Too busy to read? No problem. Just drop this newly released audiocassette into the player and let someone else do the reading for you. You don’t even have to take your hands off the steering wheel to turn the pages.

Graphic and gritty, Jim Thompson’s The Grifters is a 1963 pulp favorite representing hard-boiled fiction at its best. Even abridged, the book’s plot offers more twists and turns than the current movie. Ghost villain Tony Goldwyn performs with a gusto not heard since the golden days of radio. B+