ll never know as Dickens died before completing the novel. It is an intriguing, enigmatic and also richly comic story, showing that Dickens was at the peak of his powers to the very end.

£32.99 $59.98 £21.50 €24.00 $39.00 May12

The Mystery of Edwin Drood is the unabridged audiobook adaptation of Charles Dickens’ final novel, read by veteran BBC Radio Drama performer and theater director David Timson. In the fictional cathedral town of Cloisterham, John Jasper becomes unhealthily obsessed with his nephew Edwin Drood and Drood’s fiancee Rosa Bud. Then Edwin disappears on Christmas Eve – did Jasper murder him? Or someone else? Or is he truly dead? The listener is left to speculate upon the answers, since Dickens unfortunately passed away before completing his epic mystery. Yet the characters, setting, and portrait of the light and dark sides of the human condition are resoundingly clear in this classic work, evidence that Dickens was a true literary master right to the end of his life. Highly recommended, especially for public library audiobook collections.

Library Bookwatch, Midwest Book Review

Elephant Vanishes, The (unabridged) http://www.naxosaudiobooks.com/elephant-vanishes-the-unabridged/ The Elephant Vanishes The Wind Up Bird and Tuesday’s Women | The Second Bakery Attack | The Kangaroo Communiqué | On Seeing the 100% Perfect Girl One Beautiful April Morning | Sleep | The Fall of the Roman Empire, the 1881 Indian Uprising, Hitler’s Invasion of Poland and The Realm of Raging Winds | Lederhosen | Barn Burning | The Little Green Monster | Family Affair | A Window | TV People | A Slow Boat to China | The Dancing Dwarf | The Last Lawn of the Afternoon | The Silence | The Elephant Vanishes Contemporary Fiction unabridged Single 840612 9789626344064 9789629546243 Haruki Murakami
Teresa Gallagher
John Chancer
Walter Lewis
Rupert Degas
Tim Flavin
Mark Heenehan
Jeff Peterson
8 154 10:31:59 FIC000000 Available World excl. USA and Canada

This title is no longer available to customers from the USA, Canada, Guam, Marshall Islands, Philippine Islands and American Samoa. Distribution rights for these countries have transferred to Random House. A collection of off-the-wall short stories by Japan’s leading contemporary novelist. An elephant vanishes; hunger drives a couple to rob McDonalds; an insomniac wife wakes in a different world. Murakami is a cult figure throughout the world with an increasing reputation.

£29.99 $54.98 £19.50 €22.00 $36.00
  • The Wind Up Bird and Tuesday’s Women
  • The Second Bakery Attack
  • The Kangaroo Communique
  • On Seeing the 100% Perfect Girl One Beautiful April Morning
  • Sleep
  • The Fall of the Roman Empire, The 1881 Indian Uprising, Hitler’s Invasion of Poland and The Realm of Raging Winds
  • Lederhosen
  • Barn Buring
  • The Little Green Monster
  • Family Affair
  • A Window
  • TV People
  • A Slow Boat to China
  • The Dancing Dwarf
  • The Last Lawn of the Afternoon
  • The Silence
  • The Elephant Vanishes
Elidor (unabridged) http://www.naxosaudiobooks.com/elidor-unabridged/ Elidor Junior Classics unabridged Single 396912 9789626349694 9789629548599 Alan Garner
Jonathan Keeble
3 58 03:57:18 JUV037000 Deleted Available World

Part folklore, part adventure and part fantasy, Alan Garner’s Elidor is a modern children’s classic. When Roland opens a door in a derelict church, he unleashes the wonders of Elidor and the grave challenges that this troubled world presents. Drawing on Welsh, Irish and English mythology, the book chronicles the trials and hardships of a group of young teenagers as they attempt to fulfill a prophecy from another world, and fight a terrible evil.

£13.99 $22.98 £9.00 €10.50 $15.00 Sep09
Elizabeth Barrett Browning and Christina Rossetti (selections) http://www.naxosaudiobooks.com/elizabeth-barrett-browning-and-christina-rossetti-selections/ The Great Poets – Elizabeth Barrett Browning and Christina Rossetti The Great Poets – Poetry selections Single 192012 9789626349205 9789629548223 Rachel Bavidge
Georgina Sutton
1 19 01:17:47 POE001000 Available Available Available World

Elizabeth Barrett Browning (1806–1861) and Christina Rossetti (1830–1894) were both regarded as the female poet laureates of their time, and between them their writings spanned almost the entire Victorian age, from the end of Romanticism to the beginnings of Modernism. This selection of their shorter works contains all the major themes that animated them – social justice, faith, love and mortality – and some of the best-loved poetry in English, including In The Deep Midwinter and How Do I Love Thee? These poems reflect the changing world in which they were composed, but they also reflect the complex passions of two extraordinary women.

£8.99 $14.98 £6.00 €6.50 $10.00 Jan09
Elizabeth Barrett Browning
Insufficiency
Elizabeth Barrett Browning
Adequacy
Elizabeth Barrett Browning
Comfort
Elizabeth Barrett Browning
Hiram Powers’s Greek Slave
Elizabeth Barrett Browning
The Lady’s Yes
Elizabeth Barrett Browning
The Sleep
Elizabeth Barrett Browning
A Woman’s Shortcomings
Elizabeth Barrett Browning
A Man’s Requirements
Elizabeth Barrett Browning
Grief
Elizabeth Barrett Browning
Bereavement
Elizabeth Barrett Browning
Consolation
Elizabeth Barrett Browning
The Cry of the Children
Elizabeth Barrett Browning
Sonnets from the Portuguese 1
Elizabeth Barrett Browning
Sonnets from the Portuguese 6
Elizabeth Barrett Browning
Sonnets from the Portuguese 7
Elizabeth Barrett Browning
Sonnets from the Portuguese 14
Elizabeth Barrett Browning
Sonnets from the Portuguese 22
Elizabeth Barrett Browning
Sonnets from the Portuguese 26
Elizabeth Barrett Browning
Sonnets from the Portuguese 28
Elizabeth Barrett Browning
Sonnets from the Portuguese 32
Elizabeth Barrett Browning
Sonnets from the Portuguese 38
Elizabeth Barrett Browning
Sonnets from the Portuguese 39
Elizabeth Barrett Browning
Sonnets from the Portuguese 42
Elizabeth Barrett Browning
Sonnets from the Portuguese 43
Christina Rossetti
After Death
Christina Rossetti
Song: When I am dead, my dearest
Christina Rossetti
Sappho
Christina Rossetti
Spring
Christina Rossetti
Another Spring
Christina Rossetti
A Birthday
Christina Rossetti
Good Friday
Christina Rossetti
The Heart Knoweth its own Bitterness
Christina Rossetti
Mid-Winter
Christina Rossetti
Amor Mundi
Christina Rossetti
Remember
Christina Rossetti
Silent Noon
Christina Rossetti
Up-Hill
Christina Rossetti
Song: Oh, roses for the flush of youth
Christina Rossetti
Rest
Christina Rossetti
The First Day
Christina Rossetti
May
Christina Rossetti
Maude Clare
Christina Rossetti
The Thread of Life
Christina Rossetti
Last Night
Christina Rossetti
Soeur Louise de la Misericorde (1674)
Christina Rossetti
There is a Budding Morrow in Midnight
Christina Rossetti
Love came down at Christmas
Christina Rossetti
Hope is Like a Harebell
Emma (abridged) http://www.naxosaudiobooks.com/emma-abridged/ Emma Classic Fiction abridged Single 309512 9789626340950 9789629544478 Jane Austen
Juliet Stevenson
3 55 03:45:45 FIC004000 Available World

Arrogant, self-willed and egotistical, Emma is Jane Austen’s most unusual heroine. Her interfering ways and inveterate matchmaking are at once shocking and comic. She is ‘handsome, clever and rich’ and has ‘a disposition to think too well of herself’. When she decides to introduce the humble Harriet Smith to the delights of genteel society and to find her a suitable husband, she precipitates herself and her immediate circle into a web of misunderstanding and intrigue, from which no-one emerges unchanged.

£13.99 $22.98 £9.00 €10.50 $15.00
Emma (unabridged) http://www.naxosaudiobooks.com/emma-unabridged/ Emma Classic Fiction unabridged Single 39412 9789626343944 9789629544485 Jane Austen
Juliet Stevenson
13 243 16:40:06 FIC004000 Available World

Arrogant, self-willed and egotistical, Emma is Jane Austen’s most unusual heroine. Her interfering ways and inveterate matchmaking are at once shocking and comic. She is ‘handsome, clever and rich’ and has ‘a disposition to think too well of herself’. When she decides to introduce the humble Harriet Smith to the delights of genteel society and to find her a suitable husband, she precipitates herself and her immediate circle into a web of misunderstanding and intrigue, from which no-one emerges unchanged. Juliet Stevenson, an incomparable reader, is for many the voice of Jane Austen

£45.50 $81.98 £29.00 €33.50 $53.00

I have already praised Juliet Stevenson’s understanding of subtle human comedy, but feel impelled to add that in her latest performance, Emma, the peerlessly snobbish, judgmental, self-regarding, manipulative heroine and her circle make perfect audio companions for a long drive, a marathon ironing session or, indeed, a nice cup of tea.

Karen Robinson, The Sunday Times

Empty House and Other Stories, The (unabridged) http://www.naxosaudiobooks.com/empty-house-and-other-stories-the-unabridged/ The Empty House and Other Stories Classic Fiction unabridged Single 0244 9781843799948 9781843799955 Algernon Blackwood
Hugh Ross
6 103 06:38:49 FIC004000 Available Available World

An abandoned house whose horrific past is re-enacted for those who dare visit; a terrifying trip down the Danube river; a malevolent half-beast creature who abducts a member of a hunting party; and a tale of paranoia, mental deterioration and all-consuming feelings of doom: here are four feverish, spine-tingling tales that will chill the blood and make the flesh creep.

£24.99 $41.98 £16.00 €18.50 $28.00 Jul16
  • The Empty House
  • The Willows
  • The Listener
  • The Wendigo
John Foley, Anthony Anderson Andrew Riches
Enchanted Castle, The (abridged) http://www.naxosaudiobooks.com/enchanted-castle-the-abridged/ The Enchanted Castle Junior Classics abridged Single 285812 9789626348581 9789629544201 Edith Nesbit
Joanna Page
2 38 02:36:49 JUV037000 Deleted Available World

Three children – Jerry (bossy), Jimmy (hungry) and Kathleen (sensible) – find themselves standing in front of a bejewelled princess in the garden of an enchanted castle. It is the first day of their summer holidays. Is she really a princess? And if she isn’t, what about her ring which makes the wearer invisible? This ring, combined with the children’s appetite for exploring, sparks a tale full of vivid adventures and extraordinary characters. With ‘ugly-wugglies’ on the loose, statues alive in the moonlight and crimes needing to be solved, there is never a dull moment. Imagination is powerful; magic is possible.

£10.99 $17.98 £7.00 €8.00 $12.00

Magical tale of invisibility and a bejewelled princess still enchants.

Rachel Redford, The Guardian, 23 March 2008

Edith Nesbit crafts an adventure in which three children on summer vacation encounter an enchanted castle and a magic ring. While the story may be a hundred years old, Joanna Page brings freshness and urgency to the tale. Her children live up to their descriptors – officious Jerry, nonchalant Jimmy, and practical Kathleen – and they’re brought to life with just the right amount of a British accent. Page moves the narration briskly, letting the layers and intricacies of the story shine – from the children’s first realization of the ring’s power to the coming to life of the Ugly Wugglies. Try this over school vacation.

A. R., AudioFile Magazine

Essential Remembrance of Things Past, The (abridged) http://www.naxosaudiobooks.com/remembrance-of-things-past-abridged/ The Essential Remembrance of Things Past The Essential Modern Classics abridged Single 898812 9789626349885 9789629548865 Marcel Proust
Neville Jason
8 142 09:47:56 FIC004000 Available Deleted Available World

Marcel Proust’s Remembrance of Things Past is one of the world’s most celebrated books. And yet many people are daunted by its formidable size: it is more than 3,000 pages long. In this audio version Proust’s masterpiece is presented in easily accessible form, the author’s major themes and unique style are retained, and the key scenes are linked by a specially written narration. The Essential Remembrance of Things Past is an ideal introduction to one of the landmarks of modern European literature.

£29.99 $54.98 £19.50 €22.00 $36.00 Jan10

The art of abridgment and the art of narration are both fully tested in this compression of Proust’s gargantuan masterpiece into 10 smooth hours of listening. Neville Jason wonderfully captures Proust’s distinctive narrative voice: its unwavering detachment and the underlying affection with which this most meticulous of authors dissects each element of memory and feeling. Jason’s rendering of male voices is excellent, in particular his matchless portrayal of the Baron de Charlus, but in depicting females and underlings he can be a bit stagy. The abridgment itself is excellent, matching in outline Proust’s own strategy of broad sweeps and lingering exactitudes. The bridge-synopses are clear, to the point, and distinctive from the text, and the individual passages are well chosen. The effect is exactly what is desired: a self-sufficient abridgment that captures the spirit, character, and a good part of the content of the original.

D.A.W., AudioFile

Literally translated In Search of Lost Time, Proust’s monumental work is over 3,000 pages long; this abridged audio production is a valuable tool for those who want a less daunting exploration into this great work. Consisting of seven volumes, Remembrance of Things Past is a novel that is less about plot than memory itself. Written between1909 and 1922, the narrator (Proust himself) is a sensitive young man who grows up in an upper-crust ménage of artists, elites, effetes, society-driven royalty-crazed snobs and decadents. The listener is drawn into the dazzling world of the rich with sensual descriptions of gardens, food, fashion, décor. It is a feast for the senses, which are often rudely jarred by the pomposity of the characters. Yet, that is where narrator Neville Jason’s virtuosity as an actor shines so brilliantly. Jason’s spirited acting, accompanied by Roy McMillan, lifts this production to new heights. Each narrator handles a huge cast of outrageous eccentrics with force and distinction. Breaks in the major scenes of the novel have an especially written narration to alert the listener. The breaks also include classical music of the period which adds to the delight of an exceptional production.

Nancy Chaplin, SoundCommentary

Evgenii Onegin (unabridged) http://www.naxosaudiobooks.com/evgenii-onegin-unabridged/ Evgenii Onegin Poetry unabridged Single 0077 9781843795674 9781843795681 Alexander Pushkin
Neville Jason
4 63 04:27:39 POE016000 Deleted Available World

Evgenii Onegin is best known in the West through Tchaikovsky’s opera Eugene Onegin. But the original narrative poem is one of the landmarks of Russian literature. In the poem, the eponymous hero repudiates love, only to later experience the pain of rejection himself. Pushkin’s unique style proves timeless in its exploration of love, life, passion, jealousy and the consequences of social convention. This is the first time the work has appeared on audiobook and is part of the Naxos AudioBooks intention to make the major European literary works available on audiobook.

£16.99 $28.98 £11.00 €12.50 $19.00 May12

Because this is a novel in verse, its audio rendition requires especially focused listening. The text’s impact comes as much from plot and character as from the all-important persona Pushkin creates to tell the tale. Neville Jason recounts the unfortunate Onegin’s story in the voice of an overly tolerant uncle – often amused but sometimes saddened or surprised by the unpredictable behaviour of a favourite nephew. In addition, this translation uses a fair amount of rhyme, which, coupled with Jason’s avuncular persona, suggests a nineteenth-century Russian Dr. Seuss. However, given Pushkin’s likely goal of mocking social mores of the time and exposing shallow behaviour, that matter-of-fact avuncular voice sounds just right – self-possessed, didactic, and a little distant.

L.X., AudioFile

Exploits of Brigadier Gerard, The (unabridged) http://www.naxosaudiobooks.com/exploits-of-brigadier-gerard-the-unabridged/ The Exploits of Brigadier Gerard Classic Fiction unabridged Single 738512 9781843793854 9781843793885 Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
Rupert Degas
6 106 07:13:11 FIC002000 Available Deleted Available World

With a horse between his thighs and a weapon in his grip, the dashing Brigadier Etienne Gerard, Colonel of the Hussars of Conflans, gallops through the Napoleonic campaigns on secret missions for his beloved Emperor and his country. He encounters danger and hair-breadth escapes but never loses his bravado, his eye for a pretty girl, his boastfulness or his enormous vanity. Gerard is Conan Doyle’s most lovable character. At times hilarious, at times touching, these stories are amongst Conan Doyle’s most popular.

£19.99 $34.98 £13.00 €14.50 $23.00 Jul10
Faerie Queene, Selections from The (abridged) http://www.naxosaudiobooks.com/faerie-queene-selections-from-the-abridged/ Selections from The Faerie Queene Poetry abridged Single 337712 9789626343777 9789629546731 Edmund Spenser
John Moffatt
3 58 03:58:55 POE005020 Available World

This remarkable poem, dedicated to Queen Elizabeth I, was Spenser’s finest achievement: the first epic poem in modern English, The Faerie Queene combines dramatic narratives of chivalrous adventure with exquisite and picturesque episodes of pageantry. At the same time, Spenser is expounding a deeply-felt allegory of the eternal struggle between Truth and Error…

£13.99 $22.98 £9.00 €10.50 $15.00
Faerie Queene, The (unabridged) http://www.naxosaudiobooks.com/faerie-queene-the-unabridged/ The Faerie Queene Poetry unabridged Single 0161 9781843797951 9781843797968 Edmund Spenser
David Timson
26 487 33:12:37 POE005020 Available Available World

This remarkable poem, dedicated to Queen Elizabeth I, was Spenser’s finest achievement. The first epic poem in modern English, The Faerie Queene combines dramatic narratives of chivalrous adventure with exquisite and picturesque episodes of pageantry. At the same time, Spenser is expounding a deeply felt allegory of the eternal struggle between Truth and Error…

£80.00 $142.98 £52.00 €61.00 $92.00 Nov15

In most Arthurian romances, the noblest monarch in the world is King Arthur, and the greatest knight is Lancelot, who tragically falls in love with Arthur’s queen. In the romances surrounding Amadis of Gaul, on the other hand, the noblest monarch is King Lisuarte, and the greatest knight is Amadis, who has the good fortune to fall in love not with Lisuarte’s queen, but with his unmarried daughter, the Princess Oriana. Spenser takes this trend a bold step further: in his vast poetic fantasy, the noblest monarch is the Queen of Faerie, and the greatest knight is the young Prince Arthur, not yet a king in his own right, who falls in love with that same unmarried Queen, the tantalizing Gloriana. In fact, it is Gloriana who takes the initiative by making herself known to Arthur and declaring her love for him, but then vanishes, leaving him to seek her out in a world of pathless forests.

In The Faerie Queene, then, Spenser is creating an epic-scale, alternate-history prequel to the Arthurian romances we already know: nearly a quarter of a million words of loosely intertwined adventures featuring (for the most part) an altogether new cast of amorous knights and ladies, new champions who must quest for true love and virtue while combating miscreants, monsters, wizards, and witches in a land drenched with symbolism and enchantment. (The fact that everything is symbolic is part of the enchantment.) In all this, he aims to do for England and Britain what Homer and Virgil and Ovid had done for Greece and Rome: his poem aspires to be a great epic in its own right, and if its characters are not quite as apt to recall Odysseus or Aeneas as Lancelot or Gawain, they are at least no more likely to encounter a guardian angel than an Olympian goddess.

In such unabashed intermingling of ordinarily disparate fantasy realms and genres, The Faerie Queene was a major influence on C. S. Lewis in the Chronicles of Narnia; and, long before that, its trailblazing splendor of ancient, medieval, and modern learning, penetrating moral insight, vividly sensuous imagination, unexampled metrical fluency, and rapturous prosodic mastery had served as both incitement and inspiration to nearly every other poet of the English Renaissance, including Shakespeare, and to many others in the centuries that followed.

The challenge posed to any would-be narrator by both the nature and the stature of such a work is formidable, but luckily the supremely accomplished David Timson was willing to take up the gauntlet. True, Timson is not able to inhabit the author and his characters as fully as in his readings of Sherlock Holmes stories or Dickens novels. There is simply not much spoken dialogue in The Faerie Queene for a gifted character actor to latch onto, and not much that lends itself to a novelistic approach to oral narration. Spenser’s is an older manner of romance: remote, exotic, stylized. A brisk willingness to wax rhapsodic even at the risk of sounding hokey may be the best way to engage such high-flown material; Timson has done that brilliantly in the Naxos Poems of the Orient collection, and so of course proves more than capable of warming up to what Spenser is doing here as well. His performance never falls short of eloquence, and, when the wheels of his spoken narration mesh fully with the thematic and emotive gears and springs driving Spenser’s narrative from within, they achieve a remarkable forward impetus. At such moments, Timson fully captures the gripping incantatory pulse of Spenser’s lines and stanzas as they weave their stirring, brooding, or exhilarating spell of power.

At other times, unfortunately, he seems to treat The Faerie Queene as if it were no more than a juvenile fantasy novel. But don’t get me wrong: even in non-epic modes, Timson manages some astonishing feats. In fact, given that Spenser is a pre-Enlightenment poet and romancer rather than a pioneering novelist, it is amazing how much novelistic immediacy Timson is able to wring for us from his ringing cantos. When the poet tells us how the haughty Queen Lucifera lords it over her subjects and distinguished visitors, we now, thanks to Timson’s performance, hear this as the projected narration she is listening to in her own head, as if she were imagining a newscaster’s voiceover proclaiming her magnificence. And Timson is not freelancing here, not going rogue; he is foregrounding something that we can now see was always there. Forget what I said before: the supposedly remote, exotic, stylized Spenser, like one of the great classic novelists who follow him, is letting what seemed to be impersonal omniscient narration shade into direct, intimate, vivid expression of a character’s mind.

Still, novelistic and dramatic methods are generally not the most salient means by which Spenser seeks to galvanize our insight and enjoyment, and in singling out the merits of this recording it would be wrong to overemphasize them. For one thing, Timson’s repertoire of vocal characterizations, so expertly deployed to render the denizens of Doyle’s or Dickens’ London, often seems less suited to the knights and ladies of Spenser’s Faerie Land, with the result that what is by rights an epoch-making masterpiece occasionally seems no more than an idiosyncratic minor classic. That’s too bad; but Timson’s exuberantly vigorous narration, strictly as such, is for the most part so dazzling as to make the unabridged Naxos Faerie Queene beyond question a five-star listening experience. For the most part, Timson, like Spenser, is simply amazing.

Customer ReviewAmazon.com

Spenser’s long but incomplete epic, allegorically instructive and linguistically archaic, is also a fantasy romp among knights, monsters, witches, and beautiful damsels. David Timson both conveys the fun and actually makes the poem easier to understand (though perhaps still daunting for newcomers) by interpreting it through his narration. He uses his voice richly and well to convey both the emotion and thought of the text with clarity and intelligence. He skilfully distinguishes and characterises, especially, the male personae, sometimes using class and regional accents. His females are less convincing, and his voice for the heroine, Britomart, is oddly unpleasant. But Timson’s fine reading rescues the poem from academic dryness and renders it as the pleasurable entertainment it was, at least in part, meant to be.

W.M., AudioFile

Fall of the House of Usher and other tales of mystery and imagination, The (unabridged) http://www.naxosaudiobooks.com/fall-of-the-house-of-usher-and-other-tales-of-mystery-and-imagination-the-unabridged/ The Fall of the House of Usher and other tales of mystery and imagination The Fall of the House of Usher | The Pit and the Pendulum | Ligeia | The Facts in the Case of M. Valdemar | The Tell-Tale Heart | The Black Cat | The Masque of the Red Death | The Cask of Amontillado | The Premature Classic Fiction unabridged Single 428312 9789626342831 9789629545604 Edgar Allan Poe
William Roberts
4 71 04:52:00 FIC029000 Deleted Available World

The horrors of the Spanish Inquisition, with its dungeon of death, and the overhanging gloom on the House of Usher demonstrate unforgettably the unique imagination of Edgar Allan Poe. Unerringly, he touches upon some of our greatest nightmares – premature burial, ghostly transformation and words from beyond the grave. Written in the 1840s, they have retained their power to shock and frighten even now.

£16.99 $28.98 £11.00 €12.50 $19.00
  • The Pit and the Pendulum
  • The Tell-Tale Heart
  • The Masque of the Red Death
  • Ligeia
  • The Raven
  • The Cask of Amontillado
  • The Fall of the House of Usher
  • The Black Cat
  • The Premature Burial
  • The Facts in the Case of M Valdemar
Falstaff (unabridged) http://www.naxosaudiobooks.com/falstaff-unabridged/ Opera Explained – Falstaff Opera Explained – Music unabridged Single 558158 9781843790983 9781843793274 Thomson Smillie
David Timson
1 36 01:18:54 MUS028000 Available World

Verdi’s Falstaff repays careful study with real pleasure. It is opera’s happiest irony that the great Italian master should cap a career – distinguished for its blood-and-thunder tragic masterpieces – with the greatest comic opera in the Italian repertory. The genius of Shakespeare is harnessed (in a miracle of compression) by master-librettist Boito to give the eighty-year-old Verdi a superb libretto, on which he lavished more wonderful tunes than most composers manage in a lifetime. Falstaff is the last great Italian comic opera and a worthy end to the tradition.

£5.99 $12.99 £4.00 €4.50 $7.80
Family Christmas, A (compilation) http://www.naxosaudiobooks.com/family-christmas-a-compilation/ A Family Christmas A Child’s Christmas in Wales | The Nutcracker | The Little Match Girl | The Adventure of the Blue Carbuncle | ’Twas The Night Before Christmas | The Three Kings | King Frost | A Kidnapped Santa Claus | The Thieves Who Couldn’t Stop Sneezing | Talking Turkeys Junior Classics unabridged Single 247112 9789626344712 9789629544461 Philip Madoc
Jenny Agutter
Benjamin Zephaniah
John Chancer
Teresa Gallagher
David Timson
Benjamin Soames
2 38 02:34:44 FIC058000 Available Available World

The tree, the fireside, the candles, the presents and the festive food may be the main features of the traditional Christmas, but so were the stories, the poems, and the traditional tales. Here, is a delightful confection of Christmas texts: the story of The Nutcracker told with Tchaikovsky’s immortal music, Dylan Thomas’ A Child’s Christmas in Wales, as well as nineteenth and twentieth century poems and the always affecting tale of The Little Match Girl. An enchanting collection for those family Christmas evenings.

£10.99 $17.98 £7.00 €8.00 $12.00
Famous Composers (unabridged) http://www.naxosaudiobooks.com/famous-composers-unabridged/ Famous Composers Vivaldi | Bach | Mozart | Beethoven | Dvořák | Shostakovich Junior Classics unabridged Single 234712 9789626343470 9789629544058 Darren Henley
Aled Jones
2 33 02:16:21 CD-ROM BIO004000 Available World excl. USA and Canada

Following on the success of The Story of Classical Music, Darren Henley and Aled Jones combine forces again to tell, in more detail, the lives of six key composers Bach, Vivaldi, Mozart, Beethoven, Dvořák and Shostakovich. Their colourful lives and their love of music is told against the backdrop of some of their finest works – an ideal combination.

£10.99 $17.98 £7.00 €8.00 $12.00
  • Bach
  • Vivaldi
  • Mozart
  • Beethoven
  • Dvořák
  • Shostakovich
Famous Composers (unabridged) http://www.naxosaudiobooks.com/famous-composers-unabridged-2/ Famous Composers Junior Classics unabridged Single 236812 9789626343685 9789629549749 Darren Henley
Marin Alsop
2 33 02:17:26 BIO004000 Available Available USA/Canada only

Following on the success of The Story of Classical Music, Darren Henley and Marin Alsop combine forces again to tell, in more detail, the lives of six key composers Bach, Vivaldi, Mozart, Beethoven, Dvořák and Shostakovich. Their colourful lives and their love of music is told against the backdrop of some of their finest works – an ideal combination.

£10.99 $17.98 £7.00 €8.00 $12.00
Famous Heroes of the American West (unabridged) http://www.naxosaudiobooks.com/famous-heroes-of-the-american-west-unabridged/ Famous Heroes of the American West Junior Classics unabridged Single 0067 9781843795469 9781843795476 William Roberts
Adam Sims
2 35 02:23:52 BIO000000 Available World

Famous Heroes of the American West is a lively account of the ‘Wild West’ and its renowned figures, narrated with vigour by Adam Sims. The lives of Davy Crockett, Christopher ‘Kit’ Carson, Calamity Jane and Sitting Bull, amongst others, are explored in detail. Their exploits, adventures and alliances make for fascinating listening.

£10.99 $17.98 £7.00 €8.00 $12.00 Jun12

Although this production is intended for a younger audience, adults will also warm to Adam Sims’s tenor voice as he ably narrates the stories of Daniel Boone, Kit Carson, Davy Crockett, Sitting Bull, Chief Joseph, Buffalo Bill Cody, Wild Bill Hickok, Calamity Jane, and Wyatt Earp. Sims gives a seemingly effortless performance as he narrates these accounts with ease and confidence. His voice captures one’s attention and never lets go as he takes listeners on this nearly two-century journey of the westward expansion from the French and Indian War to the death of Earp in 1929. Musical excerpts used to segue between sections add to the listening experience.

M.T.F., AudioFile

Famous People in History – Volume 1 (unabridged) http://www.naxosaudiobooks.com/famous-people-in-history-volume-1-unabridged/ Famous People in History – Volume 1 Christopher Columbus | Elizabeth I William Shakespeare | Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart | Lord Nelson | Charles Darwin | Florence Nightingale | Abraham Lincoln | Anne Frank Junior Classics unabridged Single 217212 9789626341728 9789629544263 Nicolas Soames
Trevor Nichols
Katinka Wolf
2 37 02:31:20 BIO000000 Available World

Here are the stories of nine people whose energy, imagination, courage and determination changed the world. From Christopher Columbus, who set off into unknown seas in a small ship in the fifteenth century, to a young girl, Anne Frank, caught in the turmoil of the twentieth, who wrote a remarkable diary while in hiding in Amsterdam during the Second World War. Their personalities and their achievements make them heroes and heroines for our time also.

£10.99 $17.98 £7.00 €8.00 $12.00
  • Christopher Columbus
  • Elizabeth I
  • William Shakespeare
  • Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
  • Lord Nelson
  • Charles Darwin
  • Florence Nightingale
  • Abraham Lincoln
  • Anne Frank
Famous People in History – Volume 2 (unabridged) http://www.naxosaudiobooks.com/famous-people-in-history-volume-2-unabridged/ Famous People in History – Volume 2 Alexander the Great | Joan of Arc | Leonardo da Vinci | Isaac Newton | George Washington | Ludwig van Beethoven | Louis Pasteur | Marie Curie | Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi Junior Classics unabridged Single 219712 9789626341971 9789629544270 Nicolas Soames
Daniel Philpott
Laura Brattan
Garrick Hagon
2 38 02:37:46 BIO000000 Available World

There is a need for accessible short biographies of key people for younger listeners. Following the success of Famous People, Volume I, Nicolas Soames presents another varied group of men and women who have changed the course of history. This is the second volume of popular histories of famous people.

£10.99 $17.98 £7.00 €8.00 $12.00
  • Alexander the Great
  • George Washington
  • Joan of Arc
  • Isaac Newton
  • Louis Pasteur
  • Marie Curie
  • Leonardo da Vinci
  • Ludwig van Beethoven
  • Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi
Fanny Hill (abridged) http://www.naxosaudiobooks.com/fanny-hill-abridged/ Fanny Hill Classic Fiction abridged Single 316012 9789626341605 9789629544775 John Cleland
Emma Fielding
3 55 03:44:15 FIC004000 Deleted Available World

Fanny Hill, one of the most popular novels of the 18th century, traces the rise of its heroine from prostitution to middle-class respectability. Condemned in its own time on grounds of indecency, the book was the subject of several law suits until as recently as the 1960s. For today’s reader, the work holds as much fascination as when it was first published, not only as the foremost example of English erotic fiction, but as a literary classic in its own right.

£13.99 $22.98 £9.00 €10.50 $15.00
Far From the Madding Crowd (abridged) http://www.naxosaudiobooks.com/far-from-the-madding-crowd-abridged/ Young Adult Classics – Far From the Madding Crowd Young Adult Classics – Young Adult Classics abridged Single 397012 9789626349700 9789629548698 Thomas Hardy
Neville Jason
3 57 03:55:30 CD-ROM YAF009000 Available Available World

Far from the Madding Crowd was Hardy’s fourth novel, gaining significant popularity and critical attention. It tells of Gabriel, an up-and-coming shepherd, who falls in love with a proud and vain young beauty Bathsheba, who refuses his offer of marriage as she values her independence too much. The novel can be described as an early piece of feminist literature and is regularly studied in schools. This is part of the ‘Young Adult Classics’ series launched by Naxos AudioBooks in 2009: each title contains a CD-ROM with extensive ‘teacher notes’ and the full text of the audiobook.

£10.99 $17.98 £7.00 €8.00 $12.00 Jun09
Far From the Madding Crowd (abridged) http://www.naxosaudiobooks.com/far-from-the-madding-crowd-abridged-2/ Far From the Madding Crowd Classic Fiction abridged Single 313612 9789626341360 9789629545376 Thomas Hardy
Neville Jason
3 58 03:58:12 FIC004000 Available Available World

In a remote corner of early Victorian England, where traditional practices remain untouched by time, Bathsheba Everdene stands out as a beacon of feminine independence and self-reliance. However, when confronted with three suitors, among them the dashing Sergeant Troy, she shows a reckless capriciousness which threatens the stability of the whole community. Published in 1874, and an immediate best-seller, Far From the Madding Crowd established Thomas Hardy as one of Britain’s foremost novelists.

£13.99 $22.98 £9.00 €10.50 $15.00

A vivid classic set in a remote rural corner of early Victorian England features conflicting values, class dichotomy, opposing principles, and romantic drama. Never ceasing to be relevant, Hardy’s classic endures as Bathsheba Everdene waivers between wielding her feminine wiles to secure love and marriage and maintaining her stoic independence and self-reliance. Neville Jason narrates with an upper-crust accent, then deftly shifts to the characters’ distinctive singsong Cornish speech and earthy expressions. He adapts well to the tones of women and the elderly. The audiobook’s musical interludes, while striking the moods reflected in scenes, are slightly too strident – but are not a distraction from the novel’s fatalistic turmoil and picturesque descriptions.

A.W., AudioFile

A vivid classic set in a remote rural corner of early Victorian England features conflicting values, class dichotomy, opposing principles, and romantic drama. Never ceasing to be relevant, Hardy’s classic endures as Bathsheba Everdene waivers between wielding her feminine wiles to secure love and marriage and maintaining her stoic independence and self-reliance. Neville Jason narrates with an upper-crust accent, then deftly shifts to the characters’ distinctive singsong Cornish speech and earthy expressions. He adapts well to the tones of women and the elderly. The audiobook’s musical interludes, while striking the moods reflected in scenes, are slightly too strident – but are not a distraction from the novel’s fatalistic turmoil and picturesque descriptions.

A.W., AudioFile

Far From the Madding Crowd (unabridged) http://www.naxosaudiobooks.com/far-from-the-madding-crowd-unabridged/ Far From the Madding Crowd Classic Fiction unabridged Single 0154 9781843798453 9781843798460 Thomas Hardy
Jamie Parker
12 222 14:52:33 FIC004000 Available Available World

In a remote corner of early Victorian England, where traditional practices remain untouched by time, Bathsheba Everdene stands out as a beacon of feminine independence and self-reliance. However, when confronted with three suitors, among them the dashing Sergeant Troy, she shows a reckless capriciousness which threatens the stability of the whole community. Published in 1874, and an immediate best-seller, Far From the Madding Crowd established Thomas Hardy as one of Britain’s foremost novelists.

£42.00 $73.98 £27.00 €31.00 $48.00 Jun14

A dark-haired muse, Bathsheba Everdene, entices and repulses the men of Hardy’s rural Weatherbury. When she’s finally won in marriage, she’s consumed by despair. British actor Jamie Parker’s sonorous voice complements Hardy’s deliberate style. While Parker assumes an unhurried tone throughout the narrative, he provides energetic feeling in the dialogue. His vocal characterisations are well executed, particularly in the discussions of the townspeople in which he portrays the local dialects convincingly. He also effectively contrasts the methodical Gabriel Oak and the haughty Bathsheba in their heated discussions. Parker skilfully navigates the listener through the novel, and his attention to the nuances of Hardy’s prose makes his narration especially compelling.

D.M.W., AudioFile

Farewell the Trumpets (abridged) http://www.naxosaudiobooks.com/farewell-the-trumpets-abridged/ Farewell the Trumpets History abridged Single 0039 9781843794752 9781843794769 Jan Morris
Roy McMillan
6 105 07:30:49 HIS015000 Available World

The Pax Britannica trilogy is Jan Morris’s masterly telling of the British Empire from the accession of Queen Victoria to the death of Winston Churchill. It is a towering achievement: informative, accessible, entertaining and written with all her usual bravura. This final volume charts the decline and dissolution of what was once the largest empire the world had known. From the first signs of decay in the imperial ambition in the Boer Wars, through the global shifts in power evident in the two World Wars, it offers a perspective that is honest, evocative and occasionally elegiac.

£24.99 $41.98 £16.00 €18.50 $28.00 Mar12
Farewell the Trumpets (unabridged) http://www.naxosaudiobooks.com/farewell-the-trumpets-unabridged/ Farewell the Trumpets History unabridged Single 0038 9781843794738 9781843794745 Jan Morris
Roy McMillan
16 294 20:56:07 HIS015000 Available World

The Pax Britannica trilogy is Jan Morris’s masterly telling of the British Empire from the accession of Queen Victoria to the death of Winston Churchill. It is a towering achievement: informative, accessible, entertaining and written with all her usual bravura. This final volume charts the decline and dissolution of what was once the largest empire the world had known. From the first signs of decay in the imperial ambition in the Boer Wars, through the global shifts in power evident in the two World Wars, it offers a perspective that is honest, evocative and occasionally elegiac.

£55.00 $98.98 £36.00 €40.50 $64.00 Mar12
Faro’s Daughter (abridged) http://www.naxosaudiobooks.com/faro-s-daughter-abridged/ Faro’s Daughter Classic Fiction abridged Single 0132 9781843797296 9781843797333 Georgette Heyer
Laura Paton
4 68 04:38:47 FIC004000 Available World

Fiery, strong-willed Deb Grantham, who presides over a gaming house with her aunt, is hardly the perfect wife for the young and naive Lord Mablethorpe. His lordship’s family are scandalised that he proposes to marry one of ‘faro’s daughters’, and his cousin – the proud, wealthy Max Ravenscar – decides to take the matter in hand. Ravenscar always gets his way, but as he and Miss Grantham lock horns, they become increasingly drawn to each other. Amidst all the misunderstandings and entanglements, has Ravenscar finally met his match?

£16.99 $28.98 £11.00 €12.50 $19.00 Mar13

Georgette Heyer’s novels are second to none in recreating Regency times, and most of them are available on audio. The latest of Naxos’s lively abridged versions to be released is Faro’s Daughter, another tale of a poor but feisty girl using her mind as well as her looks to make good. From the instant that the wealthy and noble Max Ravenscar frowns at the news that his naive young cousin is in love with a gamester’s daughter, we can guess the outcome, but the journey, voiced with bounce and bonhomie by Laura Paton, is a delight.

Christina Hardyment, The Times

Faro’s Daughter (unabridged) http://www.naxosaudiobooks.com/faro-s-daughter-unabridged/ Faro’s Daughter Classic Fiction unabridged Single 0184 9781843798613 9781843798620 Georgette Heyer
Laura Paton
7 134 08:46:14 FIC004000 Available World

Fiery, strong-willed Deb Grantham, who presides over a gaming house with her aunt, is hardly the perfect wife for the young and naive Lord Mablethorpe. His lordship’s family are scandalised that he proposes to marry one of ‘faro’s daughters’, and his cousin − the proud, wealthy Max Ravenscar − decides to take the matter in hand. Ravenscar always gets his way, but as he and Miss Grantham lock horns, they become increasingly drawn to each other. Amidst all the misunderstandings and entanglements, has Ravenscar finally met his match?

£27.99 $47.98 £18.00 €20.50 $31.00 Aug14

Laura Paton narrated Naxos’s abridged recording of Faro’s Daughter and she has now recorded this new, unabridged version. It’s a very satisfying performance all round, although I do think that some of her male voices (Adrian and Kit Grantham, for example) could have been pitched a little lower. Ms Paton has a voice I’d classify as being in the contralto range, with a natural huskiness to it that is very pleasing to the ear; and her performance of the two principals is very good indeed. I particularly like the way she portrays Max, who is bluff and no-nonsense until Deborah gets under his skin and he can’t hold on to his temper! She’s especially good in the ‘cellar’ scenes (in order to revenge herself upon Max, Deborah has him kidnapped and bundled into the cellar!) when her acting choices are perfect; I could feel the seething rage behind Max’s words. Of the secondary characters, her performance of Lady Bellingham is my favourite; she injects a kind of dreamy quality into her tone which tells the listener so much about the kind of woman she is – not stupid but not especially bright either, who seems to drifts through life by fixating on small issues so she doesn’t have to face the big ones. Ms Paton’s narration is well-paced and expertly nuanced, and other than the minor issue I’ve mentioned above, it’s a thoroughly accomplished performance all round and one which I am sure I will revisit time and again.

Carol Sissons, AudioGals

Deb Grantham presides over a gaming house yet Lord Mablethorpe plans to MARRY her! His outraged cousin Ravenscar wants to knock sense into the young cub, but is himself drawn to Deb. Heyer’s ingredients are familiar, but who cares when the narration is so deliciously in tune?

Rachel Redford, The Oldie

Faust (abridged) http://www.naxosaudiobooks.com/faust-abridged/ Faust Drama abridged Single 0068 9781843795490 9781843795506 Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
Samuel West
Toby Jones
Anna Maxwell Martin
Stephen Critchlow
Derek Jacobi
Daniel Mair
4 114 03:59:13 DRA004020 Available Available Available World

Faust is one of the pillars of Western literature. This classic drama presents the story of the scholar Faust, tempted into a contract with the Devil in return for a life of sensuality and power. Enjoyment rules until Faust’s emotions are stirred by a meeting with Gretchen, and the tragic outcome brings Part 1 to an end. Part 2, written much later in Goethe’s life, places his eponymous hero in a variety of unexpected circumstances, causing him to reflect on humanity and its attitudes to life and death.

£16.99 $28.98 £11.00 €12.50 $19.00 Oct11 John R. Williams Nicolas Soames David Timson Norman Goodman

Winner of AudioFile Earphones Award

If it’s been a while since you tackled Goethe’s Faust – like, forever – don’t wait a moment longer. John R. Williams’s sparkling English translation is delightful, full of wit and delicious rhymes, and would be reason enough to fling yourself at it, but this full-cast production more than doubles the pleasure. The actors play it as if we were all Faust and hell were going to be a lot worse than other people. The performances are marvellous, and the sound effects clever and often gorgeous (the choir!). After this rendering of ’Walpurgisnacht,’ you’ll never see Hallowe’en the same again. One might call this Harry Potter for grown-ups, except that the good guys – well, I wouldn’t want to give away the ending. What a great theatrical experience.

B.G., AudioFile

Goethe’s classic tragedy is here vividly enacted by a talented cast, including Samuel West (Faust), Toby Jones (Mephistopheles) and Derek Jacobi (The Lord). Frustrated with the limitations of mankind, Faust is given the ultimate offer by the Devil incarnate and must live with the consequences of accepting such a bargain. Despite the abridgement, the production is well contained, clear, and nicely executed.

Verdict: The performances all shine, with the only faltering owing to the sound mixing. At times, the music and limited sound effects interfere with one’s ability to hear the cast clearly, especially given the word patterns of the rhyming schemes. Recommended for fans of dramatisations, classics and plays.

Lance Eaton, Library Journal

Favourite Essays: An Anthology (selections) http://www.naxosaudiobooks.com/favourite-essays-an-anthology-selections/ Favourite Essays: An Anthology Non-fiction selections Single 493712 9789626349373 9789629548629 Michel de Montaigne
Jonathan Swift
Thomas Carlyle
Joseph Addison
Samuel Johnson
Neville Jason
4 72 04:55:35 LCO010000 Available World

Here, in this unusual collection, are some of the greatest essays in Western literature. Witty, informative and imaginative; the topics vary from starvation in Ireland, fine China, the extension of railways in the Lake District and the tombs in Westminster Abbey. A little like after-dinner monologues, they are passing thoughts expressed as journalism. Neville Jason reads with urbane clarity.

£16.99 $28.98 £11.00 €12.50 $19.00 May09

Michel de Montaigne (1553–1592) – ‘Of Idleness’, ‘Of Slow Speech’ and ‘That We Should Not Judge of Our Happiness until After Our Death’
Francis Bacon (1561–1626) – ‘Of Truth’, ‘Of Riches’ and ‘Of Wisdom’
Jonathan Swift (1667–1745) – ‘A Modest Proposal’
Joseph Addison (1672–1719) – ‘The Tombs in Westminster Abbey’
Richard Steele (1672–1729) – ‘A Day in London’
Samuel Johnson (1709–1784) – ‘Solitude not eligible’ and ‘Good Humour’
Oliver Goldsmith (1730–1774) – ‘On National Prejudices’
David Hume (1711–1776) – ‘Of the Dignity or Meanness of Human Nature’
Charles Lamb (1775–1834) – ‘Dream Children – A Reverie’ and ‘Old China’
William Hazlitt (1778–1830) – ‘On Going a Journey’
Leigh Hunt (1784–1859) – ‘A ‘Now’’
Percy Bysshe Shelley (1792–1822) – ‘On Life’
Thomas Carlyle (1795–1881) – ‘Midas’
William Makepeace Thackeray (1811–1863) – ‘Ogres’
Charles Dickens (1812–1870) – ‘The First of May’
John Ruskin (1819–1900) – ‘The Extension of the Railways in the Lake District’
G.K. Chesterton (1874–1936) – ‘On Lying in Bed’

If you like long walks, slow cooking and staring out of the window at nothing in particular, this anthology is for you. The key to enjoying these essays by some of the finest exponents of the English language – Swift, Goldsmith, Johnson, Carlyle, Hazlitt, Lamb et al – on a variety of subjects – chasing loose women, building railways, eating children, lying in bed – is time: they cannot be rushed. Take them at the same leisurely, measured pace as Joseph Addison’s opening sentence: “When I am in a serious humour, I very often walk by myself in Westminster Abbey; where the gloominess of the place, and the use to which it is applied, with the solemnity of the building, and the condition of the people who lie in it, are apt to fill the mind with a kind of melancholy, or rather thoughtfulness, that is not disagreeable.” Whimsical, satirical, passionate, playful, savage – the style may vary, but the quality of the writing belongs to a golden age of literature that disappeared with the quill pen. I bet Neville Jason, whose Latin is as perfect as his English (the essays bristle with classical quotations), still writes with one.

Sue Arnold, The Guardian

“He who lives everywhere lives nowhere,” wrote Montaigne 400 years ago. Another jewel in this fine collection is Richard Steele’s account of the “inexpressible pleasure” of an early-morning trip down the Thames, picking up gardeners of apricots and melons on their way to market. Neville Jason’s voice is irresistible.

Rachel Redford, The Guardian

The point of this book is to highlight the essay form as a relatively short, concise piece that tightly argues an idea. Many of the works included are funny, and some are downright shocking, but they’re

all fascinating. Neville Jason has selected his favorites and delivers them in what could be called the quintessential British reading voice. It’s deep, precise, mellifluous, authoritative, and distinctive.

His phrasing and diction are superb, and he pronounces every word with nary a swallowed consonant. Jason also knows how to present these classics so they ring true to the modern ear, which is not easy considering

that most people have not extensively read these authors. Perhaps after hearing Jason’s performance, they will.

R.I.G., AudioFile

Favourite Poems for Children (selections) http://www.naxosaudiobooks.com/favourite-poems-for-children-selections/ Favourite Poems for Children Junior Classics selections Single 0013 9781843794233 9781843794240 Various
Anton Lesser
Roy McMillan
Rachel Bavidge
Katinka Wolf
Richard Wilson
David Timson
Anne Harvey
Simon Russell Beale
Timothy West
1 18 01:14:29 JUV070000 Available Available Available World

Dance with a lobster, telephone an elephant or knock on a moonlit door – this collection includes magical, macabre, dramatic, funny, bizarre, absurd, delightful, moving and charming poems by Lewis Carroll, A.A. Milne, Edward Lear, Hilaire Belloc, Kenneth Grahame and many others. Readers such as Anton Lesser, Simon Russell-Beale and Timothy West bring the lines beautifully to life and make this an ideal introduction to some of the best-loved children’s poetry.

£8.99 $14.98 £6.00 €6.50 $10.00 Sep10
Lewis Carroll
The Lobster Quadrille
Lewis Carroll
The Walrus and the Carpenter
Lewis Carroll
You Are Old, Father William
Lewis Carroll
Humpty Dumpty’s Song
Lewis Carroll
Jabberwocky
John Clare
Little Trotty Wagtail
James Reeves
The Bogus-Boo
Oliver Herford
A Tragedy in Rhyme
Anonymous
A Guinea Pig Song
Edward Lear
The Jumblies
Edward Lear
The Owl and the Pussycat
Kenneth Grahame
Duck’s Ditty
Edward Lear
There was an Old Man with a Beard
John Keats
Old Meg
Edward Lear
How Pleasant to Know Mr Lear
John Keats
There was a naughty boy
William Makepeace Thackeray
At the Zoo
Anonymous
Dahn the Plug’ole
Hilaire Belloc
Henry King
Hilaire Belloc
Matilda
A.A. Milne
The King’s Breakfast
Anonymous
There was a little girl
William Cowper
The Snail
Anonymous
Framed in a First-Storey Winder
Anonymous
There was a man of double deed
Sarah Catherine Marine
The Comic Adventures of Old Mother Hubbard and Her Dog
Charles Causley
Colonel Fazackerly
William Brighty Rands
Topsy-Turvey World
Walter de la Mare
The Listeners
William Blake
The Tyger
Anonymous
The Ballad of Sir Patrick Spens
Robert Louis Stevenson
Bed in Summer
Robert Louis Stevenson
Time to Rise
Robert Louis Stevenson
My Shadow
Thomas Hardy
Wagtail and Baby
Anonymous
Two Little Kittens
Rudyard Kipling
If
Laura Richards
Eletelephony
Robert Browning
The Pied Piper of Hamelin
Robert Browning
Into the street the Piper stepped…
Robert Browning
The mayor was dumb, and the council stood…

Thirty-nine poems by English authors range in length from 15 seconds to about 16 minutes. Many will be familiar titles: Jabberwocky, The Jumblies, The Owl and the Pussycat, Old Mother Hubbard, The Tyger, The Ballad of Sir Patrick Spens, If, and The Pied Piper of Hamelin. The authors of the 39 poems include Lewis Carroll, Edward Lear, John Keats, William Thackeray, Hilaire Belloc, A. A. Milne, Walter de la Mare, William Blake, Robert Louis Stevenson, Thomas Hardy, Rudyard Kipling, Robert Browning, and the prolific Anonymous. The readers/presenters are British actors of note and include Anton Lesser, Roy McMillan, Rachel Bavidge, Katinka Wolf, Richard Wilson, David Timson, Anne Harvey, Simon Russell Beale, and Timothy West. Their presentations are excellent, bringing to life the bizarre, the mysterious, the humorous. The walrus and carpenter weep even as they devour the compliant oysters. Humpty Dumpty sings of little fishes. The Bogus-Boo comes out at night with his six ears and eight paws. The Jumblies go to sea in a sieve. Both the rats and the children of Hamelin are piped away. And a Cockney accent ’elps the baby go dahn the plug ’ole. This is a wonderful introduction to familiar British verse which will delight children on both sides of the pond.

Janet Julian, soundcommentary.com

Favourite Poems for Children introduces them to such delights as My Shadow, The Listeners, The Pied Piper of Hamelin and many more, and readers include Simon Russell Beale, Timothy West and Anton Lesser. Another bedtime must!

Kati Nicholl, Daily Express

The 39 poems here are classics of imagination and whimsy, alive with the great and mysterious power that language exercises over childhood. With a couple of exceptions, the poets are British, and their verses are suffused with the golden aura of childhood’s halcyon days. All but one of the nine readers here are professional actors. The poems range in mood from the the stirring potency of William Blake’s The Tyger, magnificently read by Timothy West, to the inspired high jinks of Lewis Carroll’s and Edward Lear’s nonsense poems, and the linguistic confusion of Laura Richard’s Eletelephony. There are adventuresome pieces, such as The Ballad of Sir Patrick Spens, read with intoxicating Scots brio by Anton Lesser, and many tales of busy doings. Interspersed throughout are passages of classical music. This is a recording for your permanent collection.

Katherine A. Powers, The Washington Post

Fidelio (unabridged) http://www.naxosaudiobooks.com/fidelio-unabridged/ Opera Explained – Fidelio Opera Explained – Music unabridged Single 558077 9781843790853 9781843793175 Thomson Smillie
David Timson
1 37 01:19:33 MUS028000 Available World

Fidelio is a work like no other. Beethoven’s only opera is about the joy of married love – by a man who never knew that pleasure. It is about heroism by a man who was often mean and petty in his human relations; it is about freedom by a man who was a prisoner of his own deafness; and ultimately it is about joy by a man who experienced precious little of it. Maybe there is a divine logic to that: feelings the artist could not experience but could express find their noblest manifestation in music of overwhelming power and majesty. The most popular operas from the early 19th century are Italian – Rossini, Donizetti, Verdi. We know that Fidelio is important because it was Beethoven’s only opera, but it is not, on the face of it, as much fun as The Barber of Seville, or Don Pasquale. This is why Thomson Smillie’s introduction is so useful. He places the plot and the music against the background of Beethoven’s own turbulent life and suddenly we realise the importance and the uplifting nature of the themes he deals with – starting with fidelity, the name of the opera itself. This is a riveting preparation for seeing or hearing the whole opera.

£5.99 $12.99 £4.00 €4.50 $7.80
Final Count, The (unabridged) http://www.naxosaudiobooks.com/final-count-the-unabridged/ The Final Count Classic Fiction unabridged Single 0086 9781843795858 9781843795865 Sapper
Roy McMillan
6 110 07:29:27 FIC002000 Available World

In The Final Count, the fourth in Sapper’s Bulldog Drummond series, Hugh Drummond returns after the climax of The Third Round saw him embroiled in an electrifying boat chase with his long-term enemy and master of disguise, Carl Peterson. Now, Drummond must attempt to prove the innocence of an inventor of chemical warfare whose weapon mysteriously goes missing. Drummond is utterly resolute: only one man can be capable of such a sinister plot.

£24.99 $41.98 £16.00 €18.50 $28.00 Dec12
Finest Nonsense of Edward Lear, The (selections) http://www.naxosaudiobooks.com/finest-nonsense-of-edward-lear-the-selections/ The Finest Nonsense of Edward Lear Junior Classics selections Single 0219 9781843799658 9781843799665 Edward Lear
Derek Jacobi
1 20 01:16:59 JUV070000 Available Available World

Nearly 150 years since his poetry was first published, Lear’s nonsense rhymes are still popular today. In this lively and colourful audiobook recording, Derek Jacobi reads Lear’s most famous poems and most fantastic creations, including The Owl and the Pussy-Cat, The Daddy Long-Legs and the Fly, The Jumblies, The Dong with the Luminous Nose and a collection of assorted limericks.

£8.99 $14.98 £6.00 €6.50 $10.00 Jan16
Finnegans Wake (abridged) http://www.naxosaudiobooks.com/finnegans-wake-abridged/ Finnegans Wake Modern Classics abridged Single 596012 9789626349601 9789629548513 James Joyce
Jim Norton
4 76 05:09:56 full text FIC004000 Available Available Available World excl. USA and Canada

Finnegans Wake, the greatest avant-garde novel of all time, was first published seventy years ago – and people are still trying to work out what it is about. There is Humphrey Chimpden Earwicker – aka HCE (Here Comes Everyone) – and Anna Livia Plurabelle, but also Finnegan the hod carrier (or was he a giant?), whose wake is the subject of the book. This masterly reading of the abridged version, with copious notes aiding comprehension, is republished with a new cover.

£16.99 $28.98 £11.00 €12.50 $19.00 May09

Joyceans worldwide will celebrate Bloomsday on Tuesday with readings from Ulysses in honour of Leopold Bloom’s day-long odyssey through the streets of Dublin to the arms of his wife, Molly. This year, there will be a rival attraction: the launch of a Naxos recording of Finnegans Wake, the novel Joyce worked on for 17 years after Ulysses. It’s estimated that a complete recording of this eccentric masterpiece would run to about 20 CDs, but Naxos has made an attractive abridgement in four, recorded with wit and clarity by Jim Norton and Marcella Riordan. I’ve never met anyone who has actually managed to read every page of this extraordinary book, from its famous opening: “riverrun, past Eve and Adam’s, from swerve of shore to bend of bay …” and there can be little doubt that Joyce intended his work to be listened to as much as read. This brilliant recording is the perfect short cut for slackers, poseurs and insomniacs.

Robert McCrum, The Observer

Essays were the chatty columns of their times, personal, opinionated, intended to amuse as well as to instruct. Neville Jason’s selection of Favourite Essays: An Anthology is full of contrasts, with subjects as disparate as Thackeray on ogres, Hazlitt on the joys of tramping cross-country alone and Ruskin campaigning against a Lakeland railway. It begins with Michel de Montaigne (the inventor of the form) and Francis Bacon (for me the finest of all essayists), and ends with Charles Dickens on May Day and G.K. Chesterton on lying in bed. Some are well known – Swift’s satirical A Modest Proposal, Charles Lamb’s haunting Dream Children – others, such as Richard Steele’s jaunt through London in the early eighteenth century, wonderful discoveries.

Christina Hardyment, The Times

Time magazine includes Finnegans Wake among its 100 Greatest Books of the 20th century. Stanislaus, Joyce’s brother, called it “the witless wandering of literature before its final extinction”, but that might just be sibling rivalry. Whatever your take (assuming, of course, that you’ve read it – most people haven’t) on the novel that took Joyce 17 years to write, some of it in Bognor, no one would deny that it is an incredibly difficult, if not totally impossible, book to read. Here’s a taste: “in their bed of trial, on the bolster of hardship, by the glimmer of memory, under coverlets of cowardice, Albatrus Nyanzer with Victa Nyanza, his mace of might mortified, her beautifell hung up on a nail, he, Mr of our fathers, she, our moddereen ru arue rue, they, ay, by the hodypoker and blazier, they are, as sure as dinny drops into the dyke . . . A cry off. Where are we at all? And whenabouts in the name of space? I don’t understand.”

And chances are you don’t either, but don’t fret. Just listen as you would to Rachmaninov or reggae or rap, whatever turns you on, for if ever a book cried out to be listened to, this is it and Jim Norton and Marcella Riordan have such wonderful voices. A while ago they did Joyce’s Ulysses unabridged, which is also considered hard-going, but is Polyanna compared to this. There’s not a lot of point in telling you what it’s all about even if I could. It hinges vaguely on the Earwicker family, Humphrey Chimpden, his wife Anna Livia Plurabelle and their three children Shem, Shaun and Isobel, but it’s also a history of Ireland, Irish mythology, Greek mythology, French folk tales, opera, philosophy – anything you like, it’s there. It’s exuberant, outrageous, funny, extraordinary, full of blarney and charm and heart-rending music – just like Ireland. I loved it.

Sue Arnold, The Guardian

Five Children and It (abridged) http://www.naxosaudiobooks.com/five-children-and-it-abridged/ Five Children and It Junior Classics abridged Single 230512 9789626343050 9789629544171 Edith Nesbit
Anna Bentinck
2 38 02:34:21 JUV001000 Available World

Filled with wit and humour, Nesbit’s 1902 fantasy tells the adventure of five siblings sent to spend the summer with their uncle. One day, when the children wander from the strange house by the sea to play in old gravel pits, they uncover ‘It’ – a prehistoric Sand-fairy. Psammead (pronounced Sammyadd) was an odd-looking creature with eyes on long horns which, like those of a snail, moved in and out like telescopes; ears like that of a bat; its tubby body shaped like a spider’s, covered with thick soft fur; and at the base of its furry arms and legs were hands and feet resembling a monkey’s. The unusual Sand-fairy grants the children one wish a day, each lasting until sunset. Though wishes can come true, they are not always as pleasant as they might seem, which the children soon discover.

£10.99 $17.98 £7.00 €8.00 $12.00
Flanagan’s Run (abridged) http://www.naxosaudiobooks.com/flanagan-s-run-abridged/ Flanagan’s Run Contemporary Fiction abridged Single 436712 9781843793670 9781843793830 Tom McNab
Rupert Degas
4 69 04:42:51 FIC000000 Deleted Available World

During the Depression the ebullient American entrepreneur Charles Flanagan assembles 2,000 runners from all corners of the earth, to run from Los Angeles to New York for prize-money of $150,000. Flanagan’s Trans-America runners face 3,000 miles, across the Mojave desert and the frozen Rockies, running a daily average of 50 miles for three months. The American sports establishment, however, is desperate to crush what it sees as a professional challenge to the 1932 Los Angeles Olympics. Every day is therefore a struggle for survival, for Flanagan himself as well as the runners. Flanagan’s Run is an epic tale, and a testimony to the strength of the human spirit.

£16.99 $28.98 £11.00 €12.50 $19.00 Feb10

At the height of the Depression, in 1931, entrepreneur Charles Flanagan organises the Trans-America race, in which 2,000 runners from across the globe compete for a $150,000 top prize. But the sports establishment tries to scupper what they see as a threat to the 1932 Los Angeles Olympics. No less impressive than the fictional runners’ gruelling three-month journey (50 miles a day through desert and mountains) is the pathos of the individuals’ experiences which McNab creates – and Degas’s treasure trove of accents bring to life.

Rachel Redford, The Observer 

read by the versatile and compelling Rupert Degas “

Today’s audiobooks are ideal for Easter fun-runners and long-distance harriers alike. Tom McNab lived and breathed athletics as competitor, coach and sports writer for 40 years before writing his marathon of a novel, Flanagan’s Run, which was an instant bestseller on its publication in 1982. Set in 1931, in the depths of the Depression, it characterises the leading runners in a race from Los Angeles to New York. The prizes are vast but weather, Chicago chicanery and envious 1932 Olympics organisers seem set on destroying the adventure. Sprinters can opt for the abridged version, but I recommend the long-haul version. Both are read by the versatile and compelling Rupert Degas.

Christina Hardyment, The Times

Flanagan’s Run (unabridged) http://www.naxosaudiobooks.com/flanagan-s-run-unabridged/ Flanagan’s Run Contemporary Fiction unabridged Single 36412 9781843793649 9781843793847 Tom McNab
Rupert Degas
13 235 16:13:37 FIC000000 Deleted Available World

During the Depression the ebullient American entrepreneur Charles Flanagan assembles 2,000 runners from all corners of the earth, to run from Los Angeles to New York for prize-money of $150,000. Flanagan’s Trans-America runners face 3,000 miles, across the Mojave desert and the frozen Rockies, running a daily average of 50 miles for three months. The American sports establishment, however, is desperate to crush what it sees as a professional challenge to the 1932 Los Angeles Olympics. Every day is therefore a struggle for survival, for Flanagan himself as well as the runners. Flanagan’s Run is an epic tale, and a testimony to the strength of the human spirit.

£35.00 $62.98 £23.00 €26.00 $41.00 Feb10

Today’s audiobooks are ideal for Easter fun-runners and long-distance harriers alike. Tom McNab lived and breathed athletics as competitor, coach and sports writer for 40 years before writing his marathon of a novel, Flanagan’s Run, which was an instant bestseller on its publication in 1982. Set in 1931, in the depths of the Depression, it characterises the leading runners in a race from Los Angeles to New York. The prizes are vast but weather, Chicago chicanery and envious 1932 Olympics organisers seem set on destroying the adventure. Sprinters can opt for the abridged version, but I recommend the long-haul version. Both are read by the versatile and compelling Rupert Degas.

Christina Hardyment, The Times

In March 1931 Charles Flanagan, a flamboyant American entrepreneur, staged the greatest long-distance race in history: 3,000 miles from LA to New York, with $150,000 for the winner. Two thousand competitors from 61 countries took part, including the Hitler Youth team, regularly monitored from Berlin by Dr Goebbels; Juan Martinez, a 19-year-old Mexican running to save his village from starvation; and Hugh McPhail, a Glaswegian miner. Of the 221 female entrants Kate Sheridan, a glamorous chorus girl from Chicago, proved to be the toughest. By the time the runners had crossed the Mojave Desert, battled through flash floods and struggled across the Rockies, half the competitors had dropped out. By the time they reached Chicago Flanagan’s financial backers were also pulling out. Enter the mob, the FBI and J Edgar Hoover.

No, of course it’s not true – it’s a novel, a wonderful novel based on fact. In 1929, at the height of the depression, CC Pyle (aka Cash and Carry Pyle) did indeed organise two transcontinental races, New York to LA and back. Along with professional athletes, the event attracted hundreds of the homeless, unemployed “buddy can you spare a dime?” brigade, less interested in winning than having the three meals a day and roof over their heads guaranteed to every competitor. When it was published in 1982, Flanagan’s Run topped the bestseller charts and was optioned by Hollywood. McNab wanted Jane Fonda to play Kate, probably because he’d just seen her in They Shoot Horses Don’t They?, another endurance marathon. McNab, sports writer, Olympic coach and consultant for Chariots of Fire, is still hopeful that, though Fonda is no longer in the running, the screen version might be. For once, audio isn’t an option, it’s the option. Flanagan’s Run inexplicably is no longer in print.

Sue Arnold, Guardian

In 1931, wheeler-dealer, gambler, and promoter Charles Flanagan offers an enormous jackpot to the winner of the first ever Trans-America race. Over 2,000 people sign on, including professional and amateur athletes; ordinary, out-of-shape folks hit hard by the Depression; a contingent of Hitler Youth; a burlesque dancer; and many others. Tom McNab’s 1982 novel chronicles far more than a cross-country footrace, and narrator Rupert Degas keeps the 3,000-mile journey exciting, exhilarating, and exhausting. Degas gives substance to McNab’s detailed character snapshots with impeccable accents and energetic personality shifts. His narration of the constantly changing American landscape – the Rockies, the Mojave, the Great Plains – provides a keen sense of place. Degas’s sensitive performance of this epic adventure makes the listener the clear winner. Liner notes that include bios and an essay by McNab accompany the CD edition.

S.J.H., AudioFile

Sports fans will relish Flanagan’s Run (available abridged and unabridged). Set in 1931 in the depths of the Depression, it characterizes the leading runners in a foot race from Los Angeles to New York for which the glittering prizes are vast. But weather, Chicago chicanery and the perfidious 1932 Olympics organizers combine to imperil the great adventure. Sprinters can go for the abridged version, but I recommend the long haul for full development of characters and painful suspense. Both are read by the versatile and always compelling Rupert Degas.

The Times/Sunday Times Best Audiobooks of the year

Christina Hardyment, The Times

Flying Dutchman, The (unabridged) http://www.naxosaudiobooks.com/flying-dutchman-the-unabridged/ Opera Explained – The Flying Dutchman Opera Explained – Music unabridged Single 558013 9781843790761 9781843793106 Thomson Smillie
David Timson
1 32 01:07:13 MUS028000 Available World

The Flying Dutchman is the perfect opera with which to approach the operatic mountain that is Richard Wagner. It is short, has a great story (the legend of the Dutch captain doomed to sail forever unless redeemed through love), and the striking score has many pre-echoes of Wagner’s later great music dramas. It contains wonderful tunes in its arias, ensembles, and big choruses, and the orchestral writing – from the gale that blows out of the Overture to the final theme of ‘Redemption through Love’ – will… well… ‘blow you away’. These ‘wonderful tunes’ are enriched by a lively explanation of their context. From the opera’s dramatic opening, which reflects Wagner’s own nautical experiences as he fled from creditors and the law, we see how it contains many of the hall-marks, many of the foot-prints, of his later, greater works. And we find out why The Flying Dutchman was such a blazing triumph for this most controversial and Romantic of composers.

£5.99 $12.99 £4.00 €4.50 $7.80
Four Just Men, The (unabridged) http://www.naxosaudiobooks.com/four-just-men-the-unabridged/ The Four Just Men Classic Fiction unabridged Single 0029 9781843794554 9781843794561 Edgar Wallace
Bill Homewood
4 66 04:31:56 FIC004000 Deleted Available World

The mysterious Four Just Men are wealthy Europeans who move easily in high society but, capable of convincing disguise and brilliant acting, are as likely to be found on the street corners of London as at the dinner tables of Paris and Rome. They are the ultimate vigilantes. Their job is to exact justice where governments and police are hamstrung. They work outside the law – and set about their business with grim precision.

£16.99 $28.98 £11.00 €12.50 $19.00 May11

This fast-moving little story and its accomplished reader takes the theme of vigilante justice out of this current polished, slick, technology-dependent world and brings it back to a simpler, more black-and-white one.

Joanna Theiss, soundcommentary.com

By now, it’s a familiar trope: the laws of mankind are not sufficient to right the biggest wrongs, or to prevent the gravest evils, and so a few righteous people are required to set the world right again, to get revenge for the helpless, and to do it all in style. We have seen this theme crop up in comic books (characters such as Batman go where the police cannot), in movies (the Irish brothers of The Boondock Saints kill the sinful with panache), and on television (the title character of the Showtime series Dexter, murders the guilty who managed to escape society’s punishments), but maybe because Edgar Wallace’s The Four Just Men was written more than a hundred years ago, it is so original – so elementary – that it feels new again.

Wallace’s vigilantes are four shadowy, vaguely criminal men who seek to correct the world’s ills, in this case by threatening to kill the British Foreign Secretary unless he blocks passage of an unjust law, one that would send foreign political criminals back to the corrupt lands from which they fled. The unfolding of the four’s scheme, the Minister of State’s reaction to their threats, and the work of the tireless police force to prevent the Minister’s death, all lead up to a suspenseful, almost comic-bookesque climax (and it will not come as a surprise that Wallace was a co-writer of the short story King Kong).

Given that Wallace wrote The Four Just Men in 1905, police procedure and investigation in this tale is far less advanced than the modern day – CSI, this isn’t – and the methods utilized by the vigilantes and the police in their respective quests may have seemed novel and inventive then, but are amusingly antiquated; for instance, this listener found herself mentally screaming, ’Dust for fingerprints!’ more than once. But this element just adds to the fun: rather than rely on decades of experience of police techniques, not to mention the discovery of DNA, Wallace’s police rely only on instinct.

Reader Bill Homewood seems to revel equally in reading in the Spanish accent of one of the nefarious vigilantes, the bumbling tones of one of the dastardly members of parliament, and the proud, proper voice of the beleaguered Foreign Secretary. Bill Homewood, a longtime television actor, seems to be having as much fun reading as we are listening. This fast-moving little story and its accomplished reader takes the theme of vigilante justice out of this current polished, slick, technology-dependent world and brings it back to a simpler, more black-and-white one.

Joanna Theiss, SoundCommentary

When it debuted as a newspaper serial in 1905, The Four Just Men was an immediate sensation in England due in large part to author Edgar Wallace’s clever promotion campaign. Unfortunately, he created an ill-considered concept as Wallace offered prize money to readers able to guess the solution to the mystery – but he didn’t limit the number of winners. So many figured out the answer that Wallace went into debt and left his publisher holding the bag. Still, the novel launched his career, led to a series of sequels, and ultimately the book was updated into a film in 1939 and a lavish TV series remake in 1959.

Now 106 years old, The Four Just Men still commands critical respect, admittedly  more for witty style and plot innovation than literary substance. It’s the story of three vigilantes with one reluctant collaborator publicly threatening to kill a British Minister if he doesn’t remove his support for an immigration bill they oppose. Scotland Yard is justly worried – the ’Four Just Men’ are suspected of 16 previous successful assassinations around the globe. While the characters and motives are thinly sketched, the suspense is what the story is all about – how can these men be caught if no clues exist and how can they carry out the most publicized murder of the century with Downing Street wall-to-wall with protective police protection?

 Another mystery for modern readers might be – why purchase an audiobook adaptation of this thriller when free electronic versions of The Four Just Men and its sequels are readily available on the net? The answer is reader Bill Homewood. An actor with considerable stage, screen, and voice-over experience, Homewood uses a number of dialects and accents for the wide cast of characters with both British and European flavor. The different personalities of the ’Four Just Men’ are perhaps more distinctive in this audio version than on the printed page as Wallace provided little in the way of character description or back-story. Homewood not only gives the main protagonists individual presences, but the detectives, government officials, and other supporting characters come alive with dimensions more fleshed out than in the original dialogue.

  At four hours and 31 minutes, the unabridged The Four Just Men is a quick read that should intrigue modern readers partly because of its resonance with current issues – the justifications of the vigilantes seem quite close to the claims of modern terrorists, blackmailing the British government if their aims are not met. Still, they are drawn as heroic figures able to outfox the best efforts of British law enforcement. The book is clever, intended as light-reading but with new overtones and contexts never intended in the first years of the twentieth century. This audiobook is likely to gain both Edgar Wallace and Bill Homewood new fans, with hopefully more to come from the latter. Now, that would be just…

Dr Wesley Britton, BookPleasures

Four men sit around a café table in Cadiz discussing business – the business of murder. Thus begins Wallace’s classic 1905 thriller about a quartet of ruthless, glamorous, rich international vigilantes who call themselves the Four Just Men. How it came to be published is as exciting as the plot, but let’s start with the story. Sir Philip Ramon, the British foreign secretary, ’a firm, square-jawed, big-mouthed man with that shade of blue in his eyes that one looks for in peculiarly heartless criminals and particularly famous generals’ (you can tell right away that Wallace cut his literary teeth in Fleet Street), receives a death threat. The letter politely explains that, unless he persuades the government to prevent the proposed Aliens Extradition Political Offences Bill from becoming law, he will be assassinated. It is signed simply ’Four Just Men’. Why Manfred, Gonsalez, Poiccart and Thery want the bill quashed isn’t that important – something to do with the Spanish succession. What keeps you listening to Homewood’s impressive range of European accents is the dazzling resourcefulness and audacity of the plotters. They leave bombs in the members’ bar of the Commons. Freshly licked envelopes arrive on editors’ desks with instructions to…  but enough; chill your own spines.

It was first serialised in the Daily Mail with the promise of a cash prize to whoever came up with the correct solution to the mystery. Wallace agreed to underwrite the prize money himself. He was a hugely popular writer; in 1920 it was reckoned that a quarter of the books read in Britain were his, but alas, that didn’t make him a businessman. He omitted to notice that the small print of the competition rules did not limit the number of winners. The book was a bestseller, but he died penniless while working on the script for his best known film, King Kong. I’d call that rough justice.

Sue Arnold, The Guardian

Edgar Wallace was one of the early thriller writers, known to us more from the movies than his books. In his Four Just Men series, the villains are four men who practise vigilante law. While their actions are outside the law, which one cannot approve of, there is a certain sympathy for their actions. Read with perfection by Bill Homewood, the first in the unabridged Naxos AudioBooks Classic Crime series of that title takes us to the London of 1905, where the police hunt four men determined to right wrong with violence.

Alide Kohlhaas, Seniors Review

Four Short Stories (unabridged) http://www.naxosaudiobooks.com/four-short-stories-unabridged/ Four Short Stories The Horror of the Heights | The Terror of Blue John Gap | Lot No. 249 | The Sealed Room Classic Fiction unabridged Single 205012 9789626340509 9789629549527 Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
Carl Rigg
2 38 02:34:29 FIC029000 Available World

In these stories, Conan Doyle draws the listener in to experience drama, suspense and, ultimately, the shock of surprise. Here is a unique combination of a famous analytical intellect telling spine-tingling tales against a background of turn-of-the-century England. Nothing is quite as it seems. What is the secret of Lot No. 249? What lies in wait for an aviator in the stratosphere? And what lies inside The Sealed Room? The master story teller builds up layers of tension…

£10.99 $17.98 £7.00 €8.00 $12.00
  • The Horror of the Heights
  • The Terror of Blue John Gap
  • Lot No. 249
  • The Sealed Room
Framley Parsonage (unabridged) http://www.naxosaudiobooks.com/framley-parsonage-unabridged/ Framley Parsonage Classic Fiction unabridged Single 0178 9781843798491 9781843798507 Anthony Trollope
David Shaw-Parker
17 243 21:04:10 FIC004000 Available World

In Framley Parsonage, the fourth novel of Trollope’s Chronicles of Barsetshire, the author leaves the confines of Barchester and looks to the countryside, where he relates the moral difficulties of Mark Robarts, the young clergyman who has recently been appointed Vicar of Framley Parsonage. Desperate to keep up with the local aristocracy, the country parson is persuaded to underwrite the debts of Sowerby, a well-respected peer. However, when the debts are called in, Robarts finds himself in a serious predicament. Written with acute insight, together with a great deal of warmth and humour towards his characters’ attendant charms and foibles, Framley Parsonage is sure to delight.

£55.00 $98.98 £36.00 €40.50 $64.00 Jan15
Francesco Petrarch (selections) http://www.naxosaudiobooks.com/francesco-petrarch-selections/ The Great Poets – Francesco Petrarch The Great Poets – Poetry selections Single 135812 9781843793588 9789629549657 Francesco Petrarch
Anton Lesser
1 15 01:01:54 POE019000 Deleted Available World

This 14th-century Italian poet was a model for many who followed him. His passionate sonnets to Laura became the epitome for love poetry. Over some 40 years he wrote 366 sonnets to Laura, whom he probably never even spoke to, and they remain immediate and affecting even now. Called Rime Sparse (Scattered Rhymes), they influenced Chaucer and many others. This is an unusual addition to ‘The Great Poets’, but part of the intention of the series is to cover the major stepping stones of world poetry.

£8.99 $14.98 £6.00 €6.50 $10.00 Jun10
  • The Dawn of Love
  • If this should not be love
  • The pangs of love
  • If Laura were to die
  • Alone, thought-sick, I pace
  • Blest be the day
  • Golden upon the wind
  • The poet turns from other works to write again of love
  • Tears turn to joy
  • He tries to escape, but passion pursues
  • He is like a moth entering a flame
  • Alas ! the seventeenth summer
  • The madness of desire
  • Laura confesses her sadness at their parting
  • I find no peace
  • In what bright realm
  • Love and I
  • It is the vigil
  • Through forests harsh
  • Trapped in the net of love
  • My vessel, cargoed with oblivion
  • The vision of the fawn – symbol of love liberated
  • Here stand we, Love
  • The soft wind (which is Laura’s name)
  • The quiet wind recalls love’s wound
  • From what source could Love
  • Memories of the birth of love
  • When in the sea sinks the sun’s golden light
  • No savage beast
  • Her brilliant eyes
  • If it be destined
  • Breeze that with laughter moving
  • The day I left her
  • Foreboding in the night
  • Hearing of Laura’s death
  • Remembering his last sight of Laura
  • Now that all hope is dead
  • Death pursues life
  • The soft winds of Vaucluse recall Laura
  • The last of my bright days
  • The apparition of Laura
  • Love guides him, but to no avail
  • Love calls, but you are gone
  • The impact of Laura’s death
  • Valley, familiar with my desperate song
  • The apotheosis of Laura
  • He anticipates reunion with Laura
  • She speaks to him from heaven
  • A vision of Laura in heaven
  • The spring returns
  • That nightingale who weeps so sweetly
  • O swifter than the fawn
  • The ardour and the odour and dark wonder
  • Not skies serene
  • Go, grief-bewildered rhymes
  • For our own sake I seemed so cruel
  • Death has put out the burning of the sun
  • Love kept me one and twenty years a slave
  • Sweet wandering bird
Joseph Auslander
Frankenstein (abridged) http://www.naxosaudiobooks.com/frankenstein-abridged/ Young Adult Classics – Frankenstein Young Adult Classics – Young Adult Classics abridged Single 296512 9789626349656 9789629548551 Mary Shelley
Daniel Philpott
Jonathan Oliver
Chris Larkin
2 38 02:37:48 CD-ROM YAF009000 Available Available World

One of the greatest classic horror stories, Mary Shelley’s Gothic novel sees Dr Frankenstein manufacture life – The Monster – only to see it go beyond his control. The original novel is more sympathetic to the monster’s plight than is generally presented on film, making it an important book to be read. This abridged version with music is an ideal introduction to teenagers and forms part of the ‘Young Adult Classics’ series launched by Naxos AudioBooks in 2009: each title contains a CD-ROM with extensive ‘teacher notes’ and the full text of the audiobook.

£10.99 $17.98 £7.00 €8.00 $12.00 Apr09

Mary Shelley’s original tale is not the horror story it has become. Both the inquisitive scientist, Frankenstein, and his terrifying creation are treated with great compassion. A gripping and chillingly gothic three-voice narration. Comes with CD-ROM study guide.

Rachel Redford, The Observer

Frankenstein (abridged) http://www.naxosaudiobooks.com/frankenstein-abridged-2/ Frankenstein Classic Fiction abridged Single 200312 9789626340035 9789629545611 Mary Shelley
Daniel Philpott
Jonathan Oliver
Chris Larkin
2 38 02:37:48 FIC004000 Available World

The gothic tale of Frankenstein and his construction of a human being who runs amok has, with the help of numerous films, become one of the most vivid of horror stories. But Mary Shelley’s original novel, written in 1816, dealt more sympathetically with ‘the daemon’, showing how an initially beneficent creature is hammered into a daemon by the way he is treated. Her ideas, and her dramatic but poignant story, is brought to life in this sound dramatisation.

£10.99 $17.98 £7.00 €8.00 $12.00

Friends on holiday abroad, holed up by bad weather, pass the time by telling spooky stories by the fireside. It’s a common scenario, but when three of them are Lord Byron, Percy Bysshe Shelley and Mary Wollstonecraft Godwin, Shelley’s dauntingly clever fiancée, daughter of a famous feminist writer and an equally famous philosophical anarchist, they’ll probably come up with something a bit classier than the “dark and stormy night” variety. Byron’s started the vampire genre. Mary’s, published in 1818, became the world’s first sci-fi thriller. Remind your teenage children of this significant fact, or the often OTT language used in this gothic horror story of a murderous man-made monster running amok in the Arctic and sundry picturesque Swiss villages might make them lose heart.

Sue Arnold, The Guardian

Frankenstein (unabridged) http://www.naxosaudiobooks.com/frankenstein-unabridged/ Frankenstein Classic Fiction unabridged Single 0026 9781843794493 9781843794509 Mary Shelley
Daniel Philpott
Roger May
Jonathan Oliver
7 133 09:08:00 FIC004000 Available World

Mary Shelley’s poignant exploration of the true depths of human ambition has had a profound effect on readers since its conception in 1816. When scientist Victor Frankenstein forms a creature from the body parts of corpses, thus shattering the perceived limits of scientific understanding, the consequences are devastating. As Frankenstein becomes disgusted with his experiment, he thwarts the creature’s desire for a companion, and what ensues is singularly chilling.

£27.99 $47.98 £18.00 €20.50 $31.00 Oct11

This audio version of Shelley’s classic hits all the book’s emotional highpoints thanks to a terrific tag team of readers – a choice that is amply justified by the book’s structure: explorer Robert Walton’s correspondence with his sister; Victor Frankenstein’s narration of his life and misguided efforts to play God; and the infamous monster’s first-person account of how he made his way in the world. All three narrators are adept at modulating their tone to suit a scene’s mood – Roger May reads Walton’s sections, Daniel Philpott narrates Frankenstein’s, and Jonathan Oliver handles the monster’s sections – but the heavy lifting falls to Philpott, who conveys his character’s passion, ambition, and ultimate horror at what his creation has done, which includes an accidental killing that strikes the scientist very close to home. For any listener familiar only with filmed treatments of this seminal tale of terror, this is a good way to experience the original.

Publishers Weekly

This classic tale of horror and obsession features an appropriately overwrought reading by three talented British actors. Dr Victor Frankenstein becomes enslaved to the idea of reanimating the dead, spending years in a manic frenzy of scientific study and creation. But once his monster lives, Frankenstein is so horrified by the ugliness of ‘the demoniacal corpse’ that he abandons it, never imagining that they will meet again in murderous circumstances. Daniel Philpott does most of the narration, employing a Germanic accent when he voices the good doctor’s dialog. Roger May does a superb job as Capt. Robert Walton. The best performance, though, is by Jonathan Oliver as the Daemon. He makes listeners feel pity and compassion for this creature who longs only for love and intellectual stimulation; instead, he cannot help but be the personification of evil in his own mania for vengeance.

VERDICT: The reading is well paced, and the narrators are not afraid to sound overwrought when appropriate.

Michael Rogers, Library Journal

Frankenstein, Dracula (abridged) http://www.naxosaudiobooks.com/frankenstein-dracula-abridged/ Frankenstein, Dracula Classic Fiction abridged Single 24112 9789626342411 Mary Shelley
Bram Stoker
Daniel Philpott
Jonathan Oliver
Chris Larkin
Brian Cox
Heathcote Williams
5 96 06:34:28 FIC004000 Available Deleted Available World

The gothic tale of Frankenstein and his construction of a human being who runs amok has, with the help of numerous films, become one of the most vivid of horror stories. But Mary Shelley’s original novel, written in 1816, dealt more sympathetically with ‘the daemon’, showing how an initially beneficent creature is hammered into a daemon by the way he is treated. Her ideas, and her dramatic but poignant story, is brought to life in this sound dramatisation. For a century Bram Stoker’s Dracula has reigned supreme as the undisputed masterpiece of horror writing. We have all grown up under the shadow of the elegant Count, at once an attractive, brutal and erotic creature of the night.

£19.99 $34.98 £13.00 €14.50 $23.00
French Revolution – In a Nutshell, The (unabridged) http://www.naxosaudiobooks.com/french-revolution-in-a-nutshell-the-unabridged/ The French Revolution – In a Nutshell History unabridged Single 198612 9789626349861 9789629548841 Neil Wenborn
Roy McMillan
1 19 01:19:24 HIS013000 Available Deleted Available World

The fifth in the new Naxos AudioBooks series ‘In a Nutshell’, The French Revolution is a short and accessible introduction to one of the most important periods in European history. It brings vividly to life the implacable Robespierre, the frightened Marie Antoinette and the iconic image of the guillotine. But it also demonstrates the key role the Revolution played in the development of European politics.

£8.99 $14.98 £6.00 €6.50 $10.00 Nov09

The bound captives drowned in holed boats in the Seine were just some of the thousands massacred during the years of the French Revolution. This detailed exposition shows how its ideals formed the basis of today’s liberal democracies and how its excesses were a forerunner of 20th-century repressions.

Rachel Redford, The Observer

I approached The French Revolution – In a Nutshell unwillingly: it was the last of a pile of promising but soon disappointing titles that I had put in my car for sampling; it smacked of the schoolroom. How wrong I was. At the off Roy McMillan accurately

predicted that all I knew about the French Revolution was derived from Baroness Orczy, A Tale of Two Cities and such famous images as Marat stabbed in his bath. His reading of Neil Wenborn’s canter through the financial and social causes, its violent progress and its significance for democracy is enthralling.

Christina Hardyment, The Times

A gripping narrative of quite another kind is to be found in Neil Wenborn’s The French Revolution – In a Nutshell. These cataclysmic events, beginning with the

revelations of France’s lavish national extravagance and iniquitous taxation system, the collapse of the monarchy and continuing through the eruption of political turmoil

into riots, tribunals, terror, military dictatorship and war, are really the foundation of modern Europe. (What price UKIP?) The questions raised seem blindingly

contemporary to us in the modern world – the relationship between citizen and state, liberty and law, idealism and the realms of the possible, political ends and means. Not

very festive, you may think, but this would be a present to treasure whose value will not decline even after years of use.

Robert Giddings, Tribune Magazine

Between 1789 and 1799, 10 years of violent turmoil in France grew out of Europe’s Enlightenment. After the pillars of power – the Catholic Church, the aristocracy, and the monarchy – fell, continued intramural conflicts stained the decade. In 1799, Napoleon assumed power in a coup and declared the revolution to be over. The author condenses this complex, controversial, and critical period into ‘a nutshell,’ or 75 minutes of audio. British narrator Roy McMillan aptly fits the performance bill with his impeccable French. He chooses a pace that is appropriate to delivering great quantities of abbreviated information while still allowing listeners time to absorb it. His performance succeeds in its succinct reporting of a consequential historical period, and one hopes it will whet the curiosity of those less familiar with these events, inspiring them to further exploration of these murderous times.

J.A.H., AudioFile

The former Chinese premier Zhou Enlai, the story goes, was once asked to comment on the significance of the French revolution. ‘It is too early to say,’ he replied. Happily for us Neil Wenborn is prepared not just to produce a vivid potted history of the political and social events that led to the storming of the Bastille on 14 July 1789 and the purges that followed in Robespierre’s murderous reign of terror but also, unlike Zhou, to assess its longterm influences worldwide. Succinct, entertaining, thought-provoking – everything the perfect history lesson should be.

Sue Arnold, The Guardian

Freud (abridged) http://www.naxosaudiobooks.com/freud-abridged/ Very Short Introductions – Freud Very Short Introductions – Non-fiction abridged Single 329712 9789626342978 9789629547097 Anthony Storr
Neville Jason
3 57 03:55:47 BIO021000 Available World

Sigmund Freud revolutionised the way in which we think about ourselves. From its beginnings as a theory of neurosis, Freud developed psychoanalysis into a general psychology which became widely accepted as the predominant mode of discussing personality and interpersonal relationships, Anthony Storr goes one step further and investigates the status of Freud’s legacy today and the disputes that surround it. The first of several releases from Oxford University Press’s highly successful Very Short Introduction series. A popular and direct introduction.

£13.99 $22.98 £9.00 €10.50 $15.00
From Shakespeare – with love (selections) http://www.naxosaudiobooks.com/from-shakespeare-with-love-selections/ From Shakespeare – with love Shakespeare selections Single 195612 9789626349564 9789629548476 William Shakespeare
David Tennant
Juliet Stevenson
Anton Lesser
Stella Gonet
Bertie Carvel
Gunnar Cauthery
Alex Jennings
Jonathan Keeble
Roy McMillan
Tom Mison
Maxine Peake
Anne-Marie Piazza
Hugh Ross
Benjamin Soames
David Timson
Trevor White
1 18 01:15:28 DRA010000 Available Available World

Shakespeare’s Sonnets, one of the most remarkable collections of poetry, was first published in 1609, 400 years ago, by Mr Thomas Thorpe. Naxos AudioBooks marks the occasion with a selection of 80 of the finest, read by leading actors. The selection includes famous ones such as ‘Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day’ as well as lesser well-known sonnets though of equally fine stature.

£8.99 $14.98 £6.00 €6.50 $10.00 Apr09

David Tennant reads sonnets 2, 7, 9, 11, 14, 17, 18, 154
Juliet Stevenson reads sonnets 71, 104, 116
Maxine Peake reads sonnets 90, 97, 99, 106, 140, 147, 148
Stella Gonet reads sonnets 30, 31, 40, 53, 61
Anton Lesser reads sonnets 63, 65, 73, 80, 83, 86
Tom Mison reads sonnets 133, 134, 136, 137, 141, 144, 149
David Timson reads sonnets 25, 29, 32, 49, 87, 89
Alex Jennings reads sonnets 41, 42
Hugh Ross reads sonnets 20, 21, 22, 37, 38
Trevor White reads sonnets 109, 120, 121, 138
Jonathan Keeble reads sonnets 127, 129
Bertie Carvel reads sonnets 6, 8, 10, 12
Anne-Marie Piazza reads sonnets 19, 23, 26, 27
Gunnar Cauthery reads sonnets 33, 35, 128, 130
Roy McMillan reads sonnets 91, 92, 93, 94
Benjamin Soames reads sonnets 50, 55, 57, 69

David Timson Malcolm Blackmoor

Naxos AudioBooks and David Timson offer a collection of the best of Shakespeare’s love sonnets in celebration of the 400th anniversary of their first appearance in print. They’re perfect for audio. Director Timson lets the poems speak for themselves through the voices and interpretations of a group of diverse and talented actors. Listeners are treated to some of the Bard’s lesser-known sonnets as well as some of his most famous, including David Tenant’s reading of Sonnet 18: “Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day?”; Juliet Stevenson’s version of Sonnet 116: “Let me not to the marriage of true minds…‘” and David Timson‘s rendering of Sonnet 29: “When in disgrace with fortune and men’s eyes…” Each gem illustrates Shakespeare’s take on the multifaceted nature of love, from obsession and possession to longing and delight. A must for any collection. Winner of AudioFile Earphones Award

S.J.H., AudioFile

Fugitive, The (abridged) http://www.naxosaudiobooks.com/fugitive-the-abridged/ The Fugitive Modern Classics abridged Single 321112 9789626342114 9789629546113 Marcel Proust
Neville Jason
3 58 03:58:09 FIC004000 Deleted Available World excl. USA and Canada

Albertine has finally made her escape from Marcel’s Paris apartment, where his obsessive jealousy had turned her into a virtual prisoner. Not only is Marcel quite unprepared for the effect on him of her flight, but soon he is devastated by news of an even more irreversible loss. The penultimate volume of Remembrance of Things Past.

£13.99 $22.98 £9.00 €10.50 $15.00
Fugitive, The (unabridged) http://www.naxosaudiobooks.com/fugitive-the-unabridged/ The Fugitive Classic Fiction unabridged Single 0100 9781843796145 9781843796152 Marcel Proust
Neville Jason
11 390 13:22:07 FIC004000 Available Available World excl. USA and Canada

Remembrance of Things Past is one of the monuments of 20th-century literature. Neville Jason’s unabridged recording of the work runs to 150 hours. The Fugitive is the sixth of seven volumes. The Narrator’s obsessive feelings of possession for Albertine have forced her to flee. It comes as a terrible shock and is followed by further destabilising news about other friends. Based on the translation by C. K. Scott Moncrieff.

£38.50 $67.98 £25.00 €28.50 $44.00 Oct12 C. K. Scott Moncrieff
Further Adventures of Zorro, The (unabridged) http://www.naxosaudiobooks.com/further-adventures-of-zorro-the-unabridged/ The Further Adventures of Zorro Classic Fiction unabridged Single 0253 9781781980170 9781781980187 Johnston McCulley
Bill Homewood
5 101 06:30:17 FIC004000 Available Available Available World

The swashbuckling sequel to The Mark of Zorro (The Curse of Capistrano), The Further Adventures of Zorro sees the daring hero out for revenge once more. After Captain Ramon kidnaps the beautiful Lolita Pulido, Zorro takes to the seas and battles pirates in a bid to win her back. Swordfights, death traps and disastrously tight corners await him. But it is never much more than a challenge as the gallant caballero laughs in the face of danger – nothing can faze him. Villainous villains, heroic heroes and damsels in distress are all brought to life in full sonic splendour.

£19.99 $34.98 £13.00 €14.50 $23.00 Sep16 Anthony Anderson Sarah Butcher

Don Diego Vega is expecting to settle down to the ‘peace and quiet’ of married life. On the eve of his wedding, though, the pirate Barbados and his crew raid Los Angeles – and kidnap Don Diego’s bride-to-be. Narrator Bill Homewood milks the melodrama as Zorro puts on the mask one more time to face the self-described pirate and the corrupt authority of Captain Ramon. Homewood’s fast pace keeps Zorro cheating death, and keeps the listener’s pulse racing. It’s no surprise that the dialogue, at times, is clichéd, with Barbados taunting Zorro and his caballero companions. Ramon gets an especially slimy voice as he covets Don Diego’s bride. Listeners will have heard it all before, but it’s read with zest.

J.A.S., AudioFile

Gargantua and Pantagruel (unabridged) http://www.naxosaudiobooks.com/gargantua-and-pantagruel-unabridged/ Gargantua and Pantagruel Classic Fiction unabridged Single 0256 9781781980231 9781781980248 François Rabelais
Bill Homewood
31 532 34:50:00 FIC004000 Available Available World

‘Most noble and illustrious drinkers…’ Thus begins Gargantua and Pantagruel, a grotesque and carnivalesque collection of exuberant, fantastical stories that takes us from the ancient world through to the European Renaissance. At the heart of these tall tales are the giant Gargantua and his equally seismic son Pantagruel. Magical adventures, maniacal punning, slapstick humour, erudite allusions and just about any bodily function one can think of, here is quite possibly the zaniest, most risqué book ever written.

£90.00 $162.98 £59.00 €66.00 $106.00 Oct16 Thomas Urquhart and Peter Anthony Motteux Samuel Howard Andrew Riches
Gathering, The (unabridged) http://www.naxosaudiobooks.com/gathering-the-unabridged/ The Gathering Contemporary Fiction unabridged Single 791712 9789626349175 9789629546212 Anne Enright
Fiona Shaw
6 114 07:47:38 FIC000000 Available World excl. USA and Canada

The nine surviving children of the Hegarty clan gather in Dublin for the wake of their wayward brother Liam. It wasn’t the drink that killed him – although that certainly helped – it was what happened to him as a boy in his grandmother’s house, in the winter of 1968. His sister Veronica was there then, as she is now: keeping the dead man company, just for another little while. The Gathering is a family epic, condensed and clarified through the remarkable lens of Anne Enright’s unblinking eye. It is also a sexual history: tracing the line of hurt and redemption through three generations – starting with the grandmother, Ada Merriman – showing how memories warp and family secrets fester. This is a novel about love and disappointment, about thwarted lust and limitless desire, and how our fate is written in the body, not in the stars.

£19.99 $34.98 £13.00 €14.50 $23.00

When writers linger on close encounters of a genital kind it can make for tough listening. Anne Enright is undoubtedly a writer whose work, like that of James Joyce, is intensified by hearing it aloud. Fiona Shaw’s mesmerising reading of her 2007 Man Booker prize novel The Gathering is a tour de force.

But the story is a tough one to take: we are lodged in the anguished head of a frequently drunk, sexual obsessive whose too-tidy world is imperfectly papered over her muddled memories of childhood. The tipping point that forces her to confront her ill-starred Irish family and to revisit and reinterpret her past is the suicide of the charming waster of a brother who shared its horrors with her. Not, then, a cheerful earful, with overtones of the woodshed in Cold Comfort Farm, but one that lovers of deft word-handling and searingly truthful exposure of human frailty may enjoy sipped in small doses (to leave time for reflection), perhaps when alone.

Christina Hardyment, The Times, 15 March 2008

So accustomed have I become to having to wait months, sometimes even years, for the latest Booker prizewinner to come out, that I couldn’t believe my luck to find this up there on the shelves in my local library, alongside the Christies and Coopers, Trollopes and Taylor Bradfords. A good 75% of my library’s talking book selection are popular novels by women writers. At the last count there were only two books, The Ghost Road and The Blind Assassin, by the six women who have won the Booker in the past twenty years. Such are the vagaries of audio publishing that two of last year’s entries, On Chesil Beach and Mr Pip, came out on CD before they had even reached the shortlist.

Enough griping. The Gathering is here and we print-intolerant book lovers should be grateful to Naxos – first, for being so previous and second, for having the nous to get the incomparable Fiona Shaw to read it. Frankly I’m not sure I’d have lasted the course without her subtle, humorous, sensitive reading. If you like deeply depressing family sagas awash with skeletons in cupboards, drunks, misfits, children screwed up by religion and sexual abuse, you’ll enjoy The Gathering. The narrator – Veronica, 39, former shopping journalist, married to a successful banker – is number seven of twelve Irish children: Midge, Bea, Ernest, Stevie, Ita, Mossie, Liam, Veronica, Kitty, Alice and the twins, Ivor and Jem. Far from being a happy family who could field their own football team plus reserve, with the exception of Jem they’re a mess. Liam’s suicide prompts the family to gather and Veronica to delve deep into its unhappy history. Beautifully written, brilliantly read, but I still think Mr Pip should have won the Booker.

Sue Arnold, The Guardian, 19 April 2008

General Prologue & The Physician’s Tale, The (unabridged) http://www.naxosaudiobooks.com/general-prologue-and-the-physician-s-tale-the-unabridged/ The General Prologue & The Physician’s Tale in Middle English and modern verse translations Poetry unabridged Single 240012 9789626344002 9789629546496 Geoffrey Chaucer
Richard Bebb
Philip Madoc
Stephen Tompkinson
2 34 02:18:29 POE022000 Available World

The Canterbury Tales are widely read and studied. The Middle English in which they were first written differs sufficiently from modern English, in vocabulary and usage, that most of us require a contemporary translation. On this recording the ‘General Prologue’ and ‘The Physician’s Tale’ are read in Middle English by Richard Bebb, under the direction of a leading Chaucerian scholar, Professor Derek Brewer. It is an authoritative performance that brilliantly evokes the fourteenth-century world, both for the general reader and the student alike. This is followed by a witty modern verse translation, and provides a fascinating contrast with the original.

£10.99 $17.98 £7.00 €8.00 $12.00 Frank Ernest Hill
Germinal (unabridged) http://www.naxosaudiobooks.com/germinal-unabridged/ Germinal Classic Fiction unabridged Single 0207 9781843799078 9781843799085 Émile Zola
Leighton Pugh
16 308 19:56:51 FIC004000 Available Available World

Germinal is one of the most striking novels in the French tradition. Widely regarded as Zola’s masterpiece, the novel describes the working conditions of French coalminers in the 1860s in harsh and realistic terms – it is visceral, graphic and unrelenting. Its strong socialist principles and vivid accounts of the miners’ strikes meant that the novel became a key symbol in the workers’ fight against oppression, with chants of ‘Germinal! Germinal!’ resonating high above the author’s funeral.

£55.00 $98.98 £36.00 €40.50 $64.00 Jul15

The ‘shuddering volcano’ are the coal mines of Northern France in 1860s, but the phrase applies to the whole of this blistering novel which was Zola’s masterpiece published in 1885. The coal mines digest the human poor – men, women, girls and boys – slaving deep in the bowels of the earth for a wage frequently docked unjustly and barely able to support life. Desperately poor, these people strive to support their families which are constantly expanding not only by unwanted babies, but also by sick, old or crippled family members, spat out by the pits and unable to work. Meanwhile the pit-owners hold lavish dinner parties, plan their daughters’ weddings and refuse to give to the destitute who beg at their doors.

When Étienne arrives in Montsou seeking work and lodges with the Maheu family, he shares the children’s bed along with Catherine, a 15 year-old pit-tram pusher, and their bond becomes the emotional focus of the story. The whole 19 hours’ listening is a savage cry against the oppression and misery of the poor with Étienne as Zola’s mouthpiece. It is his ferocity which drives the workers’ strike which has such devastating results. There are episodes once listened to here which can never be forgotten: Étienne and Catherine trapped in the swirling water of the collapsed mine; the wild, incensed mob brutally attacking the baker who had previously charged sexual favours from the daughters of desperate families in exchange for bread.

There is however hope. Germinal is the seventh month covering parts of March and April in the Revolutionary Calendar. It is the traditional time not just for social uprisings, but for the burgeoning of new shoots and germinating seeds which will bear fruit. These conditions will change, the volcano will erupt, new birth can follow.

Naxos is a guarantee of the very best unabridged recordings of classic literature, partly because of the all-essential choice of narrator. With Zola, translator and narrator have the problem of the characters’ language. Leighton Pugh is as accomplished with reading French names and expressions – not by any means a skill shared by all narrators – and in creating a rough accent for the Montsou pit workers. To have made them identifiably London, Irish, Newcastle or West Country would have interfered with credibility. As it is, they speak an unspecific Northern English which comes across as entirely authentic and believable as Montsou pit-workers.

Rachel Redford, Audible

Ghost Stories of an Antiquary (unabridged) http://www.naxosaudiobooks.com/ghost-stories-of-an-antiquary-unabridged/ Ghost Stories of an Antiquary Classic Fiction unabridged Single 0015 9781843794271 9781843794288 M.R. James
David Timson
Stephen Critchlow
4 69 04:43:27 FIC012000 Deleted Available World

The powerful sense of evil – darkness, creepy hairy presences, cloaks, hoods, talons and tentacles – pervades these classic ghost stories by M.R. James. A Cambridge scholar himself, James explored what happens when academics dabble in things they don’t understand and unleash forces of which they know nothing. The titles in Ghost Stories of an Antiquary range from witchcraft to the occult, and tap into our primal fear of things that go bump in the night. They are recognised as the best of their genre.

£16.99 $28.98 £11.00 €12.50 $19.00 Oct10

M.R. James’s ghost stories were written, in the first place, to be heard, preferably in a cosy, dimly-lit room, with a reassuring glass of whisky or brandy close at hand. The ideal situation, of listening to Mr Provost himself, is, of course, impossible today, but we are remarkably fortunate, thanks to Robert Lloyd Parry, in having the chance to experience some of the stories in circumstances not wholly dissimilar to those of Dr James’s first audiences. The next best thing, I suppose, is a recording, to be enjoyed in the comfort of our own homes, and it’s a little startling to realise how recently recorded readings became available. To be sure, there was the occasional radio broadcast (and wouldn’t we just love to hear Valentine Dyall telling the tale of A Neighbour’s Landmark?) but they were rare enough. Then, about thirty years ago, almost as if to atone for his part in Jonathan Miller’s perverse film Whistle and I’ll Come to You, Michael Hordern began his superb series of readings for Argo, nineteen stories in all – or, rather, eighteen plus Stories I Have Tried to Write. More recently, David Collings made a similarly excellent recording for Craftsman Audio Books: The Complete Ghost Stories of MR James, which includes all the tales from the four volumes, plus The Experiment, The Malice of Inanimate Objects, A Vignette and The Fenstanton Witch, but, oddly, excludes Stories I Have Tried to Write. Sir Michael’s and Mr Collings’ are, together, the touchstone, the standard by which one can judge other such readings. I had been wondering if, in time, the admirable team at Naxos AudioBooks would tackle Dr James’s disturbing tales… and now, with great pleasure, I welcome this recording of his first collection, Ghost Stories of an Antiquary. Both David Timson and Stephen Critchlow are superb vocal actors, with very pleasing voices, the voices of men you could sit and chat with over a pint of beer or a glass of port. Not the sort of voice that you’d immediately associate with the reading of ghost stories: they don’t have the silken menace of Vincent Price or the doom-laden resonance of Christopher Lee. But when you think about it, most of the best ghost stories call for a less – what shall we say? – a less theatrical approach from the narrator. David Timson in particular is an actor I’ve long admired. His recording of the Sherlock Holmes saga is a feat to rank with Radio 4’s complete dramatisation, and he accomplished it with dedication, erudition, panache and wit – the same qualities that both men bring to MRJ’s ghost stories. Mr Timson’s brief essay which accompanies these recordings is informative, intelligent and perceptive. I hadn’t considered the possibility that the ’crime’ of Canon Alberic ’is the destruction of a priceless old book, to provide material for his scrapbook – a sin MR James, as an antiquarian, could not forgive’, but it’s a rather appealing notion. As always with Naxos, the narratives are subtly enhanced by well-chosen music, all unfamiliar to me, by Chausson, Vieuxtemps and Eugène Ysaye. Overall, this recording is superb. There are just two small points that I ought to mention. Stephen Critchlow’s two readings, The Mezzotint and Oh, Whistle, and I’ll Come to You, My Lad, are taken from a 2 CD set released in 2007, Classic Ghost Stories (highly recommended, by the way), in which Mr Critchlow also reads Rats and two tales by Charles Dickens. That’s not a matter for complaint, but I can’t help thinking it would have been nice to have the same voice reading all eight of the Ghost Stories of an Antiquary. The only fault here is a small one, but odd. In Canon Alberic’s Scrapbook, David Timson consistently pronounces the name ’Comminges’ as ’Commeen’ – as if it had been printed in his script without the letter G, making it ’Commines. A curious little error, but so very little that it can’t spoil the immense pleasure I get from listening to Ghost Stories of an Antiquary.

Roger Johnson, The Ghosts and Scholars/M R James Newsletter

Gilbert and Sullivan (unabridged) http://www.naxosaudiobooks.com/gilbert-and-sullivan-unabridged/ Opera Explained – Gilbert and Sullivan Opera Explained – Music unabridged Single 558166 9781843790358 9781843793281 Thomson Smillie
David Timson
2 71 02:38:09 MUS028000 Available World excl. USA and Canada

This audio-biography sets out to explain the timeless popularity of the operettas of Gilbert and Sullivan: a colourful partnership of the most successful writers in the history of light music. It highlights Gilbert’s mastery of language – his wit, his turn of phrase, his brilliant lyrics (alternately very funny and deeply moving) – and the special melodic gift which enabled Arthur Sullivan to write music of such beauty and style. While each was a master of his craft, it was the combination that created magic sparks and guaranteed Gilbert and Sullivan a place in musical history.

£10.99 $17.98 £7.00 €8.00 $12.00
Glory of Ancient Greece, The (unabridged) http://www.naxosaudiobooks.com/glory-of-ancient-greece-the-unabridged/ The Glory of Ancient Greece Junior Classics unabridged Single 0012 9781843794219 9781843794226 Hugh Griffith
Benjamin Soames
2 36 02:26:21 JNF025020 Available World

The glory of Ancient Greece is all around us, even in the 21st century, because Greece was the cradle of Western civilisation. We know about the gods and their characters – Zeus, Athene, Apollo, Ares, Aphrodite – and their heroes, both legendary (Heracles) and historical (Alexander the Great). Architecture, mathematics, politics, philosophy, observation of nature and the cosmos and much more emerged in Ancient Greece. Hugh Griffith’s entertaining but informative account of the people and the history places it all in perspective. An outstanding introduction for younger listeners.

£10.99 $17.98 £7.00 €8.00 $12.00 Sep10

In The Glory of Ancient Greece young listeners will learn about the twelve most important gods and how they were created as well as their all too human qualities. Zeus for example was not an admirable fellow, being highly promiscuous. We learn about the Trojan War in the Iliad and the adventures of Odysseus. Greece before 500 BCE was a collection of small city states ruled by kings and later by aristocrats. In 776 BCE the first games were held at Olympia. Thales predicted an eclipse in 585 BCE and Pythagoras gave the world a mathematical formula. Sparta and Athens were often at odds and Greeks consulted the Oracle at Delphi. The Persians invaded and famous battles were fought at Marathon and Thermopylae. Greek warfare is described in some detail as is the birth of democracy. The Greek empire flourished under Pericles and Greek theater is celebrated, especially the works of Aeschylus, Sophocles and Euripides. Both the Peloponnesian War and the plague attack Athens. Archimedes made a great scientific discovery and Socrates asked people to think, leading to his death. The book ends with the rise of Alexander the Great. Brief classical music excerpts separate chapters.

The book is narrated by former Royal Marine Commando Benjamin Soames who trained at the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Arts. He has appeared on TV and the stage and has narrated fifteen audiobooks for Naxos, many of them junior classics set in ancient Greece and Rome. Hugh Griffith has four books available in the Junior Classics catalogue at Naxos Audiobooks. Besides The Glory of Ancient Greece Hugh Griffith has written Ancient Greek Philosophy: An Introduction, Aristotle: An Introduction, and Great Rulers of Ancient Rome and all are available from Naxos Audiobooks. The Glory of Ancient Greece is detailed but not graphic, a suitable introduction for a young audience.

Janet Julian, soundcommentary.com

Starting with familiar tales of Prometheus and Odysseus and ending with Alexander the Great, Hugh Griffith gives listeners a quick tour of Ancient Greece. British narrator Benjamin Soames takes the history seriously while making the examples and comparisons in Griffith’s writing fun. Those examples – such as describing a Spartan camp as ’a kind of Scout troop’ – show that this history is aimed at a young audience, but it’s done well enough for a family road trip as well. As an introduction to Greek history, it’s a good one, covering a lot of ground quickly and even taking a moment to consider the historical basis of the myths. What’s more, there’s a reference map in the accompanying booklet.

J.A.S., AudioFile

Go-Between, The (unabridged) http://www.naxosaudiobooks.com/go-between-the-unabridged/ The Go-Between Classic Fiction unabridged Single 0257 9781781980255 9781781980262 L.P. Hartley
Sean Barrett
9 164 10:39:18 FIC000000 Available Available Available World

‘The past is a foreign country: they do things differently there.’ Haunting, moving, evocative, The Go-Between is L.P. Hartley’s heartbreaking novel about social constraints and childhood innocence. During the long hot summer of 1900, young Leo Colston is invited to stay for a month at a lordly, aristocratic manor in Norfolk. There he falls in love with his friend’s older sister, who commissions him to ferry secret messages to the local farmer, her lover. His naiveté sustains their affair, until ultimately leading to an event that will change their lives irrevocably.

£32.99 $59.98 £21.50 €24.00 $39.00 Oct16 John Foley RNIB Talking Book Studios

Narrator Sean Barrett brings his range and sensitivity to this classic coming-of-age novel in which an older man rediscovers his childhood diary. Barrett’s natural rhythm contemporises any anachronisms, and his ability to shift between the weariness of the elderly protagonist and the curiosity and vibrancy of the youth he remembers sounds effortless. As the novel journeys into the heartaches of adolescence, Barrett uses his considerable experience to retain the sense of clandestine intimacy that comes with the writing of a diary. Never overstating emotion, Barrett’s reading lulls the listener into a sense of security, making the dramatic events that follow all the more dynamic. He perfectly echoes Hartley’s tone – seamlessly weaving romance, drama, and the verve of youth in this timeless Victorian story.

Z.S., AudioFile

Golden Notebook, The (unabridged) http://www.naxosaudiobooks.com/golden-notebook-the-unabridged/ The Golden Notebook Modern Classics unabridged Single 15812 9789626341582 9789629549404 Doris Lessing
Juliet Stevenson
21 403 29:45:10 FIC000000 Available Available World

One of the most important books of the growing feminist movement of the 1950s, it was brought to a wider public by the Nobel Prize award to Doris Lessing in 2007. Authoress Anna Wulf attempts to overcome writer’s block by writing a comprehensive ‘golden notebook’ which draws together the preoccupations of her life, each of which is examined in a different notebook: sources of her creative inspiration in a black book, communism in a red book, the breakdown of her marriage in a yellow book, and day-to-day emotions and dreams in a blue book. Anna’s struggle to unify the various strands of her life – emotional, political and professional – amasses into a fascinating encyclopaedia of female experience in the ‘50s. In this authentic, taboo-breaking novel, Lessing brings the plight of women’s lives, from obscurity behind closed doors, into broad daylight. The Golden Notebook resonates with the concerns and experiences of a great many women and is a true modern classic, thoroughly deserving of its reputation as a feminist bible. A notoriously long and complex work, it is given a new life by this – its first unabridged recording.

£65.00 $115.98 £42.00 €48.00 $75.00 Jun10

Doris Lessing’s The Golden Notebook focuses on the deeply divided feminine psyche: political stance, sexuality, relations with women friends and maternal persona. Superbly read by Juliet Stevenson, it needs to be revisited as women struggle today.

Christina Hardyment, The Times

First published in 1962, Doris Lessing’s brilliant work defined a generation of women disillusioned by a world that relegated them to second-class citizenship. Lessing’s book became a “feminist bible” for women of the ‘60s, taking on the ideas of female sexuality, professional responsibility, friendship, political disenchantment, and personal betrayal. Juliet Stevenson gives a no-nonsense yet deeply sensitive portrayal of writer Anna Wulf, who is trying to keep herself from falling apart by keeping four notebooks—black for her writing experiences, red for her politics, yellow for her relationships and emotions, and blue for daily accounts. As Anna explores her life, Stevenson’s sharp, intelligent narration clarifies each thoughtful comment, each personal failure, and each triumph. Stevenson’s impeccable performance makes Lessing’s literary classic a timeless treasure.

Winner of AudioFile Earphones Award

S.J.H., AudioFile

The publication of Doris Lessing’s The Golden Notebook in 1962 was a defining moment in the history of feminism, and of a great deal else. It opens with an extraordinary dialogue between two women that continues, with interruptions, for almost half an hour, and goes on to incorporate considerations of African nationalism and the history of Communism in the UK. Various ‘notebooks’ are interleaved with the main story, culminating in the ‘golden notebook’ of the title.

Earlier this year, to mark the 50th anniversary of the book’s publication, the Guardian asked a number of women writers to comment on the effect the book had had on their lives. Most said it had been considerable, while one nevertheless noting an implicit homophobia, and another a rather tiresome didacticism.

But it’s read with particular distinction on Naxos by Juliet Stevenson. She captures innumerable tones of voice, from anger to bitchiness to plain historical recollection. It’s a long haul, of course, and, as Maugham says on his YouTube interview, not many long novels are without their boring passages. Even so, this is a reading to treasure, as well as a book to remember with respect.

The Taipei Times

Good Soldier Švejk, The (abridged) http://www.naxosaudiobooks.com/good-soldier-svejk-the-abridged/ The Good Soldier Švejk Classic Fiction abridged Single 691312 9789626349137 9789629547837 Jaroslav Hašek
David Horovitch
6 101 06:55:41 FIC004000 Available World

Jaroslav Hašek’s world-famous satirical farce The Good Soldier Švejk has been translated into over sixty languages, and is one of the best-known Czech works ever published. A soldier in the First World War who never actually sees any combat, Josef Švejk is The Good Soldier’s awkward protagonist – and none of the other characters can quite decide whether his bumbling efforts to get to the front are genuine or not. Often portrayed as one of the first anti-war novels, Hašek’s classic satire is a tour-de-force of modernist writing, influencing later writers such as Hemingway, Faulkner, and Joseph Heller.

£19.99 $34.98 £13.00 €14.50 $23.00 Sir Cecil Parrott

Every harassed negotiator, every beleaguered political wife and anyone given to ever-increasing moments of melancholy at the way things are should keep a copy of Hašek’s classic ‘don’t let the bastards get you down’ novel to hand. It’s anti-war, anti-establishment, anti-religion and – praise indeed – even funnier than Catch-22. Joseph Heller based his hero Yossarian on Švejk. Hašek, born in Bohemia in 1883, based the irrepressible Švejk’s career in the first world war on his own rackety life. Horovitch’s multi-voiced, multi-accented reading of the hotchpotch of characters is brilliant: dotty major-generals, hard-drinking priests, lecherous officers and, of course, the good soldier himself, beginning every exchange with ‘Beg to report, sir . . .’ – that he joined the enemy by mistake, missed his train, lost his way, issued the officers with the wrong cipher book (part 1 of Ludwig Ganghofer’s The Sins of the Fathers instead of part 2), and so on. Give it five minutes, you’ll be hooked.

Sue Arnold, The Guardian

Good Soldier, The (unabridged) http://www.naxosaudiobooks.com/good-soldier-the-unabridged/ The Good Soldier Classic Fiction unabridged Single 713212 9789626341322 9789629549367 Ford Madox Ford
Kerry Shale
7 117 07:59:09 FIC004000 Available World

Two couples, two marriages; both seemingly perfect, both falling apart. Beneath the surface gentility of the American John Dowell with his wife Florence and the landed grace of Edward and Leonora lie fictions and deceit. There are secret desires, hidden power-games, suicides and madness. Everyone is hiding something; even the narrator can’t be trusted. Brilliantly inventive, tragic and ironic, The Good Soldier is one of the great novels of the twentieth century.

£19.99 $34.98 £13.00 €14.50 $23.00 Feb10

Whether you know Ford Madox Ford’s The Good Soldier or not, don’t miss this reading by Kerry Shale, who varies his performance brilliantly as the story shifts from platitudes to a rollercoaster ride of intimate revelation. Written on the eve of the First World War and satirising the complacency and immorality of the age, the book is an experimental narrative, moving to and fro in time with explanations inserted as if recounted to a friend. ‘This is the saddest story I have ever heard’ is the opening line, but within seconds we are wondering how on earth it can be as we hear of the impeccable social credentials of the two couples at its core. Give it a few minutes, and you will be agog, uncertain whether to laugh at its first-person narrator’s gullibility or cry at the tragic outcome. Poetically resonant and painterly in its word pictures, the book was regarded by Ford as his best. Don’t be misled by the studiously ironic title: the only conflict in the story is that between the sexes.

Christina Hardyment, The Times

‘This is the saddest story I have ever heard’ has to be the best opening sentence of any novel ever written, doubly so when you discover that it is also totally misleading. Confusion, said VS Pritchett, was the mainspring of Ford’s art as a novelist, and nothing, surely, confuses more than having your story told by an unreliable storyteller. John Dowell, The Good Soldier’s narrator, makes Tristram Shandy sound like a beacon of clarity. Ford’s greatest novel, set in 1904, follows the nine-year acquaintance of two couples, the American Dowells and the oh-so-English Ashburnhams, who meet every summer at a fashionable German spa frequented by transatlantic millionaires and Edwardian Eurotrash. Mrs Dowell and Captain Ashburnham have heart conditions – the medical sort – but it soon becomes apparent that, beneath their conventional formality, all four of them have heart problems: the kind associated with passion, jealousy, infidelity, treachery and, in this instance, the violent deaths of two of the protagonists. Far from being a detached observer as that first sentence implies, Dowell is at the very centre of the drama. Here’s where a good reader (and Kerry Shale is one of the best) gives audio the edge over print. His characterisation of Dowell is breathtakingly subtle: the cultured, only just discernible American accent (Dowell comes from Pennsylvania, where “there are more old English families than you would find in any six English counties taken together”), his disarming confidentiality (which in truth is nothing of the sort), and above all his laugh. Never was a laugh less careless, more calculated to deceive. Listen, and I guarantee you’ll be as dazzled by Shale’s performance as I was.

Sue Arnold, The Guardian

Ford Madox Ford’s The Good Soldier, a novel of desire, cruelty, madness and the rigid snobbery of the Edwardian era, concerns the American Dowells – John and his delicate wife Florence, and the Ashburnhams, ex-soldier squire Teddy and his suffering spouse Leonora. John calls it ‘the saddest story I have ever heard’, but the tale turns out to be a shocking inventory of the appalling things people can do to each other in the name of love. What really went on during their annual sojourns at a German spa only becomes clear as the story unfolds. Kerry Shale’s performance is intimate and compelling, and the listener is gripped by Dowell’s bitter little laughs as he reflects on the perfidy of others, or when he is on the brink of holding back sobs at his own fate.

A performance of such sustained quality as Shale’s would be garlanded with awards in any other medium, but it is the fate of audiobook readers to be unheralded.

Karen Robinson, Sunday Times

Gormenghast (abridged) http://www.naxosaudiobooks.com/gormenghast-abridged/ Gormenghast Classic Fiction abridged Single 0062 9781843795384 9781843795391 Mervyn Peake
Rupert Degas
4 70 04:50:29 FIC009000 Deleted Available World

Titus, Earl of Groan, is becoming aware of a world beyond the suffocating confines of Gormenghast, bound by centuries of tradition into a pattern of decaying rituals. He yearns for freedom. Meanwhile the amoral Steerpike continues to forge his way into a position of power, leaving death in his wake and nearly dying in the process. But his rise places him at odds with Titus himself; and only one will survive. This award-winning sequel displays all of Mervyn Peake’s imaginative brilliance in creating and sustaining the extraordinary world of Gormenghast.

£16.99 $28.98 £11.00 €12.50 $19.00 Apr11

Clear distinctions between good and evil are so rare in real life, that it is sometimes comforting to know whether to cheer or hiss at a character before you have heard more than a few lines about them. Gormenghast, the second in a series of three gothic novels by writer Mervyn Peake, draws such a clear line between the righteous and the damned that the listener knows which is which when they hear their names: from the malevolent, power-hungry and cunningly manipulative Steerpike, to Dr Alfred Prunesquallor, the smart-aleck doctor of Castle Gormenghast. Even the name of the castle calls to mind how it is later described: dark, dank, foreboding, with many hidden passageways for hiding wrong doing. The family who lives here, and the hero of this tale, are aptly named Groan: there is Titus, who is seven when Gormenghast picks up, and is the reluctant heir to the throne; Fuschia, his spoiled sister, who like her name comes off as a bit too garish; and their deceased father Lord Sepulchrave. Gormenghast follows Titus as he comes of age and must decide whether to indulge in his desire to shirk obligation and make a life outside of the castle, or to be the much-needed hero and save this ancient, secretive and frankly weird world from a terrible end.

The listener’s appreciation for the clear demarcation between good and evil is also brought into sharp focus by narrator Rupert Degas’s exceptional reading. Degas displays a wide range of accents, vocalizations, and tones, from somber, when he is describing the foreboding castle, to wild and agitated, such as in the final scenes, which are filled with an appropriate showdown between the forces of good and evil, now evident to all the colorfully-named characters. Many male narrators often have difficulty depicting women, since too high a pitch can sound like mockery, while too low can erase any difference between male and female voices. Degas has no such trouble: his vocalization is so expressive and varied that he is able to actually lower his pitch for a female character, such as the Countess Gertrude, Titus’ mother, who is an imposing but largely reclusive woman until disaster requires her assertive leadership; or raise it when depicting the squeaking laughter of Dr Prunesquallor. Gormenghast is abridged and the second in the series, but its simple themes and straightforward plot meant that these factors did not draw away from this colorful work of fantasy.

Joanna Theiss, SoundCommentary

Gothic and sprawling, the ancient castle Gormenghast is the centrepiece of a kingdom cloistered in intrigue and dark rituals. Titus Groan, the kingdom’s 77th earl, and his mother and sister, are the castle’s prisoners. Titus is seven years old. So opens this second volume of Peake’s titanic and sublimely ornate Gormenghast trilogy. Narrator Rupert Degas not only reads the heightened prose with focus and energy, he also makes the entire book more easily accessible by creating distinct and memorable character voices. As Peake practically paints with language, Degas faithfully weaves the poetic colours, shadows, and textures. Peake was a contemporary of Tolkien and a strong influence on the young George Lucas. This abridged reading is an excellent introduction to Peake’s enduring creation of high fantasy.

B.P., AudioFile

Gormenghast Trilogy, Titus Awakes, The (abridged) http://www.naxosaudiobooks.com/gormenghast-trilogy-titus-awakes-the-abridged/ The Gormenghast Trilogy, Titus Awakes Classic Fiction abridged Box set 0084 9781843795810 9781843795827 Mervyn Peake
Maeve Gilmore
Rupert Degas
15 673 18:37:34 FIC009000 Available World

The Gormenghast trilogy was one of the most unusual cult cycles of the 20th century. In this surreal, darkly comic fantasy telling the story of Titus, 77th Earl of Groan, Mervyn Peake (1911–1968) created a vivid world with strong characters enveloped in intrigue and fearful intent. Here are the three novels completed by Peake, and a fourth, a completion of a fragment left at his early death in 1968. Titus Groan introduces the world of stifling ritual into which Titus is born, the cast of richly extraordinary family members and retainers, and Titus’s arch rival, Steerpike. In Gormenghast, as the young earl develops a yearning to escape, the battle for control of the kingdom reaches a murderous end. Titus Alone sees Titus adrift in a New World; but its smooth modernity conceals just as much evil as the gloom of his home. And the newly rediscovered Titus Awakes, completed by Peake’s widow Maeve Gilmore, brings a kind of homecoming to the man forever looking to escape from, and yet find, himself. Rupert Degas, an astonishingly versatile and compelling reader, reads all four books.

£50.00 $89.98 £33.00 €37.00 $58.50 Nov11

Degas’ effortless reading of Mervyn Peake’s trilogy (and a final installment by Peake’s widow) doesn’t overperform this moving story of a fantastic kingdom where a boy named Titus lives.

Los Angeles Times

Grand Sophy, The (abridged) http://www.naxosaudiobooks.com/grand-sophy-the-abridged/ The Grand Sophy Classic Fiction abridged Single 0065 9781843795445 9781843795452 Georgette Heyer
Clare Wille
4 69 04:44:41 FIC004000 Available World

Resourceful, adventurous and utterly indefatigable, Sophy is hardly the mild-mannered girl that the Rivenhalls expect when they agree to take her in. Kind-hearted Aunt Lizzy is shocked; stern Cousin Charles and his humourless fiancée Eugenia are disapproving. With her inimitable mixture of exuberance and grace Sophy soon sets about endearing herself to her family, but finds herself increasingly drawn to her cousin. Can she really be falling in love with him, and he with her? And what of his betrothal to Eugenia?

£16.99 $28.98 £11.00 €12.50 $19.00 Sep2011

Sophy arrives at the Rivenhall household with a monkey. She is not the shy, retiring girl that her cousins had been led to expect. She’s exuberant, clever and resourceful and quickly sets the household on its ear. If it isn’t publicly racing horses, it’s setting up assignations for her cousin and her unsuitable beau or rescuing another cousin from a loan shark. And she does it all with a cheerful determination that makes this story a winner sixty years after its publication. Although it begins with an interminably dull conversation between Sophy’s father and aunt, once Sophy enters the picture, Clare Wille is in her element. Her Sophy brings sunshine to the stage merely by her presence in the scene. Her joyful disposition and quick mind means she sees a solution to every problem, even, and perhaps especially, when that solution will drive her cousin Charles past the end of his reason. Wille shows off vocal range with Spanish Marquessas, every age of person and station in life, including a very memorable gentleman with a cold, and all the timeSophy with a smile in her voice. The hilarious courtship of her cousin Charles, which requires eliminating his current prune-faced fiancée, is what makes Heyer the grand master of Regency Romance. Recommended for all fiction collections.

soundcommentary.com

Claire Wille has exactly the right touch in her reading of The Grand Sophy, which is Regency romance at its very best. When Sir Horace Stanton-Lacy, bound for South America, asks his sister to take in his daughter ’little Sophy’, Lady Ombersley agrees – only to discover that her niece stands 5’ 9” tall, is both great fun and incredibly chic, and is destined to become the belle of every ball she attends. Her cousins soon adore her – except for the eldest, Charles, burdened by the debts his reckless father had left him with. He is betrothed to the dull and humourless Eugenia, and of course he disapproves of Sophy… Full of witty dialogue, delightful family feeling and heart-racing romance – just the thing for a rainy September evening!

Kati Nicholl, Daily Express

I’m not what you could call conversant on all things Georgette Heyer, but I do find myself appreciating her more with each audiobook experience. Yet, I think being relatively new to Heyer’s work may have something to do with my enjoyment of the abridged audio versions of her books. I simply don’t recognise missing content.

Although I had listened to a few unabridged audios in my first days of exploring Heyer, my interest didn’t take hold until I was lured in by Richard Armitage’s narration of Sylvester. I listened for two reasons – I needed to fill the abridged category of my 2010 Listening Challenge and I wanted to hear Armitage. I gave that version an A when I reviewed it at AAR and didn’t think twice about requesting The Grand Sophy for review.

Richard Armitage doesn’t narrate The Grand Sophy, but I was delighted to find that I enjoyed narrator Clare Wille even more! Her narration was simply outstanding. Whereas Armitage’s performance of the female voices left something to be desired, Ms Wille has a full range of pleasing voices for both male and female characters.

Sophy comes to live with her aunt and uncle while her father travels to Brazil. They find her to be kind, resourceful, and certainly more self-assured than the average young lady. Her behaviour can be quite shocking at times – she shoots and rides with great proficiency. Sophy’s cousin, Charles, is the eldest in the household and holds a tight rein on the family’s financial affairs. He’s engaged to an unpleasant, self righteous woman but she’s a sensible choice and therefore, fits his sensible lifestyle. Sophy’s outlook on life, as well as her well-meant manipulations, drives Charles a little crazy.

The Grand Sophy is a witty and charming story with a large cast of characters. The size of the cast did cause confusion at times and made me wonder if an unabridged version could have lessened that confusion. Regardless, I found it quite entertaining and think this is a good starting place for those who are curious about Heyer but have yet to give her a try. Dare I say that, to date, I have relished Heyer’s abridged versions more than her unabridged?

The music preceding and following each chapter was delightful and reminded me of the score from A & E’s production of Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice. It truly set the mood for this type of romance. A request to the audiobook industry – please, I want more Clare Wille. How about recording Devil’s Cub with Ms Wille as narrator?

Lea Hensley, All About Romance blog

This is a fine performance by Clare Wille, reading a sensitive abridgement of The Grand Sophy. The generously built, pistol-packing Sophy is many people’s favourite Georgette Heyer character; certainly her ingenious ways of getting out of apparently disastrous situations are unequalled. This is the fifth of the uniformly fine Naxos abridgements of Heyer; there is also an interview with Wille on the Naxos website that gives intriguing insights into the art of narration.

Christina Hardyment, The Times

I’m not what you could call conversant on all things Georgette Heyer, but I do find myself appreciating her more with each audiobook experience. Yet, I think being relatively new to Heyer’s work may have something to do with my enjoyment of the abridged audio versions of her books. I simply don’t recognize missing content.

Although I had listened to a few unabridged audios in my first days of exploring Heyer, my interest didn’t take hold until I was lured in by Richard Armitage’s narration of Sylvester. I listened for two reasons – I needed to fill the abridged category of my 2010 Listening Challenge, and I wanted to hear Armitage. I gave that version an ‘A’ when I reviewed it at AAR and didn’t think twice about requesting The Grand Sophy for review.

Richard Armitage doesn’t narrate The Grand Sophy, but I was delighted to find that I enjoyed narrator Clare Wille even more! Her narration was simply outstanding. Whereas Armitage’s performance of the female voices left something to be desired, Ms Wille has a full range of pleasing voices for both male and female characters.

Sophy comes to live with her aunt and uncle while her father travels to Brazil. They find her to be kind, resourceful, and certainly more self-assured than the average young lady. Her behavior can be quite shocking at times – she shoots and rides with great proficiency.

Sophy’s cousin, Charles, is the eldest in the household and holds a tight rein on the family’s financial affairs. He’s engaged to an unpleasant, self righteous woman but she’s a sensible choice and therefore, fits his sensible lifestyle. Sophy’s outlook on life, as well as her well-meant manipulations, drives Charles a little crazy.

The Grand Sophy is a witty and charming story with a large cast of characters. The size of the cast did cause confusion at times and made me wonder if an unabridged version could have lessened that confusion. Regardless, I found it quite entertaining and think this is a good starting place for those who are curious about Heyer but have yet to give her a try. Dare I say that, to date, I have relished Heyer’s abridged versions more than her unabridged?

The music preceding and following each chapter was delightful and reminded me of the score from A & E’s production of Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice. It truly set the mood for this type of romance. A request to the audiobook industry – please, I want more Clare Wille. How about recording Devil’s Cub with Ms Wille as narrator?

Lea Hensley, All About Romance blog

Grand Sophy, The (unabridged) http://www.naxosaudiobooks.com/grand-sophy-the-unabridged/ The Grand Sophy Classic Fiction unabridged Single 0142 9781843797555 9781843797562 Georgette Heyer
Sarah Woodward
9 176 11:27:40 FIC004000 Available World

Resourceful, adventurous and utterly indefatigable, Sophy is hardly the mild-mannered girl that the Rivenhalls expect when they agree to take her in. Kind-hearted Aunt Lizzy is shocked; stern Cousin Charles and his humourless fiancée Eugenia are disapproving. With her inimitable mixture of exuberance and grace Sophy soon sets about endearing herself to her family, but finds herself increasingly drawn to her cousin. Can she really be falling in love with him, and he with her? And what of his betrothal to Eugenia?

£32.99 $59.98 £21.50 €24.00 $39.00 Oct13

Heyer’s novels tend to be filled with sly wit and great fun, and narrator Sarah Woodward captures both of these qualities perfectly. It’s immediately obvious that Woodward understands the characters and their motivations very well, in particular the titular Sophy, who is both kindhearted and strong headed, and who is determined to put the world to rights as she sees it. Listeners will be treated by Woodward and Heyer to a romantic, mischievous romp through the upper-class world of Regency London.

J.L.K., AudioFile

Woodward brilliantly performs one of Heyer’s most beloved Regencies, a bubbling confection of fun, wit, and charm, in this sparkling and gleeful reading. Placed in the care of her aunt, Lady Ombersley, while her father travels to South America, Sophy finds herself mired in a household of trouble. Her cousin Charles is ruling the roost with a dour and overly firm hand, her cousin Cecilia fancies herself in love with a poet, and no one seems to have much fun. Sophy takes it upon herself to set this all to rights – which means upending Charles’ equanimity and making a decided enemy out of his fiancé, Miss Eugenia Wraxton. Saving the Ombersleys from themselves takes plots, clashes, and a pet monkey, but Sophy saves the day and in the process finds Charles to be far more loveable than she first thought (too bad for Miss Wraxton). Woodward’s lively pacing perfectly conveys the story, speeding it along in a gamboling rush that keeps listeners constantly ready for the next bit of fun. Her delighted tone promises that such fun is likely just a second away as she creates voices that impeccably convey character, be it the hauteur of Charles or the spirited voice of Sophy. Woodward’s delightful performance is all that Heyer fans could hope for.

Neal Wyatt, Booklist

Great Expectations (abridged) http://www.naxosaudiobooks.com/great-expectations-abridged/ Great Expectations Classic Fiction abridged Single 408212 9789626340820 9789629544904 Charles Dickens
Anton Lesser
4 76 05:14:27 FIC004000 Available World

In this, perhaps Dickens’ most profound and personal novel, we are invited to share in the sentimental education of Pip, the poor boy from the village forge who risks losing himself in snobbery and selfishness when he mysteriously inherits a fortune. The story moves from the bleak Kentish marshes of Pip’s childhood to a thrilling climax which mingles tragedy and triumph.

£16.99 $28.98 £11.00 €12.50 $19.00
Great Expectations (unabridged) http://www.naxosaudiobooks.com/great-expectations-unabridged/ Great Expectations Classic Fiction unabridged Single 46212 9789626344620 9789629544911 Charles Dickens
Anton Lesser
15 279 19:09:19 FIC004000 Available World

Narrated in the first person, Great Expectations tells the story of Philip Pirrip (known as Pip) from his disadvantaged start as an orphan in the Kent marshes to the improvement in his position following an anonymous allowance. Pip moves to London where, only after many trials, does he learn humility and the value of loyalty. Key Dickens characters abound – the convict Magwitch, the eccentric Miss Havisham and the pompous Pumblechook. Great Expectations was first published as a complete novel in October 1861 shortly after its serialisation in All The Year Round. Like David Copperfield, it drew on his early life, especially the trials of a boy who, about to enter his teen years, find himself challenged by tough life experiences. Among the many remarkable scenes is the famous meeting with Miss Havisham, surrounded by the mementos of her wedding day many years before. It remains one of Dickens’ most popular novels.

£50.00 $89.98 £33.00 €37.00 $58.50

Maybe you should listen to this first to understand the impact it had on Mister Pip’s pupils. Too bad they didn’t hear Anton Lesser’s version, though chances are if they had, it would have affected them even more powerfully. Lesser reads so many audiobooks – I’ve just finished his beautiful if soporific rendering of Rumi’s Spiritual Verses – that you forget what a huge range his acting skills cover.

This is the perfect vehicle for his array of voices, accents and characters, starting with the terrifying Magwitch on the run (if that’s an appropriate description of a man wearing a leg iron) from the prison hulks moored off the Essex marshes, to cold, arrogant Estella, hardwired to break men’s hearts, and the steely lawyer Mr Jaggers, beside whom Lord Goldsmith looks like Bambi. The adventures of the upwardly mobile apprentice blacksmith turned gentleman have always trailed far behind Hard Times and A Tale of Two Cities on my Dickens hit list – Pip is such an awful snob – but I’m bound to admit that Lesser makes him not only sympathetic but even likeable.

Sue Arnold, The Guardian

As if you could forget, this Tuesday, 7 February, is Dickens’s 200th birthday. I love the inimitable, but this birthday can’t come soon enough. Leave aside the BBC launching ‘a raft of DVD releases and fantastic downloads’ of Edwin Drood, Our Mutual Friend and David Copperfield, and John Sutherland’s The Dickens Dictionary: An A–Z of England’s Greatest Novelist (Icon), there’s still the resistible offer of ‘an expert quote’ from Dr Andrew Mangham from the English department of Reading University who tells us that his ‘characters and idioms will live as long as the author’s books remain in print.’ No, really?

For my money, the outright winner of this Dickens fest is the 19-hour Naxos recording of Great Expectations by Anton Lesser. Unabridged, beautifully read and a snip at £50. Less is more.

Robert McCrum, the Observer

With its meandering paragraphs, colourful character names, and engrossing plots, Charles Dickens’s masterpiece is magical in the audiobook format. Anton Lesser’s performance is especially notable for its blend of the traditional and contemporary. He captures young Pip’s transformation from downtrodden lad to society gentleman with all the typical trappings of Dickens’s atmosphere: precise accent, clipped diction, and mellifluous voice are gloriously present. However, Lesser’s performance is also wonderfully modern in its pacing and phrasing. Where some narrators resort to fusty, passive vocals, wherein they allow Dickens to own the role, Lesser is fully involved and vivacious in each sentence, propelling the story continually forward. This version of a classic is bound to become a classic in its own right.

L.B.F., AudioFile

Great Explorers of the World (unabridged) http://www.naxosaudiobooks.com/great-explorers-of-the-world-unabridged/ Great Explorers of the World Marco Polo | Ibn Battuta | Vasco da Gama | Christopher Columbus | Ferdinand Magellan | Captain Cook | Lewis and Clark | Livingstone and Stanley | The Apollo Mission to the Moon Junior Classics unabridged Single 229112 9789626342916 9789629543754 David Angus
Kerry Shale
Sam Dastor
Trevor Nichols
Frances Jeater
2 38 02:35:37 JNF025080 Available World

Here are the stories of nine great adventures and the lives of the men who took part in them. They pushed back the frontiers of man’s knowledge of the world by their vision, courage and sheer doggedness. They were very different people – from bold adventurers facing the unknown with enjoyment to careful, more scientific individuals. Their journeys are placed within their historical context, but also contain the words of the men themselves. Written especially for Naxos Audiobooks.

£10.99 $17.98 £7.00 €8.00 $12.00
  • Marco Polo
  • Ibn Battuta
  • Christopher Columbus
  • Vasco da Gama
  • Ferdinand Magellan
  • Captain Cook
  • Lewis & Clark
  • Livingstone & Stanley
  • The Apollo Mission to the Moon
Great Gatsby, The (unabridged) http://www.naxosaudiobooks.com/great-gatsby-the-unabridged/ The Great Gatsby Classic Fiction unabridged Single 436312 9781843793632 9789629549992 F. Scott Fitzgerald
William Hope
5 82 05:38:35 FIC004000 Available World

Elegant, enigmatic Jay Gatsby yearns for his old love, the beautiful Daisy. But she is married to the insensitive if hugely successful Tom Buchanan, who won’t let her go despite having a mistress himself. In their wealthy haven, these beguiling lives are brought together by the innocent and entranced narrator, Nick – until their decadent deceits spill into violence and tragedy. Part morality tale, part fairy tale, The Great Gatsby is the consummate novel of the Jazz Age. Its tenderness and poetry make it one of the great works of the 20th century.

£16.99 $28.98 £11.00 €12.50 $19.00 Aug10

Canadian actor William Hope reads Naxos AudioBooks’ first unabridged production of Fitzgerald’s classic novel of the Roaring Twenties. It is a book that deserves a perfect reading, and though numerous other narrators have tried—among them Robertson Dean, Anthony Heald, Alexander Scourby, and Tim Robbins—Hope may have come closest to achieving this perfection. He stumbles a bit at the beginning, drawing upon the revelation that narrator Nick Carraway is a Yale man by making the narration somewhat arch, but once he settles down, Hope ably conveys Carraway’s optimistic innocence. He also does quite well with the party guests and the gambler Meyer Wolfsheim, faltering only by making Tom Buchanan sound a bit like a gravel-voiced truck driver. Recommended for absolutely everyone, as even those familiar with the novel may notice something new thanks to Hope’s nuanced (and only mildly faulty) performance. [Gatz, a live ensemble reading of this classic novel, is currently playing to great reviews.—Ed.]

Michael Adams, School Library Journal

Great Ghost Stories (unabridged) http://www.naxosaudiobooks.com/great-ghost-stories-unabridged/ Great Ghost Stories The Tell-Tale Heart, The Horla, Sredni Vashtar, The Mark of the Beast, Lost Hearts, The Furnished Room Classic Fiction unabridged Single 291212 9789626349120 9789629547752 Edgar Allan Poe
Guy de Maupassant
Saki
Rudyard Kipling
M.R. James
O. Henry
Dermot Kerrigan
2 39 02:38:19 FIC012000 Deleted Available World

A spine-tingling collection of classic ghost stories – a perfect way to pass those long winter nights! This set contains The Tell-Tale Heart by Edgar Allan Poe, The Horla by Guy de Maupassant, Sredni Vashtar by Saki, The Mark of the Beast by Rudyard Kipling, Lost Hearts by M.R. James and The Furnished Room by O. Henry.

£10.99 $17.98 £7.00 €8.00 $12.00
Great Historical Shakespeare Recordings (selections) http://www.naxosaudiobooks.com/great-historical-shakespeare-recordings-selections/ Great Historical Shakespeare Recordings Shakespeare selections Single 220012 9789626342008 9789629546960 William Shakespeare
Herbert Beerbohm Tree
Arthur Bourchier
Lewis Waller
Frank Benson
Johnston Forbes Robertson
Sir John Gielgud
Sybil Thorndike
Lewis Casson
John Barrymore
Laurence Olivier
Henry Irving
Edwin Booth
Ellen Terry
Noel Coward
Gertrude Lawrence
Fred Terry
Julia Neilson
Henry Ainley
Bransby Williams
Edith Evans
Charles Laughton
Laurel and Hardy
Sarah Bernhardt
Jean Mounet-Sully
Constant Coquelin
Feodor Chaliapin
Alexander Moissi
2 30 02:05:31 DRA010000 Available Available World

Historical recordings of actors from the beginning of the recording era. CD 1: Historical Shakespeare performances by Ainley, John Barrymore, Bourchier, Casson, Forbes-Robertson, John Geilgud (1920s and 1940s). CD 2: A miscellany. Some startling historical performances in a wide range of works from Edith Evans, Charles Laughton, Noel Coward, Sarah Bernhardt, Fred Terry, Laurel and Hardy, Edwin Booth, Bransby Williams, Jean Cocteau, Feodor Chaliapin and others.

£10.99 $17.98 £7.00 €8.00 $12.00 Nicolas Soames David Timson

Naxos offers many excellent recordings of the Bard, but the breathtaking array of legendary performers – from Sarah Bernhardt to Laurel and Hardy to John Gielgud – makes this title, which includes performances from the beginning of the recording era, very special.

Library Journal

Great Inventors and their Inventions (unabridged) http://www.naxosaudiobooks.com/great-inventors-and-their-inventions-unabridged/ Great Inventors and their Inventions Archimedes | Gutenberg | Franklin | Nobel | Bell | Marconi | The Wright Brothers | Edison Junior Classics unabridged Single 241912 9789626344194 9789629543761 David Angus
Benjamin Soames
2 37 02:33:12 JNF007090 Available Available World

Nine remarkable men produced inventions that changed the world. The printing press, the telephone, powered flight, recording and others have made the modern world what it is. But who were the men who had these ideas and made reality of them? As David Angus shows, they were very different – quiet, boisterous, confident, withdrawn – but all had a moment of vision allied to single-minded determination to battle through numerous prototypes and produced something that really worked. It is a fascinating account for younger listeners.

£10.99 $17.98 £7.00 €8.00 $12.00
  • Archimedes
  • Gutenberg
  • Franklin
  • Nobel
  • Bell
  • Marconi
  • The Wright Brothers
  • Edison

This is a marvellous snapshot of nine of the world’s greatest inventors: Archimedes, Gutenberg, Franklin, Nobel, Bell, Marconi, the Wright brothers and Edison. Where would modern mass communication and transport be without such pioneers as Gutenberg, whose engraving tool, cutting into steel, could produce letters no more than a 10th of a millimetre thick, which could actually achieve a higher resolution than letters printed today with a laser printer? That’s the sort of information I, and most kids I’m sure, lap up. David Angus judges perfectly when to switch from the highly technical to the anecdotal. One minute you’re scratching your head at exactly how Archimedes, with a piece of string and two sticks, worked out that the area of a circle is always the same as the area of a triangle when one of the triangle’s sides is equivalent in length to the circle’s radius and another to its circumference. And then, mercifully, we’re transported to 18th-century Pennsylvania, where Benjamin Franklin is flying a kite in a thunderstorm to see if the lightning will travel down the string to the metal key he is holding. He won’t get a shock: he is holding the key with a silk ribbon that he is desperately trying to keep dry. A fascinating and, with luck, inspiring audio.

Sue Arnold, The Guardian

Great Men and Women in the History of Medicine (unabridged) http://www.naxosaudiobooks.com/great-men-and-women-in-the-history-of-medicine-unabridged/ Great Men and Women in the History of Medicine Junior Classics unabridged Single 0117 9781843796909 9781843796916 David Angus
Benjamin Soames
2 41 02:38:09 JNF007090 Available World

Illness, disease and injury prompted the development of medicine from the earliest days of mankind: useful herbs, methods for treating wounds and even setting bones were passed down the generations by word of mouth. With the growth of civilization came more scientific methods, generally discovered by significant individuals. This informative and entertaining audiobook presents the major figures in the history of medicine, from Hippocrates in Ancient Greece to the Roman doctor Galen, the medieval abbess Hildegard of Bingen and the Arabs Ibn Sina and Al-Razi. They are succeeded by Andreas Vesalius and his anatomical investigations during the Renaissance, and subsequently by William Harvey (the circulation of the blood), Edward Jenner (inoculation), before the discovery of penicillin and DNA. This is one of the most fascinating stories in human history and, as this audiobook shows, one of the most varied – and exciting!

£10.99 $17.98 £7.00 €8.00 $12.00 Oct13

Benjamin Soames breathes life into this chronological compendium of men and women who dramatically changed the practice of preventing, diagnosing and treating illness and disease. His crisp English accent is easy on the American ear and gives an air of scholarliness to the production. From Hippocrates (460–370 BC) to modern DNA explorers Crick and Watson, the audiobook details groundbreaking medical pioneers and their advances in areas such as scientific methodology, sterilisation, vaccination and the human genome. Period music provides transitions to each new segment. Despite a lack of dialogue and a minimum of quotations, Soames conveys a fascination with his topic that is infectious.

L.T., AudioFile

Great Narrative Poems of the Romantic Age (compilation) http://www.naxosaudiobooks.com/great-narrative-poems-of-the-romantic-age-compilation/ Great Narrative Poems of the Romantic Age Poetry unabridged Single 209212 9789626340929 9789629546373 John Moffatt
Samuel West
Sarah Woodward
2 33 02:16:03 POE001000 Available Available Available World

Here are some of the finest narrative poems in the English language, dating from an age of rich inspiration: the nineteenth century. All tell powerful stories of human passion and endeavour, often reflected in vivid evocations of the medieval world. Includes ‘The Eve of St Agnes’ Le Morte d’Arthur and ‘Peter Grimes’

£10.99 $17.98 £7.00 €8.00 $12.00
John Keats
The Eve of St Agnes
Alfred, Lord Tennyson
Morte d’Arthur
William Wordsworth
Michael
Samuel Taylor Coleridge
Christabel
William Morris
The Haystack in the Floods
George Crabbe
Peter Grimes
Great Poets of the Romantic Age (compilation) http://www.naxosaudiobooks.com/great-poets-of-the-romantic-age-compilation/ Great Poets of the Romantic Age Poetry unabridged Single 202112 9789626340219 9789629546380 Michael Sheen
2 38 02:38:11 POE001000 Available Available Available World

The Tyger… I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud… Ode to the West Wind… The Rime of the Ancient Mariner… Ode to a Nightingale… We’ll go no more a-roving… The Peasant Poet ‘All good poetry,’ wrote Wordsworth, ‘is the spontaneous overflow of powerful feelings’ and this was to be one of the hallmarks of the Romantic poets. With a dynamic spirit, these great English poets made a conscious return to nostalgia and spiritual depth. Each chose a different path, but they are united in a love of moods, impressions, scenes, stories, sights and sounds. In this collection of more than forty poems are some of the finest and most memorable works in the English language.

£10.99 $17.98 £7.00 €8.00 $12.00
William Blake
The Tyger
William Blake
From Songs of Innocence:Introduction
William Blake
From Songs of Innocence:The Lamb
William Blake
From Songs of Experience:Introduction
William Blake
From Songs of Experience:Earth’s Answer
William Blake
The Sick Rose
William Blake
Auguries of Innocence
William Blake
Night
William Blake
Love’s Secret
William Blake
Jerusalem (From Milton)
William Wordsworth
I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud
William Wordsworth
Ode (Intimations of Immortality)
William Wordsworth
Expostulation and Reply
William Wordsworth
The Tables Turned
William Wordsworth
Tintern Abbey
William Wordsworth
The World
William Wordsworth
The Solitary Reaper
William Wordsworth
The Rainbow
William Wordsworth
Perfect Woman
William Wordsworth
To My Sister
Percy Bysshe Shelley
Ozymandias
Percy Bysshe Shelley
Ode to the West Wind
Percy Bysshe Shelley
To Jane: The Invitation
Percy Bysshe Shelley
The Moon
Percy Bysshe Shelley
To a Skylark
Percy Bysshe Shelley
Sonnet
Percy Bysshe Shelley
From Epipsychidion
John Keats
To Autumn
John Keats
Ode on a Grecian Urn
John Keats
La Belle Dame Sans Merci
John Keats
From Endymion
John Keats
Ode on Melancholy
John Keats
Fancy
John Keats
Ode to a Nightingale
Lord Byron
When We Two Parted
Lord Byron
She Walks in Beauty
Lord Byron
The Destruction of Sennacherib
Lord Byron
One Struggle More, and I am Free
Lord Byron
From Don Juan – Canto I
Lord Byron
We’ll go no more a-roving
John Clare
The Peasant Poet
John Clare
I Am
Samuel Taylor Coleridge
Kubla Khan
Samuel Taylor Coleridge
The Rime of the Ancient Mariner
Great Poets: The War Poetry of Wilfred Owen, The (unabridged) http://www.naxosaudiobooks.com/great-poets-the-war-poetry-of-wilfred-owen-the-unabridged/ The Great Poets: The War Poetry of Wilfred Owen Poetry unabridged Single 0150 9781843797739 9781843797746 Wilfred Owen
Anton Lesser
1 21 01:19:17 POE005020 Available World

No poet is more closely identified with the First World War than Wilfred Owen. His striking body of work, grim to the point of brutality yet, at the same time, majestic and awe-inspiring, defines the war for us. It is in each of these famous poems that Owen reflects on the four terrible months that he lived through; he conveys the experience of war, the death, the destruction and the filth, through a unique poetic language and a bold artistic vision. This anthology collects 49 of Owen’s iconic poems and serves not only as a perfect introduction to his verse but also as a commemoration of the sacrifice that was made by an entire generation of young men.

£8.99 $14.98 £6.00 €6.50 $10.00 Nov13
  • Preface
  • From My Diary, July 1914
  • 1914
  • The Send-off
  • The Letter
  • Arms and the Boy
  • Parable of the Old Men and the Young
  • Spring Offensive
  • The Chances
  • Futility
  • S. I. W. Self Inflicted Wound
  • Has Your Soul Sipped?
  • As Bronze May Be Much Beautified
  • It Was a Navy Boy
  • Inspection
  • Anthem for Doomed Youth
  • The Unreturning
  • Le Christianisme
  • Soldier’s Dream
  • At a Calvary Near the Ancre
  • Greater Love
  • The Last Laugh
  • Hospital Barge
  • Training
  • Schoolmistress
  • An Imperial Elegy
  • The Calls
  • On Seeing a Piece of Our Artillery Brought into Action
  • Exposure
  • Asleep
  • The Dead-Beat
  • Mental Cases
  • Conscious
  • The Show
  • Smile, Smile, Smile
  • Disabled
  • A Terre (Being the philosophy of many soldiers)
  • Beauty (Notes for an Unfinished poem)
  • Miners
  • Cramped in That Funnelled Hole
  • The Sentry
  • Dulce et Decorum est
  • Apologia pro Poemate Meo
  • Insensibility
  • The End
  • The Next War
  • Sonnet to My Friend – With an Identity Disc
  • Strange Meeting
  • On My Songs

As the big anniversary approaches, the great Anton Lesser takes honest realism to new heights with his intelligent, movingly understated reading of The War Poetry of Wilfred Owen. As Owen himself recognised, ‘the poetry is in the pity’. Nobody could listen to these poignant, anguished elegies all at once, without helpless tears. I know. I tried.

Sue Gaisford, The Independent

These 49 poems show what Owen intended: the pity and truth of war. The Parable of the Old Man and the Young re-works the story of Abraham and Isaac. Owen’s ‘old man’ refuses to slay the ‘Ram of Pride’ and instead kills ‘his son / And half the seed of Europe, one by one’. All are enhanced by the infinitely sympathetic reading, but the force of anger beneath the understatement makes the one, for me, the most memorable.

Rachel Redford, The Oldie

Great Rulers of Ancient Rome (unabridged) http://www.naxosaudiobooks.com/great-rulers-of-ancient-rome-unabridged/ Great Rulers of Ancient Rome Junior Classics unabridged Single 228712 9789626342879 9789629549497 Hugh Griffith
Benjamin Soames
2 36 02:27:35 JNF007020 Available World

The common view of the Romans is that they were only interested in watching gladiators hack one another to pieces, and in lying on couches while they stuffed large meals down their throats. But of course they were a busy and clever people, who built up a great empire to prove it, with fine cities and harbours, bath houses and roads, laws and good government. In this audiobook you can hear the stories of the great Roman emperors and the enduring legacy that they left for later generations.

£10.99 $17.98 £7.00 €8.00 $12.00 Mar10
Great Scientists and their Discoveries (unabridged) http://www.naxosaudiobooks.com/great-scientists-and-their-discoveries-unabridged/ Great Scientists and their Discoveries Junior Classics unabridged Single 244012 9789626344408 9789629543792 David Angus
Benjamin Soames
Clare Corbett
2 36 02:25:29 JNF007090 Available World

How did the great scientists make their remarkable discoveries? And what kind of men were they? This companion volume to Great Inventors and their Inventions introduces the work of ten men to younger readers, and range from the world of Ancient Greece to the twentieth century discovery of DNA. Among them are the crucial discovery that the earth goes around the sun (Galileo), the principle of gravity (Newton), the evolution of the species (Darwin) and the principle of inherited characteristics or genetics (Mendel).

£10.99 $17.98 £7.00 €8.00 $12.00
  • Galileo Galilei
  • Robert Boyle
  • Isaac Newton
  • Michael Faraday
  • Charles Darwin
  • Gregor Mendel
  • Albert Einstein
  • James Watson & Francis Crick
Great Speeches & Soliloquies of Shakespeare (selections) http://www.naxosaudiobooks.com/great-speeches-and-soliloquies-of-shakespeare-selections/ Great Speeches & Soliloquies of Shakespeare Shakespeare selections Single 201512 9789626340158 9789629546977 William Shakespeare
Simon Russell Beale
Estelle Kohler
Clifford Rose
Sarah Woodward
Daniel Philpott
2 31 02:07:41 DRA010000 Available Available World

To be or not to be… Tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow… O for a Muse of Fire… The quality of mercy is not strained… This sceptred isle… Once more unto the breach dear friends… Many of Shakespeare’s greatest and best-loved speeches are brought together in this superb collection, performed by outstanding artists who bring to vivid life words which are an integral part of our language, our culture and our everyday lives.

£10.99 $17.98 £7.00 €8.00 $12.00

And the most enjoyable treat of all: Simon Russell Beale – a National Treasure in the making – reads Great Speeches and Soliloquies on ever-resourceful Naxos Audio Books.

John Horder, Camden New Journal

Great Speeches in History (compilation) http://www.naxosaudiobooks.com/great-speeches-in-history-compilation/ Great Speeches in History History compilation Single 208312 9789626340837 9789629547172 Norman Rodway
Samuel West
Elizabeth Bell
Peter Marinker
2 39 02:38:33 LCO018000 Available World

From Socrates to Charles I, Danton to Lincoln – here are some of history’s most significant figures with their most important speeches. Fighting for justice, for freedom of speech, and sometimes even for their own lives, these orators demonstrate the finest resources of language in the service of the most dramatic issues of their day.

£10.99 $17.98 £7.00 €8.00 $12.00

I thoroughly recommend this all-too-short compilation of some of the most memorable speeches on record. There are all the obvious ones – Socrates after his sentence of death, Elizabeth I at Tilbury, the Gettysburg Address. Martin Luther, Danton, Emmeline Pankhurst, Burke and Fox are also here, but for me the highlight is Charles I from the scaffold. He famously wore two shirts so that if he trembled people wouldn’t think it was from fear. But listening to his long, rambling, repetitive, clearly nervous words you wonder how many of those onlookers were fooled.

Rachel Redford, The Observer

Greek Lives (abridged) http://www.naxosaudiobooks.com/greek-lives-abridged/ Greek Lives Lycurgus | Themistocles | Pericles | Alcibiades | Lysander | Alexander | Demosthenes | Pyrrhus Biographies abridged Single 628912 9789626342893 9789629547325 Plutarch
Nicholas Farrell
6 110 07:31:39 HIS002010 Available Deleted Available World

Plutarch’s series of biographies was the first of its kind, as much ground breaking in conception as Herodotus was with his Histories. Plutarch looked at the great men of the Ancient World and told their stories, in many cases drawing on sources no longer available to us. They offer a unique insight into the characters as well as the achievements of men who influenced their age and the empires that their culture dominated. They are as accessible now as they were when they were first written. It is the companion volume to Roman Lives, also read with style by Nicholas Farrell on Naxos AudioBooks.

£24.99 $41.98 £16.00 €18.50 $28.00
Grimms’ Fairy Tales (selections) http://www.naxosaudiobooks.com/grimms-fairy-tales-selections/ Grimms’ Fairy Tales Including The Frog Prince | The Elves and the Shoemaker | Snow White | Hansel and Gretel | The Golden Goose | Tom Thumb | Rumplestiltskin | Little Red Riding Hood | Cinderella | The Little Tailor Junior Classics selections Single 200512 9789626340059 9789629544027 The Brothers Grimm
Laura Paton
2 34 02:20:12 JUV012030 Available World

Here are some of the most enchanting fairy stories of all time. The brothers Grimm conjure up a world of fantasy, hope and good fortune where the princess meets and marries the right prince (even if he was once a frog), and where the cruel witch, the arrogant wife and the greedy wolf get their come-uppance. It is a magical world which we must all inhabit at one time in our lives and which are as important in this computer age as ever before.

£10.99 $17.98 £7.00 €8.00 $12.00
  • The Frog Prince
  • The Elves and the Shoemaker
  • Snow White
  • Hansel and Gretel
  • The Golden Goose
  • Tom Thumb
  • Rumplestiltskin
  • Little Red Riding Hood
  • Cinderella
  • The Little Tailor
  • Bearskin
  • The Dancing Shoes
  • The Fisherman’s Wife
Grimms’ Fairy Tales – Volume 2 (selections) http://www.naxosaudiobooks.com/grimms-fairy-tales-volume-2-selections/ Grimms’ Fairy Tales – Volume 2 Junior Classics selections Single 230312 9789626343036 9789629544034 The Brothers Grimm
Laura Paton
2 31 02:06:15 JUV012030 Available World

Jacob and Wilhelm’s first book of fairy tales, Children’s and Household Tales, published in 1812, included eighty-six folktales, and was an instant success. Shortly thereafter, the brothers incorporated seventy more stories in their next volume of Grimms’ Fairy Tales. Filled with fantasy, magic, and talking animals, these enchanting tales for children often teach a lesson about moral values, and right from wrong. Reader Laura Paton’s warmth and flair for characters, paired with bright and exciting classical music, results in a memorable production that younger listeners will enjoy again and again. Contains fourteen delightful tales.

£10.99 $17.98 £7.00 €8.00 $12.00
  • The Wolf and the Seven Little Kids
  • The Pack of Ragamuffins
  • Brother and Sister
  • The Three Spinners
  • The Three Snake-Leaves
  • The Boots of Buffalo-Leather
  • Old Rinkrank
  • The Grave Mound
  • The Drummer
  • The Master Thief
  • The Hare and the Hedgehog
  • The Little Folks’ Presents
  • Master Cobblersawl
  • The Three Sluggards
Guermantes Way Part 1, The (abridged) http://www.naxosaudiobooks.com/guermantes-way-part-1-the-abridged/ The Guermantes Way Part 1 Modern Classics abridged Single 311612 9789626341162 9789629546052 Marcel Proust
Neville Jason
3 114 03:56:08 FIC000000 Deleted Available World

In The Guermantes Way, Part I, Marcel penetrates the inner sanctum of Paris high society and falls in love with the fascinating Duchesse de Guermantes. With his unmatched powers of observation Proust vividly describes the struggles for political, social and sexual supremacy played out beneath a veneer of elegant manners. This is the fifth part of Naxos AudioBooks’ recording of Marcel Proust’s Remembrance of Things Past.

£13.99 $22.98 £9.00 €10.50 $15.00
Guermantes Way Part 2, The (abridged) http://www.naxosaudiobooks.com/guermantes-way-part-2-the-abridged/ The Guermantes Way Part 2 Modern Classics abridged Single 314112 9789626341414 9789629546069 Marcel Proust
Neville Jason
3 54 03:40:52 FIC000000 Deleted Available World

The Guermantes Way, Part II continues the story of Marcel’s entry into the highest circles of French aristocracy. Having renewed his acquaintance with the enchanting Albertine who now submits to his amorous advances, Marcel finds himself pursued by the predatory Baron de Charlus.

£13.99 $22.98 £9.00 €10.50 $15.00
Guermantes Way, The (unabridged) http://www.naxosaudiobooks.com/guermantes-way-the-unabridged/ The Guermantes Way Classic Fiction unabridged Single 0098 9781843796107 9781843796114 Marcel Proust
Neville Jason
22 840 28:50:02 FIC000000 Available Available World

Remembrance of Things Past is one of the monuments of 20th-century literature. Neville Jason’s unabridged recording of the work runs to 150 hours. The Guermantes Way is the third of seven volumes. The narrator penetrates the inner sanctum of Paris high society and falls in love with the fascinating Duchesse de Guermantes. Proust describes vividly the struggles for political, social and sexual supremacy played out beneath a veneer of elegant manners. He also finds himself pursued by the predatory Baron de Charlus. Based on the translation by C. K. Scott Moncrieff.

£70.00 $128.98 £46.00 €51.55 $84.00 Apr12 C. K. Scott Moncrieff

Naxos AudioBooks continue with their latest instalment from Marcel Proust’s inimitable saga, Remembrance of Things Past in the form of The Guermantes Way. This is the second book of six and is usually split into two, but here we have the whole 23 hours read with inimitable poise by the great Neville Jason.

In The Guermantes Way we explore Marcel’s acquaintance with Parisian high society in the form of the Guermantes family, fabulously rich and with property all over the country. Their estates at the fictional Combray are also a link with Marcel’s past as he recalls those wonderful days of his childhood at that lovely seaside town. We also encounter the predatory Baron de Charlus, who pursues Marcel with his homosexual tendencies.

It goes without saying that Jason is supreme in this Proust unabridged translation and The Guermantes Way is certainly essential listening. One looks forward to further instalments in this series with Sodom and Gomorrah up next.

Gerald Fenech, Malta News Online

Guide to Wine, A (unabridged) http://www.naxosaudiobooks.com/guide-to-wine-a-unabridged/ A Guide to Wine Non-fiction unabridged Single 429012 9789626342909 9789629547066 Julian Curry
Julian Curry
4 76 05:14:31 CKB088000 Deleted Available World

An entertaining and informative introduction to wine Julian Curry, actor and wine buff, has devised this unique audiobook guide to wine which takes the listener to the heart of wine-making and wine drinking in a clear but light-hearted manner. However rich and complex the subject of wine may be, he insists it is also hugely rewarding and great fun… Curry’s informative and entertaining programme begins with a description of work in vineyard and cellar. It outlines the many choices faced by grape-grower and wine-maker, resulting in the variety of different styles of wine produced. It continues with wine’s journey from winery to gullet, with advice on cellaring, buying, serving, food-matching and tasting. It then moves on to thumbnail sketches of the grape varieties most commonly used, their natural habitats and related styles of wine. And it concludes with a lengthy section devoted to all of the major wine regions, in Old World and New. A Guide to Wine also includes a booklet with maps of the main wine regions, a brief guide to the main styles of wine and a useful basic wine vocabulary in half-a-dozen languages.

£16.99 $28.98 £11.00 €12.50 $19.00

Julian Curry takes a light approach to what might be a stuffy subject. A Guide to Wine has enough information contained on the four CDs to keep the most assiduous wine snob entertained, yet it is geared for the novice who wishes to understand how to judge and buy wine, along with all the requisite terminology need. From understanding a wine label to learning what to ask for in restaurants when ordering fish or beef, it’s all here. It’s also an overview of the regions where the best wines are made, and how they are produced. Wine is one of the few pleasures anyone of sophistication can acquire, and in our culture of over-consumption and obesity, sipping and savouring is a welcome indulgence preferable to gulping and slurping.

Jonathan Lowe, Tower Review, Audiobooks Today

Gulliver’s Travels (abridged) http://www.naxosaudiobooks.com/gulliver-s-travels-abridged/ Gulliver's Travels Classic Fiction abridged Single 307712 9789626340776 9789629545673 Jonathan Swift
Neville Jason
3 58 03:57:03 FIC004000 Available World

Gulliver’s Travels is renowned as a playful and comic children’s classic. The book itself, rather than the bowdlerized versions that have been derived from it, is a savage, rude and brilliant satire, timeless in its appeal and unerringly accurate. The images of Gulliver among the miniature Lilliputians and the giants of Brobdingnag, the crazy scientists, and the rational horses create a series of novel delights and challenging insights.

£13.99 $22.98 £9.00 €10.50 $15.00
Gulliver’s Travels (unabridged) http://www.naxosaudiobooks.com/gulliver-s-travels-unabridged/ Gulliver’s Travels Classic Fiction unabridged Single 0011 9781843794196 9781843794202 Jonathan Swift
Jasper Britton
9 159 10:57:49 FIC004000 Deleted Available World

Lemuel Gulliver, a slightly staid ship’s doctor, relates the tales of his astonishing travels. He encounters the tiny, warring Lilliputians; the giant, sceptical Brobdingnagians; the ludicrously intellectual Laputans; and the idealistic – if rather stolid – Houyhnhnms and their bestial servants, the Yahoos. An immediate best-seller when it was first published in 1726, Gulliver’s Travels has remained a favourite ever since. It was an attack on the politics and society of Swift’s day, but it is also a polemical, inventive, surreal, vitriolic and wonderfully imaginative masterpiece, whose powerful satire continues to strike home.

£32.99 $59.98 £21.50 €24.00 $39.00 Aug10

Narrator Jasper Britton is spirited and enthusiastic in the latest rendition of the eighteenth-century travelogue to nonexistent lands of Lemuel Gulliver. The story is essentially plotless, but Britton keeps the satirical inventiveness rolling along. We all remember Lilliput, with the tiny people, and maybe even Brobdingnag, with the very large people; but how about the angular folks of Laputa, with their bizarre, useless experiments, or the enlightened Houyhnhnm horses that never lie and practice birth control? Gulliver shares stories of England with his various hosts, and Britton is adept at translating Gulliver’s outrage and disbelief at obstructionist lawyers, crooked politicians, needless wars, lack of education for girls, and everything else. The whinnying, horsey voice of the Houyhnhnms that Britton adopts is particularly noteworthy.

A.B., AudioFile

Gulliver’s Travels: Retold for younger listeners (abridged) http://www.naxosaudiobooks.com/gulliver-s-travels-retold-for-younger-listeners-abridged/ Gulliver’s Travels: Retold for younger listeners Junior Classics abridged Single 0073 9781843795599 9781843795605 Jonathan Swift
Roy McMillan
Benjamin Soames
2 34 02:18:36 JUV007000 Deleted Available World

Lemuel Gulliver sets out on a series of travels, but each time he finds himself shipwrecked in new and unfamiliar lands. And how unfamiliar … In Lilliput, everyone is tiny, and it takes thousands of them to capture him; in Brodingnag, they’re huge and treat him as a sort of living toy; in Laputa, they live on a floating island inventing impossibly mad projects; and the Houyhnhnms are horses! But through all his adventures, Gulliver learns to see humans in a different way, too. One of the world’s great works of fiction, Gulliver’s Travels keeps all its humour and satire in this new retelling.

£10.99 $17.98 £7.00 €8.00 $12.00 Sep12

Benjamin Soames presents McMillan’s smooth abridgement of Swift’s classic adventure. Listeners will hear the flavour of Swift’s dry style in McMillan’s writing, and well-chosen vocabulary suitable to Swift’s era adds to its authenticity. Clear sentence structure and a condensed version of Swift’s often lengthy social commentary help the abridgement remain accessible to contemporary listeners. The abridgement uses short episodes to smoothly move Gulliver through his travels. Soames uses a ruminative tone as he discusses Gulliver’s experiences with imaginary cultures like Lilliput. While the story contains sophisticated elements, the fantastical creatures will keep young children interested. As Soames maintains his tempo so that listeners can easily follow Gulliver’s peregrinations, his gentle, analytical voice evokes the spirit of Swift’s original work. This thoughtful narration is a good match for such a cerebral adventure.

C.A., AudioFile

Hamlet (Gielgud) (abridged) http://www.naxosaudiobooks.com/hamlet-gielgud-abridged/ Hamlet (Gielgud) Shakespeare abridged Single 341712 9789626344170 9789629546854 William Shakespeare
Sir John Gielgud
Marian Spencer
Celia Johnson
Andrew Cruickshank
3 88 03:26:09 CD-ROM DRA010000 Available Available World

This outstanding historical recording made in 1941 for radio is widely regarded as one of the finest Hamlet performances ever, and one of John Gielgud’s greatest moments. Though he went on to record it for commercial release, nothing matched this recording in the BBC studios, made before the days of editing.

£13.99 $22.98 £9.00 €10.50 $15.00 John Richmond

There are many recordings of Shakespeare’s most famous play, but now you can enjoy the most legendary of all – the live 1948 broadcast of John Gielgud’s Hamlet. It remains utterly compelling, crystal clear, totally absorbing, with a classic quality that reflects the utter rightness of the interpretation.

There is a delightful unscripted moment in Act V when Esme Percy (playing Osric) can be faintly heard calling admiringly “Oh! Oh! He’s enchanting,” during a brief Gielgud pause.

The third CD can also be put into a computer, where it functions as a CD-ROM with MP3 files, allowing us to listen to a twenty-five minute talk about the play that Gielgud gave on the BBC Third Programme six years later. It provides fascinating insights into the way he approached the role (which he played more than five-hundred times): “I kind of found the part as I went along in a very strange and sincere way which I’d never done in acting. I found for the first time a way to communicate my feeling to the audience because it was so very strong.”

Christina Hardyment, The Times

Hamlet (unabridged) http://www.naxosaudiobooks.com/hamlet-unabridged/ Hamlet Shakespeare unabridged Single 412412 9789626341247 9789629546861 William Shakespeare
Anton Lesser
Edward de Souza
Susan Engel
Emma Fielding
Peter Jeffrey
Sean Baker
Jamie Glover
Geoffrey Whitehead
Gavin Muir
Peter Yapp
Benjamin Soames
David Timson
Richard Pearce
Paul Panting
4 97 03:55:09 DRA010000 Available Available World

Hamlet, which dates from 1600-1601, is the first in Shakespeare’s great series of four tragedies, the others being Othello (1603), King Lear (1605) and Macbeth (1606). In writing this extraordinary play Shakespeare effectively reinvented tragedy after an interval of roughly two thousand years – we have to go back to the Greek dramatists of fifth-century Athens to find anything of comparable depth and maturity.

£16.99 $28.98 £11.00 €12.50 $19.00 Nicolas Soames Neville Jason
Happy Prince, The (abridged) http://www.naxosaudiobooks.com/happy-prince-the-abridged/ The Happy Prince and other stories Junior Classics abridged Single 213912 9789626341391 9789629544409 Oscar Wilde
Anton Lesser
2 37 02:31:47 JUV007000 Available World

Oscar Wilde’s fairy stories are among the greatest and most poignant classics for children and adults alike. Humour, pathos and delightful little characters abound in the stories of ‘The Happy Prince’ and the Swallow who agrees to keep him company despite approaching winter; ‘The Selfish Giant’, who doesn’t want children playing in his garden, and ‘The Remarkable Rocket’. In addition, there are those not so familiar – ‘The Star Child’, ‘The Young King’ and ‘The Devoted Friend’.

£10.99 $17.98 £7.00 €8.00 $12.00
  • The Happy Prince
  • The Remarkable Rocket
  • The Nightingale and the Rose
  • The Selfish Giant
  • The Young King
  • The Devoted Friend
  • The Star Child
Hard Times (abridged) http://www.naxosaudiobooks.com/hard-times-abridged/ Hard Times Classic Fiction abridged Single 311012 9789626341100 9789629544928 Charles Dickens
Anton Lesser
3 58 03:57:05 FIC004000 Available World

In this, Dickens’ most openly political novel, we discover the terrible human consequences of a ruthlessly materialistic philosophy in the lives of Thomas Gradgrind’s family, brought up to believe that only ‘Facts! Facts! Facts!’ have any meaning. Set in Coketown, a typical Lancashire milltown, the novel graphically exposes the truth about Victorian ‘progress’.

£13.99 $22.98 £9.00 €10.50 $15.00
Hard Times (unabridged) http://www.naxosaudiobooks.com/hard-times-unabridged/ Hard Times Classic Fiction unabridged Single 0023 9781843794431 9781843794448 Charles Dickens
Anton Lesser
9 312 10:41:30 FIC004000 Available World

Hard Times is Dickens’s most political novel. Set in the industrial north of England, in Coketown, he examines the lives of working people, who are taught by the capitalists Gradgrind and Bounderby to think only of the facts of life and not to indulge in imagination. Gradgrind’s own children have been so educated and as a result are dysfunctional and disconnected from their feelings. Only the travelling circus company of Sleary seems to offer any hope of humanity in Coketown. Hard Times is a deeply moving story written in anger to strike a blow for the victims of the dehumanising processes of industry.

£32.99 $59.98 £21.50 €24.00 $39.00 Nov11

Dickens’s fable about the dark side of utilitarianism is set in smoke-blackened Coketown. Schoolteacher Gradgrind demanded ’Facts, Facts, Facts’ from his pupils, thus practising the harsh principles by which he raised – and ruined – his own children, and which he would ultimately reject. The death of the noble-hearted worker, Stephen Blackpool, symbolises the cruel force of the factory system. Goodness and tenderness are found in the circus people, outside the realm of industry and politics. The brilliant Anton Lesser brings out all this harsh novel’s humanity.

Rachel Redford, the Observer

…in his reading of Hard Times, Anton Lesser finds the perfect voice for every inhabitant of Coketown, from the major players – ’the inflexible, dry and dictatorial’ schoolmaster Gradgrind; circus man Mr Sleary, who lisps away ’like the efforts of a broken old pair of bellows’ – right down to the last subdued schoolgirl. It’s a masterclass and makes for lively listening.

Bella Todd, Time Out

Anton Lesser finds the emotive force behind Dickens’s bleak social commentary, Hard Times, and gives it a unique reading. Dickens’s stock characters are fleshed out by Lesser’s quavering voice and given outward emotions, making these Victorian-era personas more accessible to contemporary listeners. Atypical for a Dickens story, Hard Times lacks any comic relief and reads like a case study of the industrial and utilitarian culture and how the inhabitants of a town built around those ideals are beaten down by it. By reading with a voice more suited to a period romance, Lesser places the emphasis on the feelings of the characters, effectively softening the edges of Hard Times.

F.T., AudioFile

Hard Times is Dickens’s most political novel. Taking place in the industrial burg of Coke­town, the drama among the characters illustrates the author’s view of the dehumanizing effects of industrialization and utilitarianism on the lives of all involved and is essentially a ‘moral fable’ illustrating the principle that one reaps what one sows.

VERDICT: Anton Lesser, a classical actor and an award-winning audiobook reader, gives a spirited reading, bringing out the character of each persona – the dictatorial Gradgrind, the pompous Bounderby, and the meek Sissy – with skill and verve. An entertaining and captivating listening experience; all libraries should consider.

Michael Rogers, Library Journal

Fans of Naxos’ acclaimed recordings will recognize Lesser’s distinctive British voice in his exceptional reading of Dickens’s classic. What sets the audio apart is Lesser’s skill in establishing the novel’s tone and characters, both key elements in the impact of the story. The setting is Coketown, an English industrial town where pollution fills the air with grime, and the working-class inhabitants with despair. From the opening passages, Lesser sets the stage for conflict in his portrayal of capitalist Gradgrind in arrogant and plummy tones. His reading captures the broadly drawn characters, from greasy, money-grabbing Bounderby and gentle agitator Stephen Blackpool, who seeks a better life, to disdained Sissy, who brings a warming presence to smoggy Coketown. Lesser savors the descriptive passages, darkening his tones to

reflect the dirty, industrialized north region and painting a dire picture of dying humanity. He employs both humor and drama into briskly rendered conversations in north country accents, affording listeners an intimate glimpse of the players and their actions. Lesser’s masterful depiction of colorful prose enlivens the author’s incisive social commentary and heartwarming melodrama. A wonderful introduction to the pleasures of Victorian novels and Dickens’ powerful story.

Joyce Saricks, Booklist

Hard-boiled Wonderland and the End of the World (unabridged) http://www.naxosaudiobooks.com/hard-boiled-wonderland-and-the-end-of-the-world-unabridged/ Hard-boiled Wonderland and the End of the World Contemporary Fiction unabridged Single 33812 9789626343388 9781843793809 Haruki Murakami
Adam Sims
Ian Porter
11 204 14:01:16 FIC000000 Available World

Information is everything in Hard-boiled Wonderland. A specialist encrypter is attacked by thugs with orders from an unknown source, is chased by invisible predators, and dates an insatiably hungry librarian who never puts on weight. In the End of the World a new arrival is learning his role as dream-reader. But there is something eerily disquieting about the changeless nature of the town and its fable-like inhabitants. Told in alternate chapters, the two stories converge and combine to create a novel that is surreal, beautiful, thrilling and extraordinary.

£35.00 $62.98 £23.00 €26.00 $41.00 Apr10

Immersing yourself in a Murakami novel is like entering into an Escher picture, an unsettling world of the mind where urban Japan, contemporary America and a nebulous ‘wonderland’ coexist; where oddly rootless characters seem real but anonymous, Two narratives intertwine: in one, a student newly arrived In a strange town is set to read the dreams locked In library skulls; in the other, a scientist is employed to keep invisible, information-stealing creatures at bay, The American narration with its Japanese words exactly captures the mood.

Rachel Redford, The Observer

Murakami’s demanding 1991 novel, newly available on audio, features two parallel narratives reflecting on such issues as death, paranoia, information, freedom, and choice. In the first, read by Adam Sims (After the Quake), an unnamed protagonist becomes involved with an unusually helpful reference librarian, an eccentric scientist, two dangerous thugs, and even more deadly creatures living beneath Tokyo. In the second narrative, read by actor Ian Porter, a separate protagonist finds himself in a walled town and reading the dreams of others with the aid of another librarian. The narratives are told in alternating chapters and gradually intersect. Sims masterfully conveys his hero’s bewilderment at the odd circumstances of his life, while Porter is more sombre in his performance, employing a different kind of tentativeness to convey his character’s uneasy adjustment to a strange new world. This unique blend of noir, sf, and fable owes a considerable debt to Jorge Luis Borges. Fans of Murakami and offbeat literary fiction will find much to like here, as will, naturally, librarians.

Michael Adams, CUNY Graduate Ctr. Lib., Library Journal

Murakami’s two stories – which alternate, chapter by chapter – are told by two narrators, who split duties here. Ian Porter is the baritone, thoughtful and deliberative; Adam Sims is lighter spirited, flightier, and more amused by the bizarre comedy of Murakami’s puzzle box. Both readers are well chosen, expertly picking their way across the minefield of this intoxicating, perplexing story. And their balancing act mimics the book’s alternation of tones, styles, and stories. The recording is studded by occasional studio sound effects that are hardly necessary, but do manage to cleverly amplify the woozy, trippy disorientation of the tale.

Publishers Weekly

Haydn, Joseph (unabridged) http://www.naxosaudiobooks.com/haydn-joseph-unabridged/ Life & Works – Joseph Haydn Life & Works – Classic Fiction unabridged Single 558091 9781843790693 9781843793755 Jeremy Siepmann
Jeremy Siepmann
4 130 04:40:08 CD-ROM + 148-page booklet BIO004000 Available Available Available World

No great composer’s story is more predominantly happy than Haydn’s, though even his has its share of clouds. A classic rags-to-riches tale, it sees him move from humble beginnings through decades as a liveried servant to his emergence as the most popular and successful composer of his time. One of the healthiest and least neurotic artists in musical history, he did more than any other single figure to pioneer the symphony, the piano sonata and the string quartet – and he was the first truly great practitioner of each. Brilliant, strikingly original and blessed not only with genius but an infectious sense of humour, he was also profound and modest, and his music, copiously illustrated here, has brought happiness and illumination to millions.

£19.99 $34.98 £13.00 €14.50 $23.00
Haydn: His Life and Works, Joseph (unabridged) http://www.naxosaudiobooks.com/haydn-his-life-and-works-joseph-unabridged/ Joseph Haydn: His Life and Works Biographies unabridged Single 495112 9789626349519 9789629548438 Jeremy Siepmann
Jeremy Siepmann
4 130 04:40:06 BIO004000 Available Available Available World

Symphonies, quartets, concertos and keyboard works poured from the pen of Joseph Haydn, making him one of the most important figures in classical music. Jeremy Siepmann tells the story of the man and his work in this lively autobiography, enhanced by numerous examples of the music itself, taken from the Naxos catalogue. There is no better programme with which to mark the 200th anniversary of the composer’s death.

£16.99 $28.98 £11.00 €12.50 $19.00 Mar09

Taken from humble parents to be a choirboy, six-year-old Haydn endured hunger and harshness, but finally became the “father” of the symphony and the string quartet. Exiled for years in the isolation of the Esterházys’ Hungarian palace, he finally saw London – and the sea – at 60. Delightfully illustrated with generous musical pieces.

Rachel Redford, Observer

Heart of Darkness (unabridged) http://www.naxosaudiobooks.com/heart-of-darkness-unabridged/ Heart of Darkness Classic Fiction unabridged Single 418412 9789626341841 9789629549411 Joseph Conrad
David Horovitch
4 68 04:38:46 FIC004000 Available World

“‘…he seemed to stare… with that wide and immense stare embracing, condemning, loathing all the universe. I seemed to hear the whispered cry, “The horror! The horror!”’” On a becalmed yawl in the Thames estuary, Marlow tells a tale of Africa. His job there is to find the enigmatic Kurtz, but his journey farther and farther upriver reveals the brutality of the white Imperialists who run the country. Established as one of the great English novels, and a story of mythic power, Heart of Darkness is rich in meaning – allusive, enthralling and haunting.

£16.99 $28.98 £11.00 €12.50 $19.00 Mar10

Born in the Ukraine and writing in his adopted language, English, Conrad has fashioned a story of immense power. Heart of Darkness, on the simplest level, is the recounting of a journey up the Congo River by Charles Marlow, captain of a Belgian trading company ferryboat. He tells his story to four colleagues as they rest aboard a ship on the Thames Estuary.

Marlow is tasked with locating a man named Kurtz, a man of innumerable talents and a local legend. The journey up the Congo is a physical journey. It is the journey of a mind. It is the journey of a society. It is ultimately the journey of a soul.

At a time when the United States is grappling with its place as the last remaining super power, Heart of Darkness is a beacon warning of the darker consequences of human endeavor.

Distinguished British stage (on the West End in London as well as with the Royal Shakespeare Company), television (Poirot), and film (his latest is 102 Dalmations) actor David Horovitch reads Heart of Darkness with the gravitas the work requires. He captures Marlowe’s emotional connection to Kurtz’s experience.

Like Marlowe, once you’ve listened to Heart of Darkness, you’ll need time to grapple with Kurtz’s epiphany.

Joseph DiMercurio, Soundcommentary.com

Heaven’s Command (abridged) http://www.naxosaudiobooks.com/heaven-s-command-abridged/ Heaven’s Command History abridged Single 0035 9781843794677 9781843794684 Jan Morris
Roy McMillan
6 109 07:30:42 HIS015000 Deleted Available World

The Pax Britannica trilogy is Jan Morris’s masterly telling of the British Empire from the accession of Queen Victoria to the death of Winston Churchill. It is a towering achievement: informative, accessible, entertaining and written with all her usual bravura. Heaven’s Command, the first volume, takes us from the crowning of Queen Victoria in 1837 to the Diamond Jubilee in 1897, moving effortlessly across the Empire, from the shores of England to Fiji, Zululand, the Canadian prairies and beyond. Truly gripping history.

£24.99 $41.98 £16.00 €18.50 $28.00 Apr11
Heaven’s Command (unabridged) http://www.naxosaudiobooks.com/heaven-s-command-unabridged/ Heaven’s Command History unabridged Single 0034 9781843794653 9781843794660 Jan Morris
Roy McMillan
16 295 20:10:27 HIS015000 Deleted Available World

The Pax Britannica trilogy is Jan Morris’s masterly telling of the British Empire from the accession of Queen Victoria to the death of Winston Churchill. It is a towering achievement: informative, accessible, entertaining and written with all her usual bravura. Heaven’s Command, the first volume, takes us from the crowning of Queen Victoria in 1837 to the Diamond Jubilee in 1897, moving effortlessly across the Empire, from the shores of England to Fiji, Zululand, the Canadian prairies and beyond. Truly gripping history.

£55.00 $98.98 £36.00 €40.50 $64.00 Apr11

Published nearly 40 years ago, Jan Morris’s Pax Britannica trilogy has never been equalled. This first volume of her biography of the British empire runs from Victoria’s accession in 1837 to her Diamond Jubilee in 1897 taking in, besides much else, the Great Game, the Irish famine, the Indian Mutiny, the Jamaica Rebellion and the Scramble for Africa. Elegantly written, it is both delightful and consistently erudite, while Roy McMillan’s reading glows with the same infectious passion for the subject as Jan Morris’s own.

Rachel Redford, The Observer

Jan Morris’s Heaven’s Command: An Imperial Progress is the first of her imperial trilogy, Pax Britannica. It isn’t the newest history of the British Empire but it is easily the most readable, with a knack of including details that make us reflect on the present. Roy McMillan thoroughly enjoys narrating a story full of happy warriors and generous spirits that people the far-flung places once so flamboyantly pink with memorable characters, but shrewdly avoids rose-tinted spectacles.

Christina Hardyment, The Times

It’s the subtitle that will doubtless deter pc history departments from recommending the first of Morris’s splendid Pax Britannica trilogy to students. Imperial is not a popular word these days, though I can still remember the ornate duck-egg blue Imperial Bank of India cheque book my Burmese mother kept in her drawer. She wouldn’t have liked Heaven’s Command because she loved the Raj. Morris doesn’t, but neither does she condemn British colonialism out of hand. This is a cool, dry, carefully considered, often irreverent long view of the 60 years between Queen Victoria’s accession in 1837 and her Diamond Jubilee, the golden age, give or take the odd setback, of empire.

Lord Carnarvon, Disraeli’s colonial secretary, nicknamed Twitters, ’had at first found it difficult to understand what imperialism meant. Later he sorted it out in his mind and cogently explained it to others. There were two kinds of imperialism, he said. There was the false kind, Caesarism, despotism, and there was the British kind – a worldwide trust, keeping the peace, elevating the savage, relieving the hungry and uniting the loyalty of all the British people overseas. Imperialism certainly entailed expansionism, but it was not bullying expansionism. It was merely the extension of British institutions and wholesome influences, if necessary by force.’ Well said, Twitters – got it in one. I especially like the ’merely’. Only an eminent Victorian could call the wholesale transportation to far-flung colonial settlements in Canada, Africa, India and Australasia of old Harrovians, Anglicanism, the British army and afternoon tea as ’mere’.

Now, about those setbacks. Morris’s easy, elegant prose changes gear when disasters loom: disasters such as the British retreat from Kabul after the first Afghan war, described by historian Sir John Kaye as ’the most terrible in the history of British arms and a completion of a tragedy whose awful completeness was unexampled in the history of the world’. Of the 16,500 terrified, starving, freezing souls who straggled out of the Afghan capital on 6 January 1842, only one made it to the safety of Jalalabad 90 miles away. The rest were massacred by tribesmen. There were equally gory engagements during the Indian uprising and the Zulu wars. But there were high points too: the Great Exhibition, Stanley finding Dr Livingstone, thousands of miles of transcontinental railways trumpeting the supremacy of British steel and steam. And best of all are the characters, heroes, villains, eccentrics, epitomised by Lord ’Peccavi’ Napier, victor of Sindh, who made his own spectacles. The British empire definitely had its moments.

Sue Arnold, Guardian

Jan Morris acknowledges that this opening volume of her Pax Britannica trilogy, a history of Britain’s empire building from the reign of Queen Victoria to the death of Winston Churchill, is at first too positive in its attitude toward the colonisers. As listeners hear the first section, full of heroic battles read in an excited voice by Roy McMillan, they might agree. However, Morris doesn’t avoid British atrocities like the ’Devil’s Wind’ reprisals for an uprising in India or the murderous violence toward native Tasmanians. McMillan’s reading of this volume captures the energy of battle and the optimism that Britons in the Victorian Age felt toward their expansion and technological feats. McMillan’s reading is well done; however, for additional perspective, listeners may also want to read a history of the Empire in the twentieth century, perhaps Morris’s final volume, Farewell the Trumpets (available Spring 2012).

J.A.S., AudioFile

Roy McMillan narrates this sprawling history of the British Empire during the reign of Queen Victoria (1837–1897). Morris fills this study with small details and sweeping discussions of all the lands of the empire on which the sun never set. With warm, fluid tones, McMillan’s voice takes the listener to small and large cities around the world. The material is organized around a series of vignettes that bring the period to life, and colorful descriptions capture one’s attention. McMillan uses subtle modulations of voice when delivering direct quotations and interrupts his narration to include all the footnotes, which are digressions and authorial comments rather than explanations. Heaven’s Command is the first of the three audiobook volumes in Morris’s Pax Britannica.

M.B.K., AudioFile

Hedda Gabler (unabridged) http://www.naxosaudiobooks.com/hedda-gabler-unabridged/ Hedda Gabler Directed by John Tydeman Drama unabridged Single 226512 9789626342657 9789629546830 Henrik Ibsen
Juliet Stevenson
Michael Maloney
Philip Voss
Emma Fielding
Robert Glenister
Brenda Kaye
Melinda Walker
2 32 02:11:50 DRA000000 Available Deleted Available World

Hedda Gabler, a deceased General’s daughter, marries dull George Tesman and foresees a life of middleclass tedium stretching ahead when they return from a honeymoon they could not afford to a house they cannot afford. Increasingly, she is drawn into the clutches of her admirer, Judge Brack, who seeks to establish a menage a trois. Then a former flame arrives in the brilliant but dissolute Eilert Lovborg to rival her husband for an academic post. After a drunken orgy, the manuscript of Lovborg’s treatise falls into her hands and she destroys it. Discovery traps her, her romantic ideas are shattered, and there seems only one way out of the net – the pistols of her father, the General.

£10.99 $17.98 £7.00 €8.00 $12.00 Edmund Gosse and William Archer Nicolas Soames John Tydeman Mike Etherden
Heidi (abridged) http://www.naxosaudiobooks.com/heidi-abridged/ Heidi Junior Classics abridged Single 228512 9789626342855 9789629544287 Johanna Spyri
Teresa Gallagher
2 37 02:30:22 JUV007000 Available World

The evergreen tale of the Swiss orphan girl Heidi has charmed and intrigued readers since its original publication in 1880. Heidi comes to live with her grandfather in the Swiss Alps where she befriends the animals and children – in particular the goatherd Peter. She is later taken away to the stern and confining home of the invalid Clara where she enriches the lives of those around her but longs to return home. After many adventures she returns to her grandfather’s cabin in her beloved Alps.

£10.99 $17.98 £7.00 €8.00 $12.00
Henry V (unabridged) http://www.naxosaudiobooks.com/henry-v-unabridged/ Henry V Directed by David Timson Shakespeare unabridged Single 320512 9789626342053 9789629546878 William Shakespeare
Samuel West
Timothy West
Cathy Sara
Hugh Dickson
Nigel Anthony
Stephen Thorne
Bernard Lloyd
Ian Masters
Auriol Smith
Roy Spencer
Roger May
Barrie Jaimeson
Jonathan Keeble
Nick Fletcher
David Timson
Peter Yapp
Dominic Kraemer
3 91 03:06:29 DRA010000 Available Available World

This widely-studied play is one of the best sellers of the Shakespeare canon. This production is the seventh Shakespeare play in the series undertaken by Naxos AudioBooks in conjunction with Cambridge University Press.

£13.99 $22.98 £9.00 €10.50 $15.00 Nicolas Soames David Timson
Hiawatha (unabridged) http://www.naxosaudiobooks.com/hiawatha-unabridged/ Hiawatha Poetry unabridged Single 334012 9789626343401 9789629546649 Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
William Hootkins
3 58 03:58:08 POE005010 Deleted Available World

Longfellow’s great narrative poem has been unjustly neglected in recent years though it gives a sympathetic portrait especially of Hiawatha, reared by Nokomis, daughter of the Moon, and his bride Minehaha. It is famously underpinned by its hypnotic rhythm, which makes it ideal listening.

£13.99 $22.98 £9.00 €10.50 $15.00
Histories (unabridged) http://www.naxosaudiobooks.com/histories-unabridged/ Histories History unabridged Single 0225 9781843799481 9781843799498 Herodotus
David Timson
22 422 27:28:42 HIS002010 Available Available World

In this, the first prose history in European civilisation, Herodotus describes the growth of the Persian Empire with force, authority and style. Perhaps most famously, the book tells the heroic tale of the Greeks’ resistance to the vast invading force assembled by Xerxes, King of Persia. Here are not only the great battles – Marathon, Thermopylae, Salamis – but also penetrating human insight and a powerful sense of destiny at work.

£70.00 $128.98 £46.00 €51.55 $84.00 Jul16 Anthony Anderson Nikki Ruck
History of Classical Music, The (unabridged) http://www.naxosaudiobooks.com/history-of-classical-music-the-unabridged/ The History of Classical Music The Arts unabridged Single 414012 9789626341407 9789629547110 Richard Fawkes
Robert Powell
4 144 05:12:18 MUS020000 Available World

From Gregorian Chant to Henryk Gorecki, the first living classical composer to get into the pop album charts, here is the fascinating story of over a thousand years of Western classical music and the composers who have sought to express in music the deepest of human feelings and emotions. Polyphony, sonata form, serial music – many musical expressions are also explained – with the text illustrated by performances from some of the most highly praised recordings of recent years. From Gregorian chant to Stravinsky and Gorecki, 150 musical excerpts illustrate the narrative.

£16.99 $28.98 £11.00 €12.50 $19.00
History of Classical Music, The History of Opera, The (unabridged) http://www.naxosaudiobooks.com/history-of-classical-music-the-history-of-opera-the-unabridged/ The History of Classical Music, The History of Opera The Arts unabridged Single 25712 9789626342572 Richard Fawkes
Robert Powell
8 291 10:30:11 MUS020000 Available Deleted Available World

From Gregorian Chant to Henryk Gorecki, the first living classical composer to get into the pop album charts, here is the fascinating story of over a thousand years of Western classical music and the composers who have sought to express in music the deepest of human feelings and emotions. Polyphony, sonata form, serial music – many musical expressions are also explained – with the text illustrated by performances from some of the most highly praised recordings of recent years. Since its origins in the sixteenth century, opera has been an extravagant, costly affair, arousing great passions. It has also produced some of the most sublime works of art, from Monteverdi to Wagner. Richard Fawkes traces the history of opera up to the present day on the first three CDs, and devotes the fourth to the history of operetta.

£29.99 $54.98 £19.50 €22.00 $36.00
History of English Literature, The (unabridged) http://www.naxosaudiobooks.com/history-of-english-literature-the-unabridged/ The History of English Literature The Arts unabridged Single 422112 9789626342213 9789629547196 Perry Keenlyside
Derek Jacobi
John Shrapnel
Jonathan Keeble
Teresa Gallagher
Anton Lesser
4 77 05:16:52 LIT004120 Available Available World

Perry Keenlyside tells the remarkable story of the world’s richest literary resource. The story-telling, the poetry, the growth of the novel and the great histories and essays which have informed the language and the imagination wherever English is spoken. This is the fourth in the Naxos AudioBooks Histories series.

£16.99 $28.98 £11.00 €12.50 $19.00 Nicolas Soames Sarah Butcher
History of English Poetry, The (unabridged) http://www.naxosaudiobooks.com/history-of-english-poetry-the-unabridged/ The History of English Poetry The Arts unabridged Single 791512 9789626349151 9789629548193 Peter Whitfield
Derek Jacobi
7 118 08:06:17 LIT014000 Available Available Available World

Great poetry can indeed outlast stone and the glory of princes, and the English poetic tradition is perhaps the richest in the world. This audiobook tells the story of that tradition through its towering figures – Spenser and Shakespeare, Milton and Dryden, Wordsworth and Tennyson, Whitman, Dickinson and Eliot – and through scores of other poets. Clear and accessible, blending criticism with imagination and illustrated with scores of quotations, this new history will delight all who care about the past and the future of English poetry.

£19.99 $34.98 £13.00 €14.50 $23.00 Sep09

Foundations
Beowulf, Chaucer, John Skelton, Sir Thomas Sackville, Sir Thomas Wyatt and Henry Howard, Earl of Surrey

The Elizabethan Achievement
Sir Walter Ralegh, Sir Philip Sidney, Edmund Spenser, George Chapman, Arthur Golding, Richard Stanyhurst, Samuel Daniel, Michael Drayton, Christopher Marlowe and William Shakespeare

The 17th Century: From Donne to Milton
John Donne, Thomas Carew, Richard Lovelace, John Cleveland, Edmund Waller, Robert Herrick, George Herbert, Henry Vaughan, Thomas Traherne, Richard Crashaw, Andrew Marvell, John Milton and John Marston

The 18th Century: From Dryden to Blake
Samuel Butler, John Wilmot, second Earl of Rochester, John Dryden, Alexander Pope, Lady Mary Wortley Montagu, James Thomson, Edward Young, Thomas Gray, Thomas Percy, James Macpherson, Samuel Johnson, Oliver Goldsmith, William Cowper, George Crabbe, Robert Burns and William Blake

The Romantic Poets
William Wordsworth, Samuel Taylor Coleridge, Walter Scott, Lord Byron, Percy Bysshe Shelley, John Keats and John Clare

The Poetry of the Victorian Age
Alfred Tennyson, Robert Browning, Elizabeth Barrett Browning, Matthew Arnold, Edward Fitzgerald, George Meredith, Emily Brontë, Dante Gabriel Rossetti, William Morris, Christina Rossetti, Algernon Charles Swinburne, Gerard Manley Hopkins, Thomas Hardy, A.E. Housman, Rudyard Kipling and Oscar Wilde

American Poetry
Anne Bradstreet, Edward Taylor, Philip Freneau, William Cullen Bryant, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Edgar Allan Poe, Walt Whitman, Emily Dickinson, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, John Greenleaf Whittier, Sidney Lanier, Edward Arlington Robinson and Robert Frost

Modernism
William Butler Yeats, James Elroy Flecker, Edward Thomas, Wilfred Owen, Isaac Rosenberg, Ezra Pound, T.S. Eliot, W.H. Auden, Louis MacNeice, Hilda Doolittle, Carl Sandburg, Edgar Lee Masters, Vachel Lindsay, Langston Hughes, e.e. cummings, Robinson Jeffers, William Carlos Williams, Wallace Stevens, Hart Crane, Edna St Vincent Millay, Dylan Thomas, John Betjeman, Philip Larkin, Ted Hughes, Sylvia Plath, Ginsberg and Robert Lowell

Jacobi injects drama into this erudite yet fast-paced journey from Beowulf to the modern myth of Eliot, illustrating through scores of generous quotations Emily Dickinson’s definition of poetry as the ‘cold which no fire can warm’.

Rachel Redford, The Observer

A history of 600 years of poetry is a daunting row to hoe, so let’s start not with Beowulf (which is Danish anyway) but with the 1557 anthology Songs and Sonnets and see how, circa 400 years later, we arrive at Disillusionment of Ten O’clock, my favourite Wallace Stevens poem, published in 1923. That, by the way, is not Whitfield’s cut-off point, it’s mine. He soldiers bravely and chronologically through his leviathan list of poetic categories – medieval, Elizabethan, metaphysical, Cavalier, graveyard, Augustan, romantic, Hartford wits, Victorian, confessional, Georgian, war, modern, new apocalypse, postmodern, ending with performance poetry – but I incline to Macaulay’s view that ‘as civilisation advances, poetry almost necessarily declines’. Thomas Wyatt’s poem in Songs and Sonnets, says Whitfield, shattered the medieval moral narrative tradition. Its title, The Lover Showeth How He Is Forsaken of Such as He Sometime Enjoyed, does not sound promising. Read on. ‘They flee from me that sometime did me seek / With naked foot stalking in my chamber. / I have seen them gentle, tame and meek, / That now are wild, and do not once remember / That sometime they have put themselves in danger / To take bread at my hand; and now they range, / Busily seeking with a continual change. / Thank’d be fortune it hath been otherwise, / Twenty times better; but once especial, / In thin array, after a pleasant guise, / When her loose gown did from her shoulders fall, / And she me caught in her arms long and small, / Therewith all sweetly did me kiss, / And softly said, “Dear heart, how like you this?”’ Sensuous, mysterious, intellectual and above all personal, this melodious crystallisation of emotion was like nothing previously classed as poetry and set the stage for the Elizabethan golden age. Thence to the whole glorious canon of poetic greats – Donne, Milton, Blake, Keats, Hopkins, Frost, Dickinson, Yeats and, yes, in my book, Stevens. If poetry truly is the alchemy of words and the music of ideas, he has to be in the premier league. ‘The houses are haunted / By white night-gowns. / None are green, / Or purple with green rings, / Or green with yellow rings, /Or yellow with blue rings. / None of them are strange, / With socks of lace, / And beaded ceintures. / People are not going / To dream of baboons and periwinkles. / Only, here and there, an old sailor, / Drunk and asleep in his boots, / Catches tigers / In red weather.’ Don’t ask me what it means, just listen to it. Whitfield’s history is less a textbook than a rough guide, but if his enthusiasm doesn’t inspire you to buy a volume of Swinburne – aristo, atheist, aesthete, alcoholic, sadomasochist – I’ll be surprised.

Sue Arnold, The Guardian

Derek Jacobi brings this production together with a clear and lively narration of its introduction. The collection is a general presentation, rather than a scholarly tome, on the evolution of the idea of English poetry (and its American cousins and influences) – and where readers fit into the tradition. In each era, the text addresses the question of what a poem was expected to be and do. These are illustrated by thoughtfully interpreted readings from works by more than a hundred poets by a group of skilled Naxos narrators. This critical history traces poets from Chaucer to Allen Ginsberg.

D.M.H., AudioFile

For lovers of poetry, there is the excellent and fascinating audiobook, The History of English Poetry, read by famous actor Derek Jacobi (think Brother Cadfael and I, Claudius). The original book was written by Peter Whitfield, whose sweeping command of the subject gives us a wonderful look into the rich and centuries’ old tradition of English poetry from the earliest writers to the present. While Jacobi reads the bulk of the book in his mellifluous voice, other readers bring to life various poems quoted within it, thus giving this work authenticity and colour to hold the listener’s interest.

Alide Kohlhaas, Seniors Review

History of Opera, The (unabridged) http://www.naxosaudiobooks.com/history-of-opera-the-unabridged/ The History of Opera The Arts unabridged Single 417612 9789626341766 9789629547127 Richard Fawkes
Robert Powell
4 147 05:17:53 MUS020000 Available World

Since its origins in the sixteenth century, opera has been an extravagant, costly affair, arousing great passions. It has also produced some of the most sublime works of art, from Monteverdi to Wagner. Following the widely acclaimed History of Classical Music, Richard Fawkes traces the history of opera up to the present day on the first three CDs, and devotes the fourth to the history of operetta. Featuring more than seventy-five musical examples.

£16.99 $28.98 £11.00 €12.50 $19.00
History of Science, The (unabridged) http://www.naxosaudiobooks.com/history-of-science-the-unabridged/ The History of Science History unabridged Single 499312 9789626349939 9789629549701 Peter Whitfield
Peter Whitfield
4 75 05:08:29 SCI034000 Available World

This is the foundation of all: that we are not to imagine or suppose, but to discover what nature does, or may be made to do. Thus did Francis Bacon, early in the 17th century, outline the future of science and technology. This drive for knowledge and power has now given us a world dominated by science, and this audiobook tells the story of how we have arrived there. The achievements of the great scientific thinkers of the ages – Copernicus, Newton, Lavoisier, Darwin, Pasteur, Einstein, Freud, Hubble and many more – are explained and woven together into an exciting story of intellectual discovery, but a story in which a sense of the mystery of the universe is always present.

£16.99 $28.98 £11.00 €12.50 $19.00 Apr10

If, broadly speaking, science can be summed up as the intellectual quest for knowledge, it’s hard to put a precise date on humanity’s first scientific achievement – though we may deduce from the remains left in paleolithic burial chambers that people were speculating about the mysteries of life and death tens of thousands of years ago. For practical purposes, apart from brief references to Stonehenge and the 20,000-year-old cave paintings of southern Europe, Whitfield’s four-part history starts with the invention of writing (Mesopotamian cuneiform and Egyptian hieroglyphics) a mere 5,000 years ago. ‘It is no accident that the pyramids, the greatest physical symbols of ancient civilisation, belong to the age of the discovery of mathematics and writing.’

This is Whitfield’s fourth and easily his most ambitious audio history. He took a leisurely eight hours to stroll through English poetry and sprinted through the French revolution and Darwin for Naxos’s single-CD ‘In a Nutshell’ series, but the story of western science at 1,000 years per hour is a tall order. It doesn’t quite work out like that, of course. It’s bottom-heavy, parts three and four covering respectively the 19th-century machine age and a spectacular list of 20th-century scientific and technological milestones – quantum physics, the big bang, DNA, genetic engineering and the internet account for half the book. Impressed as I am by E=mc2, as a non-scientist I can relate more to the physics taught by Empedocles of Sicily circa 450BC. All matter, he reckoned, was composed of the four elements, earth, air, fire and water, which, mingled in varying proportions, produced all the substances of the universe and were in turn governed by the two greatest forces, love and strife.

Listening to this made me ruefully aware of my ignorance. I had no idea that the Venerable Bede fixed the dating of Easter or that having to calculate the exact direction of Mecca and when to pray ensured that Islam had the best mathematicians and astronomers, or that the first steam engines of the industrial revolution required the output of an entire iron foundry to make and a coal mine to run. Who said boffins were boring?

Sue Arnold, The Guardian

Author, poet, and historian Whitfield, whose Darwin – In a Nutshell is also available from Naxos AudioBooks, presents a succinct yet comprehensive overview of major achievements in science across the globe, from ancient times to the present day. Throughout, he contextualizes developments in areas including mathematics, medicine, physics, biology, and chemistry, exploring the extent of their present and future impact on society. The author himself reads, and though his British cadence and pacing can occasionally sound awkward, listeners will greatly enjoy being taken on this intellectual journey. Recommended as a primer for students and enthusiasts of science and science history.

J. Sara Paulk, Library Journal

Peter Whitfield looks at the evolution of scientific knowledge, starting with an introduction to Sir Isaac Newton’s ‘natural philosophy’ and continuing with ancient astronomy and cave paintings, genomes and psychoanalysis. He covers a lot of ground briefly and quickly. …his lively interest in ‘the intellectual quest to study our world’ can be heard in his voice. His measured British tones, coupled with the formality of his writing, lend authority to the historical account. While this is an overview of the basics, Whitfield’s material is thorough and well researched, making it a good introduction to scientific thought as it has changed through the ages.

J.A.S., AudioFile

History of the Conquest of Mexico (abridged) http://www.naxosaudiobooks.com/history-of-the-conquest-of-mexico-abridged/ History of the Conquest of Mexico History abridged Single 428212 9789626342824 9789629549947 W.H. Prescott
Kerry Shale
4 71 04:49:20 HIS038000 Deleted Available World

In 1519, Hernando Cortés arrived in Mexico to investigate stories of a wealthy empire. What he encountered was beyond his wildest dreams – an advanced civilisation with complex artistic, political and religious systems (involving extensive human sacrifice) and replete with gold. This was the Aztec empire, headed by the aloof emperor, Montezuma. With just a handful of men, Cortés achieved the impossible, crushing the Aztecs and their allies, and effectively annexing the whole territory for Spain. One of the most extraordinary stories of conquest in mankind’s history, it is told here in the classic account by the American historian W. H. Prescott.

£16.99 $28.98 £11.00 €12.50 $19.00
History of The Musical, The (unabridged) http://www.naxosaudiobooks.com/history-of-the-musical-the-unabridged/ The History of The Musical The Arts unabridged Single 422712 9789626342275 9789629547134 Richard Fawkes
Kim Criswell
4 144 05:13:18 MUS020000 Available World

A major production for Naxos AudioBooks and a unique Audiobook, this bold and entertaining undertaking traces the musical from its origins in classical music (Gay’s The Beggar’s Opera, Offenbach’s operettas and Gilbert and Sullivan) through to its flowering in America; Showboat, Anything Goes, High Society, Guys and Dolls, Oklahoma, West Side Story, The Sound of Music, Oliver, Cabaret, A Little Night Music, The Rocky Horror Show, The Phantom of the Opera – the list is endless. So are the stars who made the musicals live the composers, Kern, Porter, Gershwin, Bernstein, Lloyd Webber; the famous partnerships such as Rogers and Hammerstein, Lerner and Loewe; the performers Ethel Merman, Mary Martin, Howard Keel, Julie Andrews… and the tempestuous creative background to the productions themselves. With over 120 musical examples illustrating this remarkable story, the history of the musical in all its glory comes alive. Features over 100 musical examples.

£16.99 $28.98 £11.00 €12.50 $19.00
History of the Olympics, A (unabridged) http://www.naxosaudiobooks.com/history-of-the-olympics-a-unabridged/ A History of the Olympics Non-fiction unabridged Single 0066 9781843794929 9781843794936 John Goodbody
Barry Davies
6 98 06:41:11 SPO019000 Available World

This unique audiobook history of the Olympics, first issued in 2008, has been updated to include the Beijing Olympics and released to coincide with the London event. Written by the prize-winning sports journalist John Goodbody, and with a fascinating personal documentary featuring one of Britain’s leading Olympians, Sebastian Coe, who is now heading the 2012 Games, this is an ideal opener!

£24.99 $41.98 £16.00 €18.50 $28.00 Mar12
History of the Olympics, A (unabridged) http://www.naxosaudiobooks.com/history-of-the-olympics-a-unabridged-2/ A History of the Olympics Non-fiction unabridged Single 487012 9789626348703 9789629547165 John Goodbody
Barry Davies
5 92 06:20:11 SPO019000 Available World

An unusual release on audiobook format! The 2008 Beijing Olympics take place in August. John Goodbody, for many years chief sports news writer for The Times, has covered every Olympics since 1964. In this entertaining and informative account, he tells the main stories of each of the modern Olympics. Here are some of the heroes and heroines who have made sporting history, as well as the main disasters and scandals that attend the world’s greatest sporting event.

£16.99 $28.98 £11.00 €12.50 $19.00

Fitting the 26 Olympic Games that have been held since 1896 into an audiobook, A History of the Olympics is an awesome challenge. We’re talking 28 different sports, many divided into numerous events.

The veteran sporting journalist John Goodbody goes for the highlights, be they triumphs or disasters, ecstasies or agonies, but he also has a nice ear for colourful detail. “These are the Olympics: you die for them,” gasps a discus thrower as he removes the collar protecting his injured neck before throwing for a gold.

One of the rowers in the winning American eight of 1924 (the year of those glittering prizes) was Ben Spock, later to become a legendary writer of baby and childcare books. Johnny “Tarzan” Weissmuller turns up in the Twenties.

Because there are so many Games to cover, Goodbody has to be selective. His emphasis is mainly on solo triumphs: track events, swimming and gymnastics, but he ranges well beyond the ordinary, including paraplegic events (and finds plenty of space for his own, judo). He also finds time to consider the issues that have done most to damage the spirit of the Games: racism, gender bias, politicking and drugs.

There are training tricks (mowing the lawn in a rubber suit carrying weights; freezing a litre of blood to be reinjected before the supreme effort) and nicknames (Little Miss Perfect, the 7ft armspanned Albatross, Rocket Man, Three Blondes in a Boat), unusual backgrounds and relating what happened to the golden boys and girls afterwards.

Does it work? Barry Davies’s narration is in the best spirit of sports commentary, but the brain (well, my brain) can only handle so many amazing facts at a time. So this is a publication to sip rather than guzzle, on a morning jog or drive to work. At the end, however, is a 45-minute interview with Sebastian Coe to provide just the sort of in-depth view that the History itself couldn’t.

Christina Hardyment, The Times

If your passion is for the Olympics rather than the venue, this comprehensive guide to the history of the games is the perfect gap-filler between heats. It’s a serious book, bristling with statistics but, thank goodness, with enough anecdotes to keep sporting lightweights like me enthralled. My hero is the American gymnast with a wooden leg who won, wait for it, three golds, two silvers and a bronze at the St Louis Olympics in 1904.

Sue Arnold, The Guardian

History of the Peloponnesian War, The (abridged) http://www.naxosaudiobooks.com/history-of-the-peloponnesian-war-the-abridged/ The History of the Peloponnesian War History abridged Single 0069 9781843795513 9781843795520 Thucydides
Neville Jason
6 104 07:15:56 HIS002010 Available World

Thucydides’s History of the Peloponnesian War is one of the most famous, influential, and moving works of genuine history in our traditions. His brilliant account of the civil war among the Greeks redefined how we should analyze the past, driving a permanent wedge between accounts based on myth and folk traditions and those based on empirical investigation and a rational enquiry into human motives. The work is also a profoundly tragic illumination, not merely of the self-destructive events of the civil war, but also of the future course of human history. This abridgement features Richard Crawley’s classic translation, which has been updated by Ian Johnston.

£24.99 $41.98 £16.00 €18.50 $28.00 Aug12 Richard Crawley, Ian Johnston

Generations of schoolboys haven’t been wrong. Thucydides is a terrible bore. This abridgement is composed largely of speeches in public assemblies, delivered in a highly formal rhetorical style. And though delivered masterfully by Neville Jason, the voices inevitably sound the same, and the issues seem abstract. At times, the great historian steps forth and speaks on his own – describing the plague in Thebes or the corruption of language as the war dragged on – and there Jason is sublime. This is a fine production, the narration is excellent, and the cover art is especially striking. But some authors resist audio adaptation, even in abridgement.

D.A.W., AudioFile

History of the World Cup – 2010 Edition, The (unabridged) http://www.naxosaudiobooks.com/history-of-the-world-cup-2010-edition-the-unabridged/ The History of the World Cup – 2010 Edition Non-fiction unabridged Single 493012 9789626349304 9789629548261 Brian Glanville
Bob Wilson
4 73 05:01:22 SPO019000 Available World

The World Cup is the largest sports event outside the summer Olympics: the progress of the 32 countries which qualify for the finals is watched by billions all over the globe. Since the very first World Cup in Uruguay in 1930, there have been 18 finals, held every four years (with a 12-year break over the World War II period). The World Cup in South Africa will be the 19th. Brian Glanville, the distinguished journalist and World Cup historian, has written a fascinating history of the event. Here are the men who played, the goals they scored, the triumphs, the failures, the shocks and the scandals. Here are the stories of heroes – Pele, Eusebio, Bobby Charlton, Franz Beckenbauer, Johann Cruyff, Diego Maradona and many more – as well as the villains, the managers, the referees and the football politicians. It is one of the greatest stories of world sport.

£16.99 $28.98 £11.00 €12.50 $19.00 Apr10

While the history of soccer’s World Cup is summarized chronologically, the players’ stories are not as detailed. Instead, the book focuses on the criticism of referees throughout its examination of the games. Narrator Bob Wilson, a former player, knows the sport and keeps to a steady pace; his clear British accent never wanders into overt excitement or derision. Musical interludes serve as breaks, and an interview with former player Sir Bobby Charlton is included at the end. Soccer fans and World Cup buffs, rejoice. Novices, though, might want to watch a few matches before delving into this history.

M.B., AudioFile

History of the World Cup, The (unabridged) http://www.naxosaudiobooks.com/history-of-the-world-cup-the-unabridged/ The History of the World Cup With the World Cup memories of Sir Bobby Charlton Classic Fiction unabridged Single 440412 9789626344040 Brian Glanville
Bob Wilson
4 67 04:42:54 SPO019000 Available Deleted Available World

This lively history of the world’s greatest sporting event outside the Olympics is told by veteran football journalist and historian Brian Glanville, and read by the former Arsenal goalkeeper Bob Wilson. There is a full account of each of the Finals since the first event in 1922 – the goals, the controversies, the rivalries – with the national anthems of each host country setting the scene to the 2002 event in Japan and Korea.

£16.99 $28.98 £11.00 €12.50 $19.00
History of the World in 10½ Chapters, A (unabridged) http://www.naxosaudiobooks.com/history-of-the-world-in-10-1_2-chapters-a-unabridged/ A History of the World in 10½ Chapters Contemporary Fiction unabridged Single 45712 9789626344750 9789629546205 Julian Barnes
Alex Jennings
9 159 10:54:49 FIC000000 Available World

A History of the World in 10½ Chapters tells a series of apparently unconnected stories ranging from a woodworm’s-eye-view of the journey on Noah’s Ark to an astronaut’s quest for its final resting place. There is pastiche and learned disquisition; there is heart-stopping documentary and heart-lifting revelation. But these stories are not separate. They are all linked by a complex weave of inquiry into history itself, into love, myth and fabulation. It’s about everything that matters, told with brilliant imagination, intelligence and humour.

£32.99 $59.98 £21.50 €24.00 $39.00

This is a rich Barnesian marinade of musings, analyses and witty, idiosyncratic re-workings of myths and stories. The narrative voice in ‘Stowaway’ is a savvy rodent, who reveals Noah as a drunk preying on his cargo. The account of the terrorist hijacking of a cruise ship told by the guest lecturer in ‘Visitors’ is a tangle of chilling mishandlings and misunderstandings. ‘Shipwreck’ is an account of the sufferings on the raft from the wrecked Medusa, followed by a jaunty analysis of Gericault’s painting. And that’s just three of the ten [and a half] chapters. The narration is polished and vigorous, but unintrusive so that the exuberance of the narratives and ideas take centre stage.

Rachel Redford, The Observer

Fact, fiction, myth, opinion – Barnes’s series of disjointed narratives about Noah’s Ark, terrorist hijackers, shipwreck, woodworm, love and more is all of these. It leaves you torn between thinking that its sum is greater than its parts and that, then again, some of the parts are pretty damned good too, especially the half-chapter titled ‘Parenthesis’. Somehow this pithy new Alex Jennings recording perfectly succeeds in combining the various ‘history is bunk’ and ‘love conquers all’ strands.

Sue Arnold, The Guardian

And when you’re fed up with conventional linear narratives, Barnes’s clever, funny, intriguing and, yes, all right, tricksy 1989 collection of stories both true and fictitious, about ships, shipwrecks and associated maritime incidents, will give you something to ponder. I’ve been mulling fitfully over what it tells us about survival, history, art, love and woodworm ever since I first heard it umpteen years ago on cassette, which is probably why this latest version, read by my all-time favourite audio voice, came up to Scotland with me. I’m still happily pondering.

Sue Arnold, the Guardian

History of Theatre, The (unabridged) http://www.naxosaudiobooks.com/history-of-theatre-the-unabridged/ The History of Theatre The Arts unabridged Single 419912 9789626341995 9789629547219 David Timson
Derek Jacobi
Carole Boyd
John McAndrew
Teresa Gallagher
Caroline Faber
4 144 05:09:25 LIT013000 Available Available World

This bold undertaking covers Western theatre from ancient Greece to the present day. It traces the development of dramatic art through the miracle plays, the great Shakespearean period, Molière and Racine in France, Goethe in Germany, through the nineteenth century and the main movements in the twentieth century. It is illustrated by numerous examples of differing styles, with some historical recordings as well and excerpts from nearly fifty plays – a fascinating journey. It is written by David Timson, the British actor and director who features extensively on Naxos AudioBooks in both roles.

£16.99 $28.98 £11.00 €12.50 $19.00 Nicolas Soames Sarah Butcher and Simon Weir

Shamefully, I know very little about the theatre’s beginnings – not good for an actor – so my choice is The History of Theatre read by Sir Derek Jacobi, an aural guide to drama past and present, which begins in Ancient Greece and continues through miracle plays to Shakespeare, Molière, Goethe and 20th-century works. Hearing Sir Derek lift David Timson’s words off the page is both pleasurable and instructive.

Simon Russell Beale, The Times

History of Tom Jones, A Foundling, The (abridged) http://www.naxosaudiobooks.com/history-of-tom-jones-a-foundling-the-abridged/ The History of Tom Jones, A Foundling Classic Fiction abridged Single 633112 9789626343319 9789629545307 Henry Fielding
Maurice West
6 102 06:58:47 FIC004000 Available World

The ‘Voice of the Year’ competition introduced and sponsored by Naxos AudioBooks and The Times books pages, edited by Erica Wagner, took place in Spring 2004. Readers without any formal drama training or professional acting experience were invited to send in recordings of a short extract of either Dickens, Austen or from The Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Grahame and an own choice. The judging panel – Martin Jarvis, Juliet Stevenson, and Anton Lesser, with John Tydeman, David Timson, and Christina Hardyment (audiobook reviewer for The Times), under the chairmanship of Naxos AudioBooks’ managing director Nicolas Soames – chose the winner and finalists from nearly one thousand entries. First prize was to read a classic for Naxos AudioBooks. The winner was Maurice West, a fifty-five-year-old English teacher from Croydon. His chosen piece was from Tom Jones and he was invited to read an extended abridgement – 6-CD set – of the same novel. ‘We were very impressed by the natural storytelling talent shown by Mr West, with a strong narrative character, a sense of period style as well as a firm grasp of the many characters who appear,’ said Nicolas Soames. After graduating from Cambridge, Mr West applied to LAMDA on the main acting course and was accepted. Unfortunately, he didn’t have sufficient funds to take up the offer and had to confine his thespian interests to amateur dramatics. Now, later in life, he has a chance to open a new thread of activity. This 6 CD recording of Tom Jones is an important addition to the eighteenth-century audio library on Naxos AudioBooks.

£24.99 $41.98 £16.00 €18.50 $28.00
History of Western Art, The (unabridged) http://www.naxosaudiobooks.com/history-of-western-art-the-unabridged/ The History of Western Art History unabridged Single 0055 9781843795063 9781843795070 Peter Whitfield
Sebastian Comberti
4 76 05:14:18 ART015000 Available World

What is art? Why do we value images of saints, kings, goddesses, battles, landscapes or cities from eras of history utterly remote from ourselves? This history of art shows how painters, sculptors and architects have expressed the belief systems of their age: religious, political and aesthetic. From the ancient civilisations of Egypt, Mesopotamia and Greece, to the revolutionary years of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, the artist has acted as a mirror to the ideals and conflicts of the human mind. He has always started with reality, but has selected and reshaped that reality to create a parallel world; a world of the imagination.

£16.99 $28.98 £11.00 €12.50 $19.00 Nov11

Five hours to cover 19,000 years of art doesn’t allow for much slack but compression, an art in itself, is Whitfield’s forte. His contributions to Naxos’s single-CD In a Nutshell series include the Renaissance and Darwin, and his history of 600 years of English poetry from Chaucer to Sylvia Plath is as much a miracle of economy as of erudition. Whitfield inspires. His enthusiasm makes you want to reappraise statues you’ve already seen but, until he reminded you, had forgotten how wonderful they are. Statues such as Donatello’s life-size bronze David in Florence, hand on hip, one knee flexed, wearing nothing but a flowered hat and a cheeky pair of boots. It was the first free-standing figure any artist had produced for a thousand years, says Whitfield, and wham – suddenly you understand the significance, the brilliance of the renaissance. It has been a long haul from the stone age cave paintings of Lascaux circa 16,000 BC via Ninevah’s lion-hunting murals, Mesopotamian winged bulls, Persian mozaics, Egyptian sphinxes, Greek caryatids, Etruscan urns, Viking helmets, the Book of Kells and Gothic cathedrals to Raphael and Da Vinci – but compared to the narrow 500-year gulf between Michelangelo’s Pietàs, acme of Renaissance humanism, and the soiled sheets of Tracey Emin’s unmade bed shortlisted for the 1999 Turner prize, it’s a blink. What happened? Listen to Whitfield analyse the succeeding artistic schools – baroque, neo-classical, impressionist, cubist, surrealist, avant garde, op, pop and performance – and you’ll find out. Whether you’ll be any the wiser is something else. How, for instance, does the German artist Joseph Beuys (1921-86) striding around a Dusseldorf gallery in iron boots and a mask made of honey, discussing his paintings with the dead hare cradled in his arms, fit into the bigger picture? It doesn’t. Neither do pictures any more. Modern art, surrounded by a foghorn chorus of blah emanating from the media and the artists themselves, has become something that we talk about, think about, argue about and, if we can afford it, pay astronomical sums of money for, rather than actually look at. That’s not Whitfield talking, by the way, it’s reactionary me. He remains impressively neutral.

Sue Arnold, the Guardian

The History of Western Art is a broad view of art history by Renaissance man Peter Whitfield, who covers the subject from ancient times to the modern dilemma of defining what art is. An intriguing connection between past ideals & beliefs, and our current estrangement from the natural world is discussed, as modern deconstruction has led us into a box canyon of perpetual revolution without agreed upon parameters. It’s all covered in four CDs, from Greek & Roman & Christian art to Baroque, Romantic, Impressionism and Avant-Garde (and including commentary on architecture, architects, and artists), and is read by Sebastian Comberti, with classical music accompaniment.

Audiobooks Today

Peter Whitfield skilfully compresses a great sweep of culture – from the ancient world to the present – into five hours. The changes in the 20th century have been the most seismic: the age-old stability of belief has been largely swept away along with ‘high art’. Now, anything goes, with ‘ugliness as valid as beauty, and formlessness as valid as form’. Most of all, this invigorating gallop through the centuries makes you set off for the galleries.

Rachel Redford, the Oldie

Naxos have done art an immense service with the publication of this splendid audiobook which is a must purchase for any of those who are interested in western art in general. Sebastian Comberti has already lent his inimitable voice to Jan Morris’s Venice, to my mind one of the most beautifully nostalgic [titles] in the Naxos Audiobooks series focused on culture.

Here we get a totalitarian perspective of western art from the very early beginnings up to the present day, with Comberti describing the various stages of development in an extremely romantic manner. We hear about Greek art and sculpture, Roman architecture and the journey of Christian art which created the incredible plethora of artists in the Middle Ages and the Baroque. One is transfixed and sits down to listen almost spellbound with Comberti’s detailed and fastidiously created descriptions.

This is an audiobook to thrill and for those who love culture, it surely is a must have.

Gerald Fenech, Malta News Online

Author Whitfield and narrator Sebastian Comberti do an excellent job of guiding the listener on a quick tour of Western art. (Five minutes and 42 seconds on Roman Art, four minutes and 40 seconds on French Impressionism, etc.) Why would anyone produce an audio history of Western art? No pictures? The production does provide graphics that are available as a PDF, but not an audio preface. In addition, Comberti’s pronunciations are excellent, and his voice is clear and measured. For those familiar with Western art, these mini-lectures will conjure up vivid mental images and memories. For those less familiar, they can provide a narrative to accompany a do-it-yourself slide show that can be created with any decent Internet connection.

F.C., AudioFile

History of Western Philosophy, A (unabridged) http://www.naxosaudiobooks.com/history-of-western-philosophy-a-unabridged/ A History of Western Philosophy Philosophy unabridged Single 0136 9781843797395 9781843797401 Bertrand Russell
Jonathan Keeble
29 585 38:05:11 PHI009000 Available World

Bertrand Russell’s A History of Western Philosophy serves as the perfect introduction to its subject. Charting philosophy’s course from the pre-Socratics up to the early twentieth century, Russell relates each philosopher and school to their respective historical and cultural contexts, providing erudite commentary throughout his invaluable survey. This engaging and comprehensive work has done much to educate and inform generations of general readers; it is written in accessible and elegantly crafted prose and allows for an easy grasp of complex ideas.

£85.00 $152.98 £55.00 €63.00 $98.00 Oct13
Holmes, Oliver Wendell (selections) http://www.naxosaudiobooks.com/holmes-oliver-wendell-selections/ The Great Poets – Oliver Wendell Holmes The Great Poets – Poetry selections Single 195412 9789626349540 9789629548469 Oliver Wendell Holmes
Peter Marinker
1 19 01:17:06 POE005010 Available Deleted Available World

Though by profession a doctor (he coined the word anesthesia) Oliver Wendell Holmes (1809-1894) was one of the leading 19th century American poets and a member of the famous Saturday Club with Emerson, Longfellow and Lowell. 2009 is the 200th anniversary of his birth. Here are his major poems, including Old Ironsides and The Last Leaf in a rare audiobook collection read affectingly by Peter Marinker.

£8.99 $14.98 £6.00 €6.50 $10.00 Mar09
  • The Height of the Ridiculous
  • The Last Leaf
  • To an Insect
  • Old Ironsides
  • The September Gale
  • Daily Trials by a Sensitive Man
  • Lexington
  • The Star and the Water Lily
  • A Portrait
  • The Two Armies
  • The Wasp and the Hornet
  • To a Caged Lion
  • Our Yankee Girls
  • Departed Days
  • The Last Reader
  • God Save the Flag
  • The Only Daughter
  • The Parting Word
  • The Pilgrim’s Vision
  • The Steamboat
  • Ballad of the Oysterman
  • Song
  • Contentment
  • Bill and Joe
  • A Voice of the Loyal North
  • Reflections of a Proud Pedestrian
  • Sun and Shadow
  • The Chambered Nautilus
  • Our Indian Summer
  • The Crooked Footpath
  • The Opening of the Piano
  • The Two Streams
  • At My Fireside

Oliver Wendell Holmes (1809–94), by profession a doctor and once up there with Longfellow and Lowell, has a strong line in patriotism and rousing rhythms: “Nerveless the iron hand/ Raised for its native land.” He’s homely and romantic too, praising nature and “Yankee girls” and seeing majesty in a caged lion.

Rachel Redford, The Observer

Fashions change in poetry just as they do in music or clothes. Once, Oliver Wendell Holmes was all the rage, and counted Poe and Lincoln among his admirers. Now, except perhaps for Old Ironsides and The Chambered Nautilus, he is remembered mostly as the father of the Supreme Court justice. Often witty, rarely personal, Holmes’s poetry has passed into the realm of the specialist and historian. Yet in Peter Marinker’s sensitive readings, the many charms of these poems emerge. Marinker lets the meter and rhyme stand on their own, speaking in sentences rather than forcing the lines and respecting the sentiment without falling into sentimentality.

D.M.H., AudioFile Magazine

Hopkins, Gerard Manley (selections) http://www.naxosaudiobooks.com/hopkins-gerard-manley-selections/ The Great Poets – Gerard Manley Hopkins The Great Poets – Poetry selections Single 190012 9789626349007 9789629547639 Gerard Manley Hopkins
Jeremy Northam
1 15 01:02:01 POE005020 Available Available Available World

A collection of the best-known poems by Gerard Manley Hopkins (1844–1889). One of the Victorian era’s greatest writers, Hopkins’ reputation has continued to grow since his death. Our Great Poets series, launched in 2007, has proven very popular, offering many of the best-loved poems by popular poets in an inexpensive 1 CD collection – and well read by leading actors. This anthology of works by one of poetry’s most daring innovators will undoubtedly become a best-seller. The collection includes The Windhover, The Caged Skylark, Carrion Comfort, Spring and Fall, and Inversnaid.

£8.99 $14.98 £6.00 €6.50 $10.00
  • Heaven-Haven A nun takes the veil
  • She schools the flighty pupils of her eyes
  • Myself Unholy
  • The Habit of Perfection
  • from The Wreck of the Deutschland
  • God’s Grandeur
  • The Starlight Night
  • As king fishers catch fire, dragonflies draw flame
  • Spring
  • The Lantern Out of Doors
  • The Sea and the Skylark
  • The Windhover − To Christ Our Lord
  • Pied Beauty
  • Hurrahing in Harvest
  • The Caged Skylark
  • Binsey Poplars felled 1879
  • The Bugler’s First Communion
  • Morning, Midday and Evening Sacrifice
  • The Candle Indoors
  • Felix Randal
  • Spring and Fall: To a Young Child
  • Inversnaid
  • The Leaden Echo and the Golden Echo
  • To what serves Mortal Beauty?
  • (Carrion Comfort)
  • No worst, there is none. Pitched past pitch of grief
  • I wake and feel the fell of dark, not day
  • Patience, hard thing! the hard thing but to pray
  • My own heart
  • To his Watch
  • from Caradoc’s soliloquy from St Winefred’s Well
  • Spelt from Sibyl’s leaves
  • Tom’s Garland
  • Harry Ploughman
  • That Nature is a Heraclitean Fire and of the comfort of the Resurrection
  • Justus Quidem Tu Es, Domine (Thou art indeed just, Lord …)
  • The Shepherd’s Brow
  • To R.B.

The presence of Gerard Manley Hopkins on the A-level English syllabus for more than forty years means that anyone with a love of language has at least some lines of his poems by heart, so many of you will be able to murmur along as you listen to Gerard Manley Hopkins, the latest in the Great Poets series. Jeremy Northam delights the ear with thirty-eight of Hopkins’s finest poems, beginning with the little jewel of Heaven-Haven and including the incandescent Wreck of the Deutschland and the vaulting leaps of The Windhover.

Christina Hardyment, The Times

To read Hopkins’s poetry aloud, you have to be sensitive to all his chiming alliteration, assonance and idiosyncratic rhythm, and yet allow the poet’s own voice to be heard. Jeremy Northam does just that, giving the listener the essence of Hopkins: the ‘dearest freshness deep down things’.

Rachel Redford, The Observer

Hound of the Baskervilles, The (abridged) http://www.naxosaudiobooks.com/hound-of-the-baskervilles-the-abridged/ Young Adult Classics – The Hound of the Baskervilles Young Adult Classics – Young Adult Classics abridged Single 394812 9789626349489 9789629548407 Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
David Timson
3 52 03:34:39 CD-ROM YAF009000 Available Deleted Available World

The ‘Young Adult Classics’ series continues with The Hound of the Baskervilles, the most popular Sherlock Holmes story. It is a chilling tale of a slavering dog on the moor that will excite listeners of any age. The popular classics, presented in an abridged form, are brilliantly brought to life by master Holmes reader David Timson and enhanced with atmospheric music. This is part of the ‘Young Adult Classics’ series launched by Naxos AudioBooks in 2009: each title contains a CD-ROM with extensive ‘teacher notes’ and the full text of the audiobook.

£10.99 $17.98 £7.00 €8.00 $12.00 Feb09

Conan Doyle’s novella of the fog-enshrouded moors is one of his most well known. Holmes and Dr. Watson are enlisted to solve a mystery involving a curse, a “hound from hell,” and a family inheritance. Holmes is, as usual, two steps ahead of everyone else, much to Watson’s delight.

Bella Todd, TimeOut

Naxos’s Hound of the Baskervilles is read by David Timson – every character pitch perfect! But the brilliant thing is that there’s a bonus CD-ROM (disc 1) and on it is the complete text, both abridged and unabridged. So a young adult – or an adult – who’s a poor reader, can listen and read at the same time, using a computer or a TV. Entertainment and tuition all in one! And there’s also a study guide for those who want background, author detail and so on. A fabulous piece of kit!

Kati Nicholl, Daily Express

Despite screen effects of mist-enshrouded moors and a slavering monster-hound, there’s nothing like the original Conan Doyle. It’s read here at a ripping pace by the excellent David Timson. The mystery mounts: the Baskerville legend; Mr Stapleton’s violent repulse of Sir Charles Baskerville’s romantic approach to his sister … Is the fiendish hound real, or some hellish emanation? Will cunning and guns be enough to save Sir Charles from its jaws? Included is a stimulating CD-Rom with the complete text and a study guide.

Rachel Redford, The Oldie

Hound of the Baskervilles, The (unabridged) http://www.naxosaudiobooks.com/hound-of-the-baskervilles-the-unabridged/ The Hound of the Baskervilles Classic Fiction unabridged Single 533412 9789626343340 9789629545147 Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
David Timson
5 91 06:16:54 FIC004000 Available World

The award-winning Sherlock Holmes narrator David Timson leads us through Conan Doyle’s most famous tale. This extended story brings the archetypal detective to the moors with his friend and biographer Dr Watson to investigate the mystery of a beast terrorising the neighbourhood.

£19.99 $34.98 £13.00 €14.50 $23.00
House of the Seven Gables, The (abridged) http://www.naxosaudiobooks.com/house-of-the-seven-gables-the-abridged/ The House of the Seven Gables Classic Fiction abridged Single 338112 9789626343814 9789629545406 Nathaniel Hawthorne
Peter Marinker
3 58 03:57:20 FIC004000 Available World

To inherit a great fortune. To inherit a great misfortune.’ These words, from Nathaniel Hawthorne’s notebook, neatly encapsulate the theme of The House of the Seven Gables – that of a family whose fortunes are poisoned by its past misdeeds. The sins of the Pyncheon father are visited upon his children over a period of several generations, until such time as one of his descendants unites with a member of the family he has wronged. Love conquers hate, and new blood washes away the original crime. This intriguing and insightful novel truly deserves its significant place in the canon of American literature.

£13.99 $22.98 £9.00 €10.50 $15.00
House on the Strand, The (abridged) http://www.naxosaudiobooks.com/house-on-the-strand-the-abridged/ The House on the Strand Classic Fiction abridged Single 434112 9789626343418 9789629545253 Daphne du Maurier
Michael Maloney
4 66 04:36:07 FIC004000 Deleted Available World excl. USA and Canada

Dick Young stays in his friend Professor Magnus Lane’s house in Cornwall, on the understanding he will be a guinea-pig for a new drug that Magnus has developed. As a result of the experiment he is transported back to fourteenth-century Cornwall. With each ‘trip’ he becomes more and more involved with Medieval intrigue, adultery and murder. Is it merely hallucination; a subconscious escape from his own complicated life, or a real journey into the past? He becomes obsessed with the world he visits, and past and present eventually become inextricably and perilously mixed.

£16.99 $28.98 £11.00 €12.50 $19.00

Television remakes of Rebecca aside, Daphne du Maurier is one of those novelists, like Doris Lessing, whom few people under forty seem either to reckon on or know much about. This is a great injustice. She is quite simply one of the best storytellers in the business – proper old-fashioned stories, with characters you gradually get to know and feel for, and plots whose originality and ingenuity have never been equalled.

The House on the Strand – which, I confess, I had never heard of until this Naxos version, punctuated by wonderfully atmospheric music, came out last year – is a dazzling example of her skill. The narrator, Richard, has been persuaded by his friend Magnus, a biophysicist, to be a guinea pig for a new drug he is working on, which, Magnus claims, can take the subject back in time – real historic time, not hallucination. Richard travels to Magnus’s house in Cornwall, the setting for most du Maurier novels, and takes the plunge. It works. Within minutes he finds himself transported back 600 years to the fourteenth century, the invisible observer of a series of tragic political and domestic intrigues with which he becomes increasingly fascinated. The side effects of the drug and the social effects on his real life and family are catastrophic. Too bad they don’t write stories as intriguing as this any more.

Sue Arnold, The Guardian

Huckleberry Finn, Tom Sawyer (abridged) http://www.naxosaudiobooks.com/huckleberry-finn-tom-sawyer-abridged/ Huckleberry Finn, Tom Sawyer Junior Classics abridged Single 26212 9789626342626 Mark Twain
Garrick Hagon
4 77 05:16:32 JUV007000 Available Deleted Available World

Two of Twain’s great classics are combined here, adding to Naxos AudioBooks’ now well-established collection of box sets. The Adventures of Tom Sawyer is the story of a boy’s adventures growing up in a small town on the banks of the Mississippi river over a hundred years ago. The cheerful, adventurous hero plays truant to form a pirate band and, together with his best friend, Huckleberry Finn, finds fun, excitement, and buried treasure, along the shores of the great river. In The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, floating down the Mississippi on their raft, Huckleberry Finn and Jim, a runaway slave, find life filled with excitement and the spirit of adventure. Join Huck and Jim and their old friend Tom Sawyer as they come up against low-down thieves and murderers whilst being chased by Huck’s evil, drunken father who is after Huck’s treasure. It is a trip you that you’ll never tire of.

£16.99 $28.98 £11.00 €12.50 $19.00
Hunchback of Notre Dame, The (abridged) http://www.naxosaudiobooks.com/hunchback-of-notre-dame-the-abridged/ The Hunchback of Notre Dame Classic Fiction abridged Single 238212 9789626343821 9789629545437 Victor Hugo
Bill Homewood
2 38 02:37:32 FIC004000 Available World

In the grotesque bell-ringer Quasimodo, Victor Hugo created one of the most vivid characters in classic fiction. Quasimodo’s doomed love for the beautiful gypsy girl Esmerelda is an example of the traditional love theme of beauty and the beast. Yet, set against the massive background of Notre Dame de Paris and interwoven with the sacred and secular life of medieval France, it takes on a larger perspective. The characters come to life: the poet Gringoire, the tormented priest Claude Frollo, the upright, fun-loving captain Phoebus and above all Quasimodo and Esmerelda themselves. It is a tale peppered with humour but fuelled by the anguish which unfolds beneath the bells of the great cathedral of Paris.

£10.99 $17.98 £7.00 €8.00 $12.00
Hunchback of Notre Dame, The (unabridged) http://www.naxosaudiobooks.com/hunchback-of-notre-dame-the-unabridged/ The Hunchback of Notre Dame Classic Fiction unabridged Single 0159 9781843797913 9781843797920 Victor Hugo
Bill Homewood
17 345 22:28:08 FIC004000 Available World

In the grotesque bell-ringer Quasimodo, Victor Hugo created one of the most vivid characters in classic fiction. Quasimodo’s doomed love for the beautiful gypsy girl Esmeralda is an example of the traditional love theme of beauty and the beast. Yet, set against the massive background of Notre Dame de Paris and interwoven with the sacred and secular life of medieval France, it takes on a larger perspective. The characters come to life: the poet Gringoire, the tormented priest Claude Frollo, the fun-loving captain Phoebus and above all Quasimodo and Esmeralda themselves. It is a tale peppered with humour but fuelled by the anguish which unfolds beneath the bells of the great cathedral of Paris.

£55.00 $98.98 £36.00 €40.50 $64.00 Oct14
Idiot, The (abridged) http://www.naxosaudiobooks.com/idiot-the-abridged/ The Idiot Classic Fiction abridged Single 305912 9789626340592 9789629545031 Fyodor Dostoyevsky
Michael Sheen
3 58 03:58:09 FIC004000 Available World

Prince Lef Mikolayevitch Muishkin is one of the great characters in Russian literature. Is he a saint or just naïve, an idealist or, as many in General Yepanchin’s society feel, an ‘idiot’? Certainly, his return to St Petersburg after years in a Swiss clinic has a dramatic effect on the beautiful Aglaya, youngest of the Yepanchin daughters and on the charismatic but wilful Nastasio Phillipovna. As he paints a vivid picture of Russian society, Dostoyevsky shows how principles conflict with emotions – with tragic results.

£13.99 $22.98 £9.00 €10.50 $15.00
Il trovatore (unabridged) http://www.naxosaudiobooks.com/il-trovatore-unabridged/ Opera Explained – Il trovatore Opera Explained – Music unabridged Single 558079 9781843790822 9781843793199 Thomson Smillie
David Timson
1 37 01:19:18 MUS028000 Available World

Il trovatore has been ruthlessly parodied. It is a tale of murder and mayhem, burned babies, roasted hags, would-be nuns, strolling minstrels and bad baritones. And indeed the libretto does call for a willing suspension of disbelief. The reward is in the music, a score as prodigally melodic as only the mature Verdi could write: the ‘Anvil’ Chorus, the ‘Miserere’ scene, two great tenor arias, a beautiful baritone aria – a richness without embarrassment.

£5.99 $12.99 £4.00 €4.50 $7.80
Iliad, The (abridged) http://www.naxosaudiobooks.com/iliad-the-abridged/ The Iliad Translated by Ian Johnston Poetry abridged Single 445812 9789626344583 9789629546571 Homer
Anton Lesser
4 75 05:10:01 POE014000 Available World

One the earliest and greatest epic poems of the Western world, The Iliad tells the story of fifty critical days towards the end of the Trojan war. Achilles has quarrelled with Agamemnon and sulks in his tent while Hector brings his Trojans to the brink of victory; but fate will have the last word. While the heroes fight before the walls of Troy the gods have also drawn up battle lines, and it is their disagreements as much as the heroes’ efforts which will decide the conflict. Despite the poem’s antiquity, the very real, human qualities of the protagonists and their dilemmas make The Iliad immediately accessible, especially in the hands of a master story-teller such as Anton Lesser. The Iliad was composed in the eighth century B. C. almost certainly as an oral composition incorporating a number of different stories from a rich poetic tradition of works now lost to us. The identity of Homer has been fiercely but inconclusively debated since ancient times. The Greeks believed he was a single person, and various cities competed for the honour of naming him a citizen. However, nothing reliable is known about him, although some traditions insist that he was blind. The poem was originally designed for recitation on important occasions by a professional bard, at least until the sixth century B. C. when, according to Greek traditions, the Athenian tyrant Peisistratus had the poem written down and codified in a form similar to the work we know today.

£16.99 $28.98 £11.00 €12.50 $19.00
Iliad, The (unabridged) http://www.naxosaudiobooks.com/iliad-the-unabridged/ The Iliad Translated by Ian Johnston Poetry unabridged Single 42812 9789626344286 9789629546588 Homer
Anton Lesser
13 244 16:33:30 POE014000 Available World

Perhaps the greatest poem of the Western world, The Iliad tells the story of fifty critical days towards the end of the Trojan war. Achilles has quarrelled with Agamemnon and sulks in his tent, while Hector brings his Trojans to the brink of victory; but fate will have the last word. Anton Lesser, one of Britain’s finest audiobook stars, brings this great classic to life in the new and imaginative translation by Ian Johnston.

£45.50 $81.98 £29.00 €33.50 $53.00 Ian Johnston

Ian Johnston provides his readers with a clear and comprehensible translation of the Iliad that presents itself as a dynamic equivalent of the Greek original. Johnston captures the flow of the text with an eye to both accuracy and his modern readership. Ultimately, the Iliad was, in its original language, trapped within the past, filled with specialized language and archaisms for the ancient audiences who witnessed its live performance. However, Johnston has recognized that retaining Homer’s language can be disadvantageous for instruction in the undergraduate setting. Without resorting to unwarranted slang or hyperbolic peculiarities, however, he has managed to make Homer’s story come alive. Instead he has attempted to capture the native meaning of the text itself and has shown himself judicious and consistent in his treatment of epithets, recurring lines, and other singularities of Homeric epic. Further, since about half of the Iliad is composed of direct speech (meant to slow down the cadence of action and emphasize significant moments in the plot), Johnston’s practice of setting off these sections by quotation marks and indentation is particularly helpful for the individual reader and for the classroom alike. I have used the on-line version in several classes and it certainly seemed to keep the students’ interest and instil familiarity with this central Western classic. On many grounds, then, I have no hesitation in recommending this translation, and suggest that it holds particular value as a text for high school and undergraduate level university acquisitions.

Andrew Porter, University of Missouri, Columbia

Ian Johnston’s new translation of the Iliad has been freely available on the Internet for the past four years and in that time has become a popular site for general readers, teachers, and students alike. And it’s easy to understand why. Johnston’s translation is extremely faithful to Homer’s Greek text, and yet at the same time is characterized by a very readable English style, so much so that the clarity and fluency of this translation immediately set it apart from many other alternatives.

One interesting point about the diction is that Johnston has deliberately avoided all outdated language of Medieval chivalry or ancient warfare (so there are no greaves, cuirasses, steeds, or targes in this text, no carls or bowyers, or lances). And yet, by his faithful translation of Homeric epithets and repetitions, he keeps reminding us that this poem has its origins in an ancient style. The result is an interesting and evocative synthesis of a past vision and modern sensibilities.

Johnston has chosen to use a hexameter line for the narrative and a pentameter for the speeches, although he freely departs from strict adherence to a fixed pattern (at times the rhythm gets a trifle ragged). This is, one assumes, an attempt to gain both the gravitas of the longer line and the speed of the shorter one. And in this he has a good deal of success, particularly in the speeches which are almost always vigorous and dramatic. They sound like something passionate people might actually say. And he handles the Homeric similes very well, letting them unroll at length, gathering momentum as they go, so that the power described in the imagery is underscored by the movement and sound in the poetry. This style also brings out very forcefully the extraordinarily graphic and evocatively ironic battlefield deaths.

It easy to understand why this translation has attracted the attention of drama companies and has led to stage productions in Philadelphia and Oxford and to a recording of the entire poem by Naxos AudioBooks. It’s high time this translation was available in the form of a published book.

Dr Anne Leavitt, Dean, Malaspina University-College

Importance of Being Earnest, The (unabridged) http://www.naxosaudiobooks.com/importance-of-being-earnest-the-unabridged/ The Importance of Being Earnest Drama unabridged Single 234212 9789626343425 9789629547011 Oscar Wilde
Sir John Gielgud
Edith Evans
Ronald Ward
David Horne
Roger Delgado
John Turnbull
Gwen Ffrangcon-Davies
Angela Baddeley
Betty Hardy
2 26 01:49:55 DRA003000 Available Available World

This is one of the great recordings of a great play. John Gielgud stars as Ernest and Edith Evans gives her indomitable performance as Lady Bracknell in this classic radio recording from 1951. Performance styles may have changed, but this is an unmatched production bearing all the hallmarks of outstanding audio drama featuring some of the finest actors of the twentieth century. Also included are two collections of poetry readings by John Gielgud and Edith Evans.

£10.99 $17.98 £7.00 €8.00 $12.00 Dan King
In a Glass Darkly (unabridged) http://www.naxosaudiobooks.com/in-a-glass-darkly-unabridged/ In a Glass Darkly Classic Fiction unabridged Single 0213 9781843799191 9781843799207 Sheridan Le Fanu
Jonathan Keeble
Daniel Philpott
Sean Barrett
David Horovitch
Nicholas Boulton
Alison Pettitt
10 188 12:16:20 FIC004000 Available Available World

Demons, vengeful spirits, insanity, premature burials and lesbian vampires, In a Glass Darkly contains five diabolical tales of horror and mystery that will get the heart racing. Each story, including the famous Green Tea and Carmilla, is presented as a case from the posthumous papers of Dr Martin Hesselius, a metaphysical physician who has no doubt as to the existence of supernatural phenomena – unlike our anxious protagonists… These traditional, yet unfamiliar tales were revered upon release, with Bram Stoker writing his own vampire story some twenty years later, and Henry James once suggesting that this is ‘the ideal reading… for the hours after midnight’.

£35.00 $62.98 £23.00 €26.00 $41.00 Sep15

Whether you’re new to Le Fanu’s classic tales or a veteran of his particular brand of imaginative horror, these narrators are sure to entertain and spook you with these stories of stalking monkey-demons, supernatural courtroom revenge, premature burial, lesbian vampires, and more. Although it’s not clear which reader performs which story, it’s worth noting that all six are talented actors, making this a particularly impressive collection. Perhaps the most memorable stories presented are The Familiar and Carmilla, both of which are iconic in their own right but are freshly imbued by their narrators. No over-the-top shenanigans here – these performers understand what creepiness is and how to share it.

N.J.B, AudioFile

In the Ravine, and other short stories (unabridged) http://www.naxosaudiobooks.com/in-the-ravine-and-other-short-stories-unabridged/ In the Ravine, and other short stories Oh! The Public | The Chorus Girl | The Trousseau | A Story Without A Title | Children | Misery | Fat and Thin | The Beggar | Hush! | The Orator | An Actor’s End | In the Ravine Classic Fiction unabridged Single 326112 9789626342619 9789629544706 Anton Chekhov
Kenneth Branagh
3 52 03:35:38 FIC004000 Deleted Available World

Here are twelve short stories by Anton Chekhov, one of the finest masters of what is acknowledged to be a difficult genre. There is the richly comic Oh! The Public, about a hassled ticket inspector, a wry look at morals and manners in The Chorus Girl, and the melancholic tale of a cab driver in Misery. Perhaps the finest of all is the novella In The Ravine, a minutely observed look at life in a village through the eyes of one family. All the characters come to life with their foibles, their strengths and their hopes. Kenneth Branagh uses his natural talent for characterisation to bring this village to life.

£13.99 $22.98 £9.00 €10.50 $15.00
  • In the Ravine
  • Oh! The Public
  • The Chorus Girl
  • The Trousseau
  • A Story Without A Title
  • Children
  • Misery
  • Fat and Thin
  • The Beggar
  • Hush!
  • The Orator
  • An Actor’s End
Incredible Adventures of Professor Branestawm, The (unabridged) http://www.naxosaudiobooks.com/incredible-adventures-of-professor-branestawm-the-unabridged/ The Incredible Adventures of Professor Branestawm Junior Classics unabridged Single 0061 9781843795254 9781843795261 Norman Hunter
Martin Jarvis
4 61 04:11:49 JUV007000 Available World

Eccentric, absent-minded inventor Professor Branestawm embarks on a series of adventures with his friend Colonel Dedshott. Various machines are invented: a time travel-machine, a device to capture and tie up burglars, and a spring-cleaning machine. Inevitably, something goes wrong and Professor Branestawm is again in a pickle, exasperating his housekeeper Mrs Flittersnoop and delighting us.

£16.99 $28.98 £11.00 €12.50 $19.00 Jul11

Martin [Jarvis] also reads The Incredible Adventures of Professor Branestawm by Norman Hunter. Unbelievably, these tales were first published in 1933 – and sound as if they’d been written today. Branestawm is the epitome of the mad professor, inventing a machine that gets you where you want to go before you’ve even left, a spring cleaning machine that doesn’t quite work as intended, and all sorts of other things that will have 7–11-year-olds hugging themselves with glee. Beautifully appropriate music, a Naxos signature, adds to the pleasure.

Kati Nicholl, Daily Express

Inferno, The (unabridged) http://www.naxosaudiobooks.com/inferno-the-unabridged/ The Inferno A New translation by Benedict Flynn Poetry unabridged Single 431712 9789626343173 9789629546526 Dante
Heathcote Williams
4 61 04:10:30 POE019000 Available World

‘Abandon all hope you who enter here’ (Lasciate ogne speranza voi ch’intrate) Dante’s Hell is one of the most remarkable visions in Western literature. An allegory for his and future ages, it is, at the same time, an account of terrifying realism. Passing under a lintel emblazoned with these frightening words, the poet is led down into the depths by Virgil and shown those doomed to suffer eternal torment for vices exhibited and sins committed on earth. Inferno is the first part of the long journey which continues through redemption to revelation – through Purgatory and Paradise – and, in this translation prepared especially for Audiobook, his images are as vivid as when the poem was first written in the early years of the fourteenth century.

£16.99 $28.98 £11.00 €12.50 $19.00 Benedict Flynn
Innocence of Father Brown – Volume 1, The (unabridged) http://www.naxosaudiobooks.com/innocence-of-father-brown-volume-1-the-unabridged/ The Innocence of Father Brown – Volume 1 Classic Fiction unabridged Single 496312 9789626349632 9789629548643 G.K. Chesterton
David Timson
4 67 04:38:28 FIC004000 Available World

Father Brown is an eccentric priest with his own particular ways of dealing with crime. David Timson, having completed the whole of Arthur Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes canon – a remarkable achievement – turns his hand to the genial but certainly not innocent priest! This collection contains a group of stories from the Innocence of Father Brown, told unabridged.

£16.99 $28.98 £11.00 €12.50 $19.00 Jun09
  • The Blue Cross
  • The Secret Garden
  • The Queer Feet
  • The Flying Stars
  • The Invisible Man
  • The Honour of Israel Gow

David Timson is one of those audio-book readers who, rather than giving a “signature” performance like some of the big stars of the genre, simply inhabits and projects his subjects with a delicate empathy, so it’s the book and its characters that linger in the mind. Which makes him an excellent choice for G.K. Chesterton’s tales of the unassuming Catholic priest who claims that his work at the confessional (where he has to do “next to nothing but hear men’s real sins”) puts him in an excellent position to solve the bizarre crimes that come his way in pre-first-world-war England. Chesterton’s prose can be as ostentatiously extravagant as an Edwardian grandee’s moustache, and is marred by a breezy anti-semitism. This, though, does not seem to be shared by the unassuming cleric, whose humble conviction that his God will eventually triumph over the souls of even the most evil of criminals is the quiet but insistent heartbeat of these unusual exercises in detective fiction.

Karen Robinson, The Sunday Times

Great detectives in printed fiction (forget about those created for television) are sometimes hard to tell apart. Sherlock Holmes is unmistakable, but he might be mistaken for Poe’s Dupin of The Murders in the Rue Morgue by one unfamiliar with both. Nero Wolfe is unique, seldom leaving his office and depending on reports from his assistant. Another one-of-a-kind sleuth is the Catholic priest, Father Brown.

He appeared for the first time in 1911 from the pen (or typewriter) of G.K. Chesterton. Unlike other detectives being invented at that time, he does not look so much at clues as at the way people act. Being a priest, he has heard enough confessions to give him an insight into the thinking patterns of criminals. Of course, Chesterton is careful to supply enough information for his character to put the pieces together, sometimes beyond the bounds of reason.

For example, in one tale Brown prevents a crime by analyzing the pattern made by a series of footsteps outside a door! In another, he realizes that because a man is found with an arrow in his back, it did not have to come from a bow. And so on. Religious matters are used only to further the plot, not to convert a character or the reader.

So at present, I am having a wonderful time listening to two Naxos boxed AudioBooks titled The Innocence of Father Brown, Volumes 1 and 2 respectively.

The first includes unabridged readings of The Blue Cross, The Secret Garden, The Queer Feet, The Flying Stars, The Invisible Man, and The Honour of Israel Gow. The second holds The Wrong Shape, The Sins of Prince Saradine, The Hammer of God, The Eye of Apollo, The Sign of the Broken Sword, and The Three Tools of Death. Each is as much fun as the title, with added spice provided by the master thief (soon to reform and become a detective) Flambeau and the intrepid (but soon to go too far) French detective Valentine. But in such recordings, much depends on the reader; and here, veteran Naxos narrator David Timson does his usual splendid job in keeping the pace moving and the listener riveted.

Frank Behrens, Art Times, Brattleboro Reformer, Bellows Falls Town Crier, Keene Sentinel

Innocence of Father Brown – Volume 2, The (unabridged) http://www.naxosaudiobooks.com/innocence-of-father-brownandnbspandndash-volumeandnbsp2-the-unabridged/ The Innocence of Father Brown – Volume 2 Classic Fiction unabridged Single 497312 9789626349731 9789629548728 G.K. Chesterton
David Timson
4 67 04:35:00 FIC004000 Available World

Here are the six final stories from The Innocence of Father Brown relating the crime-solving adventures of a rather unconventional detective. Having accumulated wisdom and empathy from years of listening to the dark confessions of his parishioners, Father Brown is able to solve mysteries in a flash that confound all others. Here is an eccentric and loveable character that will appeal to fans of the legendary sleuth, Sherlock Holmes. The stories are engagingly read by David Timson. The Wrong Shape, The Sins of Prince Saradine, The Hammer of God, The Eye of Apollo, The Sign of the Broken Sword and The Three Tools of Death.

£16.99 $28.98 £11.00 €12.50 $19.00 Jun10

Great detectives in printed fiction (forget about those created for television) are sometimes hard to tell apart. Sherlock Holmes is unmistakable, but he might be mistaken for Poe’s Dupin of The Murders in the Rue Morgue by one unfamiliar with both. Nero Wolfe is unique, seldom leaving his office and depending on reports from his assistant. Another one-of-a-kind sleuth is the Catholic priest, Father Brown.

He appeared for the first time in 1911 from the pen (or typewriter) of G.K. Chesterton. Unlike other detectives being invented at that time, he does not look so much at clues as at the way people act. Being a priest, he has heard enough confessions to give him an insight into the thinking patterns of criminals. Of course, Chesterton is careful to supply enough information for his character to put the pieces together, sometimes beyond the bounds of reason.

For example, in one tale Brown prevents a crime by analyzing the pattern made by a series of footsteps outside a door! In another, he realizes that because a man is found with an arrow in his back, it did not have to come from a bow. And so on. Religious matters are used only to further the plot, not to convert a character or the reader.

So at present, I am having a wonderful time listening to two Naxos boxed AudioBooks titled The Innocence of Father Brown, Volumes 1 and 2 respectively.

The first includes unabridged readings of The Blue Cross, The Secret Garden, The Queer Feet, The Flying Stars, The Invisible Man, and The Honour of Israel Gow. The second holds The Wrong Shape, The Sins of Prince Saradine, The Hammer of God, The Eye of Apollo, The Sign of the Broken Sword, and The Three Tools of Death. Each is as much fun as the title, with added spice provided by the master thief (soon to reform and become a detective) Flambeau and the intrepid (but soon to go too far) French detective Valentine. But in such recordings, much depends on the reader; and here, veteran Naxos narrator David Timson does his usual splendid job in keeping the pace moving and the listener riveted.

Frank Behrens, Art Times, Brattleboro Reformer, Bellows Falls Town Crier, Keene Sentinel

Volume Two of this fine audio series contains six more of Chesterton’s Father Brown tales from “The Innocence of Father Brown” collection. In the short booklet that accompanies the audio disks, J.D. Evans mentions that Chesterton’s tales often concern madness and its link to evil. These six stories illustrate this theme. In each of these tales, Father Brown solves some mystery by combining his knowledge of the capacity of humans to do evil deeds with his powers of observation and his reasoning abilities. Chesterton weaves his tales in such a way that Father Brown can cleverly deduce the real state of affairs in the face of circumstantial “evidence.” In these six tales, Father Brown proves that a suspected suicide is actually a murder; that a suspected murder is actually a suicide; that a suspected accidental death is actually a murder; that a legend about a military hero is a cover-up of treason; an imposter was killed in a duel; and that the most obvious suspect did not commit a gruesome murder. As in the first volume of this series, David Timson’s semi-voiced reading is excellent. Timson has made more than 1,000 broadcasts for BBC Radio Drama and has read the entire Sherlock Holmes Canon for Naxos Audio. He makes good use of a broad range of accents and voices here to capture the wide variety of aristocratic and working class characters.

Hugh M. Flick, soundcommentary.com

Instruments of the Orchestra, The (unabridged) http://www.naxosaudiobooks.com/instruments-of-the-orchestra-the-unabridged/ The Instruments of the Orchestra Music unabridged Single 558040 9781843790426 9781843797364 Jeremy Siepmann
Jeremy Siepmann
7 195 08:01:52 MUS023000 Available World

Instruments of the orchestra, yes, but not just instruments in the orchestra. This is a set of portraits in depth, featuring individual instruments in many contexts (orchestral, chamber, folk, solo, operatic, cinematic, even jazz and avant-garde music) and in pieces from the Middle Ages to the present. Joining regular members are such exotic visitors as the eerie ondes martenot, the wind machine, banjos, bagpipes, coconuts, typewriters, six-shooters, taxi horns, and migrating swans − and the hundreds of examples range from illustrative snippets to entire movements. The first CD is devoted entirely to the violin, and the last to the greatest instrument at all, the orchestra itself.

£24.99 $41.98 £16.00 €18.50 $28.00
Introducing Postmodernism (abridged) http://www.naxosaudiobooks.com/introducing-postmodernism-abridged/ Introducing Postmodernism Non-fiction abridged Single 236312 9789626343630 9789629547035 Richard Appignanesi
Chris Garratt
Richard Appignanesi
2 29 01:58:06 HIS000000 Deleted Available World

Postmodernism seemed to promise an end to the grim Cold War era of nuclear confrontation and oppressive ideologies. The notoriously proclaimed ‘end of history’, the triumph of liberal democracy over Communist tyranny, proved to be an illusion, and we awoke in the anxious grip of globalization, unpredictable terrorism and unforeseen war. Has the twenty-first century resolved the question of postmodernism or are we more than ever ensnared in its perplexities? Recorded in association with Icon Books.

£10.99 $17.98 £7.00 €8.00 $12.00
Invisible Man, The (unabridged) http://www.naxosaudiobooks.com/invisible-man-the-unabridged/ The Invisible Man Classic Fiction unabridged Single 0018 9781843794332 9781843794349 H.G. Wells
Daniel Philpott
4 77 05:16:19 FIC004000 Available USA/Australia only

For copyright reasons, this title is only available in the USA and Australia. A stranger arrives in a small English town, wreathed in a hat, coat, goggles and bandages. It’s not just his identity he’s hiding, though; he has discovered the secret of invisibility, and believes it will lead him to ultimate power. But he needs to be able to control the process, and when the terrified villagers refuse to help him, he decides on bloody revenge. An immediate success when it first appeared, H.G. Wells’s adventure is at once chilling and thrilling, and one of the undisputed classics of science fiction.

£16.99 $28.98 £11.00 €12.50 $19.00 Sep10

Can you handle the unfamiliar? Is the fear of the unknown too much to handle? Science fiction great H. G. Wells asks these questions through his characters in the classic, The Invisible Man.  Griffin, a fanatical scientist, has successfully manipulated his body’s chemical structure and is now invisible to the human eye. Unable to revert to his original state, he is instantly ostracized by others’ fear and is forced to lie, cheat, and steal to maintain even the poorest of lifestyles. Hurt and alone, Griffin chooses to embrace his ability to incite terror, but soon succumbs to madness and must face the mob that he has created. Daniel Philpott’s accents bring Wells’ cast to life and produce a rhythm that truly does this famous story justice.

Kerry Keegan, SoundCommentary

It is difficult to imagine a character better suited to audio than an invisible man. Wells’s “grotesque romance,” particularly as read by Daniel Philpott, makes for riveting listening under any circumstances (though it is perhaps best savored in the dark) and can be enjoyed by audiences of all ages. As several other excellent audio editions of this 1897 tale have already been released—e.g. from Tantor Audio, with Scott Brick reading, and Blackstone Audio, with James Adams reading—the question for libraries not yet owning this classic on audio is which recording to acquire. Philpott’s powerful performance makes this Naxos edition the prime choice.

Library Journal Starred Review

R. Kent Rasmussen, Library Journal

A harrowing read from cover to cover, The Invisible Man is perfect for the audio format. The action-packed plot, eccentric characters, and entertaining dialogue could overwhelm a narrator, but British actor Daniel Philpott is the man for the job. His voice is energetic throughout the book and echoes the author’s ironic tone. His vocal characterisations are wonderfully diverse, running the gamut from elderly busybodies to country constables. Much of the dialogue is exceedingly humorous because of Philpott’s range of accents. The Invisible Man, insanely egotistical, is brought to life by Philpott’s portrayal of his infuriated outbursts and scattered thoughts. Even though Wells’s protagonist is difficult to imagine, Philpott’s narrative skill makes it clear why this novel is such a memorable classic.

D.M.W., AudioFile

Island Race, The (abridged) http://www.naxosaudiobooks.com/island-race-the-abridged/ The Island Race History abridged Single 304712 9789626340479 9789629547103 Sir Winston Churchill
Edward de Souza
3 57 03:54:42 HIS015000 Available Available Available World

Here is a history of Britain by one of its finest statesmen, a man who had himself crucially shaped events during perhaps the greatest crisis of modern times. Churchill’s resonant prose brings to vivid and compelling life the political, constitutional and military landmarks of our history his purpose, to show that a sense of how man may live decently and democratically grew from the heritage of these islands.

£13.99 $22.98 £9.00 €10.50 $15.00
Ivanhoe (abridged) http://www.naxosaudiobooks.com/ivanhoe-abridged/ Ivanhoe Classic Fiction abridged Single 289412 9789626348949 9789629547745 Sir Walter Scott
Jonathan Oliver
2 39 02:38:39 FIC004000 Available World

Written in 1819 but set in twelfth-century England, Ivanhoe is a tale of love struggling to survive against a violent backdrop of politics and war. Wilfred of Ivanhoe was thrown out of his father’s home when he fell in love with his father Cedric’s ward, Lady Rowena. Ivanhoe later returns from fighting in the Crusades and is wounded in a jousting tournament. A series of events follow, including the return of King Richard to England, resulting in Ivanhoe’s reconciliation with Cedric and his marriage to Rowena.

£10.99 $17.98 £7.00 €8.00 $12.00
Jacob’s Room (unabridged) http://www.naxosaudiobooks.com/jacob-s-room-unabridged/ Jacob's Room Classic Fiction unabridged Single 0148 9781843797685 9781843797692 Virginia Woolf
Juliet Stevenson
6 106 06:51:50 FIC004000 Available World

Published in 1922, the same year as Ulysses and The Waste Land, Jacob’s Room is Virginia Woolf’s own modernist manifesto. Ostensibly a study of a young man’s life on the eve of the Great War, it is really a bomb thrown into the world of the conventional novel, as she attempts to capture the richness and randomness of life’s encounters. Jacob Flanders is a mere point of contact between a crowd of people, appearing and disappearing in a tableau in which all is flux, without certainty and without a controlling viewpoint. But it seems that the author could not maintain this rigorous impersonality, and the radical technique breaks down, so that we finally see Jacob as a person, just as his world is blown apart.

£24.99 $41.98 £16.00 €18.50 $28.00 Feb14

Jacob’s Room, a classic modernist text, is more about language and the art of fiction than it is actually a story, which means the narrator has to be as alive to the pleasure of the exact right word as a thriller narrator is to the power of a car bomb. Juliet Stevenson is a perfect actor for the challenge. Her voice is lovely, her diction clean and precise, and she is so sensitive to nuance, to the rhythm of Woolf’s sentences, that she communicates her own excitement at Woolf’s achievement in a way that delights and even instructs. There is much beauty here, owing equally to Woolf’s art and Stevenson’s, and the ending is indelibly moving.

B.G., AudioFile

Jane Austen Collection – Volume 1, The (abridged) http://www.naxosaudiobooks.com/jane-austen-collection-volume-1-the-abridged/ The Jane Austen Collection – Volume 1 Emma | Mansfield Park | Northanger Abbey | The Biography Classic Fiction abridged Single 20212 9789626342022 Jane Austen
Juliet Stevenson
Teresa Gallagher
10 186 12:45:21 FIC004000 Available Deleted Available World

The award-winning series of Jane Austen novels on Naxos AudioBooks – in distinctive productions with music of the period – are now available repackaged with new covers and collected into two box sets. This is the first.

£35.00 $62.98 £23.00 €26.00 $41.00
Jane Austen Collection – Volume 2, The (abridged) http://www.naxosaudiobooks.com/jane-austen-collection-volume-2-the-abridged/ The Jane Austen Collection – Volume 2 Persuasion | Pride and Prejudice | Sense and Sensibility | Lady Susan Classic Fiction abridged Single 23012 9789626342299 Jane Austen
Juliet Stevenson
Jenny Agutter
Teresa Gallagher
Kim Hicks
11 202 13:48:32 FIC004000 Available Deleted Available World

The award-winning series of Jane Austen novels on Naxos AudioBooks – in distinctive productions with music of the period – are now available in two box sets. This is the second.

£38.50 $67.98 £25.00 €28.50 $44.00

If you like Victorian novels with chapters that begin ‘Fate is a cunning hussy and builds up her plan with unconsidered trifles’, Mrs Gaskell’s last book, about the various consequences of hasty marriages, is for you. It’s unfinished, which makes you wonder how much longer and more expensive it might have been, but that’s unfair. It’s a classic.

Sue Arnold, The Guardian

Jane Austen: A Biography (unabridged) http://www.naxosaudiobooks.com/jane-austen-a-biography-unabridged/ Jane Austen: A Biography Biographies unabridged Single 220112 9789626342015 9789629544607 Elizabeth Jenkins
Teresa Gallagher
2 37 02:30:20 BIO007000 Deleted Available World

This highly enjoyable account of the life of Jane Austen is regarded as the classic biography of one the greatest English novelists. It illustrates not only the character and opinions of an unusually perceptive and gifted woman, but also the social life amongst the county gentry of Georgian England. Outside her writing, Jane Austen’s main interest was her large and affectionate family and their circle of friends. This is the world she so brilliantly depicted in her novels, and Elizabeth Jenkins shows how often the settings and characters mirrored the writer’s own life in Hampshire.

£10.99 $17.98 £7.00 €8.00 $12.00
Jane Austen – The Complete Novels (unabridged) http://www.naxosaudiobooks.com/jane-austen-the-complete-novels-unabridged/ Jane Austen – The Complete Novels Classic Fiction unabridged Box Set 27412 9789626342749 9789629549473 Jane Austen
Juliet Stevenson
Emilia Fox
Anna Bentinck
69 1215 83:17:55 FIC004000 Available Deleted Available World

Naxos AudioBooks has long been dedicated to creating exemplary audiobook recordings of Jane Austen classics, employing the amazing vocal talents of Juliet Stevenson and Emilia Fox. Now, for the first time, the entire collection of these perennially popular novels is available as an audiobook box set – providing over 80 hours of compelling storytelling. This magnificent collection includes Austen’s six major novels and recordings of her unfinished novels – Sanditon and The Watsons. Jane Austen – The Complete Novels offers a supremely enjoyable experience of Austen’s novels and is an essential collector’s item.

£199.00 $250.00 £130.00 €146.50 $163.00 Oct09

Eight hours longer even than Naxos’ complete Sherlock Holmes, this has got to be the audiobook box set of the decade! All six complete major novels are read here in mellifluous and engagingly vital voices which – however many times you listen – instantly draw you into Jane Austen’s world.

Rachel Redford, The Observer

Together for the first time, the complete and unabridged audio recordings of Jane Austen’s novels handsomely presented in a boxed set. Counting 69 CDs and running over 83 hours, this is the Holy Grail of Austen audio book recording as only Naxos could present with superb readings by Juliet Stevenson, Emilia Fox, and Anna Bentinck. Included are Austen’s six major novels, the novella Lady Susan and her unfinished novels Sanditon and The Watsons. This is definitely the essential collector’s item. ‘Nuff said!

Laurel Ann, austenprose.wordpress.com

Top of the boxed sets is Jane Austen: The Complete Novels, read by Juliet Stevenson, Emilia Fox and Anna Bentinck, flaunting alongside the favourites of television drama the less-familiar Northanger Abbey and Lady Susan.

Carole Mansur, Telegraph

While I haven’t listened to all of them, I listened to the Jane Austen biography, and am finishing up Northanger Abbey as of this post. With a 45-minute commute, these audiobook CDs have become treasured friends. I am always amazed at the talent Naxos AudioBooks gets to narrate their classic releases, and Juliet Stevenson is no exception. She is an accomplished actress of stage and screen, and delivers captivating performances on these discs.

Janet Hagen, eCommerce Manager, Naxos of America

Jane Eyre (abridged) http://www.naxosaudiobooks.com/jane-eyre-abridged/ Young Adult Classics – Jane Eyre Young Adult Classics – Young Adult Classics abridged Single 394712 9789626349472 9789629548391 Charlotte Brontë
Emma Fielding
3 57 03:55:03 CD-ROM YAF009000 Available Available World

‘Young Adult Classics’ is a new series from Naxos AudioBooks which aims to bring key works of literature to a young audience in abridged form. Lively, accessible readings with music is the key. But also important are the extra bonus CD-ROM tracks including abridged and unabridged texts, and Top Teacher’s Notes by high profile English teacher and writer Francis Gilbert. Jane Eyre is the tale of a young governess who becomes entangled with the powerful Mr Rochester, finding mystery and uneasiness in his house. This is part of the ‘Young Adult Classics’ series launched by Naxos AudioBooks in 2009: each title contains a CD-ROM with extensive ‘teacher notes’ and the full text of the audiobook.

£10.99 $17.98 £7.00 €8.00 $12.00 Feb09

What makes this special apart from Emma Fielding’s deft narration is the bonus CD-ROM which contains the unabridged text and a study guide by Francis Gilbert. Although the guide targets “young adults”, any intelligent reader will find it stimulating. One of a series and amazingly good value.

Rachel Redford, The Observer

Time-crunched students and creative educators will welcome this abridged version of the classic novel. Fielding transports listeners into the 1800s; her tone and British accent subtly communicate the gradations of social strata, with characters distinguished by vocal modulation. Archaic sentence structure becomes the flow of natural speech, and Fielding’s pace combines with the skillful abridgement to propel listeners through the tale. Musical segues mark transitions through the use of period classical selections. The audio package includes a CD-ROM featuring the abridged and unabridged texts and a study guide. Other titles in Naxos’ Young Adult Classics series are Frankenstein, The Hound of the Baskervilles, and Pride and Prejudice.

Mary Burkey, Booklist

Jane Eyre (abridged) http://www.naxosaudiobooks.com/jane-eyre-abridged-2/ Jane Eyre Classic Fiction abridged Single 308612 9789626340868 9789629544621 Charlotte Brontë
Emma Fielding
3 57 03:55:09 FIC004000 Available World

One of the greatest love stories ever written, Jane Eyre is the tale of a young woman entangled with the powerful Mr Rochester. What lurks in the attic at Thornfield, the ancestral home of the surly Mr Rochester? Will the governess Jane Eyre discover his secret – and having discovered it, live to regret that knowledge? Battling inside Jane are passion and prudence; she struggles to survive the turmoil they cause.

£13.99 $22.98 £9.00 €10.50 $15.00
Jane Eyre (unabridged) http://www.naxosaudiobooks.com/jane-eyre-unabridged/ Jane Eyre Classic Fiction unabridged Single 35712 9789626343579 9789629544638 Charlotte Brontë
Amanda Root
17 299 20:34:11 FIC004000 Available World

One of the greatest love stories ever written, Jane Eyre is the tale of a young woman entangled with the powerful Mr Rochester. What lurks in the attic at Thornfield, the ancestral home of the surly Mr Rochester? Will the governess Jane Eyre discover his secret – and having discovered it, live to regret that knowledge? Battling inside Jane are passion and prudence; she struggles to survive the turmoil they cause.

£55.00 $98.98 £36.00 €40.50 $64.00

Most people are familiar with the story of Jane Eyre, the mousey governess who falls in love with the master of Thornfield Hall while his mad wife rants and raves in the attic. But to appreciate the complex issues that Charlotte Brontë addresses, it’s necessary to listen with care – Jane Eyre challenged the conventions of womanhood and marriage as well as subtly highlighting the racist sentiments of the day.

With all this in mind, Amanda Root gives a polished reading full of understanding of the text. She lingers long on the imagery that conveys the idea of women as prisoners to convention and cleverly develops Jane’s character through the stages of her life that see her transformed from an angry little girl to a woman of independent means and ideas. Classy budget CD label Naxos AudioBooks have produced an unrivalled unabridged edition, beautifully packaged and easy to use.

Sue Arnold, The Guardian

John Donne (selections) http://www.naxosaudiobooks.com/john-donne-selections/ The Great Poets – John Donne The Great Poets – Poetry selections Single 135712 9781843793571 9789629549640 John Donne
Geoffrey Whitehead
Will Keen
1 17 01:09:35 POE005020 Available World

Sophisticated wit and intense emotion, religious fervour and erotic sensuality, delight in life’s pleasures and fascination with death, are all to be found in the paradoxical poetry of John Donne. One of the foremost metaphysical poets, Donne’s ingenious metaphors and inspired use of language has earned him affection and reverence in near equal measure to Shakespeare. This collection of his finest poetry showcases the diverse range of his work, and includes Death Be Not Proud, A Hymn to God the Father, For Whom the Bell Tolls, Go Catch a Falling Star, The Flea and To His Mistress Going to Bed.

£8.99 $14.98 £6.00 €6.50 $10.00 Jun10
  • The Anniversary
  • A Valediction Forbidding Mourning
  • Holy Sonnet – Batter my heart, three person’d god
  • The Sun Rising
  • Elegy – On His Mistress
  • The Bait
  • Elegy – To His Mistress Going to Bed
  • Holy Sonnet – Death, be not proud
  • The Canonisation
  • The Computation
  • Song – Go and catch a falling star
  • Holy Sonnet – I am a little world made cunningly
  • The Triple Fool
  • The Indifferent
  • Witchcraft by a Picture
  • Negative Love
  • The Good Morrow
  • Love’s Infiniteness
  • Satire 3
  • Good Friday 1613, Riding Westward
  • The Flea
  • Funeral Elegy on Himself
  • Elegy – The Autumnal
  • Holy Sonnet – Oh, to vex me, contraries meet in one
  • The Dissolution
  • Love’s Alchemy
  • The Prohibition
  • Holy Sonnet – Thou has made me
  • A Nocturnal Upon St Lucy’s Day, being the shortest day
  • Love’s Diet
  • The Relic
  • The Ecstasy
  • A Hymn to God the Father

The best readers of poetry don’t recite it; they enact it, taking on the character of the narrator. The poetry of Metaphysical poet John Donne – once ranked with the works of Shakespeare and Milton – has at least two facets, so it’s fitting that this production has two narrators. Geoffrey Whitehead brings out the passion of Donne’s religious poetry, particularly the selections from the Holy Sonnets, and Will Keen specializes in the poems about love and sensuality. The two voices are very different, echoing the dualism that is one of Donne’s hallmarks. Both men remind us of the intense feeling that underlies the formalism of seventeenth-century English poetry at its best.

D.M.H., AudioFile

Joseph Andrews (unabridged) http://www.naxosaudiobooks.com/joseph-andrews-unabridged/ Joseph Andrews Classic Fiction unabridged Single 0200 9781843798941 9781843798958 Henry Fielding
John Telfer
11 208 13:32:36 FIC004000 Available World

In one of the first novels in the English language, we follow the picaresque adventures of Joseph Andrews, a virtuous young man who is keen to maintain his innocence, despite being coerced into bed by nearly every woman he encounters. The episodic journey sees him head home to London with his tutor, Parson Adams, with the aim of finding his sweetheart, Fanny. Much mayhem ensues along the way as they become embroiled in a series of escapades and slapstick brawls. Fielding is an expert satirist and through the many twists and turns of narration, he combines high and low literature with high and low humour to create a witty novel that he aptly named a ‘comic epic poem in prose’.

£38.50 $67.98 £25.00 €28.50 $44.00 Apr15
Jude the Obscure (unabridged) http://www.naxosaudiobooks.com/jude-the-obscure-unabridged/ Jude the Obscure Classic Fiction unabridged Single 0112 9781843796787 9781843796794 Thomas Hardy
Neville Jason
14 255 17:24:37 FIC004000 Available World

Sexually innocent Jude Fawley is trapped into marriage by the seductive Arabella Donn, but their union is an unhappy one and Arabella leaves him. Jude’s welcome freedom allows him to pursue his obsession with his pretty cousin Sue Bridehead, a brilliant, charismatic freethinker who would be his ideal soul mate if not for her aversion to physical love. When Jude and Sue decide to lead their lives outside marriage they bring down on themselves all the force of a repressive society. This fearless and outspoken story caused a furore on its publication and was Hardy’s last novel.

£50.00 $89.98 £33.00 €37.00 $58.50 May13

This is an absolute treat to listen to, superbly interpreted, and with each of the many characters having its own unique voice, this classic comes alive in the hands of a truly gifted narrator. Neville Jason trained at Royal Academy of Dramatic Art, where he was awarded the diction prize by Sir John Gielgud. He has been a member of the BBC Radio Drama Company, and may be heard in radio plays, documentaries and arts programs. Hardy’s rather prescient novel puts issues of class, marriage, sexuality and gender in the 19th century under a microscope. Not surprising that it caused a furore when it was published. For those who have read the book this is a ‘must listen’; for those new to the novel, it is a compelling performance and shouldn’t be missed.

Sue Rosenzweig, Sound Commentary

After disastrous first marriages, Jude Fawley and Sue Bridehead find love – which Sue is reluctant to tarnish by marriage, a decision for which society cruelly marginalises them. Through the doomed trajectory of their lives, Hardy sympathetically explores the fault lines in Victorian attitudes to marriage and in the couple’s vain attempts to sustain their ‘highest and purest love’.

Rachel Redford, The Oldie

Hardy’s most haunting novel follows Jude’s piteous loyalty to his enigmatic muse, Sue Bridehead. Narrator Neville Jason evokes Hardy’s sombre tone through his resonant voice and measured pace, eloquently moving the listener through the novel’s descriptive prose. The story takes place in Hardy’s Wessex country, among artisans and teachers. Jason captures the dialects of the region in his vocal characterisations. He is particularly effective in his emphatic performance of the continual bickering between Jude and his first wife, Arabella. Jason’s attention to the intonation of Hardy’s style compels the listener through this unsettling love story.

D.M.W., AudioFile

Julius Caesar (unabridged) http://www.naxosaudiobooks.com/julius-caesar-unabridged/ Julius Caesar Directed by David Timson Shakespeare unabridged Single 0082 9781843795797 9781843795803 William Shakespeare
Sean Barrett
Andrew Buchan
Paul Rhys
Pip Carter
Oliver Le Sueur
Stephen Critchlow
Harry Somerville
Emily Raymond
Joannah Tincey
Roger May
David Antrobus
Charlie Morton
Roy McMillan
Joe Marsh
Adrian Grove
John Cummins
James Phelips
David Timson
2 33 02:16:33 DRA010000 Available Available World

Julius Caesar is Shakespeare’s most political play. He examines whether political assassination can ever be justified, and the effect of this act of violence on its perpetrators. The high ideals of Brutus are tested to the full by the consequences of Julius Caesar’s murder; as is the self-interest of Cassius, whilst in the chaos that ensues, the opportunism of Mark Antony and Octavius is served rather than the cause of freedom. A classic study of power, Shakespeare shows the devastating effect political decisions can have on personal lives.

£10.99 $17.98 £7.00 €8.00 $12.00 Apr12 Nicolas Soames David Timson

In this classic play, Brutus grapples with his own loyalties – is he devoted to Rome or to Caesar? How best to serve one’s homeland? This production works a kind of magic, lending realism to the struggles within. Ambient background noise creates three-dimensional scenes without overwhelming the actors, whose understanding of the material makes the timeless prose contemporary. The play offers a fast pace; thankfully, the performers’ phrasing and superb enunciation keep the listener close. Especially enjoyable are the moments that have transcended time to remain a part of our language and culture. For example, we are reminded that ‘[c]owards die many times before their deaths; the valiant never taste of death but once’.

L.B.F., AudioFile

Jung (abridged) http://www.naxosaudiobooks.com/jung-abridged/ Very Short Introductions – Jung Very Short Introductions – Non-fiction abridged Single 329812 9789626342985 9789629547080 Anthony Stevens
Tim Pigott-Smith
3 57 03:52:59 PSY045060 Available World

Anthony Stevens argues that Jung’s visionary powers and profound spirituality have helped many to find an alternative set of values to the arid materialism prevailing in Western society. This concise introduction explains clearly the basic concepts of Jungian psychology; the collective unconscious, complex, archetype, shadow, persona, anima, animus and the individuation of the Self. Anthony Stevens examines Jung’s views on such disparate subjects as myth, religion, alchemy, ‘synchronicity’, and the psychology of gender differences. He devotes separate chapters to the stages of life, Jung’s theory of psychological types, the interpretation of dreams and the practice of Jungian analysis. Jung’s individual theories remain among the most fascinating of twentieth-century psychologists. This introduction will prove popular among a wide range of listeners – outside of the psychological fraternity.

£13.99 $22.98 £9.00 €10.50 $15.00
Jungle Books, The (abridged) http://www.naxosaudiobooks.com/jungle-books-the-abridged/ The Jungle Books Junior Classics abridged Single 303512 9789626340356 9789629544096 Rudyard Kipling
Madhav Sharma
3 55 03:46:04 JUV007000 Available Available World

Kipling’s tales of Mowgli and his exciting life in the Indian jungle have been loved by children and adults alike ever since their publication in 1895. Mowgli the ‘man-cub’ must learn to fend for himself against terrible foes like Shere Khan the tiger, but he can always call upon his friends Baloo the Bear, Bagheera the Black Panther and Kaa the Rock Python from whom he learns the Law of the Jungle.

£13.99 $22.98 £9.00 €10.50 $15.00
Junior Homer, The (unabridged) http://www.naxosaudiobooks.com/junior-homer-the-unabridged/ The Junior Homer Junior Classics unabridged Single 23712 9789626342374 Benedict Flynn
Benjamin Soames
4 72 05:03:57 JUV007000 Available Available Available World