Great Audio Books for First Listens | Audible Editor Recommended Great Audio Books
Great First Listens
Submit your story
Not sure what to use your first credit on? Begin your Audible journey with these can't-miss listens. Ready to recommend your favorite audiobooks? Click 'Submit Your Story'.
  • Timeline (

UNABRIDGED) by Michael Crichton Narrated by John Bedford Lloyd


    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 6 mins)
    • By Michael Crichton
    • Narrated By John Bedford Lloyd
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    Modern science meets feudal France...dinosaurs still walk the Earth...a secret world of killer gorillas...only in a Michael Crichton thriller! Check out our full selection in our Crichton store!

    Charles Stembridge says: "Narrator"
    Reviewer: hummingbird, AudibleListener
    This was one of my early listens, and I was entranced with it. The science, the story, the narration, every aspect of this book kept me driving around for hours. On the ocassions when my kids (11 & 18) would ride with me, they would be hooked just from the small portions they heard. It inspired my daughter to "reread" the book in printed form for one of her book reports. This was at an age when few of her peers were tackling such daunting literature. For the intellectual stimulation and the "edge-of- your-seat" adventure, this book is tops. This is one listen that you can live in. It even allows kids to really WANT to ride with Mom. I know that 15 hours is a long listen time, but I wouldn't have missed one detail or nuance about Timeline.
  • The Pillars of the Earth (

UNABRIDGED) by Ken Follett Narrated by John Lee

    The Pillars of the Earth

    • UNABRIDGED (40 hrs and 54 mins)
    • By Ken Follett
    • Narrated By John Lee
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    Why we think it’s a great listen: Got 40 hours to kill? You’ll find the time when you start listening to Lee’s take on Follett’s epic – and widely celebrated – novel of 12th-century England. The Pillars of the Earth tells the story of Philip, prior of Kingsbridge, a devout and resourceful monk driven to build the greatest Gothic cathedral the world has known...of Tom, the mason who becomes his architect - a man divided in his soul...and of the beautiful, elusive Lady Aliena, haunted by a secret shame....

    Judith says: "Couldn't Take My Buds Out"
    The Best Book of My Life
    Reviewer: Robin Kelley, AudibleListener
    I am totally blind and I grew up listening to recorded books on tape where the narration was not always the best. When my husband suggested I join Audible to pass the time on our bus commutes to and from work, I was skeptical as to whether or not I would like it. We started listening to Pillars together and the book swept us both away. I felt like I was back in England in the 11th century. I've since read the book twice and lent it to several friends who agree... Pillars of the Earth is THE best book I have read in my entire life. Amazing narration, voices, and vivid description.
  • Ender's Game: Special 20th Anniversary Edition (

UNABRIDGED) by Orson Scott Card Narrated by Stefan Rudnicki, Harlan Ellison, Gabrielle de Cuir

    Ender's Game: Special 20th Anniversary Edition

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 57 mins)
    • By Orson Scott Card
    • Narrated By Stefan Rudnicki, Harlan Ellison, Gabrielle de Cuir
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    Why we think it’s a great listen: It’s easy to say that when it comes to sci-fi you either love it or you hate it. But with Ender’s Game, it seems to be you either love it or you love it.... The war with the Buggers has been raging for a hundred years, and the quest for the perfect general has been underway for almost as long. Enter Andrew "Ender" Wiggin, the result of decades of genetic experimentation.

    Kapila says: "6 titles in the series so far"
    Amazing Story & Narration, plus Road Rage Remover!
    Reviewer: poots55, AudibleListener
    Commuting two hours a day on packed city highways with other frustrated drivers was, for me, a blood pressure nightmare. Then in April 2004 I was saved by this book (and Audible) as it swept me away. Sci-Fi at its best, incredible narration...I was blown away. The smog, horns, and inappropriate finger displays were magically gone, and I was a better driver with my new calm as I enjoyed Ender and, since then, over 87 other titles. Enders Game -- and then the whole Ender series -- is a wonderful place to listen first. Enjoy!
  • Outlander (

UNABRIDGED) by Diana Gabaldon Narrated by Davina Porter


    • UNABRIDGED (33 hrs and 8 mins)
    • By Diana Gabaldon
    • Narrated By Davina Porter
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    Why we think it’s a great listen: An all-time Audible favorite that mixes historic fiction, adventure, and romance with one of the most fascinating literary devices: time travel. Outlander introduces an exhilarating world of heroism and breathtaking thrills as one woman is torn between past and present, passion and love. In 1945, former combat nurse Claire Randall returns from World War II and joins her husband for a second honeymoon. But their blissful reunion is shattered....

    Lulu says: "The Reason for the Existence of Audio Books"
    The First Is The Best
    Reviewer: Jbooklover, AudibleListener
    Having always been iffy about audiobooks, I wasn't too interested in the gift from my great aunt, an audiobook version of our favorite book, Outlander. But I gave it a chance and was blown away. The storytelling was incredible. I could close my eyes and it was like I was watching a movie, only better. Davina Porter's vocal talents are astounding and the best I have ever heard. I have become a true fan of audiobooks since then, but Outlander voiced by Ms. Porter will always be my #1.
  • Innocent Traitor: A Novel of Lady Jane Grey (

UNABRIDGED) by Alison Weir Narrated by Stina Nielsen, Davina Porter, Bianca Amato

    Innocent Traitor: A Novel of Lady Jane Grey

    • UNABRIDGED (18 hrs and 14 mins)
    • By Alison Weir
    • Narrated By Stina Nielsen, Davina Porter, Bianca Amato
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    The child of a scheming father and ruthless mother, Lady Jane Grey is born during a time when ambition dictates action. Cousin to Edward VI, Mary I, and Elizabeth I, she is merely a pawn in a political and religious game in which one false step means a certain demise. But Lady Jane has remarkable qualities that help her to withstand the constant pressures of the royal machinery far better than most expect.

    Jt says: "Superior listen!"
    Love It!
    Reviewer: Sarai, AudibleListener
    I first joined Audible because I wanted to read the Star Wars Saga, but I'm a college student so I just don't have the time to sit and enjoy reading like I used to. I found the only time I have to enjoy my books was while I was in my truck driving back and forth from work and classes. So I turned to Audible and found my Star Wars books, but found this book as well and I'm glad I got it. The book was amazing - I never wanted to get out of my truck when I got to where I was going. If I remember correctly, I believe it is narrated by six different people, for there were many different voice changes in the book. Every one of them did a fantastic job. The storyline was great and the author did a great job of combining fiction with history. If anyone is pressed for time to sit and enjoy reading, audiobooks can help. Even my older brother who has a reading disorder has started to fall in love with books because of audiobooks. Audible is an amazing site with book for all ages. If you like to read, listen to books, or just want to try something new, this is the place to be.
  • Catch Me If You Can (

UNABRIDGED) by Frank W. Abagnale Narrated by Barrett Whitener

    Catch Me If You Can

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 36 mins)
    • By Frank W. Abagnale
    • Narrated By Barrett Whitener

    Frank W. Abagnale was one of the most daring conmen, forgers, imposters, and escape artists in history. In his brief but notorious criminal career, Abagnale donned a pilot's uniform and copiloted a Pan Am jet, masqueraded as the supervising resident of a hospital, practiced law without a license, passed himself off as a college sociology professor, and cashed over $2.5 million in forged checks, all before he was 21. His story is now a film starring Leonardo DiCaprio and Tom Hanks.

    Steve says: "Really entertaining!"
    THE BEST for new listeners
    Reviewer: karyllynne, AudibleListener
    I keep Catch Me If You Can on my old Audible Otis and lend it to people who aren't sure if they will like audiobooks. It's such an engaging romp that most people can't help getting caught up in the story, and it's so well narrated that it's an excellent introduction to audiobooks.
  • Eat, Pray, Love: One Woman's Search for Everything Across Italy, India, and Indonesia (

UNABRIDGED) by Elizabeth Gilbert Narrated by Elizabeth Gilbert

    Eat, Pray, Love: One Woman's Search for Everything Across Italy, India, and Indonesia

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 52 mins)
    • By Elizabeth Gilbert
    • Narrated By Elizabeth Gilbert
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    Around the time Elizabeth Gilbert turned 30, she went through an early-onslaught midlife crisis. She went through a divorce, a crushing depression, another failed love, and the eradication of everything she ever thought she was supposed to be. To recover from all this, Gilbert took a radical step. She got rid of her belongings, quit her job, and undertook a yearlong journey around the world, all alone. This is the absorbing chronicle of that year.

    Kerry says: "Witty and Wonderful"
    Finding Love After Eat, Pray, Love
    Reviewer: Giselle, AudibleListener
    Well, I actually found love before I heard Eat, Pray, Love. What I hadn't found was a honeymoon destination in the months before our wedding. I had been to both Italy and India (the inspirations for the "eat" and the "pray"), however, never to Bali. By the time I was done with the book, I was pleading with my fiance for a honeymoon in Bali. We spent 10 days in Bali and because my husband had found such a wonderful guide, we were able to meet some of the characters from the book. One such character, Ketut Lier, an old medicine man, told us we would live to be 101 and 102 and would only ever be married to each other. Seeing the book come alive was amazing, and there are shared experiences from Liz Gilbert's story that could inspire anyone to do something like get on a plane and head to Bali! Go for Eat, Pray, Love if you're ready for some action verbs in your life.
  • American Pastoral (

UNABRIDGED) by Philip Roth Narrated by Ron Silver

    American Pastoral

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 32 mins)
    • By Philip Roth
    • Narrated By Ron Silver

    Seymour "Swede" Levov is a prosperous, hard-working family man who comes of age in America's triumphant postwar era. But when the country begins to run amok in the 1960s, Swede's perfect world crumbles.

    Thomas says: "A Masterpiece"
    Reviewer: Brian Fielding, Audible Staffer
    When Audible was in the process of moving its headquarters to Newark, New Jersey, I thought I'd get more acquainted with the history of Newark from Roth's award-winning book. I had tried to read it several years ago but became bogged down after 20 pages. Somehow the story didn't engage me, so I simply put it down. And then I discovered Ron Silver's stunning performance of this brilliant novel. Suddenly the characters became vividly alive and the story fascinating. I was completely engrossed. I listened to the entire unabridged recording driving to and from Ann Arbor, Michigan, and what was usually an interminable and often dangerous (dodging semi-trucks on Route 80) drive became a deeply pleasurable trip.
  • Tarzan of the Apes (

UNABRIDGED) by Edgar Rice Burroughs Narrated by Shelly Frasier

    Tarzan of the Apes

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 38 mins)
    • By Edgar Rice Burroughs
    • Narrated By Shelly Frasier
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    The classic tale is one of an extraordinary boy coming to manhood in a jungle world where he must establish his own values and morals. The story has a touch of romance and is action packed from start to finish!

    Chris says: "This is not the movies."
    Reviewer: Frank Linkh, Audible Staffer
    So, I thought that I'd be using Audible to catch up on the popular new business books that I never have the chance to read. But I was browsing around and came across the Tarzan books I loved as a kid - so I downloaded one just for the nostalgia value and quickly found that I was enjoying it as much as I did when I was 11. Which led me back to Burroughs's John Carter of Mars series. (Why haven't they made a movie out of that!) Which reminded me how cool I thought Last of the Mohicans was when I first read it. Well, several months later, I haven't listened to a single business title - but I have reconnected with my favorite old action heroes.
  • The Golden Compass: His Dark Materials, Book 1 (

UNABRIDGED) by Philip Pullman Narrated by Philip Pullman, full cast

    The Golden Compass: His Dark Materials, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 41 mins)
    • By Philip Pullman
    • Narrated By Philip Pullman, full cast

    When Lyra and her daemon Pantalaimon decide to spy on a presentation her uncle, the commanding Lord Asriel, is making to the elders of Jordan College they have no idea that they will become witnesses to an attempted murder, and even less that they are taking the first steps in a journey that will lead them into danger and adventure unlike anything Lyra's unfettered imagination has conjured up.

    Arnold says: "A Terrific Book"
    Full Cast Extravaganza
    Reviewer: Tom Pile, Audible Staffer
    Because I'm always interested in hearing work read by the author, Phillip Pullman's audio edition of His Dark Materials: The Golden Compass caught my attention. A writer who understands the power of spoken word story-telling can deliver every nuance of a narrative in a way that renders much more than what can be captured on the page. There's context and subtle emphasis, there's the rhythm of speech and accent, there's the dramatic pause and the whispered parentheses. Here, in precise detail, with a supporting cast of a dozen marvelous actors to bring all the extraordinary characters to life, Pullman delivers a vivid tale that is far more cinematic in its breadth and scope than any Hollywood feature could ever be. This audiobook provides an excellent opportunity to get the whole family on the same page by listening together. It's equally enjoyable for pre-teens, teenagers, and adults. Forget the movie - go listen to this story!
21-30of33results PREVIOUS1234NEXT
We spent hours and hours debating which of our favorites would make the cut for this list of essential experiences.

Five-Star Listens
The highest-rated audiobooks in 12 favorite categories, selected by your fellow listeners.

Best of 2011
What did we love? What did you love? Check out our picks (and yours!) for the Best of 2011.

Featured Narrators
After polling Audible editors and customers, we profiled some of our favorite narrators.

Audible Signature Classics
Some of literature's greatest stories are performed in a new and exciting way by some of today's most accomplished stars.

Give us a call anytime and we'll be happy to walk you through the download process:

(USA & Canada)


24/7 Customer Care Support