April 12, 2012

On My List: Favorite Audiobook Narrations

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on my list

Since I started listening to audiobooks back in 2009, I’ve reviewed 49 and I’m on my 50th! I can’t believe it. I am a convert. Even just this year alone I’ve read 7.

I’ve found that a good narrator can enhance a listening experience. The reader’s cadence, their accent, their tone, their acting ability, even small things like clicking or breathing, can make or break a listener’s experience. I’ve been annoyed at times, but I have to say most of my listens have been great experiences. I do have some favorites out of the ones I’ve listened to so far.

This is my list of favorite audiobook readings…so far.

carmillaCarmilla: A Vampyre Tale by Joseph Sheridan Le Fanu Narrated by Megan Follows. Follows does a wonderful job with the narration. She has a melodic voice, very vampirey.

Bossypants by Tina Fey Narrated by Tina Fey. What better way to experience the hilarity of this comedienne’s memoirs than in her own voice.

The Dark Worlds of H.P. Lovecraft Narrated by Wayne June. Spine-tingly good narration!

All About Jeeves by P.G Wodehouse Narrated by Edward Duke. Bertie’s stuttering and crazy laugh, as well as Jeeves’s dignity, were reproduced with great effect by Duke.

The Hound of Death by Agatha Christie Narrated by Sir Christopher Lee. Once he was Count Dracula, then a string of baddies. I would have him follow me around and narrate my life if I wasn’t afraid he’d scare small children.

I've Got Your NumberI’ve Got Your Number by Sophie Kinsella Narrated by Jayne Entwistle. I wasn’t in love with Jayne Entwistle as Flavia De Luce, but she won me over as Poppy Wyatt. So funny!

The Legend of Sleepy Hollow by Washington Irving Narrated by LibriVox volunteer Chip. I guest reviewed this one for Jenn’s Bookshelves Fright Fest. I had to give a shout out to Chip for his excellent narration of The Legend of Sleepy Hollow. I even contacted him through the LibriVox site just to let him know how much I enjoyed it! And I never, ever do that!

It appears that the narrations I enjoy the most are either horror or comedy. It does require a certain skill to make someone laugh or quake in fear. When a reader can do that well, you remember them! At least I do anyway.

So, I’ve heard that Simon Vance does a good job with narration, are there other names I should know? Have you listened to a particularly good audiobook lately?

17 comments :

  1. I haven't listened to any of those. Literate Housewife is doing a series on audiobook narrators now that you should check out. You can see her blog here.

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  2. I also loved I've Got Your Number on audio! I know I've listened to a Jeeves and Wooster at some point, but I can't remember who the reader was.

    There are some narrators who are so good that I will listen to a book I might not normally read in print. Some of my favorites are Scott Brick (he read The Passage by Justin Cronin), Cassandra Campbell (she reads Adriana Trigiani's books - and lots of others), Sile Bermingham (she reads Maeve Binchy's books and Bog Child by Siobhan Dowd), Peter Francis James (On Beauty by Zadie Smith), Davina Porter (the Outlander series), and Kristoffer Tabori (Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides).

    And yes, Simon Vance is especially vocalicious - I love all of the books he's read, but my favorites would be the Stieg Larsson books and Master and Commander. Also, Michael Page, another British reader, does a wonderful job with Anne Perry's WW I mysteries, the first of which is No Graves as Yet.

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    1. Thanks for the recommendations! I'll keep my eye out. I did hear Davina Porter do Ice Land but it wasn't my favorite. Maybe I should try her with something out.

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  4. Simon Vance doesn't have a shortage of fans--that's for sure. I just listened to Casino Royale and Sex Lives of Cannibals narrated by him and enjoyed both but he didn't seem very well suited for the former.

    I like Martin Jarvis and have Oliver Twist narrated by him waiting for me (I picked him over Simon Vance). But really I'm just starting to pay attention to narrators.

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    1. Martin Jarvis is a name I've heard before. I don't know where. I must check him out.

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  5. I don't listen to audiobooks, very short attention span, but I can see The Legend of Sleepy Hollow being a great one to listen to. And Bossypants because Tina Fey is so funny.

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    1. Some people just can't and I really had to concentrate when I first started listening to them

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  6. Great post! I love Simon Vance. It was through his narration that I came to love audiobooks. My favorites of his have been Stieg Larssons' series and The King's Speech. I've also listened to almost all of his Bond series. He recorded those 10 years ago and I can see just how far he's come.

    I would also recommend The Invisible Ones narrated by Dan Stevens. It's excellent.

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  7. Ralph Snelson on Librivox is totally boss. I love him. The narrator for Melissa Marr's Wickedly Lovely, Alyssa Bresnahan, was also totally amazing, listening to her was like eating ice cream; and I really liked the narrator for Lev Grossman's The Magician King (only reason I kept listening to that book).

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    1. Librivox narrators are hit and miss but there are some talented volunteers there.

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  8. I like really Cassandra Campbell, Bronson Pinchot.

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  9. Megan Follows narrates? Seriously? **Scurrying right over to put it on my wish list!***

    Favorite narrators? I'm digging Grover Gardner lately. I do love Bronson Pinchot as well. Amanda Ronconi is an amazing narrator for the Jane Jameson series but I cannot imagine her doing anything else. Now you have me thinking...

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