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Peter Pan, by J.M. Barrie

Read by Samuel West

Naxos AudioBooks

$11.98 (CD $13.98)

Two cassettes, 2.5 hrs., abridged

The charming boy who wouldn't grow up has inspired so many storybooks, plays, and cartoons it might seem hard to take a fresh look at the story. From the opening passages, Samuel West draws the listener's immediate attention. His resonant voice is charismatic; like Peter, he begs listeners to follow the tale he'll tell. To return to Barrie's original story reveals a charm and a certain moralism that both captures its own period and retains a freshness for today's young listeners.

West delivers deliciously imaginative character voices - Wendy, Captain Hook, pirate Smee, Peter, and each of the lost boys and pirates - but never allows them to become caricatures. The adventure is very real, and West's superb storytelling style involves listeners of all ages. He reveals a subtle side of Barrie's enduring classic that's overshadowed in stage and screen productions. The production uses carefully chosen and beautifully orchestrated music, and the abridgment flows smoothly. A family listening treat that will delight adults - even if they think they're too grown up.

Crooked Little Heart

By Anne Lamott

Read by Kate Burton

Random House Audiobooks, $18

Two cassettes, 3 hrs., abridged

Word by Word, by Anne Lamott

A Recorded Workshop with the author

Writer's Audio Shop, $17.95

Two cassettes, 3 hrs.

Bird by Bird, by Anne Lamott

Read by the Author

Audio Partners, $17.95

Two cassettes, 3 hrs., abridged

Listening to any of these audio titles make a glorious introduction, or reacquaintance, with Anne Lamott. Known for her fiction - "Crooked Little Heart" is the newest - Lamott is also loved and respected for her writing workshops and her inspiring book "Bird by Bird," which follows the structure of a workshop with encouragement and observations on writing.

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