The Art of the Audiobook (4 Suggestions)

Ok so I listen to a lot of audiobooks. It started when I had a long commute to work now I have 60+ books. I don’t know why but I enjoy it more when I listen to it. However, it’s a special treat when it’s a REALLY good reader. Full cast audiobooks kind of fall apart sometimes when they are not done well. See, I grew up on these old cassette tapes that were recordings of BBC radio dramas. I think we’ve lost the art of the audio drama but, in reality, it might have just shifted. Here are a few audio books I’ve read that kind of show that it’s not totally dead.

Special Mention: Scott Brick
Dude, Scott Brick. Seriously. Anything by this guy is gold. He has this deep, smooth, masculine voice that is slow and somber. I read (listened?) though all of Dune with his voice. He does a lot of scifi and that’s my jam. Fun anecdote: I actually wrote him a fan email thanking him for his work on Dune. I love him that much.

Hitchhiker’s Guide (Stephen Fry / Martin Freeman)
So this audiobook came out around the same as the movie. Stephen Fry was the narrator and the voice of the guide in the movie so I guess they got him to do the first audiobook too. He is LOVING it. He gets so into the book and it rocks. Martin Freeman, who played Arthur Dent in the movie, does the rest of the books and is very reserved but is clearly having fun with it. Martin does better voices but Stephen is just a treat.

Ready Player One (Wil Wheaton)
So say what you will about Wil but he is the perfect voice actor for Ready Player One. He played one of the cringier aspects of the 80s-90s and kind of owns the nostalgic aspects of the books. He does the voice of Nolan Sorrento just so perfectly slimy and greasy. He is very familiar with the subject matter and is so into everything he’s saying you can tell he is having fun the whole time.

Dracula (Alan Cummings + Tim Curry + More) 
This one kind of made me write this. It’s free on Audible right now (if you have Audible. I swear this isn’t an Audible plug) and it has: Alan Cumming, Tim Curry teaming up with a lot of awesome audiobook readers (Simon Vance, Katherine Kellgren, Susan Duerden, John Lee, Graeme Malcolm, and Steven Crossley). It’s like an audiobook dream team (except they forgot Scott Brick..) and it’s bloody awesome to listen to.

Ender’s Game Alive
So this one is weird. It another big-budget audiobook with a large cast (15 people) but this time they remembered to put Scott Brick in there. It was also synced up with the release of the movie. So the weird thing is that I liked it but I don’t know if I can give it my full recommendation. While it’s not abridged, they do re-arrange the lines so they are all spoken rather than narrated which was a weird choice. In the same way, a lot of the actions have to be told to you though dialogue so a lot of it come off as stilted. Even after all that, it’s a lot of fun to listen to and they have a pretty diverse cast. Now if only the sequels would pick up a little bit.

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