Posted on Friday, December 7, 2012 by Robyn_Bookworm
I want to like audio books; I really do. But I’ve always had a difficult time listening to them. When someone starts reading, my mind starts to wander. And honestly, I find some of the narrators annoying and they often don’t fit the voice that I imagine. Audio books can be really useful though, for long road trips or as an exercise companion, if I can only find one that keeps me interested. For the past couple of months I have been experimenting with audio books, and I have discovered some great books read by great narrators, some of them even well-known actors such as Elijah Wood and Tim Curry. Here are some of the best audio books that I discovered. See the complete list here.
James Patterson’s young adult novel is part dystopia part wizard-fantasy. It follows Wisty and Whit, who are imprisoned by their totalitarian government, accused of being a witch and a wizard. As their powers are revealed to them, the siblings struggle to cope with the new discovery and the dangers facing them in a society that has no tolerance for their gifts. Elijah Wood and Spencer Locke play the roles of the brother and sister, and added sound effects bring the story to life.
Pretty much anything read by Neil Gaiman is amazing. His reading is so animated and passionate and he does a different voice for each character. Neverwhere follows Richard Mayhew as he wanders into London Below, a sort of dark and twisted Wonderland where nothing is as it seems. This one kept me absorbed until the very end and I literally gasped out loud when the final twist was revealed.
When Christopher Boone, a young teenager with Asperger’s Syndrome, discovers his neighbor’s dog murdered in the yard, he sets out on a quest to discover what exactly happened. His quest forces him to confront the social anxieties and emotional turmoil that comes with his condition, and provides insight into the seemingly eccentric rituals that provide him with structure and comfort. Narrator Jeff Woodman is hilarious and his emotional outbursts help listeners see (or hear) the world inside Boone’s mind.
The Bad Beginning is the first in the Lemony Snicket series, following three incredibly unlucky kids and the misfortunes and misadventures they face. It is read by Tim Curry who is a perfect fit for this darkly humorous and sarcastic series.
Stephen King is a master of horror and this short story collection pairs his frightening tales with an all-star cast. Whoopie Goldberg, Tim Curry, Rob Lowe, Matthew Broderick, and Kathy Bates are just a few of the celebs who lend their talents to King’s collection. Some of the stories are even read by the master himself, and his reading is just as chilling as his writing.
Ok, I know this is a children’s story, but it is read by one of my favorite actors, Stephen Fry, and he was simply born for this role. I got chills when I first heard him read because his warm and friendly voice is exactly how I imagined the stories when I read them as a child. Fry also reads The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy and once again performs the role perfectly.