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Book Recommendations > Multi-voice audio books?

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message 1: by Geoffrey (new)

Geoffrey Williams | 1 comments Most audio books are recorded by a single voice actor. I listened to a production of Frank Herbert's famous "Dune" performed by about six actors. It was outstanding. Richard Condon's "Winter Kills" which was just released, also has a cast of half a dozen or so voice actors. Why aren't more books produced this way? Is it cost? Or do listeners simply not like them as much?


message 2: by Natalie (new)

Natalie (haveah) | 106 comments I only like full cast audiobooks for certain things. Like anything Monty Python or Douglas Adams is welcome to be in full cast. But I was soo distracted for the full cast Lord Of The Rings books, that I had to stop listening.


message 3: by AH (new)

AH | 26 comments You'd enjoy the audio version of World War Z. It has an all star cast and it is kind of fun trying to identify the voices.


message 4: by Jim (new)

Jim (jimmaclachlan) Ender's Game is read by several different people including Rudnicki & Card. Very good. I've listened to a few anthologies with different voices for each story. They can be good, too.


message 5: by AH (last edited Dec 08, 2015 11:05AM) (new)

AH | 26 comments Locke & Key also had multiple voices and Tatiana Maslany who plays multiple characters on Orphan Black.


message 6: by Kristie (last edited Dec 08, 2015 11:41AM) (new)

Kristie | 2212 comments I generally only like multi-voice narrations if the book is written from the perspective of different characters (The Help or Gone Girl, for example).

I know a lot of people liked the full-cast narration of American Gods, but I found it too awkward with the narrator having to throw in, "he said" all the time. If it's written in 3rd person, I think it should have one narrator (or be adapted into the "radio drama" format with all the "he/she saids" edited out).


Powder River Rose (powderriverrose) | 129 comments Geoff wrote: "Most audio books are recorded by a single voice actor. I listened to a production of Frank Herbert's famous "Dune" performed by about six actors. It was outstanding. Richard Condon's "Winter Kills"..."

I would imagine cost has something to do with it. Obviously, the "cast" has to work out each part in the book and then there's lots of work after that just to get it ready for production....then there's the production.

Not wanting to speak for others, I personally like a well done multi-narrator book and have listened to a few.

Recently I listened to The Little Paris Bookshop and the dual narrators were fabulous though for some the story may be slow. When the woman finally enters into the story it hits one with surprise. Here are a few others that are very good.

War of the Worlds (Invasion from Mars) by H.G. Wells -- Star Trek & Star Trek-Next Generation cast members narrate
Dracula by Bram Stoker - full cast version
The Historian by Elizabeth Kostova - dual narration sequel to Dracula
Princess Academy by Shannon Hale - full cast

There are others I've listened to but these are off the top of my head.


❆ Crystal ❆ (crystal_wright) | 53 comments I don't need multiple, multiple narrators... but books with a male and female narrators are my favorite. Not many narrators can pull off voices for the opposite sex. Sometimes a book can be completely ruined for me when a male narrator tries to sound like a woman. For me, it comes off sounding like a man in drag. Most women can do male voices fairly well, but I would absolutely LOVE to see more dual narrations.


message 9: by John (new)

John Grose | 15 comments Speaking just for myself, I prefer to have a single narrator.


message 10: by Stephen (new)

Stephen (havan) | 23 comments For a while my audio-book listening was limited to Shakespeare plays. There the multi-narrator versions were wonderful.


message 11: by Emily (new)

Emily | 1 comments Kristie wrote: "I generally only like multi-voice narrations if the book is written from the perspective of different characters (The Help or Gone Girl, for example).

I know a lot of people liked the full-cast n..."


I've never listened to American Gods, but the full-cast production of The Graveyard Book was fantastic. I was a little hesitant to even listen to it because I like Neil Gaiman's narration so much, but I was won over within minutes of listening!


message 12: by Shane (new)

Shane Phillips | 91 comments Most Star Wars books have multiple narrators and sound effects. The jack reacher books comply have a female and nails reader


message 13: by Jeanie (new)

Jeanie | 3199 comments Shane wrote: "Most Star Wars books have multiple narrators and sound effects. The jack reacher books comply have a female and nails reader"

The Reacher books I get have Dick Hill as the solo narrator. Having a female read the women's roles wouldn't be unwelcome I must say. Otherwise, I like his narration lots.


message 14: by Lauren (new)

Lauren  (lauren_w) I've listened to several ensemble narrator audiobooks lately, and really enjoyed the reading. This works particularly well for me when there a shifting narrative in the book, chapters told from various perspectives, etc., rather than dialogue between two readers. This is infinitely preferable to me than a male reader trying to do a female voice!

Franzen's new book, Purity, used multiple narrators, and it was very well done. It really added to the experience for me. Currently listening to Murakami's Kafka on the Shore and the narrators are wonderful here too.


message 15: by Ann (new)

Ann (annrumsey) | 160 comments Jeanie: I am with you, a female narrator would be most welcome to accompany Dick Hill. His female voices are terribly distracting. As for voicing Reacher, he is very good. I especially liked the recitation of a famous historical speech in Make Me.
Jeanie wrote: "The Reacher books I get have Dick Hill as the solo narrator. Having a female read the women's roles wouldn't be unwelcome I must say. Otherwise, I like his narration lots.."


message 16: by CatBookMom (new)

CatBookMom | 995 comments I like the multi-voice narrations from Graphic Audio (dot net). They do 'movies in your mind', with sound effects. They have a lot of series in different genres: sci-fi, fantasy, westerns, paranormal, adventure, etc.

I have most of the Heris Serrano series (aka Serrano Legacy), written by Elizabeth Moon, and some of the Vatta's War series, beginning with Trading in Danger. These are pricey audiobooks (about $25), but you may like them as well.

The books written by Tamora Pierce are in multi-voice audio, too, produced by Full Cast Audio (dot com). Wonderful YA fantasy stories, also suitable for adults.


message 17: by Jeanie (new)

Jeanie | 3199 comments CatBookMom wrote: "I like the multi-voice narrations from Graphic Audio (dot net). They do 'movies in your mind', with sound effects. They have a lot of series in different genres: sci-fi, fantasy, westerns, paranorm..."

I've wondered about those. Are they unabridged full texts or dramatizations? I know it may sound wierd for a narrator to say the he said/she said part of the book, but I don't want to miss a single word the author writes.


message 18: by Stephen (new)

Stephen (havan) | 23 comments Full cast audio-books always remind me a bit of what I think the old radio programs might have been like.

The few example of those that I've come across have been wonderful.


message 19: by CatBookMom (new)

CatBookMom | 995 comments Jeanie wrote: "CatBookMom wrote: "I like the multi-voice narrations from Graphic Audio (dot net). They do 'movies in your mind', with sound effects. They have a lot of series in different genres: sci-fi, fantasy,..."

I think of them as unabridged. But, yes, they leave out 'he said', 'she said'. For some authors (yes, Robert Parker, I'm thinking of you!) that's a mercy. So for you, they'd be 'adapted', 'abridged'. The samples you can get are fairly long, so you might want to see what you think.


message 20: by Jim (new)

Jim (jimmaclachlan) Stephen wrote: "Full cast audio-books always remind me a bit of what I think the old radio programs might have been like.

The few example of those that I've come across have been wonderful."


I love OTR. If you want more, the Internet Archive has a LOT of them for free. Go here to find them:
https://archive.org/details/oldtimeradio
I finally got the entire X-Minus One series that way. Great radio programs made from classic SF stories.


message 21: by Wendy (new)

Wendy Bunnell | 3 comments I usually like multiple reader productions. The His Dark Arts trilogy by Philip Pullman, which includes The Golden Compass, The Subtle Knife, and a third whose name escapes me, is really well done. I also liked World War Z, as mentioned above.


message 22: by AudioFile (new)

AudioFile Mag | 1786 comments Full-cast audiobooks are fun to listen to and can be produced like old-fashioned radio dramas. A two-narrator book, though, can be hard to make work because the narrators' voices and character-interpretations must compliment each other. One of the best I've heard (and reviewed for AudioFile) recently is Lily King's Euphoria, read by Simon Vance and Xe Sands. Brilliant blending of voices. And Xe Sands is going to be on GoodReads on February 15 and 16!


message 23: by Sterling (new)

Sterling (sterlingf) | -24 comments I have tried some full cast productions and I found them very distracting. I have only found a couple books that had multiple narrators that I thought worked well with the story and created a more enjoyable listening experience over a single narrator. Gone Girl was a great audiobook, I really liked the way they used two different narrators for the two stories. It is a very dark book but it is brilliant. The Bone Clocks this book has multiple narrators and I must say at first it was a little distracting having one narrator read for a character and then in the next chapter a different narrator takes over and you have to get use to a new readers voice and style. That being said I enjoyed this audiobook and I appreciate the way it was executed because of the timeframe of the story.


message 24: by Janice (last edited Feb 13, 2016 08:14AM) (new)

Janice (jamasc) | 934 comments Sterling wrote: "I have tried some full cast productions and I found them very distracting. I have only found a couple books that had multiple narrators that I thought worked well with the story and created a more ..."

I really enjoyed both of those books, Sterling. I think the multi-narrators of The Bone Clocks worked so well because each chapter was from a different POV. With one narrator, I would have been lost.

What other books with full cast have you listened to? I was going to listen to The Widow but it seems to have disappeared from Audible. I thought perhaps it was a rights issues, but it looks like I can purchase the audiobook from Amazon.ca. It's at a higher cost than my credits though.


message 25: by Sterling (new)

Sterling (sterlingf) | -24 comments Janice wrote: "Sterling wrote: "I have tried some full cast productions and I found them very distracting. I have only found a couple books that had multiple narrators that I thought worked well with the story an..."
Hey Janice I have listened to The Starling Project by Jeffrey Deaver it was just ok. The performances where pretty good but it was more like trying to follow a tv cop show without a picture. I think it would have been more enjoyable with one narrator and more discription about what is happening in each scene.
I listened to Dracula by Bram Stoker and it was one of the better productions. The acting was great and the story is a classic. I recommend this one if you like multi cast productions.
One more I can remember off the top of my head was Locke and Key by Joe Hill and for me I couldn't even finish this book. I thought the acting could have been better and I really just gave up after listening to 2/3rds of the book. I really wanted to like it but I just didn't and honestly this is only the second book I ever gave up on. No matter how bad a book is I will push through to the end to finish it. I have read other Joe Hill books and I liked them a lot so I think at least part of it was the performance.


message 26: by Deedra (new)

Deedra | 172 comments I find them very distracting.I usually have to give up before I'm through the book.


message 27: by PorshaJo (last edited Feb 14, 2016 06:39AM) (new)

PorshaJo | -1 comments My first multi-cast audio book was American Gods. At first I found it a bit distracting but then I really liked it. Having different voices for various characters was nice. I listened to a single audio book and the narrator tried to use different voices for different characters and that was a big problem for me. I almost stopped listening to the book due to this.


message 28: by Donna (new)

Donna Robbins | 226 comments Jim wrote: "Stephen wrote: "Full cast audio-books always remind me a bit of what I think the old radio programs might have been like.

The few example of those that I've come across have been wonderful."

I l..."


It's not old time (and so not free unfortunately), but I loved the full cast BBC radio series Cabin Pressure; very funny and well written.


message 29: by Janice (new)

Janice (jamasc) | 934 comments I tried to reply to this earlier, but my browser kept freezing.

I have Locke & Key downloaded from Audible for free so it seems to be the logical choice.

I really wish Audible would improve our libraries and allow us to sort or search narrators.


message 30: by Gretel (new)

Gretel | 8 comments Can you tell me what about multi-voice productions is distracting to those who have said so above? Is there anything that could be done to reduce the distractions?


message 31: by Jessica (new)

Jessica  (jessical1961) | 519 comments I personally like multi-voice productions what I have heard of them. I think I have listened to two of them, with one of them being the Audible productions version of Dracula which has four narrators. I found it a bit distracting at times because each narrator would voice certain characters differently from other narrators. I got used to it though, and enjoyed it very much. Can't remember the name of the other book off the top of my head. I just remember it had two narrators. The man would voice the male characters and the woman would voice the female ones.

I got Locke & Key for free when it came out but I have not listened to it. Actually I'm kind of afraid to based on what others have said here and elsewhere in the Audiobooks Group, especially since I have never read the graphic novels.


message 32: by Jessica (new)

Jessica  (jessical1961) | 519 comments I personally like multi-voice productions what I have heard of them. I think I have listened to two of them, with one of them being the Audible productions version of Dracula which has four narrators. I found it a bit distracting at times because each narrator would voice certain characters differently from other narrators. I got used to it though, and enjoyed it very much. Can't remember the name of the other book off the top of my head. I just remember it had two narrators. The man would voice the male characters and the woman would voice the female ones.

I got Locke & Key for free when it came out but I have not listened to it. Actually I'm kind of afraid to based on what others have said here and elsewhere in the Audiobooks Group, especially since I have never read the graphic novels.


message 33: by Jeanie (new)

Jeanie | 3199 comments The multi-narrator version of American Gods was one I liked but others have said in the past they didn't. This one had various narrators taking on specific parts and reading the dialogue for that character whenever it occurred while one person narrated all the text, including the he/she said tags. In a dramatization these tags would be edited out along with most of the narrative prose and be like a radio play rather than the unabridged text. Some have found this confusing or simply too startling in the narrator switching to fully get into it.

Otherwise, as Jeffrey pointed out, two different narrators may give such a different voice to the same character that when they read their own sections it can be confusing or at least disconcerting. I loved The Help with its four narrators and don't recall any of this kind of thing pulling me out of the story when they narrated... one of the best multiple narrations ever.


message 34: by QueenAmidala28 (new)

QueenAmidala28 Terry McMillians Who Asked You is multi-voice with Phelisha Rashad and herself to name a few.


message 35: by Gretel (new)

Gretel | 8 comments It's interesting to me that so many of you mentioned multi-narrator productions... I always presumed that most multi-voice productions people were referencing were more radio-play style.


message 36: by Sherron (new)

Sherron | 1 comments Hi I'm new to GR but long-time audiobook fan. I'm not yet sure exactly how groups here work, but I'll start out with giving a recommendation. New York 2140 by Kim Stanley Robinson is a full cast audiobook I'd highly recommend.


message 37: by Louise (new)

Louise | 48 comments I hugely enjoyed the all cast production of Sleeping Giants and just bought the all cast follow up Waking Gods


message 38: by Faith (new)

Faith | 395 comments Susan wrote: "Hi I'm new to GR but long-time audiobook fan. I'm not yet sure exactly how groups here work, but I'll start out with giving a recommendation. New York 2140 by Kim Stanley Robinson is a full cast au..."

I have that on hold at the library. I'm glad you liked it.


message 39: by Stephen (new)

Stephen (havan) | 23 comments Recently watched the 13 hour Netflix adaptation of Thirteen Reasons Why. The series is great and well worth the viewing time as it expands (and arguably improves upon) the original book.

I understand that the audio-book version is actually a two member cast. One male voice for Clay and one female voice for Hannah. This gets around my biggest problem with single narrator audio-books... when guys try to do women's voices.

They also did a similar thing with the third book in the Twilight Saga. Jacob gets his own voice (at least in the letters that open the story)


message 40: by Eric (new)

Eric Bickernicks (bickernicks) | 2 comments Artifice

I used over 40 different voice actors for my audiobook. (It's a satire on the art world) One of my reviewers likened it to a movie script table read. (I didn't use sound effects, it's not a radio drama)

If anyone wants to hear it, give me a shout. I've got plenty of UK Audible free codes.

The funny book trailer: https://youtu.be/eiPDRTCGikQ


message 41: by Faith (new)

Faith | 395 comments Eric wrote: "Artifice

I used over 40 different voice actors for my audiobook. (It's a satire on the art world) One of my reviewers likened it to a movie script table read. (I didn't use sound e..."


This isn't the right thread in which to advertise your book.


message 42: by JanEyre9 (new)

JanEyre9 Lincoln in the Bardo is an incredible multi-voice audio book. It threw me at first, but it was more due to the unique format of the book and not the use of multiple, well over 100, voice actors. It was an audible play, an incredible performance and special experience.


message 43: by A.J. (new)

A.J. Maybe | 1 comments Stephen wrote: "...when guys try to do women's voices..."

Does the inverse not bother people? Another post mentioned this as well. I've rarely heard female readers doing great male voices; the ones I've heard can really only do two voices, sometimes only one. (When it's only one, it's typically that bratty Bart Simpson style. Ugh.)

So, needless to say, I love when there's at least one voice for each gender!


message 44: by Megan (new)

Megan (meggiemine) I recently finished the full-cast version of American Gods and thought it was really well done (I just didn't like the book itself). I would consider another full cast audiobook in the future. I purchased Sleeping Giants in an audible sale, so that will probably be my next full-cast listen.

I've also listened to several audiobooks with 2 or 3 narrators. Some of the good ones that come to mind: Allegiant (didn't like the book, but the narrators were good), An Ember in the Ashes, The Help and The Girl on the Train. I definitely think that different narrators should be used when changing points of view, especially if the characters' genders are different.


message 45: by Michael (new)

Michael (mobe1969) | 465 comments The Philip Pullman Golden Compass series is hands down the best set.

Dune - no. It was cut into a single narrator edition so didn't fit. Baron Harkonnen was the worst voice possible too for the character and persona. The Kenneth McMillan from the movie was perfect, and fit with my expectation from the book.

Locks and Key. No way. This was a horrific audio adaptation of a comic that didn't even get the benefit of the usual rubbish "audio dramatizations" where they add stupid idiotic cast explanations instead of a narrator with narration text, so you often nacho idea what was going on. I got that audiobook free but still felt ripped off.

The Philip Pullman His Dark Materials set is perfect.

American Gods. Brilliant.

I xxxxing hate dramatizations. I wish they would put narration in rather than characters speaking ridiculous explanations that are out of place and character.


message 46: by Bruno (last edited Aug 18, 2017 04:44AM) (new)

Bruno Melo | 1 comments Dawn of Destiny Audiobook, from Lee Stephen (Epic Book 1) is a little known Sci-fi Series (for Sci-fi lovers is a must read), and the Audiobook from the 1st book is the best i´ve ever heard, bar none.
Several narrators and sound efects bring the book to life (pity this book is only an indy book, I would love to see this books become a TV Series)

P.S. - I´ve noticed that normally the bad reviews of this book are due to lack of Knowledge of military life, but for me is not a drawback, I´ve nerver been in the army so it doesn´t bother me :)


Dawn of Destiny


message 47: by Robin P (new)

Robin P | 997 comments I think multiple narrators work when the book is divided into sections with different points of view -for instance Euphoria andShotgun Lovesongs worked for me. But I always listen to the sample before buying from Audible and it only covers a few minutes of one narrator. What if I hate the other one? That happened to me with The Woman in White. I disliked the main female narrator who showed up partway into the book.

When the whole book is constructed as an audio play, and sound effects are added, I really don't like that. I find it distracting, and strangely, I find it harder to tell the characters apart that way than with one narrator. If I'm driving or waiting someplace where I can't play my audiobooks, I will enjoy a radio play or podcast, but I will never choose them over "real" books. Life is too short and my TBR/TBL list is too long!

A lot of people complain about men doing women's voices or vice versa. I've never had that issue. I either like the narrator or I don't, regardless of what kind of voice they are trying to do.


message 48: by Mara (new)

Mara Pemberton (marapem) | 233 comments I don't mind multi-voiced narrators as long as their good.


Sandy *The world could end while I was reading and I would never notice* (sandyj21) | 5 comments I quite enjoy having multiple narrators on audio books. I have listened to a few BBC adaptations of Agatha Christie books complete with all the sound effects and they were wonderful. I guess it's like anything; if it's well done, it's enjoyable. ☺


message 50: by Megan (new)

Megan (meggiemine) Has anyone listened to Six of Crows? I've heard really good things about the series, and have the first book in my audible wish list.


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