Robert Cooper

Feeling pleasantly uncomfortable

It is rare for stories to be specially commissioned for an audio book, but as Maxim Jakubowski, the editor of The Sounds of Crime tells us in a pre-thrill talk, he ‘begged’ the five writers he considered to be the best in their field to produce a new story for this collection; and ‘happily for

A quest for identity

If it had been possible to listen to Howard Jacobson’s brilliant Booker Prize-short- listed novel in one sitting I would happily have done so; but even on motorways congested to the point of strangulation, a return journey from Chipping Norton to Brighton has yet to take 13 hours. If it had been possible to listen

Recent audio books | 22 November 2008

To some of us solitude may be sitting on a park bench amidst a bustling city. To Trond Sander, seclusion is a rickety forest cabin in the far east of Norway. For company his only companion is his dog, Lyra. Isolation is 67-year-old Trond’s chosen existence — ‘all my life I have longed to be

A passage from India

Sea of Poppies, by Amitav Ghosh, read by Lyndham Gregory Ever been called a ‘dung-brained gubberhead’ or had your face compared to ‘a bandar’s bunghole’? Welcome aboard the Ibis, a rancid former slaving schooner now transporting migrants, coolies, criminals and opium from Calcutta to China. Here amidst the pounding seas we have the perfect backcloth

A choice of recent audio books

Even though Rudyard Kipling died 70 years ago, listeners to Plain Tales from the Hills are sure to gain the beloved storyteller some new followers. I’m certainly joining the fan club. Never engrossed by ‘Gunga Din’, ‘If’ or ‘the great grey-green greasy Limpopo River’, I was astounded how quickly I became hooked on these stories

Hellish motorway experience

Listening to Jim Norton reading The Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man on this outstanding recording is a first-class way of either revisiting James Joyce’s autobiographical novel or of dipping your toe in the water for the first time. I am a toe-dipper and whilst there were moments when Joyce’s ‘stream of consciousness’

Recent audio books

Aclogged up motorway can provide the ideal conditions to play the balloon game; re-routed angst and venom will guarantee the ultimate cathartic experience. Raise your eyes to the heavens. The dot in the azure sky is a hot-air balloon heading earthwards at a disturbing rate. The basket dangling beneath the shrinking sac is crammed with