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The Family Way
  • 9780007217779
  • 15-06-2005
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The Family Way (Audio Download)
Tony Parsons / Samatha Bond

It should be the most natural thing in the world. But in Tony Parsons' latest bestseller, three couples discover that Mother Nature can be one hell of a bitch. A hard-working trainee doctor, Megan Jewell finds herself accidentally pregnant. She wants a baby one day - but God, not now! Can Megan really bring a baby into the world when she can hardly look after herself? Megan's happily married sister Jessica wants a baby - immediately. But can the perfect couple really find happiness without the child they so desperately crave? Cat Jewell, the oldest sister, is scarred by the memory of their mother walking out. She wants a baby - maybe. But what's a girl to do when the man in her life has seen and done it all before? Will Cat be forced to choose between him and motherhood? And what of their partners? Kirk, the Australian beach bum who fathers Megan's child Paulo, the doting husband who sees the best thing in his life collapsing for want of a child And Rory, the older man who just can't face going through it all again. Tony Parsons shows us once again the dilemmas and decisions that confront men today. Modern-day relationships are tested in this very realistic, contemporary story about procreation and new life.

Man and Boy
  • 9780007217786
  • 15-06-2005
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Man and Boy (Audio Download)
Tony Parsons / Colin Buchanan

A fabulously engaging and exciting novel about a man who has to learn about life and love the hard way. Harry Silver has it all. A successful job in TV, a gorgeous wife, a lovely child. And in one moment of madness, he chucks it all away. Man and Boy is the story of how he comes to terms with his life and achieves a degree of self-respect, bringing up his son alone and, gradually, learning what words like love and family really mean. It is very well written, pacy, funny, and heart-breakingly moving.

Winter Frost
  • 9780007218332
  • 15-06-2005
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Winter Frost (Audio Download)
R. D. Wingfield / David Jason

Winter in Denton is cold, bleak and a busy time for Detective Inspector Jack Frost, whose unsolved crime figures are mounting as he struggles to bring them down in the face of manpower shortages and budget cuts. Denton is currently having more than its fair share of crime. But Frost's main concern is for the safety of a missing schoolgirl. Nine weeks ago Vicky Stuart, eight years old, didn't return home from school and in spite of exhaustive enquiries and extensive searches, has never been seen since. Another little girl from the same school is reported missing. Her body is found raped and strangled. Frost's prime suspect, strongly protesting his innocence, hangs himself in his cell, leaving a note blaming Frost for driving him to suicide. Subsequent evidence points to the man's innocence. Coarse, insubordinate and fearless, DI Jack Frost is in serious trouble.

Frost At Christmas
  • 9780007218356
  • 15-06-2005
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Frost At Christmas (Audio Download)
R. D. Wingfield / David Jason

'Tis the season of good cheer throughout the world, but with only ten days to Christmas, on a bitter December afternoon eight-year-old, Tracy Uphill goes missing. Detective Inspector Jack Frost, Denton Police Force's scruffiest officer, knows they only have a limited time to find her - and he's also got to nursemaid Detective Constable Cliver Barnard, whose uncle just happens to be the Chief Constable. Then the bodies start to pile up and a crime committed many years before leads a murderer to kill again. R.D. Wingfield is in pulse-racing form as his always irreverent, always likeable hero with the common touch discovers whodunnit and why. Read by David Jason, star of the major TV series A Touch of Frost.

English Passengers
  • 9780007218387
  • 15-06-2005
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English Passengers (Audio Download)
Matthew Kneale / Simon Callow

WINNER - WHITBREAD BOOK OF THE YEAR 2000 The Reverend Geoffrey Wilson sets out from England, in the summer of 1857, with an expedition to find the Garden of Eden, which he is convinced lies on the island of Tasmania. Unknown to him, others in the party have very different agendas, notably the surgeon, Dr Potter, who is developing a revolutionary and sinister thesis of his own on the races of man. To complicate matters further, the ship Wilson has hurriedly chartered, crewed by Captain Kewley and his secretive Manxmen, is in fact an ill-starred smuggling vessel, its hidden compartments filled with contraband brandy and tobacco. As the vessel journeys haplessly southwards, in Tasmania itself an Aboriginal named Peevay recounts his people's struggle against the invading British, who prove as lethal in their good intentions as in their cruelty. This is no Eden but a world of hunting parties and colonial ethnic cleansing. As the English passengers near Peevay's land, their bizarre notions ever more painfully at odds with reality, it grows clear that a mighty collision is approaching.

The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn
  • 9780007218394
  • 15-06-2005
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The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn (Audio Download)
Mark Twain / Mike McShane

The classic tale of young scoundrel Huck Finn and runaway slave Jim's breathtaking raft journey down the Mississippi. A masterpiece of American literature. 'We said there warn't no home like a raft, after all. Other places do seem so cramped up and smothery, but a raft don't. You feel mighty free and easy and comfortable on a raft.' Huck Finn escapes from his alcoholic father by faking his own death and so begins his journey through the Deep South, seeking independence and freedom. On his travels, Huck meets an escaped slave, Jim, who is a wanted man, and together they journey down the Mississippi River. Raising the timeless and universal l issues of prejudice, bravery and hope, the Adventures of Huckleberry Finn was and still is considered the great American novel.

The Adventures of Tom Sawyer
  • 9780007218400
  • 15-06-2005
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The Adventures of Tom Sawyer (Audio Download)
Mark Twain / Mike McShane

Mark Twain's classic tale recounts the adventures of the ever resourceful Tom Sawyer and his friend Huckleberry Finn in the little town of St Petersburg, Missouri, on the banks of the Mississippi. A story of robbers, graveyards at midnight, buried treasure, and a deep and mysterious cave, 'Tom Sawyer' has lost none of its power to enthral and delight since it was first published in 1876.

Kidnapped
  • 9780007218417
  • 15-06-2005
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Kidnapped (Audio Download)
Robert Louis Stevenson / Tom Conti

The classic adventure story of kidnap, shipwreck, murder and pursuit as young David Balfour tries to claim the inheritance he has been cheated out of. 'I have seen wicked men and fools, a great many of both; and I believe they both get paid in the end; but the fools first.' Orphaned as a young teenager, Lowlander David Balfour's only relative is his guardian and uncle, Ebenezer. Ill-thought of and disliked by many, it's not long before Ebenezer betrays his nephew and David finds himself trapped aboard a ship. He soon strikes up a friendship with fugitive stranger and Scottish Highlander Alan Breck and becomes embroiled in the fierce Jacobite struggle against English rule. A tale of high-seas adventure, loyalty and fighting, the complex relationship between Alan and David stops Stevenson's novel from becoming 'just' a boys adventure novel.

Silas Marner
  • 9780007218424
  • 15-06-2005
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Silas Marner (Audio Download)
George Eliot / Hannah Gordon

The story of weaver Silas Marner, wrongly cast out of his religious community, who finds a reason for living when, one winter night, a little girl wanders into his cottage out of the snow. 'Our consciousness rarely registers the beginning of a growth within us any more than without us: there have been many circulations of the sap before we detect the smallest sign of the bud.' Set in the agricultural town of Raveloe in the English countryside, Silas Marner is a tragic figure. Exiled from a religious community because of a wrongful accusation of theft, he works from day to day as a weaver, saving his money and living a lonely life as a recluse. It is only when his money is stolen and a small orphan girl, Eppie appears in his life that Silas's fortunes begin to change and he truly begins to learn what it means to regain his faith in life.

Tess of the d'Urbervilles
  • 9780007218431
  • 15-06-2005
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Tess of the d'Urbervilles (Audio Download)
Thomas Hardy / Peter Firth

Tess, the young and lovely heroine of Hardy's classic tale, knows instinctively that the path she is choosing is the wrong one. But, a child of her times, what can she do but follow the dictates of her family? Against the lovely background of the English countryside, Thomas Hardy sets his tale of seduction and betrayal as Tess, his beautiful heroine, speeds to her destruction. Lusted after by one man, set on a pedestal by another, Thomas Hardy's lovely heroine Tess is betrayed by both. Full of images of light and shade, 'Tess Of The D'Urbervilles' makes splendid listening in a tale that is both passionate and tender.

The Blind Assassin
  • 9780007218448
  • 15-06-2005
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The Blind Assassin (Audio Download)
Margaret Atwood / Lorelei King

Available for the first time as a downloadable audio file. 'Ten days after the war ended, my sister Laura drove a car off a bridge.' Thus begins The Blind Assassin, Margaret Atwood's new novel. Laura Chase's older sister Iris, married at eighteen to a politically prominent industrialist but now poor and eighty-two, is living in Port Ticonderoga, a town dominated by their once-prosperous family before the First War. While bewailing her unreliable body and deriding those who try to help her, Iris reflects on her far from exemplary life and her perilous times, but in particular on the events surrounding her sister's tragic early death. Chief among these was the publication of The Blind Assassin, a novel which earned the dead Laura Chase a dollop of notoriety as well as a cult following: as Iris says, she herself lives 'in the long shadow cast by Laura'. Sexually explicit for its time and place, The Blind Assassin describes a risky affair in the turbulent thirties between a wealthy young woman and a left-leaning man on the run.

Swann's Way
  • 9780007218455
  • 15-06-2005
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Swann's Way (Audio Download)
Marcel Proust / Simon Callow

"If you've never got round to reading this famous philosophical Frenchman, Simon Callow's lively narration is an excellent introduction to Proust." Daily Mail 31/1/97

The Casebook of Sherlock Holmes
  • 9780007218462
  • 15-06-2005
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The Casebook of Sherlock Holmes (Audio Download)
Sir Arthur Conan Doyle / Christopher Lee

Read by the charismatic Christopher Lee, this collection of three of Holmes' cases tells of a missing diamond, a missing war hero and a savage yet faithful wolfhound. Contains: The Adventure of the Blanched Soldier; The Adventure of the Creeping Man; The Adventure of the Mazarin Stone The masterful stories in this collection relate Holmes and Watson's involvement with the case of a eminent physiologist inexplicably savaged by his faithful wolfhound and of the priceless stolen Crown diamond found in the pocket of a peer, while Holmes himself tells the story of a Boer War hero set to inherit a fortune who mysteriously disappears from the family seat.

Vanity Fair
  • 9780007218479
  • 15-06-2005
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Vanity Fair (Audio Download)
William Thackeray / Miriam Margoyles

Looking with vicious wit at dazzling high-society and criminal low-life, privilege and ambition, this is a classic yet anything but stuffy. 'Oh, those women! They nurse and cuddle their presentiments, and make darlings of their ugliest thoughts ' Self-serving social climber and anti-heroine Becky Sharp will do anything to raise her status and attain wealth and standing with smart Society. Clever, lively and resourceful, orphan Becky is the the total opposite of her naive and sentimental schoolmate Amelia Sedley, a pampered, yet good-natured girl from a wealthy family. As both women build lives for themselves in London, Thackeray decadently satirises the corruption and flaws of 19th-Century English Society.

The Scarlet Letter
  • 9780007218493
  • 15-06-2005
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The Scarlet Letter (Audio Download)
Nathaniel Hawthorne / Elizabeth McGovern

Set in the Puritanical society of Boston in the middle years of the seventeenth century, 'The Scarlet Letter' is the story of Hester Prynne, a married woman who has an affair and gives birth to a daughter. Condemned by society for her adultery, she is forced to wear a scarlet A (for Adulteress) on her dress for the rest of her life. Hester refuses to name her lover; but when her estranged husband appears unexpectedly, after having been captive by Indians, he determines to discover the man's identity. Hester bears her shame with dignity, and attitudes towards her soften as time passes; but her lover is steadily consumed by his guilt, and her husband is destroyed by his determination to discover the lover's identity. Originally published in 1850, 'The Scarlet Letter' is a powerful study of bigotry, persecution, obsession and hypocrisy.

Uncle Tom's Cabin
  • 9780007218509
  • 15-06-2005
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Uncle Tom's Cabin (Audio Download)
Harriet Beecher Stowe

'The man's mine and I do what I please with him - that's it!' Published in 1852, 'Uncle Tom's Cabin' was an immediate success, was influential in securing the abolition of slavery and established Harriet Beecher Stowe as America's first major woman novelist. With a compelling narrative and memorable characters, the novel vividly explores the relationship between slave, trader and owner, and exposes a system in which men, women and even children were property to be bought and sold for profit or to settle debts. Still capable of arousing both compassion and anger, 'Uncle Tom's Cabin' was described by Tolstoy as "one of the greatest productions of the human mind."

The Hound of the Baskervilles
  • 9780007218523
  • 15-06-2005
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The Hound of the Baskervilles (Audio Download)
Sir Arthur Conan Doyle / Tony Britton

Read by Tony Britton, The Hound of the Baskervilles is the most celebrated tale of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's canon. A fiendish evil lurks amid the mist and loneliness of Devon's fabled Dartmoor. In the form of a hellish hound, it feeds upon the trembling flesh of the heirs of Baskerville Hall. But before this savage beast can sink its teeth into the newest lord of the manor, it must pit its vicious fangs against the searing intellect of the most powerful foe it has ever encountered - the incomparable Sherlock Holmes.

Sherlock Holmes: the Adventure of the Sussex Vampire and Oth
  • 9780007218554
  • 15-06-2005
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Sherlock Holmes: the Adventure of the Sussex Vampire and Oth (Audio Download)
Sir Arthur Conan Doyle / Christopher Lee

Read by the inimitable Christopher Lee are four tales from the great detective's case book, including bones that won't stay buried and an exotic South American vampire. In these four tales from his case book, we find the great detective summoned to investigate mysterious bones which just won't stay buried, deducing why a hitherto devoted lion should have turned savagely on its keeper, and even on the trail of an exotic South American vampire. But when the merciless Baron Gruner sends hired assassins to intercept him outside the Cafe Royale, it looks as though the Illustrious Client may prove to be Holmes' last client Contains: The Adventure of the Sussex Vampire; The Adventure of Shoscombe Old Place; The Adventure of the Illustrious Client; The Adventure of the Veiled Lodger.

Sherlock Holmes: The Adventure of the Lion's Mane and Other
  • 9780007218561
  • 15-06-2005
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Sherlock Holmes: The Adventure of the Lion's Mane and Other (Audio Download)
Sir Arthur Conan Doyle / Christopher Lee

Read by the inimitable Christopher Lee, this audiobook contains four short stories from the great detective's case book. Four demanding, even life-threatening, adventures for the much-loved amateur detective, who, with the faithful Watson by his side, has earned his place in our national life and social history. This collection of short stories, taken from The Case Book of Sherlock Holmes, sees Baker Street's most famous resident investigating a mysterious maritime murder, a tragic crime of passion, a surprising elopement and the unexpected windfall promised to a reclusive collector. Contains: The Adventure of the Lion's Mane; The Adventure of the Three Garridebs; The Problem of Thor Bridge; The Adventure of the Retired Colourman.

Ivanhoe
  • 9780007218578
  • 15-06-2005
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Ivanhoe (Audio Download)
Sir Walter Scott / Brian Cox

Set in the 12th century, during the reign of Richard the Lionheart, Ivanhoe tells of the love of Wilfred of Ivanhoe for the Lady Rowena, his father Cedric's ward. Cedric intends Rowena for the oafish Athelstane, and banishes his son. 'The love of battle is the food upon which we live - the dust of the melee is the breath of our nostrils! We live not - we wish not to live - longer than while we are victorious and renowned. Such are the laws of chivalry to which we are sworn, and to which we offer all that we hold dear.' Set in the twelfth century, during the reign of Richard the Lionheart, Ivanhoe tells of the love of Wilfred of Ivanhoe for the Lady Rowena, his father Cedric's ward. Cedric, who is dedicated to the liberation of the Saxon people from Norman oppression and to the revival of the Saxon royal line, intends Rowena - a descendant of King Alfred - for the oafish Athelstane, and he banishes his son. Ivanhoe joins King Richard on his crusade in the Holy Land, and eventually the two men return secretly to England - Ivanhoe to regain his inheritance and the hand of Rowena, Richard to secured his kingdom from his scheming brother John who has ruled in Richard's absence. With a gallery of memorable characters, high and low, Ivanhoe is a powerful and exciting evocation of a medieval world of jousting, baronial rivalry, siege warfare and trial by combat, and makes no attempt to gloss over the violence and brutality that lay behind the chivalric ideals.

Wuthering Heights
  • 9780007218585
  • 15-06-2005
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Wuthering Heights (Audio Download)
Emily Bronte / Martin Shaw

First published in 1847, Emily BrontE's classic tale of passion, obsession, cruelty and revenge has lost none of its power. At its heart lies the tempestuous relationship of Catherine Earnshaw of 'Wuthering Heights' and Heathcliff, the 'gypsy brat' plucked from the streets of Liverpool by her father. Their tragedy, with its terrible consequences for those who become caught up in it, unfolds in a wild moorland landscape as dark and harsh as the events themselves.

Gulliver's Travels
  • 9780007218592
  • 15-06-2005
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Gulliver's Travels (Audio Download)
Jonathan Swift / Martin Shaw

Swift's scornful satire, written "to vex the world rather than divert it", takes a caustic look at those most contemporary concerns irrational prejudice, social inequality, ivory tower elitism and the correct way to open a boiled egg. 'I cannot but conclude the bulk of your natives to be the most pernicious race of little odious vermin that nature ever suffered to crawl upon the surface of the earth.' Shipwrecked on the high seas, Lemuel Gulliver finds himself washed up on the strange island of Lilliput, a land inhabited by quarrelsome miniature people. On his travels he continues to meet others who force him to reflect on human behaviour - the giants of Brobdingnag, the Houyhnhnms and the Yahoos. In this scathing satire on the politics and morals of the 18th Century, Swift's condemnation of society and its institutions still resonates today.

Far from the Madding Crowd
  • 9780007218608
  • 15-06-2005
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Far from the Madding Crowd (Audio Download)
Thomas Hardy / Martin Shaw

Hardy's classic 'pastoral tale' of wilful and capricious Bathsheba Everdene and her three suitors, the faithful shepherd, the lonely widower and the dashing but faithless soldier. An immediate success when it was first published in 1874, Thomas Hardy's 'pastoral tale' of the wilful and capricious Bathsheba Everdene, her three suitors - the faithful shepherd Gabriel Oak, the lonely widower Farmer Boldwood, and the dashing but faithless Sergeant Troy - and the tragic consequences of her eventual choice remains one of the most enduring and popular English novels.

An Audience with Barry Cryer
  • 9780007218622
  • 15-06-2005
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An Audience with Barry Cryer (Audio Download)
Barry Cryer / Barry Cryer

The first in what will become the quintessential list of the best of live British comedy, AN AUDIENCE WITH BARRY CRYER brings you up close and personal with one of bastions of British comedy in this live recording of his sellout comedy tour. The AN AUDIENCE WITH series will bring you a succession of live performances by some of Britain's best-loved comedians, opening with Barry Cryer, one of the stalwarts of Radio 4. The quintessential grumpy old man, Barry Cryer's standup combines the quick wit of Radio 4 with the charm and class of the 'Great Men of Comedy'. He has been a regular panelist on I'm Sorry I Haven't a Clue and Just a Minute, the latter of which he also chaired. In 1998, Barry wrote his autobiography, You Won't Believe This But, which has been broadcast on Radio 4. Barry is also famous for having written gags for some of the legends of British comedy, including Morecambe and Wise, Tommy Cooper, Stanley Baxter, Dick Emery, Dave Allen, Les Dawson, Bob Hope, Kenny Everett, Sir Harry Secombe, Billy Connolly, Jasper Carrot and Richard Pryor. With a CV that reads like the 'Who's Who of British Comedy Greats', Cryer's unique blend of old-school gentility and cutting edge intellect facilitates an audience-base that spans generations.