Saturday, October 25, 2014

Fantastic Audiobook Narrators!

I have truly begun to enjoy listening to books. This is especially true on long commutes. A great book and a great narrator make the trip fly by! Some of the best narrators can make anything they read sound exciting and intriguing.

When I find a narrator I love to listen too, I do a search for other materials they have narrated. It doesn't matter who wrote it or necessarily what the story is about, if I know the narrator is good I will listen to the story. I have chosen several audiobooks strictly based on who the narrator is and it may sound crazy, but I can honestly say I have not been disappointed yet. When the narrator understands the story and the characters, then listening to the story becomes a true delight.

One of the great narrators of all time is Jim Dale. He is the narrator for the Harry Potter Series. He did well over 140 different voices for the Harry Potter series. He made each character stand out and brought the book to life. His amazing narrations have made him a winner of The Golden Voice award from Audie Books and also won him a Grammy award and Grammy nominations for his narrative skill.  His list of narrations include: The Night Circus, Peter and Secret of Rundoon, Around the World in Eighty Days and many more.  

Simon Prebble's British voice is also among Audio Files Golden Voices. He is best known for his narration of British novels but his works include A Christmas Garland by Anne Perry, 1984 by George Orwell and Sherlock Holmes mystery novels. He won best voice award in 2010 for his narration of The Coral Thief. Anything Simon reads, I am willing to listen too. He takes care with his craft using his imagination to fully immerse the reader in the story.

George Guidall, another Golden Voice recipient has narrated such wonderful titles as American Assassin, Bone Deep, Cell and Burnt House. His favorite book to narrate in recent years is I Know This Much Is True because it touches readers on many different levels; love, relationships, wives and first impressions.

Neil Gaiman's British accent and vocalizations make the stories he has written leap to life. The Ocean At The End of The Lane is beautiful and magical. Neil's storytelling held me enthralled and made me want to hop into the car so I could listen to more of the story. In fact I enjoy his narrations so much I checked out all the books he has narrated including his children's book, Fortunately, the Milk...which was wonderfully funny and full of fantastical characters. He is truly a joy to listen too.

Lorelei King is another of my favorite narrators. She is an award winning narrator as well and narrates stories for Debbie Macomber, Janet Evanovich, Patricia Briggs and Darynda Jones. A few of her award winning narrations are: First Grave on the Right, The Cabinet of Wonders, Tallgrass and Fearless Fourteen.

Mark Deakins is also a narrating treasure. He is an actor, author and narrator. I first listened to him as the narrator for the Maze Runner series. He has also narrated the following books: Catherine the Great: Portrait of a Woman by Robert K. Massie, Leaving Time by Jodi Picoult, and Look Me In the Eye by John Elder Robinson. The last book listed is the one that made one of my friends a believer in audiobooks. Look Me In the Eye is a nonfiction story that is funny, poignant and absolutely awe inspiring.  Perhaps anyone could read it and make it capture your attention,...but I really believe it takes special talent to read a story and bring it to life.

This is by no means an exhaustive list of excellent narrators--just a few of my favorites. If you have not listened to a good book find a book read by one of these narrators and get ready to hear an excellent story. Perhaps you'll find yourself enjoying your ride to work or even find that doing housework is not as bad as chore when you have a fantastic story to listen to. If you already listen to audiobooks and have a favorite narrator...tell me about him. I am always up for listening to another great story. 

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