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Say 'Aaah' | Media Mix

Probing the Process of Getting Old

May 03, 1999|ROCHELLE O'GORMAN

REAL AGE

by Dr. Michael F. Roizen

Harper Audio, abridged nonfiction, two cassettes. Length: three hours. $18.95. Read by the author. Available in bookstores or by calling (800) 331-3761.

*

One of the hottest health books on the market has made the transition to audio with little difficulty. In fact, it is better to opt for the audio, as it cuts to the heart of the author's theories and chops out the drier rhetoric. Not much of what Michael Roizen has to say is new, but he provides strong motivation for following a healthy lifestyle. He also summarizes the more intelligent theories available from the faddish world of health news and offers them in easily digestible passages. The idea is to calculate your biological age against your chronological age. An enclosed booklet contains a chart that helps you determine your biological age, and the audio lists ways to improve upon that figure. Roizen offers quick and moderate fixes as well as difficult changes, all presented in an accessible format. As a narrator, his voice is a little nasally and his delivery excessively cheery at times, but he is a passable reader with plenty of vigor. However, if you want to double-check his advice on the benefits of vitamins or methods to reduce your stress, you have to find that passage in the audio, making for a rather awkward form of reference when compared to the printed version.

YOU'RE NOT OLD UNTIL YOU'RE NINETY

by Rebecca Latimer

Sounds True Audio, unabridged nonfiction, three cassettes. Length: four hours, 30 minutes. $19.95, Read by the author. Available in bookstores or by calling (800) 333-9185.

*

Into her ninth decade, Rebecca Latimer shares her secrets for longevity and health. Though she is a lively writer with clearly defined and intriguing ideas, she should never have been encouraged to read her material. The listener becomes so distracted by the lowly production values that it becomes difficult to focus on her message. The author has plenty of personality. Her narrative is spunky, she has a fine sense of humor and her pacing is quite good. Her voice, however, has obviously thinned with age. She also stumbles frequently, can be heard turning pages, and one can only assume the audio book was recorded in her basement, because the tonal quality is inferior. She writes eloquently of the need for meditation, visualization, education and being true to oneself. She speaks of the lessons she learned from Carlos Castaneda, Alan Watts and others. Latimer refers often to her journals, which she began writing in 1914, and divulges the knowledge she has acquired over the years along with solid preparatory advice for old age. It is too bad the company did not hire a professional narrator, as Latimer's words deserved better treatment.

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