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Sit up and listen

HARRY POTTER AND THE PRISONER OF AZBAKAN. By J K Rowling. Read by Stephen Fry. Cover to Cover pound;26.99 (eight cassettes, 12 hours 5 mins).

As Harry Potter has grown up, so has Stephen Fry's reading. For dedicated Potter fans (and is there any other kind?) this reading of the third and best to date novel will provide a Hogwarts fix in those boring interludes when you can't actually fix your eyes to the printed word, such as on trains, boats and planes when you might othrwise be sick.

Fry's naturally arch, oily tones have widened their repertoire to accommodate the scarier dimensions of the third tale with its Dementors, though he still excels at the Bunterish malfeasance of the school bullies.

A pleasing byproduct is Fry's immaculate pronunciation of Rowling's magpie word coinages: no more arguing over professors' names. Definitely one to enjoy in the holidays and take back to school, for ages seven and up.


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