Great Audio Books for First Listens | Audible Editor Recommended Great Audio Books
Great First Listens
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FROM FELLOW LISTENERS
  • The Magician's Nephew: The Chronicles of Narnia

    • UNABRIDGED (3 hrs and 57 mins)
    • By C.S. Lewis
    • Narrated By Kenneth Branagh
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1700)
    Performance
    (463)
    Story
    (475)

    Digory and Polly meet and become friends one cold, wet summer in London. Their lives burst into adventure when Digory's Uncle Andrew, who thinks he is a magician, sends them hurtling to...somewhere else. They find their way to Narnia, newborn from the Lion's song, and encounter the evil sorceress Jadis, before they finally return home.

    Jason says: "An incredible children's series"
    Reviewer: Steve Feldberg, Audible Editor
    The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe may get all the glory among the classic Chronicles of Narnia books, but to my way of thinking, The Magician's Nephew is the place to start. It's the first book, chronologically, in the series, so it allowed our family to get into the "history" of Narnia from the very beginning. Even better, we were transported by Kenneth Branagh's magical voice and wonderful storytelling. And, maybe best of all, we had the delicious anticipation of six more incredible audio experiences to come!
  • Water for Elephants

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 26 mins)
    • By Sara Gruen
    • Narrated By David LeDoux, John Randolph Jones
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (12695)
    Performance
    (5157)
    Story
    (5219)

    Why we think it’s a great listen: Some books are meant to be read; others are meant to be heard – Water for Elephants falls into the second group, and is one of the best examples we have of how a powerful performance enhances a great story. Nonagenarian Jacob Jankowski reflects back on his wild and wondrous days with a circus. It's the Depression Era and Jacob, finding himself parentless and penniless, joins the Benzini Brothers Most Spectacular Show on Earth.

    Kindle Customer says: "Great Narration!!"
    Reviewer: Ed Walloga, Audible Editor
    I first checked out Water For Elephants in paperback (yes, paperback), cracking it open because several of my fellow editors had loved the audiobook. Reading the opening lines with my internal 40-year-old voice, I was intrigued enough to download the audio. But then I heard the same opening lines in the gruff "90- or 93-year-old" tones of narrator John Randolph Jones, and became moved by a man near the end of his days looking back at his younger self. With that younger self voiced by David LeDoux (whose rich characterizations are perfect for the Depression Era setting) Water For Elephants showed me the extra power performance can add to a great story.
  • Three Junes

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 55 mins)
    • By Julia Glass
    • Narrated By John Keating
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1071)
    Performance
    (218)
    Story
    (219)

    Three Junes is a vividly textured symphonic novel set on both sides of the Atlantic during three fateful summers in the lives of a Scottish family. Three Junes "almost threatens to burst with all the life it contains...extraordinary," says Michael Cunningham, author of The Hours.

    Dagmar says: "Beautiful Narration of a Wonderful Story!"
    Reviewer: Diana Dapito, Audible Editor
    When I interviewed for a job at Audible.com, my future boss recommended that I listen to Three Junes. The family saga very quickly drew me in, thanks to John Keating's lilting accent and the span of the novel's settings - Greece, Scotland, and Greenwich Village. Because I loved every minute of my first audiobook experience, I had plenty to talk about on my second interview...and, thankfully, got the job that I needed to support my new habit.
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