Good Reading : August 2007
36 goodreading ı AUGUST 2007 word of mouth audio books The Righteous Men Written by Sam Bourne Read by Kerry Shale Aficionados of the Dan Brown thriller sub-genre will find The Righteous Men right up their dark, labyrin- thine alleys. Actually, it’s a lot better written than Dan Brown’s bestsellers, if no less pre- posterous. Wil Munroe, a rookie reporter for the New York Times, stumbles upon a seemingly ordinary murder of a pimp in the city. His subsequent investigation into the man’s life discovers one odd fact: despite being a recognised lowlife, hewasalsoaverygoodman–a righteous man, as the title suggests. Subsequent deaths reveal that men of extraordinary altruism are being murdered all over the world. When his beloved wife, Beth, is kidnapped by the Hasidic Jews of Crown Heights, Brooklyn, Wil has to solve a series of riddles to discover who is behind the murders of the Righteous Men. While The Da Vinci Code explored Christian mythology, The Righteous Men uses obscure kabbalistic traditions as the basis for its apocalyptic narrative. Seasoned listeners will probably pick the whodunnit pretty early in the piece, but almost definitely not the why. In this respect, The Righteous Men offers plenty of satisfying twists and tur ns. Actor Ker ry Shale is a pleasant reader and creates his characters well and overall, it’s an enjoyable few hours listening. ★★★ HarperCollins Audio 5 CDs (6 hours) $43.99 Reviewed by Elizabeth Bentley The Definitive Book of Body Language Written and read by Allan & Barbara Pease After jaunty intro- ductory music, Allan Pease promises listeners that by the end of these CDs they will be able to spot when someone is feeding them a line or telling them porkies. He then gives a potted history of research into non-verbal communication – which, when you think about it, is an enor mous part of our daily interactions, indicated by the number of ter ms we use such as ‘if looks could kill’ and ‘the silent treatment’. I approached this audio book with caution, but ended up finding myself istening avidly as the Peases explained the automatic body gestures – from hand-to-face movements to ar m folding, rom head gestures (including he famous ‘head wobble’ of India) to mirroring and readiness signals – that to the trained observer indicate intentions and truthfulness, or lack thereof. They explain how cultural differ- ences impact on body language around the world. They’re funny, too, about white lies, the oil that greases our social interactions, and about courtship gestures and how they differ between men and women. Fascinating stuff. ★★★★ Pease International 3 CDs (3 hours 50 minutes) $29.95 Reviewed by Alison Pressley The Death of Dalziel Written by Reginald Hill Read by Colin Buchanan Abridged Iread this book and thoroughly enjoyed it (my review appeared in gr April 2007) and now with Colin Buchanan’s excellent reading I’ve just enjoyed it all over again. Somehow, hearing Reginald Hill’s words rather than reading them adds an extra dimension to this complex tale of ter rorism and security force politics in present-day Britain. It also emphasizes Hill’s razor-sharp wit: hapless PC Hector, the butt of many a station joke, is described at a stakeout as being ‘coiled around the rear wheel with all the menace of a piece of bacon rind. ‘Sir?’, Hill tells us, was ‘Hector’s usual response to a variety of approaches from “Hello” to “Help, I’m drowning”.’ Buchanan manages to sound convincingly like the fat man him- self, lugubrious Wieldy, a Scottish woman, an Asian-Yorkshire lad, Pascoe’s svelte novel-writing wife Ellie and sundry other characters. I didn’t notice any obvious cutting, either. Highly entertaining. ★★★★ HarperCollins Audio 5 CDs (6 hours) $39.99 Reviewed by Alison Pressley Robin Hood Read by Richard Armitage The original caped crusader is back on ABC TV and now fans can get their hands on this BBC audio version of the first four stories: ‘Will you Tolerate This?’, ‘Sheriff Got Your Tongue’, ‘Who Shot the Sheriff ’ and ‘Parent Hood’. Read by Richard Armitage, who plays Guy of Gisborne in the new series, they remain true to its lighthearted spirit – indeed, if you’ve been tuning in on Sunday nights, you can almost see the action unfold as you listen to this MP3. Armitage is a fine actor and he’s obvi- usly watched his cast members closely nd tried to recreate their characters in hese stories. By and large, he succeeds, revealing a talent for comedy belied by the brooding menace of Gisbor ne. The cherry on top is a series of interviews with Ar mitage giving a behind-the-scenes account of the film- ing of Robin Hood. While this might be fascinating for the genuine obsessive, I found them a little dull. Much more interesting would have been discussion on the real life and times of one of England’s most enduring heroic legends. ★★★ BBC Audio 1 MP3-CD (6 hours 40 minutes) $29.95 Reviewed by Elizabeth Bentley Everything about books www.goodreadingmagazine.com ONLINE www.goodreadingmagazine.com find a bookshop near you!