Picks and Pans Review: New on Audio

updated 07/27/1992 at 01:00 AM EDT

originally published 07/27/1992 01:00AM

>SCRUPLES TWO The latest doings and wooings in Hollywood, Manhattan and Paris among Judith Krantz's gilded guttersnipes emerge from Dana Delany's talented tonsils like a vocal massage, though her Irish and English accents need polish. (Random House, $16)

THE LOOKING GLASS WAR

Reading his 1965 novel, John le Carré offers a virtuoso display of characterizations—including one of George Smiley—that attest to his uncanny ear for the accents that define the English class system. Sadly lost in the abridgement, however, are some of the beautifully wrought passages that lift his work into the realms of humane literature. (Random House, $16)

THE CANNIBAL QUEEN An account of barnstorming America in an open-cockpit biplane, delivered in a gravelly voice and West Virginia twang, ought to add up to a memorable piece of Americana. Unfortunately, Stephen Coonts's lackluster prose and self-conscious reading make for a bumpy ride, though devotees of small planes will not be disappointed. (Simon & Schuster, $17)

THE GREAT GATSBY Christopher Reeve reads Fitzgerald's Jazz-age critique and intelligently but fails to find the right vocal nuances for demonstrating the social interstices separating Gatsby, his Long Island neighbors and the working-class Wilsons. (Durkin Hayes, $15.95)

SAHARA Tom Wopat's well-judged sense of drama and pacing and his firm grip on Clive Cussler's characters can't elevate this latest Dirk Pitt yarn (he raised the Titanic, remember?) above the comic-book level. (Simon & Schuster, $17)

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