Picks and Pans Review: Telling Tales
>This was a vintage year for books on tape. Here are six of the best.
THE TAILOR OF PANAMA
John le Carré's talent for limning human foibles on the page is matched by a gift for bringing them to life vocally—and often mercilessly—in this story of a British tailor forced to perform dirty tricks. (Random House, $29.95)
CAUSE OF DEATH The death of auld acquaintances starts Dr. Kay Scarpetta on a trail that ends in a Waco-like confrontation and demonstrates why Patricia Cornwell is considered a wizard of suspense. Blair Brown conveys the escalating tension in a beautifully paced reading. (Bantam, $22.99)
THE WOMAN WHO WALKED INTO DOORS Actress Ger Ryan's Northside Dublin accent is just right for the long-suffering battered wife in Roddy Doyle's first-person narrative, which is often hilarious and harrowing in the same sentence. (Penguin, $16.95)
OUT OF SIGHT
The wry genius of writer Elmore Leonard and the quirky languor of actor Joe Mantegna combine—not for the first time—to elevate this bittersweet story of cons and cops far above its genre. (Random House, $23.50)
SELECTED STORIES BY DOROTHY PARKER There's a world-weary throatiness about Elaine Stritch that is totally in tune with the hedonistic, sometimes haunting '30s milieu of Dorothy Parker's short stories. (Penguin, $16.95)
THE JUNGLE BOOK BBC dramatizations are the premiers grands crus of audios. In this one, Eartha Kitt as the python Kaa lends a touch of exhilarating sophistication to the Kipling classic. Ssss! (Bantam, $16.99)
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