John Keating on Ulysses: The language in this book is famously demanding, with sentences at times longer and more winding than the River Shannon. But Jim Norton somehow makes the narration seem easy, the story of Leopold Bloom's journey deceptively conversational, and gives the tone of Ulysses an intimacy which Joyce himself would no doubt have enjoyed. An amazing performance.
Eva Kaminsky on The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe: The first audiobook I ever listened to was Michael York reading The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe. I would take long walks just to listen to his lilting British voice. He seemed to have a ball with all the characterizations, and it really translated well into a fun, engaging story to get wrapped up in. It was a great introduction - I wound up getting the whole series.
Barbara Rosenblat on Fall of Giants: For someone like me, the broader the canvas, the richer the result. I have just finished listening to Part 1 of Ken Follett's new Century trilogy, Fall of Giants. For pleasure, mind you. It's a long tale of the intersection between different families, rich and poor, Welsh, German, Russian, English, American...all on the eve of World War I and beyond. Subsequent books will tell the tale of these character's progeny and how they deal with their world.
Follett's writing is like potato chips and you just cannot put him down. Having recorded two of his works, Jackdaws and Whiteout, I am always ..
Follett's writing is like potato chips and you just cannot put him down. Having recorded two of his works, Jackdaws and Whiteout, I am always impressed by his ability to spin a yarn that has you gripped to the end. The presence of multinationals in such books is what I crave when I am recording. They allow the listener to really connect with the author's intent by offering full-colour characterizations with dialects and a richness that only a fine audio recording can offer. Can't wait to tuck in to Book 2.
Nick Sullivan on The Dark Tower series: I have been a huge fan of Stephen King's Dark Tower series, and Frank Muller and George Guidall made these books a wonderful experience. Normally I don't like to switch narrators mid-series, but Muller and Guidall were both spectacular. Muller's tone emanated suspense and drove the story forward. Guidall's characterizations were top notch and the complexity of his natural speaking voice was perfect for spinning a tale of a world out of our time and place. I haven't yet listened to the last book in the series and I can't wait for my next road trip!
Jonathan Davis on The Graveyard Book: I recently heard Neil Gaiman narrate his story The Graveyard Book—loved it. Such a naturalistic and genuine reading of a supernatural tale, really stellar.
Jennifer Van Dyck on The Invention of Hugo Cabret: Jeff Woodman accomplishes an impossible task, which is to make a wonderful story that is half told through illustrations, completely compelling, suspenseful, scary and delightful. I love this book by Brian Selznick and thought it couldn't be an audiobook since so much of the experience of reading it is visual - but Jeff Woodman paints pictures with his voice. That is a skill I greatly admire.
Khristine Hvam on The Da Vinci Code: So, my favorite audiobook was the very first one I ever listened to: The Da Vinci Code by Dan Brown and narrated by Paul Michael. It has it all, drama, suspense, and fantastic narration that brings it all to life. Most of all it sparked my interest in becoming an audiobook narrator myself.
Erin Moon on American Gods: My favorite recording of a book is George Guidall's performance of Neil Gaiman's American Gods. George is one of the most talented voices in the narration of books. His characters and turn of a sentence are unparallelled. His pacing changes as required by the story, as do the rhythms of his character voices. This is a fabulous book, and George does such a detailed and thoughtful performance.
Amanda Ronconi on Bridget Jones's Diary: I absolutely love Tracie Bennett's narration of Bridget Jones's Diary. I listen to it a lot just for narrator inspiration. She does really fun, fully-developed characters. And her Bridget Jones is totally present and real, funny and believable.
Natalie Gold on the Game of Thrones series: I am completely addicted to the Game of Thrones series. The books are amazing, but Roy Dotrice is a genius. Each character - and there are more characters than I ever thought possible - is so crystal clear. He makes each person, each story, each land so specific and come to life so vividly. A truly great narrator who allows the listener to completely enter the world of the book - he draws you in - never overwhelms. It is brilliant and a true master class.
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