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A Short History of Nearly Everything written by Bill Bryson performed by William Roberts on CD (Unabridged)

A Short History of Nearly Everything written by Bill Bryson performed by William Roberts on CD (Unabridged)£24.99  -  £29.99

In A Short History of Nearly Everything, beloved author Bill Bryson confronts his greatest challenge yet: to understand—and, if possible, answer—the oldest, biggest questions we have posed about the universe and ourselves.


Cranford written by Elizabeth Gaskell performed by Prunella Scales on CD (Unabridged)

Cranford written by Elizabeth Gaskell performed by Prunella Scales on CD (Unabridged)£13.99

“I'll not listen to reason,” she said, now in full possession of her voice, which had been rather choked with sobbing. "Reason always means what someone else has got to say."’ 

Catching Life by the Throat written by Josephine Hart performed by Famous British Actors on CD (Abridged)

Catching Life by the Throat written by Josephine Hart performed by Famous British Actors on CD (Abridged)£7.99  -  £14.99

A Magnificent production for anyone interested in poetry!

This set features live recordings from the Josephine Hart Poetry Hour: Eight of the greatest poets in the English language.


Diana - A Dedication in Seven Ages written by Various Famous Poets performed by Various Famous Actors on CD (Abridged)

Diana - A Dedication in Seven Ages written by Various Famous Poets performed by Various Famous Actors on CD (Abridged)£5.99

An anthology of poetry accompanied by classical music, based on Lord Owen's "Seven Ages: Poetry for a Lifetime".

The CDs feature over 100 poems read by 40 actors.

They include: Michael Caine reading Rudyard Kipling's "If"; Ralph Fiennes reading Thomas Hood's "I Remember, I Remember"; John Cleese reading "The Owl and the Pussycat"; and Pete Postlethwaite reading "Kubla Khan".


John Betjeman - A First Class Collection written by John Betjeman performed by John Betjeman on CD (Abridged)

John Betjeman - A First Class Collection written by John Betjeman performed by John Betjeman on CD (Abridged)£14.99

Sir John Betjeman's unique relationship with the BBC left a lasting legacy of poetry, readings and performances. "A First Class Collection" features a selection of some of his most memorable and best-loved poetry.


The Best of Irish Poetry written by Various performed by Various Famous Actors on CD (Abridged)

The Best of Irish Poetry written by Various performed by Various Famous Actors on CD (Abridged)£9.99

A fantastic collection of Irish poetry including poems by Oscar Wilde, W.B. Yeats, Seamus Heaney, James Joyce and many others.

Poems are read by Niamh Cusack, Dervla Kirwan, T.P. McKenna and Aidan Gillen.


The Best Scottish Poetry written by Various Scottish Poets performed by Alan Cumming, Hannah Gordon, Daniela Nardini and David Rintoul on CD (Abridged)

The Best Scottish Poetry written by Various Scottish Poets performed by Alan Cumming, Hannah Gordon, Daniela Nardini and David Rintoul on CD (Abridged)£5.99

A Genius Performance by David Rintoul!

A brilliant selection of great poetry by some of the very best Scottish poets including Robert Burns, Sir Walter Scott, James Thomson and Hugh MacDiarmid.


The Great Poets - Emily Dickinson written by Emily Dickinson performed by Teresa Gallagher on CD (Unabridged)

The Great Poets - Emily Dickinson written by Emily Dickinson performed by Teresa Gallagher on CD (Unabridged)£5.99

Some of the finest poems by Emily Dickinson (1830-1886), a unique voice in American poetry. She is known for her short poems, full of acute observations and deft use of language.


The Pam Ayres Poetry Collection written by Pam Ayres performed by Pam Ayres on CD (Unabridged)

The Pam Ayres Poetry Collection written by Pam Ayres performed by Pam Ayres on CD (Unabridged)£8.99

Writer, poet and broadcaster Pam Ayres has been making her fans smile for more than 30 years since her first television appearance on Opportunity Knocks. This audiobook contains a collection of her poetry.


The Poetry of Rudyard Kipling written by Rudyard Kipling performed by Various Famous Actors, Edward Woodward, Anthony Quayle and Boris Karloff on CD (Abridged)

The Poetry of Rudyard Kipling written by Rudyard Kipling performed by Various Famous Actors, Edward Woodward, Anthony Quayle and Boris Karloff on CD (Abridged)£33.99

There is in the eminently quotable lines of Kipling's poetry a varying shimmer of greatness. His poems convey strong emotions of bitterness, humanity and sentiment. They are poems of kinship with humankind, of nobility, of reflected glory and the futilities of our own time.


The Sonnets written by William Shakespeare performed by Alex Jennings on CD (Unabridged)

The Sonnets written by William Shakespeare performed by Alex Jennings on CD (Unabridged)£3.99   £3.19

This new edition focuses on the Sonnets as poetry - sometimes strikingly individual poems, but often subtly interlinked in thematic, imagistic and other groupings.


Words that Burn written by Josephine Hart performed by Various Famous Actors on CD (Abridged)

Words that Burn written by Josephine Hart performed by Various Famous Actors on CD (Abridged)£11.99  -  £24.99

More wonderful Poetry from Milton, Byron, Keats, Shelley, Browning, Frost and Lowell.

Performed genius actors including Eileen Atkins, Nancy Carroll, Alan Cox, Charles Dance, Joanna David, Lindsay Duncan, Edward Fox, Emilia Fox, Robert Hardy, Tom Hollander, Jeremy Irons, Felicity Kendall, Elizabeth McGovern, Mark Strong, Dominic West, Greg Wise

 

Which is the Best Performance of .......

 

Charles Dickens - A Christmas Carol

 

As Christmas approaches thoughts turn to what has to be THE audiobook for this time of year.

If the media is a deciding factor, and you don't want to use our Audio Transfer service, then you may well be restricted to what are good performances but not the best. Again if you must have an Unabridged performance then, though the performances are excellent, the very best performance will not be available to you.

We will take a look at each performance and rate them on pace, passion and pizzazz!

 

Unabridged - CD

 

The choice here is between an old favourite Anton Lesser and Miriam Margolyes. After listening to both of these recordings I have to say there is little to separate them in terms of Pace. Both these massively experienced actors perform the book at almost exactly the same pace. Even the durations of the performances come in within 3 mins of each other. Anton Lesser is a trifle more staccato in has attack but both show their classical talents wonderfully well.

Passion is a critical factor in audiobook performance. With a story such as this, and an author such as Dickens, passion has to be controlled very precisely. Again there is little to divide the 2 performances in this regard. Though, it should not be forgotten that one's own experience with a performer can play a significant role. We are very aware that with Anton Lesser, current with over 20 performances in stock, we have a long standing admiration of his work. On the other hand we do have 10 titles performed by Miriam Margolyes and have, to this day, never found any of them less than excellent.

Finally we come to Pizzazz. This most subjective of aspects will be deeply influenced by our experience with the performer. With that aspect in mind we have to give Anton Lesser the edge. His characterisations, through changes in voice and pace, appear smoother and less forced that that of Miriam Margolyes. 

 

Abridged - CD

 

In this classification there are again only two options. For those of us who want the gist of the story and have only 75 mins to spend, perhaps this is just long enough for younger children, David Jason does en excellent job. Anton Lesser's production is, almost the whole story, coming in at over 2 and a half hours, so a direct comparison is not appropriate. A real comparison with David Jason's performance needs to be with the other abridged performances and unfortunately this one is clearly not the best available. For that we must wait until the cassette versions. But, if time is limited and a packaged CD is required then David Jason's version will suit very well.

 

Unabridged - Cassette

Just a quick reminder of our Audio Transfer Service - Format is no longer a limit!

Now we come to what may well be the best unabridged performance of this work. Geoffrey Palmer's performance is very good. In terms of his pacing, the duration of the recording comes in at around 3 hours 30 mins and his style is something to be enjoyed. This one is for those of us to want to be entertained for a whole afternoon. Geoffrey Palmer's reading is in equal part characterful, in the best sense, and almost musical in nature. The characters sound very distinctive and he navigates the story like a true maestro. It is only a shame that he performed so few audiobooks. To conclude this is the best recording when an unabridged performance is wanted.  

 

Abridged - Cassette

 

There is a distinction required between "reading" performances and dramatisation performances.  Patrick Stewart's work is rather more a dramatisation than a "reading". This lends the production to being perhaps the most accessible to the youngest of children. This work is less likely to please the adult listener as many of the characters are voiced rather over-emphatically. At just under 2 hours this one will suit the under 10 age group quite well.

Now to the reading performances.

John Gielgud's reading comes in at around 60 mins and would suit those looking for a great reading, with passion and lovely characterisations, all crammed into an hour. There is little time during this production for any pizzazz but it should be remembered that Gielgud's performance is never less than supremely entertaining so this should not be a problem.

Paul Scofield's production is, as always, beautifully rendered. The pace is never slow and time is given to each character. Passion is communicated with exceptional control - a true maestro working at near the top of his game. Pizzazz is not something that this great actor is associated with very often and this is no exception. This work is ideal for those of us who value and enjoy Mr Scofield's brilliant classical tone. 

Now we come to a performance that we at Brainfood Audiobooks have come to rate as one of our Stamp of Genius series. After many 1000s of audiobooks there are very few that make it into our top 20 audiobooks ever and this is a long time member of that club.

What is it about this production that makes it so extra-ordinary? Well the pacing is just right. The reading comes in at just under 2 hours and the pacing is never pressured. There is in no way a lull in the performance. Every word is essential. Passion? The deftness of Mr Rossiter's performance is quite sublime. It is a terrible shame that he did so few audio productions as his talent for them is without doubt exceptional. Each character lives from beginning to end. The laughs are there as are the tears in the sadder moments. A great artist at work. Perhaps his comic timing is at the root of why this production is so wonderful?  We can only conclude in saying that whenever this performance graces our audio player there is nothing to do but sit back and listen!

 

Audio CD Audio Cassette
Unabridged Abridged Unabridged Abridged  Dramatisation
Stamp of Genius Collection
Stamp of
Genius
Perfume - The Story of a Murderer written by Patrick Suskind performed by Sean Barrett on Cassette (Unabridged)

Perfume - The Story of a Murderer written by Patrick Suskind performed by Sean Barrett on Cassette (Unabridged)£29.99  -  £49.99

If you are interested in an atmospheric thriller of an extraordinary order - this is probably the Best Audiobook you will ever hear. A great book is transformed, by Sean Barrett, into a production of Genius! If you haven't heard it yet then you have an amazing journey before you......

Stamp of
Genius
Vintage Stuff written by Tom Sharpe performed by Stephen Fry on Cassette (Unabridged)

Vintage Stuff written by Tom Sharpe performed by Stephen Fry on Cassette (Unabridged)£89.99

Peregrine Roderick Clyde-Brown is a bumbling, naive and savagely dim-witted teenager, who, as his name reveals, cannot possibly be exposed to the evils of a comprehensive school. However, with his penchant for taking even the most innocent command literally, no reputable school will accept the boy...

Stamp of
Genius
Bleak House written by Charles Dickens performed by Sean Barrett and Teresa Gallagher on CD (Unabridged)

Bleak House written by Charles Dickens performed by Sean Barrett and Teresa Gallagher on CD (Unabridged)£39.99  -  £48.99

This wonderful book is read by 2 of the very best audiobook readers bar none! Sean Barrett's Chapter 1 is pure genius! Writing of this quality combined with the reading of Mr Barrett and Teresa Gallagher is an absolute must! This one is a life-long keeper!!

Stamp of
Genius
Hobbit and The Lord of The Rings written by J.R.R. Tolkien performed by BBC Full Cast Dramatisation, Ian Holm, Michael Hordern and Robert Stephens on CD (Abridged)

Hobbit and The Lord of The Rings written by J.R.R. Tolkien performed by BBC Full Cast Dramatisation, Ian Holm, Michael Hordern and Robert Stephens on CD (Abridged)£54.99  -  £59.99

A Genius Performance by Ian Holm, Robert Stephens, John Le Mesurier and Peter Woodthorpe! A true breakthrough for Tolkien and the BBC! Brian Sibley's dramatisation of the fantasy epic in 1981 is an essential listen for any audiobook listener.

Stamp of
Genius
Gut - The Inside Story of Our Body's Most Underrated Organ written by Giulia Enders performed by Kate Sobey on MP3 CD (Unabridged)

Gut - The Inside Story of Our Body's Most Underrated Organ written by Giulia Enders performed by Kate Sobey on MP3 CD (Unabridged)£19.99

Our gut is as important as our brain or heart, yet we know very little about how it works and many of us are too embarrassed to ask questions. In Gut, Giulia Enders breaks this taboo, revealing the latest science on how much our digestive system has to offer.

Stamp of
Genius
Richard III written by William Shakespeare performed by Robert Stephens, Dame Peggy Ashcroft , Jeremy Brett and Ian Holm on Cassette (Unabridged)

Richard III written by William Shakespeare performed by Robert Stephens, Dame Peggy Ashcroft , Jeremy Brett and Ian Holm on Cassette (Unabridged)£47.99  -  £79.99

A Genius Performance by Ian Holm, Robert Stephens, Dame Peggy Ashcroft, Jeremy Brett, Michael York, Cyril Cusak and Nigel Davenport! This production of Shakespeare's classic tragedy is the best we have heard! In very short supply and only just in front of the Naxos - Kenneth Branagh production 

Stamp of
Genius
Alice Through the Looking Glass written by Lewis Carroll performed by Willie Rushton on Cassette (Abridged)

Alice Through the Looking Glass written by Lewis Carroll performed by Willie Rushton on Cassette (Abridged)£49.99

This is a perfect example of why Brainfood Audiobooks exists! William (Willie) Rushton brings all of his comedic talent to bear on this wonderful tale. This audio set comes with a complimentary Audio CD version of this book.

Stamp of
Genius
The Complete Conan Doyle Sherlock Holmes written by Arthur Conan Doyle performed by BBC Full Cast Dramatisation, Clive Merrison, Michael Williams and  on Cassette (Abridged)

The Complete Conan Doyle Sherlock Holmes written by Arthur Conan Doyle performed by BBC Full Cast Dramatisation, Clive Merrison, Michael Williams and on Cassette (Abridged)£58.99  -  £69.99

This magnificent BBC production of the whole of the central corpus of Arthur Conan-Doyle's  Sherlock stories. The atmospheric dramatisations are up there with the Lord of the Rings production of the 1980s. A very cost effective way of getting hold of these recordings which cost 500% more on CD!

Stamp of
Genius
The Secret History written by Donna Tartt performed by Adam Sims on Cassette (Unabridged)

The Secret History written by Donna Tartt performed by Adam Sims on Cassette (Unabridged)£48.99

A misfit at an exclusive New England college, Richard finds kindred spirits in the five eccentric students of his ancient Greek class. But his new friends have a horrific secret. When blackmail and violence threaten to blow their privileged lives apart, they drag Richard into the nightmare that engulfs them. 

Stamp of
Genius
A Christmas Carol written by Charles Dickens performed by Leonard Rossiter on Cassette (Abridged)

A Christmas Carol written by Charles Dickens performed by Leonard Rossiter on Cassette (Abridged)£59.99

Whether you listen to this on a dark winter's night of a sunny summer morning Leonard Rossiter's performance will take you on a journey. This is a perfect combination of text and performer. Leonard Rossiter makes this text his own and with such a quality of delivery that, if you close your eyes, you are there!

Stamp of
Genius
The Hitch-Hiker's Guide to the Galaxy - The Complete Trilogy in 5 Vols written by Douglas Adams performed by Douglas Adams on Cassette (Unabridged)

The Hitch-Hiker's Guide to the Galaxy - The Complete Trilogy in 5 Vols written by Douglas Adams performed by Douglas Adams on Cassette (Unabridged)£69.99

Includes The Hitch-hiker's Guide, The Resaurant at the End of the Universe, Life, The Universe and Everything, So Long and Thanks for All the Fish and Mostly Harmless! All read by the Master Himself!

Stamp of
Genius
Alice in Wonderland written by Lewis Carroll performed by Willie Rushton on Cassette (Abridged)

Alice in Wonderland written by Lewis Carroll performed by Willie Rushton on Cassette (Abridged)£49.99

This is a perfect example of why Brainfood Audiobooks exists! William (Willie) Rushton brings all of his comedic talent to bear on this wonderful tale. This audio set comes with a complimentary Audio CD version of this book.

Stamp of
Genius
The Prince's Choice written by William Shakespeare performed by Various Famous Actors on CD (Abridged)

The Prince's Choice written by William Shakespeare performed by Various Famous Actors on CD (Abridged)£11.99  -  £19.99

This is a selection of readings from Shakespeare. Selected by HRH Prince of Wales, the cast includes Robert Stephens, Richard Briers, John Gielgud, Juliet Stevenson, Glenda Jackson, William Hurt and John Sessions. Brilliant performances by these wonderful actors!

Stamp of
Genius
Asterix in Britain written by Goscinny performed by William Rushton on Cassette (Abridged)

Asterix in Britain written by Goscinny performed by William Rushton on Cassette (Abridged)£39.99  -  £49.99

** We currently have 2 of these in stock. They BOTH come with a FREE copy of this wonderful recording on Audio CD. The Acceptable copy has been graded due to a 30 sec dropout after 15 mins of side 1. Rest assured that in the Audio CD copy, that comes FREE with this title, the audio plays perfectly **

Stamp of
Genius
The Secret History written by Donna Tartt performed by Robert Sean Leonard on Cassette (Abridged)

The Secret History written by Donna Tartt performed by Robert Sean Leonard on Cassette (Abridged)£19.99  -  £38.99

Under the influence of their charismatic classics professor, a group of clever, eccentric misfits at an elite New England college discover a way of thinking and living that is a world away from the humdrum existence of their contemporaries. Performed with exceptional color by Robert Sean Leonard!

Stamp of
Genius
The Waste Land and Four Quartets written by T.S. Eliot performed by Paul Scofield on Cassette (Unabridged)

The Waste Land and Four Quartets written by T.S. Eliot performed by Paul Scofield on Cassette (Unabridged)£29.99  -  £49.99

These are masterly readings, by renowned thespian Paul Scofield, of two substantial works of poetry by T.S. Eliot. They form the core of Eliot's later work and, with Scofield's wonderful interpretation have been a regular visitor to the Brainfood Audiobooks cassette player over the last 20 years! 

Stamp of
Genius
William Stories written by Richmal Crompton performed by Kenneth Williams on Cassette (Abridged)

William Stories written by Richmal Crompton performed by Kenneth Williams on Cassette (Abridged)£18.99  -  £28.99

Richmal Compton's Williams Stories read by Kenneth Williams on two cassettes. Side 1 The Show, Side 2 William the Invisible, Side 3 A Witch in Time, Side 4 William's Day Off. Sometimes people are made to perform certain works - this combination is exceptional!

Stamp of
Genius
An Evening with Brian Blessed - The Impossible Dream written by Brian Blessed performed by Brian Blessed on Cassette (Abridged)

An Evening with Brian Blessed - The Impossible Dream written by Brian Blessed performed by Brian Blessed on Cassette (Abridged)£39.99  -  £49.99

For years actor and author Brian Blessed had an impossible dream - to follow in the footsteps of his childhood hero, George Leigh Mallory, who disappeared near the summit of Mount Everest in 1924. Finally in 1990, aged 53, Brian recreated Mallory's journey dressed only in Twenties clothes, for the award-winning film Galahad of Everest.

Stamp of
Genius
Fairy Tales written by Terry Jones performed by Bob Hoskins, Helen Mirren, Michael Hordern and Joan Greenwood on CD (Unabridged)

Fairy Tales written by Terry Jones performed by Bob Hoskins, Helen Mirren, Michael Hordern and Joan Greenwood on CD (Unabridged)£49.99

Terry Jones, Joan Greenwood, Michael Hordern, Bob Hoskins, Helen Mirren and Tim Rice read of a collection of original fairy tales for 8 to 11-year-olds, written by master storyteller Terry Jones, introducing such bizarre creatures as the fly-by-night, the rainbow cat, and the wonderful cake-horse.

Stamp of
Genius
Girlfriend in a Coma written by Douglas Coupland performed by Robert Sean Leonard on Cassette (Abridged)

Girlfriend in a Coma written by Douglas Coupland performed by Robert Sean Leonard on Cassette (Abridged)£39.99

Girls, memory, parenting, millennial fear - all served Coupland-style. Karen, an attractive, popular student, goes into a coma one night in 1979. Whilst in it, she gives birth to a healthy baby daughter; once out of it, a mere eighteen years later, she finds herself .....

Stamp of
Genius
Love is Where it Falls written by Simon Callow performed by Simon Callow on Cassette (Abridged)

Love is Where it Falls written by Simon Callow performed by Simon Callow on Cassette (Abridged)£19.99

An account of the relationship between Simon Callow and the play agent, Peggy Ramsay. Despite an age difference of over 40 years, Peggy and Callow enjoyed an 11-year relationship conducted in meetings and passionately unbridled letters until Peggy's

Stamp of
Genius
Mind Over Medicine - Scientific Proof You Can Heal Yourself written by Dr Lissa Rankin performed by Dr Lissa Rankin on CD (Unabridged)

Mind Over Medicine - Scientific Proof You Can Heal Yourself written by Dr Lissa Rankin performed by Dr Lissa Rankin on CD (Unabridged)£14.99

In clinical trials, it's called the placebo effect. But patients treated with placebos don't just feel better. It's not just 'in their heads'. They can heal their bodies by healing their thoughts. For years, pioneers in the medical community have been extolling the virtues of the mind's power to heal the body.

Stamp of
Genius
The Noonday Demon - An Atlas of Depression written by Andrew Solomon performed by Andrew Solomon on Cassette (Abridged)

The Noonday Demon - An Atlas of Depression written by Andrew Solomon performed by Andrew Solomon on Cassette (Abridged)£29.99

Once in a long while we at Brainfood Audiobooks find a new title that re-defines a critical area of human knowledge and understanding. This is the case with The Noonday Demon. This production should not be confused with the unabridged production available elsewhere. Andrew Solomon's performance is critical to a full appreciation of his book.

Stamp of
Genius
The Noonday Demon - An Atlas of Depression written by Andrew Solomon performed by Andrew Solomon on CD (Abridged)

The Noonday Demon - An Atlas of Depression written by Andrew Solomon performed by Andrew Solomon on CD (Abridged)£34.99

The award-winning author of A Stone Boat offers a deeply personal look at depression in which he draws on his own battle with the illness and interviews with fellow sufferers, researchers, doctors, and others to assess the vast complexities of the disease, its causes and symptoms, available therapies ..

Stamp of
Genius
Titus Groan and Gormenghast written by Mervyn Peake performed by BBC Radio Dramatisation and Sting on Cassette (Abridged)

Titus Groan and Gormenghast written by Mervyn Peake performed by BBC Radio Dramatisation and Sting on Cassette (Abridged)£39.99

The first title of the GORMENGHAST trilogy of fantasy novels. Titus groan is born the heir to Gormenghast castle, and finds himself in a world predetermined by complex rituals that have been made obscure by the passage of time. Along the corridors of the castle, the child encounters some of the dark characters who will shape his life.