Simon Vance
About Simon Vance

A British actor with a long time love of audiobook narrating, Simon lives in Northern California with his wife and two children.

He began his 'vocal' career in the UK as a producer/presenter at one of the BBC's first local radio stations, Radio Brighton. From there he moved to London where he joined the select band of announcers/newsreaders for Radio 4, the BBC's national speech-based network. At that time he 'cut his teeth' as an audiobook narrator by donating time to the Royal National Institute for the Blind's Talking Book Service. In the early '90s he left radio to become a full time actor when he moved to Northern California. It's at this time that he began to record audiobooks commercially.

Within a couple of years, "Library Journal" described Simon as "one of the best narrators in the business"...Show More »

Simon Vance's Most Recent Performances

The Lost Books of the Odyssey

  • UNABRIDGED (4 hrs and 44 mins)
  • By Zachary Mason
  • Narrated By Simon Vance
  • Whispersync for Voice-ready
Overall
(37)
Performance
(16)
Story
(16)

With brilliant prose, terrific imagination, and dazzling literary skill, Mason creates alternative episodes, fragments, and revisions of Homer’s original that taken together open up this classic Greek myth to endless reverberating interpretations. The Lost Books of the Odyssey is punctuated with great wit, beauty, and playfulness; it is a daring literary work that marks the emergence of an extraordinary new talent.

Rickapolis says: "The Lost Hours of the Listener"

Paradise Lost

  • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 11 mins)
  • By John Milton
  • Narrated By Simon Vance
  • Whispersync for Voice-ready
Overall
(50)
Performance
(31)
Story
(28)

John Milton's Paradise Lost is one of the greatest epic poems in the English language. It tells the story of the Fall of Man, a tale of immense drama and excitement, of rebellion and treachery, of innocence pitted against corruption, in which God and Satan fight a bitter battle for control of mankind's destiny.

Tony McClung says: "The most accessible reading of Paradise Lost"

Persona Non Grata: A Novel of the Roman Empire

  • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 19 mins)
  • By Ruth Downie
  • Narrated By Simon Vance
  • Whispersync for Voice-ready
Overall
(396)
Performance
(236)
Story
(239)

At long last, Gaius Petreius Ruso and his companion, Tilla, are headed home - to Gaul. Having received a note consisting only of the words "COME HOME!" Ruso has (reluctantly, of course) pulled up stakes and brought Tilla to meet his family. But the reception there is not what Ruso has hoped for: no one will admit to sending for him, and his brother Lucius is hoping he'll leave.

Laurie says: "Well worth the wait!"

The Beetle-Hunter

  • UNABRIDGED (36 mins)
  • By Arthur Conan Doyle
  • Narrated By Simon Vance
Overall
(11)
Performance
(3)
Story
(3)

Though Sir Arthur Conan Doyle is best known for his detective stories, he also wrote other short stories which are masterpieces of mystery and suspense. In some of the stories, a supressed uneasiness gradually builds up and evolves into sheer terror; in others, the story line unexpectedly changes and comes to an unlikely conclusion. In "The Beetle-Hunter", a beginning doctor is employed on a strange errand to a coleopterist.

C. Johnson says: "A decent ACD short story"
Essential Listening
Start your listening with these ultimate performances!
  • An Unpardonable Crime

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 53 mins)
    • By Andrew Taylor
    • Narrated By Simon Vance
    Overall
    (274)
    Performance
    (39)
    Story
    (39)

    Edgar Allan Poe is an American boy in England, a child standing on the edge of mysteries. In 1819, two Americans arrive in London. Soon afterward a bank collapses. A man is found horribly mutilated on a building site and an heiress flirts with her inferiors. All the while, Poe's young schoolmaster struggles to understand what is happening before he and his loved ones are destroyed. But the truth has its origins in the New World and the Old, in a bitter episode of corruption during the War of 1812.

    Anne says: "worthwhile"
    In this remarkable period thriller, Simon Vance's rich narration brings individuality to a wide cast of Victorian characters, including a 10 year-old Edgar Allen Poe.
  • The Prestige

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 19 mins)
    • By Christopher Priest
    • Narrated By Simon Vance
    Overall
    (1075)
    Performance
    (509)
    Story
    (511)

    In 1878, two young stage magicians clash in the dark during the course of a fraudulent séance. From this moment on, their lives become webs of deceit and revelation as they vie to outwit and expose each other. In the course of pursuing each other's ruin, they will deploy all the deception their magician's craft can command. Their rivalry will take them to the peaks of their careers, but with terrible consequences.

    Andrew says: "One of a Kind."
    Envy, ambition, and deceit collide in this gothic novel about the rivalry of two 19th century London stage magicians. Simon Vance's haunting performance sweeps the listener away into the depths of the dark Victorian sensationalism.
  • Lost on Planet China

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 52 mins)
    • By J. Maarten Troost
    • Narrated By Simon Vance
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (444)
    Performance
    (216)
    Story
    (218)

    When the travel bug bit, J. Maarten Troost took on the world's most populous and intriguing nation. As Troost relates his gonzo adventure - dodging deadly drivers in Shanghai, eating yak in Tibet, deciphering restaurant menus (offering local favorites such as cattle penis with garlic), and visiting with Chairman Mao (still dead) - he reveals a vast, complex country on the brink of transformation that will soon shape the way we all work, live, and think.

    Dan says: "Funny but harsh with some underlying truth."
    Brought to life by Simon Vance's narration, famed travel writer J. Maarten Troost has charmed listeners again with his witty and humorous exploration o the world's most populous and intriguing nation.
  • Master and Commander: Aubrey/Maturin Series, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 17 mins)
    • By Patrick O'Brian
    • Narrated By Simon Vance
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (680)
    Performance
    (304)
    Story
    (307)

    This, the first in the series of Jack Aubrey novels, establishes the friendship between Captain Aubrey, R.N., and Stephen Maturin, ship's surgeon and intelligence agent, against the thrilling backdrop of the Napoleonic wars. Details of life aboard a man-of-war in Nelson's navy are faultlessly rendered: the conversational idiom of the officers in the ward room and the men on the lower deck, the food, the floggings, the mysteries of the wind and the rigging.

    Lisa says: "Surprised that I loved it!"
    In this first of the Jack Aubrey novels, Simon Vance takes the listener into the bowels of a man-of-war in Nelson's navy. From the distinct period conversation, to the sights and smells of the lower decks, to the mysteries of the ship's rigging, life at sea is flawlessly rendered against the thrilling backdrop of the Napoleonic Wars.
  • Casino Royale

    • UNABRIDGED (4 hrs and 39 mins)
    • By Ian Fleming
    • Narrated By Simon Vance
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1331)
    Performance
    (788)
    Story
    (795)

    Introducing James Bond: charming, sophisticated, handsome, chillingly ruthless, and licensed to kill. This, the first of Ian Fleming's tales of secret agent 007, finds Bond on a mission to neutralize a lethal, high-rolling Russian operative called "Le Chiffre" by ruining him at the Baccarat table, forcing his Soviet spymasters to "retire" him. It seems that lady luck has sided with 007 when Le Chiffre hits a losing streak. But some people just refuse to play by the rules.

    Pork C. Fish says: "Ouch!"
    As captured by narrator Simon Vance, Bond is as suave, British, and ultra-competent as you'd expect, but he's also startlingly vulnerable, falling victim to both his enemies and his own doubts. With a wry, knowing delivery, Vance excels at capturing the tension in Fleming's prose: he wrings Bond's torture for every last, excruciating squirm.