The Many Voices of Jim Dale

Hear what Jim Dale called "the most extraordinary book" he ever narrated, plus our editors' picks for his most unmissable performances.

To Audible listeners, Jim Dale is probably best known as the beloved voice of the Harry Potter audiobooks. Over the course of the series, Jim voiced hundreds of J.K. Rowling’s characters, and even once held a Guinness World Record for the number of voices he created for Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (147). As a narrator, he has lent his voice to dozens of books in a variety of genres. He has won two Grammy Awards, seven Grammy nominations, ten Audie Awards, four Narrator of the Year Awards, and was the first inductee into the American Audio Hall of Fame. With all those accolades, it’s no secret that Jim Dale is talented — but the best way to understand Dale’s appeal is to hear one of his amazing performances for yourself. Here are some of our favorites:

The Boy with the Cuckoo-Clock Heart

Jim Dale calls this unique, fantastical novel “the most extraordinary book [he] ever recorded.” Set in the late 19th century, it tells the story of Jack, a boy with heart so fragile it cannot experience extreme emotions — especially love. So when Jack falls for a young street performer who also happens to be the object of the school bully’s affections … things get complicated.

The Night Circus

"Anything Jim Dale narrates gets my attention," says Ashley. "His voice is magic." In this modern classic, the circus arrives without warning. No announcements precede it. It is simply there, when yesterday it was not. Within the black-and-white-striped canvas tents is an utterly unique experience full of breathtaking amazements. It is called Le Cirque des Rêves, and it is only open at night.

Bikeman

Taking the form of an epic poem (that by its very nature is meant to be read aloud), “Bikeman” is a truly harrowing account of the events of 9/11. Narrating as a journalist who watched the Twin Towers fall, Jim Dale creates a distinct sense of fear, duty, and heartbreak.

Return to the Hundred Acre Wood

Some of Jim Dale’s best performances are books for children, and he is positively delightful as the voice of Pooh and friends in this book — the first new Pooh story sanctioned by A.A. Milne’s estate. Whether you grew up hearing Pooh’s adventures or are looking for a family listening experience, prepare to have a permanent grin on your face while listening to this book.

Peter and the Starcatchers

A prequel to Peter Pan, Peter and the Starcatchers brings all the magic of the original tale to a whole new series of adventures and characters, and Jim Dale, an expert at evoking fairy tales, is the ideal voice for this reimagining.

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone, Book 1

Of course, the seven books that make up the complete Harry Potter series are probably Jim’s most unmissable performances of all. Given the series’ high-octane plot and so many unique and magical characters, a less skilled narrator would have made this story difficult to follow. Even if you’ve read the books, do yourself the favor of reliving the adventures through Jim Dale’s masterful narration, and get to know J.K. Rowling’s beloved characters again in a whole new way.

The Boy with the Cuckoo-Clock Heart

Jim Dale calls this unique, fantastical novel “the most extraordinary book [he] ever recorded.” Set in the late 19th century, it tells the story of Jack, a boy with heart so fragile it cannot experience extreme emotions — especially love. So when Jack falls for a young street performer who also happens to be the object of the school bully’s affections … things get complicated.

The Night Circus

"Anything Jim Dale narrates gets my attention," says Ashley. "His voice is magic." In this modern classic, the circus arrives without warning. No announcements precede it. It is simply there, when yesterday it was not. Within the black-and-white-striped canvas tents is an utterly unique experience full of breathtaking amazements. It is called Le Cirque des Rêves, and it is only open at night.

Bikeman

Taking the form of an epic poem (that by its very nature is meant to be read aloud), “Bikeman” is a truly harrowing account of the events of 9/11. Narrating as a journalist who watched the Twin Towers fall, Jim Dale creates a distinct sense of fear, duty, and heartbreak.

Return to the Hundred Acre Wood

Some of Jim Dale’s best performances are books for children, and he is positively delightful as the voice of Pooh and friends in this book — the first new Pooh story sanctioned by A.A. Milne’s estate. Whether you grew up hearing Pooh’s adventures or are looking for a family listening experience, prepare to have a permanent grin on your face while listening to this book.

Peter and the Starcatchers

A prequel to Peter Pan, Peter and the Starcatchers brings all the magic of the original tale to a whole new series of adventures and characters, and Jim Dale, an expert at evoking fairy tales, is the ideal voice for this reimagining.

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone, Book 1

Of course, the seven books that make up the complete Harry Potter series are probably Jim’s most unmissable performances of all. Given the series’ high-octane plot and so many unique and magical characters, a less skilled narrator would have made this story difficult to follow. Even if you’ve read the books, do yourself the favor of reliving the adventures through Jim Dale’s masterful narration, and get to know J.K. Rowling’s beloved characters again in a whole new way.

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