Ukemi Audiobooks Home

UKEMI AUDIOBOOKS is a new digital label for the spoken word founded by Nicolas Soames. It presents fiction and non-fiction titles which are either unavailable as downloads or which need fresh, clear and authoritative recordings. They range from C J Jung’s important autobiography Memories, Dreams, Reflections and Seneca’s The Moral Epistles, to Thomas Mann’s Buddenbrooks and Samuel Beckett’s Murphy. For details of all releases click on the CATALOGUE tab. All titles can be downloaded from Audible.


Four New Titles!

Often I am asked, ‘What is the editorial theme underpinning Ukemi Audiobooks?’ Well, I say, there’s this, and then there’s that, but also etc. . .  And for all my invention it is not always possible for me to come up with some deft linkage between a bunch of releases. This is certainly true of these four – except that, I hope, they fill a gap in the audiobook catalogue, and are informative and/or entertaining, and even surprising. A number of requests hitting the Ukemi email in-tray of late for Volume 3 of Karl Marx’s Capital, following the first two volumes. The authorship, strictly speaking, should be shared with Marx’s redoubtable associate Friedrich Engels, who worked for years on the notes left following the death of Marx himself in 1883; and even the sheer length of Volume 3 explains why it took a decade to emerge. It is a painstaking continuation of the corpus, the subtitle explaining the focus: ‘The Process of Capitalistic Production as a Whole’. Not daunted by its length – over 50 hours – Derek Le Page again presents a remarkably faithful account, only occasionally having to resort to accompanying pdf to cover important tables which would be tedious and hard to follow on audio.

The Provincial Lady in Wartime could not be a greater contrast. Harold Macmillan – later to be Prime Minister of the United Kingdom – was running his family publishing company as war was declared in 1939. And it was with remarkable percipience that he felt a light-hearted volume by the hugely successful E.M. Delafield would lift the national spirits – and thus the fourth and final diary of The Provincial Lady in Wartime emerged. It gives an interesting picture of life during the period of the ‘Phony War’, between September and November 1939. We have added the first recording of three articles which first appeared in the magazine Harpers Magazine covering Delafield’s trip to the Soviet Union in 1937, and which, though quite short, are equally diverting and informative: The Provincial Lady in Russia.

Xenophon’s memories of his friend Socrates – which appear in Apology and Memorabilia – are often overlooked because of the sheer weight, length and detail of the classic Plato dialogues. But Xenophon’s are, in a way, more direct and intimate, and do not deserve neglect.

Finally, following on from The Conquest of Bread, which from the numbers of downloads has clearly been much awaited, comes Mutual Aid. Here, Kropotkin takes another tack in his lifelong campaign to urge society towards a more equable and fair way of life. His basic argument is that Darwin’s ‘natural selection’ or survival the fittest is only one aspect of evolution. Mutual Aid has played just as important a role as society – whether among insects, birds or mammals, and particularly homo sapiens – develops and matures. Mutual Aid, he argues, is just as effective and practical as a tool for living. It is a persuasive document.

Nicolas Soames

March 2019