The Janissary Tree
Istanbul 1836: ten years after the Janissaries, the Sultan’s elite guard, had been disbanded and slaughtered, men from the New Guard go missing; while in the palace, a young concubine has been murdered. These first, mysterious cases for Yashim, the eunuch detective, are read by Andrew Sachs. Abridged. 4 CDs: 4hrs
The Snake Stone
A Yashim the Eunuch Mystery
In 1838, Maximilien Lefèvre, a French archaeologist, arrives in Istanbul to excavate a Byzantine treasure, but rumours about his real motives abound and Yashim is hired to investigate him. Then Lefèvre’s mutilated body is discovered, and in his second case, Yashim himself becomes the suspect. Read by Andrew Sachs. Abridged.
Hell Was an Ocean Away
From the Japanese invasion of the Philippines to General MacArthur's arrival in Japan in August 1945, this narrative of the Pacific war is based on the experiences of five American servicemen – one navy pilot and four marines, including the hero of Guadalcanal and Medal of Honor recipient John Basilone. The book is read on this audio version by Mike Chamberlain.
The Lady Elizabeth
The Lady Elizabeth is the daughter of Henry VIII, but disinherited and declared a bastard after the execution of her mother. How the young Elizabeth survives the savage world of Tudor politics, inherits the throne and becomes queen is the subject of Alison Weir's novel. It is read here by Emma Fielding. Abridged.
Confessions of an English Opium-Eater
Thomas De Quincey's powerful autobiographical study describes the psychological effects of his addiction to opium: childhood experience turning into dreams, at first euphoric, but becoming horrific as dependence on the drug deepened. Published in 1822, the book brought De Quincey literary fame and was an important influence on later writers. It is read here by Gunnar Cauthery. Unabridged.
The Essential Edgar Allan Poe
Stories. Poems. Biography
Although stories such as The Pit and the Pendulum, The Tell-Tale Heart and The Murders in the Rue Morgue have remained popular to this day, Edgar Allan Poe (1809–1849) felt that his vocation was poetry. This collection includes both stories and poems, plus a biography of Poe. The works are unabridged and read by Kerry Shale, William Roberts and John Chancer.
The Golden Notebook
Set in London in the late 1950s, this novel by the Nobel laureate Doris Lessing (1919–2013) describes the challenges of life in the aftermath of war. It follows the psychological turmoil of Anna, a novelist and a single mother – as Lessing was – struggling to cope as her personal life and political certainties collapse around her. The Golden Notebook (1962) is read here by Juliet Stevenson. Unabridged.
Jane Austen's first novel, Lady Susan is written in epistolary style and tells the story of the recently widowed Lady Susan Vernon, an intelligent and highly manipulative woman intent on procuring financially secure matches for herself and her daughter. The novel is read here by a full cast led by Harriet Walter.
The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde
Ian Holm narrates the famous tale of Dr Henry Jekyll and the elixir which he hoped would help him explore the hidden depths of his personality. Jekyll's experiments coincided with the appearance of Mr Edward Hyde on London's streets; but how are the two men related and how can the evil Hyde be stopped? 2 CDs, running time 2.5 hours.
In Mary Shelley’s powerful Promethean fable, Dr Frankenstein’s experiment and its terrible outcome is told through the letters of an English explorer who met the doomed scientist as he pursued his monster into the Arctic wilderness. This abridged version is read by Daniel Philpott, Jonathan Oliver and Chris Larkin. Naxos Young Adult Classics. 2 CDs 2hrs 37mins, plus a bonus CD-ROM with a full text and study guide.
In Mary Shelley’s powerful Promethean fable, Dr Frankenstein’s experiment and its terrible outcome is told through the letters of an English explorer who met the doomed scientist as he pursued his monster into the Arctic wilderness. Read by Daniel Philpott, Roger May and Jonathan Oliver.
The Master and Margarita
One of the most popular Russian novels of the 20th century, The Master and Margarita blends surrealism and political satire with a dazzling cast that includes Satan, Pontius Pilate and a talking cat. This careful abridgement of a new translation is read by the charismatic Julian Rhind-Tutt.
The Mayor of Casterbridge
While drunk at the county fair, hay-trusser Michael Henchard sold his wife and child for five guineas. The next morning he vowed to redeem himself by abstinence and hard work; and eventually he rose to the rank of mayor. Then, 18 years after being sold, his wife returns. Read by Anton Lesser. 10 CDs 12hrs 20mins.
Around the World in Eighty Days
Having made a wager at his gentlemen’s club in London, Phileas Fogg, along with his long-suffering manservant Passepartout, sets off on the race of a lifetime – to circumnavigate the globe in exactly 80 days. In pursuit is Detective Fix, convinced that Fogg is a bank robber. Read by Bill Homewood. Unabridged.
Mightier than the Sword
This fifth book in the Clifton Chronicles series opens with an IRA bomb exploding during MV Buckingham’s maiden voyage – with repercussions for Emma Clifton, chairman of Barrington Shipping. Meanwhile, Harry Clifton is campaigning to free a Russian dissident author. Jeffrey Archer’s cliffhanger is read here by Alex Jennings. Unabridged.
Red and The Black
First published in 1830, Stendhal's great psychological novel tells the story of Julien Sorel, an ambitious and intelligent youth from a poor country family, who uses the church as his career path into society and thence the army; but Julien's fate is ultimately decided by his passion for two women. Here, Bill Homeward reads the Scott Moncrieff translation (1926). Abridged.