Ten Audible Classics Narrated by Celebs

Posted by Danny on September 5, 2017

Goodreads Turns Ten is sponsored by Audible. Enjoy a free book with your trial.

What better way to breathe new life into a vintage text than with a modern reading? And what could be more modern than having a celebrity do the narration? From Maggie and Jake Gyllenhaal offering their voices to Tolstoy and Fitzgerald, to Rosamund Pike and James Franco tackling Austen and Vonnegut, there's an almost endless array of A-list actors reading the classics.

As part of our Goodreads Turns Ten celebration, we asked Audible's editors to recommend their favorite classic books read by celebs. See their breakdown below and add your favorites to your Want to Listen list.

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Jane Eyre narrated by Thandie Newton
by Charlotte Bronte

The Westworld actress brings her incredible talent and lovely accent to a book she says was "remarkably progressive" for its Victorian time. Charlotte Bronte's heroine is complex, willful, and brave, and we're 100% sure she'd approve of Thandie Newton performing it.

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Anna Karenina narrated by Maggie Gyllenhaal
by Leo Tolstoy

If the idea of tackling Tolstoy's 1,400-page classic gives you pause, don't worry—Maggie Gyllenhaal feels you. "I didn't have any idea when I took this on how intense it would be," she says. Fortunately, it paid off: Her literary prowess and intelligence go a long way toward bringing this classic to life.

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The Great Gatsby narrated by Jake Gyllenhaal
by F. Scott Fitzgerald

Meanwhile, Jake Gyllenhaal narrates F. Scott Fitzgerald's Great American Novel. The gleeful, excessive 1920s of wealthy New York comes alive in his reading, and when he says the book's famous and beautiful last line, it's hard to keep tears from springing to the eyes.

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Anne of Green Gables narrated by Rachel McAdams
by L.M. Montgomery

With all of the pluck and charm of its eponymous young hero, Rachel McAdams delivers a spectacular reading of Montgomery's beloved bildungsroman. In moments both funny and bittersweet, McAdams' voice has the same spark that has made Anne a much-loved symbol of individualism and cheer for more than a century.

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Pride and Prejudice narrated by Rosamund Pike
by Jane Austen

The Gone Girl actress played older sister Jane Bennet in the film, but here she plays all the Bennets—as well as Misters Darcy, Wickham, Bingley, and all the rest—like some spectacular one-woman show. Honestly, you'll wonder why she doesn't just narrate all the books. All of them.

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The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes narrated by Stephen Fry
by Arthur Conan Doyle

Stephen Fry is reason enough to get into this collection of Sherlock Holmes stories, but we can't decide if that's because of his unparalleled voice or his insightful, intimate, and deeply personal introductions to each book. Either way, the choice to listen is…elementary.

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Alice's Adventures in Wonderland narrated by Scarlett Johansson
by Lewis Carroll

Golden Globe nominee Scarlett Johansson brings a palpable sense of joy and exuberance to her performance of Lewis Carroll's enduring classic. From the White Rabbit and Mad Hatter to the Cheshire Cat and Queen of Hearts, she imbues each madcap character with a distinct voice and personality.

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The Adventures of Tom Sawyer narrated by Nick Offerman
by Mark Twain

Nick Offerman, the beloved Ron Swanson of Parks and Recreation, is also a total audiobook aficionado. And a Mark Twain aficionado. So it's only natural that he lends his famously gruff, sarcasm-dripping voice to Tom Sawyer.

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Fahrenheit 451 narrated by Tim Robbins
by Ray Bradbury

Academy Award winner Tim Robbins brings to his narration a significance and power that befits Bradbury's iconic novel. Treasure the paper form of this book, and then experience it in this totally different way.

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Slaughterhouse-Five narrated by James Franco
by Kurt Vonnegut Jr.

Between acting and writing and adapting classic novels for film, James Franco has established himself as something of an artistic jack-of-all-trades. He reads Vonnegut's classic satire about war with an appropriate world-weariness, refreshing a book that deserves to be appreciated by new generations.

See complete coverage of the Goodreads Ten-Year Anniversary Celebration, including:
Participate in our Hide-a-Book Day on September 18
The Best Books of the Decade, Chosen by You
Ten of Our Top Reviews of All Time
Ten Ways You Know You're a Goodreads Member

Want to give these classics a listen? Then sign up for a free Audible trial and you'll get two a book to get you started and you can cancel at any time.

Comments Showing 1-23 of 23 (23 new)

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message 1: by Steve, Goodreads employee (new)

Steve Sarner this is WAY cool! :)

message 2: by Jenan (new)

Jenan A very cool list, but I think you meant to type The Adventures of Tom Sawyer read by Nick Offerman. Right now it says read by Ron Swanson.

message 3: by Cal (new)

Cal (Cal's Reading Corner) This is brilliant! I had no idea. More of a reason to check out these audiobooks (even though I've read them several times!)

message 4: by Tatyana (new)

Tatyana There is algo Frankenstein read by Dan Stevens and David Copperfield read by Richard Armitage.

message 5: by Christian (new)

Christian Ekman Jenan wrote: "A very cool list, but I think you meant to type The Adventures of Tom Sawyer read by Nick Offerman. Right now it says read by Ron Swanson."

Pretty funny mistake on their part! There is also Huckleberry Finn, narrated by Elijah Wood, if one wants to read more like Tom Sawyer!

message 6: by Christian (new)

Christian Ekman Why is the Sherlock Holmes audiobook that's linked the third one in that volume? Why not link to the definitive collection, containing all the books?

message 7: by Isabela (new)

Isabela Oliveira I think Rosamund Pike and Scarlett Johansson have very beautiful voices.

message 8: by Lindsay (new)

Lindsay Jim Dale needs to be on here.

message 9: by Emily (new)

Emily Jenan wrote: "A very cool list, but I think you meant to type The Adventures of Tom Sawyer read by Nick Offerman. Right now it says read by Ron Swanson."

Nice catch! 😂 This has been fixed.

message 10: by Kelly (new)

Kelly This is a great list. Never knew some of these actors had done audiobooks for these classics. :)

Anne - Books of My Heart You need to include the Harry Dresden series by Jim Butcher narrated by James Marsters (Spike!). It's a new classic. lol

message 12: by Meg (new)

Meg They missed:
To The Lighthouse read by Nicole Kidman
The Handmaid's Tale read by Claire Danes
The Wonderful Wizard of Oz read by Anne Hathaway
Dracula read by Alan Cumming
The Metamorphosis read by Benedict Cumberbatch

AND my personal faves...
The Return of the Native narrated by ALAN RICKMAN,
Sherlock Holmes: The Rediscovered Railway Mysteries and Other Stories read by BENEDICT CUMBERBATCH,
and Of Mice and Men narrated GARY SINISE!

and I know these aren't classics but I just love listening to them so...
The Red Necklace by Sally Gardner narrated by Tom Hiddleston
A Rage in Harlem by Chester Himes read by Samuel L. Jackson.
I just get a kick out of Samuel Jackson as a narrator.

message 13: by Betsy (new)

Betsy I like the idea of Stephen Fry narrating Sherlock Holmes, especially since he portrayed Mycroft Holmes in the second Robert Downey Jr. film.

message 14: by Tyler (new)

Tyler Jones also Travels with Charley read by Gary Sinese was very good.

message 15: by Kinga (new)

Kinga To Kill a Mockingbird narrated fantastically by Sissy Spacek.
The Driver's Seat narrated by Dame Judi Dench.

Jen from Quebec :0) I know, eh? GREAT stuff! I am only missing 3 from this list, the rest have already been added to my collection...(I also have most of the ones Meg listed above as well!) It is just so wonderful that the old classics are about a dollar in Kindle format, or FREE even, and then that makes these celebrity Audible books have a great big discount when you buy both formats. The fact that the people of the world can have such easy access to the classics of literature for FREE warms my heart...especially because growing up I lived in a place where I could not buy English books to read, despite an intense love of reading. --Jen from Quebec :0)

 ♥ Rebecca ♥ Anne of Green Gables read by Rachel McAdams was great!

message 18: by Yash (new)

Yash The Handmaid's Tale narrated by Claire Danes

message 19: by Lancelot (new)

Lancelot Cannissié I really need to get one of these, especially Alice's adventures in Wonderland read by Scarlett Johansson

message 20: by Athira (new)

Athira ~*~Meg~*~ wrote: "They missed:
To The Lighthouse read by Nicole Kidman
The Handmaid's Tale read by Claire Danes
The Wonderful Wizard of Oz read by Anne Hathaway
Dracula read by Alan Cumming
The Metamorphosis read by..."

Someone said it! I was looking for these books in the above list. You missed Cumberbatch's Sherlock Holmes audio book though.

message 21: by David S. T. (new)

David S. T. Slaughterhouse-Five narrated by Ethan Hawke is among my top 5 favorite audiobook performances. 3 years later I'm still pissed it was removed for the James Franco version (at least keep both).

message 22: by Андрей (new)

Андрей Раяновский needs a tim curry narration

message 23: by Kirthana (new)

Kirthana Ahh. Love this!

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