As many of you know, I am a big fan of audiobooks. I find though that I am very sensitive to the quality of the narrator. Much of the time I will choose whether to buy a book in Audible format or Kindle format based on the Audible sample. A great narrator can bring a whole extra dimension to a book, and so I thought I’d share some of my favourite narrators with you.
Jim Butcher’s Dresden Files is narrated by James Marsters whose narrative style fits perfectly the jaded, harassed attitude of Chicago’s only consulting wizard. He doesn’t do distinct character voices to the extent of some narrators, but when Marsters is narrating he IS Harry Dresden. This is one series that is definitely best experienced in audio format. Check out a sample here:
At the helm of the Artemis Fowl series is Nathaniel Parker. I’ve grown quite fond of narrators who have different voices for the different characters and Parker is one of the very best. I adore his Irish accent for Artemis and if memory serves he has even distinguished between an Australian and New Zealand accent. You can find a sample here
Kate Reading and Michael Kramer
These two narrators are very much linked in my mind because between them they narrate the Wheel of Time series. An average WoT book is over 30 hours long, so it’s nice to have a switch up of narrator part way through. I enjoy the voices they give to each character, with Reading’s Seanchan accent being particularly memorable. Have a listen to this sample.
Marisa Calin narrates Kerstin Gier’s Gem trilogy and does a fantastic job. One of the charms of this series is the main character, Gwyneth’s, spirit and humour and Calin captures that perfectly.
Laini Taylor’s Daughter of Smoke and Bone series is narrated by Khristine Hvam. Again this is a series I enjoyed in audio format thanks to Hvam’s wonderful narration.
The second book in Brent Weeks’ Lightbringer trilogy, The Blinding Knife, is narrated by Simon Vance and was one of the first books I listened to in audio format. It was partly due to Vance’s excellent narration that I became interested in audiobooks.
I came across Bond’s narration through her work on And Furthermore Judi Dench’s autobiography. She captured very well the warmth and humour of the book. I saw that she is narrating the new Bridget Jones: Mad About the Boy, so I switched my preorder from Kindle to Audible. I think her narration will work very well for the book.
Honourable mention: Roy Dotrice
Although I personally have never enjoyed George R R Martin’s Song of Ice and Fire series in audio format, I know he is a fan favourite. In fact, he is listed in the Guinness Book of Records for having the most character voices for an individual audiobook. My problem with the SoIaF audiobooks is simply that I got to know the HBO show before listening to the audiobook so Dotrice’s voices no longer match up to my own imagination – for me, Peter Dinklage IS Tyrion.
So, are your favourites on this list? Who do you enjoy listening to? Let me know in the comments.