Audiobooks discussion

Who Are Your Favorite Narrators?

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message 1: by Grumpus, Hearing aide (last edited Aug 25, 2016 11:53AM) (new)

Grumpus | 479 comments Here are a couple of links where you can find out more about audio book narrators.

Do you have a favorite?



message 2: by Grumpus, Hearing aide (last edited Aug 25, 2016 11:53AM) (new)

Grumpus | 479 comments I'll pick one a day that really brought the book to life for me for the next few days to get us started.

David Aaron Baker

I loved David in the role of Dean Koontz'Odd Thomas trilogy. I cannot imagine Odd's voice in any other manner than David's.

Here is the link to my mini review of the book:

message 3: by Lindsey (last edited Aug 25, 2016 11:53AM) (new)

Lindsey | 1 comments I have to say that Jim Dale made the Harry Potter series come to life. Even as I read the 7th one I could hear his voice in my head!

message 4: by Grumpus, Hearing aide (last edited Aug 25, 2016 11:55AM) (new)

Grumpus | 479 comments Narrator: Robert Powell

The Adventure of English: The Biography of a Language is excellent example of how the reader makes all the difference in the book in the pronunciation of Old English and foreign words. It would be impossible (for me at least) to get as much out of this book as I did if I had to read and guess at the pronunciations myself.

The Goodreads reviews (including mine) is here: []

Also, I highly recommend taking a few minutes to listen to a sample of it here and see what I mean: []

message 5: by Grumpus, Hearing aide (last edited Aug 25, 2016 11:56AM) (new)

Grumpus | 479 comments Narrator: Scott Brick

Scott narrated all 832 pages or 37 hours of one of my all-time favorite books, Alexander Hamilton. I highly recommend it. []

I've read about Scott through the links I put in message 1 above but today I came across an interview with him that I enjoyed very much.


He also read the popular Devil in the White City []

Has anyone else come across one of his 350 books? We'd love to hear your comments!

message 6: by Adam (last edited Aug 25, 2016 11:57AM) (new)

Adam | 1 comments I just finished In Cold Blood by Truman Capote read by Scott Brick. It was more like a one-man stage performance than a narration. His characters were well studied and consistent. Very well done. I will look for more of his work in the future.

message 7: by Grumpus, Hearing aide (last edited Aug 25, 2016 11:57AM) (new)

Grumpus | 479 comments I ran across another Scott Brick story today:


Wow, $150,000 per year for reading. Nice.

message 8: by cheri (last edited Aug 25, 2016 11:57AM) (new)

cheri madden | 4 comments Totally agree. He captured the character perfectly.

message 9: by cheri (last edited Aug 25, 2016 11:57AM) (new)

cheri madden | 4 comments That previous comment was directed toward the reading of Odd Thomas.

Also, the reader of the Stephen King Dark Tower series, George Guidall, is stupendous.

message 10: by Patrick (last edited Aug 25, 2016 11:58AM) (new)

Patrick | 3 comments Concur with all above on how superb Scott Brick. He is the narrator for my favorite audio book of all time, Crazy Horse by Larry McMurtry.

I am also a big fan of Grover Gardner and Alexander Adams. Some of my favorite Gardner audio books are Robert Caro's Master of the Senate on LBJ, Thomas Keneally's Abraham Lincoln, and Thoams Cahill's John XXIII, and Daniel Yergin's oil history The Prize.

The best example I know of for Alexander Adams is Jonathan Spence's short Penguin Lives biography of Mao Zedong.

message 11: by Randy (last edited Aug 25, 2016 12:01PM) (new)

Randy | 4 comments I also like Scott Brick in the books by Brad Meltzer, additionally I very much like how Michael Connelly books are read by Len Cariou & Dick Hill, I've also enjoyed Greg Iles books read by Dick Hill.

message 12: by Randy (last edited Aug 25, 2016 12:01PM) (new)

Randy | 4 comments Oh one more, Tom Robbins book, Fierce Invalids Home from Hot Climates (On my absolute favorite audiobooks of all time) is read with perfection by Keith Szarabajka.

message 13: by Susan (last edited Aug 25, 2016 12:01PM) (new)

Susan (susieq69) | 15 comments I completely agree with you re: not being able to imagine Odd's voice in any other manner. His voice just seems perfect for Odd. I'm waiting for Forever Odd to come in for me at the library so I can get on with his story!

message 14: by Susan (last edited Aug 25, 2016 12:01PM) (new)

Susan (susieq69) | 15 comments Davina Porter reads the Outlander series by Diana Gabaldon. I think she's perfect as Claire. However, I tried listening to The Thorn Birds, which she also did, and couldn't enjoy myself. I don't know if it was the fact that her voice was that of my beloved Claire Fraser (and Jamie ;-) or what, but I ended up not getting very far into the story before moving on to something else.

Here's a link to a short bio on Porter:

message 15: by cheri (last edited Aug 25, 2016 12:02PM) (new)

cheri madden | 4 comments I had forgotten about that one, Randy. You're right on with Keith Szarabajka. Has he read anything else that you're aware of?

message 16: by Grumpus, Hearing aide (last edited Aug 25, 2016 12:02PM) (new)

Grumpus | 479 comments Here are the Keith Szarabajka narrated books I found at


message 17: by Diana (last edited Aug 25, 2016 12:02PM) (new)

Diana | 3 comments The ones I know his voice from are Orson Scott Card's Ender and Bean books (which are read by several oher narrators). He does a great job.

message 18: by Molly (last edited Aug 25, 2016 12:02PM) (new)

Molly Frank Muller (1984) I will listen to ANYTHING he reads.

Simon Prebble (Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell)

Dylan Baker (I am Charlotte Simmons)

Mike Hammer? (Dave Robicheaux mysteries)

George Guidall (Crime and Punishment)

message 19: by Diane (last edited Aug 25, 2016 12:02PM) (new)

Diane (dianes) My favorite is Jim Dale for the Harry Potter books. I also really enjoyed Brendan Fraser reading Dragon Rider by Funke.

message 20: by Neuromanced (last edited Aug 25, 2016 12:03PM) (new)

Neuromanced | 6 comments Jeremy Irons recorded a wonderful reading of Lolita. I was really happy it was unabridged.

Molly, do you know about Frank Muller's accident? I'm sad that he isn't able to read anymore.

I have a job in audio books, so I've heard a lot of readers. I agree that Davina Porter, Simon Prebble and George Guidall have great voices. I also really like Henry Strozier (Goodbye to a River).

message 21: by Sarah (last edited Aug 25, 2016 12:03PM) (new)

Sarah (sarahmehra) | 1 comments Jim Dale did do an excellent job with Harry Potter. Two other exceptional performances that completely enhanced the book: Lenny Henry reading Neil Gaiman's Anansi Boys and Peter Francis James reading Zadie Smith's On Beauty. Both narrotors perfectly captured different genders, races and nationalities.

One narrator that makes me want to stick to the printed page -- Judy Kaye narrating Sue Grafton's Kinsey Milhone series.

message 22: by John, Moderator (last edited Aug 25, 2016 12:03PM) (new)

John | 3533 comments Hello!

I'm new here at the site, and really psyched to see so many other audiofiends. One of my favorite narrators would be the late David Case/Frederick Davidson. Nadia May (a/k/a Donada Peters) is another good one.

For not-so-hot ones I'd nominate Jim Killavey (a/k/a Wolfram Kandinsky - what a monicker!). He takes somewhat dense material, and actually makes it duller, IMHO.

Just finished the above-mentioned "The Adventure of English" - Powell gives it everything he's got as a narrator! Same with Strozier and "Goodbye to a River"; I'm not a dog person, but fell hard for "The Passenger" - LOL

My nomination for the absolute best all-time performance would be Frank Muller's narration of "Motherless Brooklyn" - I can't imagine the print book (about a Tourette's sufferer) could be nearly as good, although my cousin loved it.

I rip library books from CD, download from library via Net Library/Over Drive services, and have an Audible subscription as well.

Nice meeting you all.

message 23: by Chrystal714 (last edited Aug 25, 2016 12:10PM) (new)

Chrystal714 | 15 comments Ok I feel like an idiot because I can't remember who the reader was. However the best audio book I ever heard was "One Flew Over the Coocoo's Nest". I wish I could remember the readers name because he did the most fabulous job! It was if the big indian was really sitting there telling me his story. I checked it out of the library and listened to it a few years ago.

message 24: by Grumpus, Hearing aide (last edited Aug 25, 2016 12:10PM) (new)

Grumpus | 479 comments I checked [] and found that the author, Ken Kesey, was the reader of the one version they have. Don't know if there are other versions but you can hear a sample here to see if it is the same person you remember:


message 25: by Leslie (last edited Aug 25, 2016 12:11PM) (new)

Leslie (alabamagrrl) | 6 comments I think Campbell Scott has a nice voice and does a good job. I also enjoyed a chick-lit audio book read by Uma Thurman. I wouldn't mind listening to her narrate again.

message 26: by Beth (last edited Aug 25, 2016 12:11PM) (new)

Beth (bibliocat4) Actually, it is hard to pick a favorite. Jim Dale has won me over with HP but also I recently listened to him read Peter Pan, which was good after I got use to hearing HP voices with different characters! I also really like George Guidall and Tim Curry. Additionally, I love listening to Bill Bryson read his own material - the delivery is just priceless.

message 27: by Jess (last edited Aug 25, 2016 12:13PM) (new)

Jess (jessmonster) I listened to David Aaron Baker read M.T. Anderson's Feed and was hooked by his reading almost as much as I was hooked by the story - both are fantastic.

message 28: by Chrystal714 (last edited Aug 25, 2016 12:13PM) (new)

Chrystal714 | 15 comments Grumpus I checked out your link and no that wasn't the version I listened to. Also the one I listened to was unabridged. I think it might of been Mark Hammer, but I am very unsure.

message 29: by Chrystal714 (last edited Aug 25, 2016 12:13PM) (new)

Chrystal714 | 15 comments Ok my curiousity got the best of me and I just went and looked it up on the website of the library I checked it out of. It was Mark Hammer. Seriously if any of you get a chance to listen to this it was amazing.

message 30: by Tracy (last edited Aug 25, 2016 12:17PM) (new)

Tracy | 1 comments By far, it is Davina Porter, narrating the entire unabriged versions of the Diana Gabaldon Outlander series!!!!! She adds an entirely different level to the books which is amazing!

Also, Gerard Doyle, who narrated Eragon and Eldest. He brought these books to life!

I read the Outlander and the Eragon books, and then listened to the audio, and was amazed at the things that I picked up differently, thru the narrators rendition of the book.

I am looking forward to listening to the Harry Potter books as well. I finished reading the 1st book, and seeing where I can fit in the audio version.

message 31: by Stef (last edited Aug 25, 2016 12:17PM) (new)

Stef (firecat) | 46 comments I just found this group! I have loved audio books since 1990. My favorite reader is David Case aka Frederick Davidson, although over the years I've gotten sick of his limited set of female voices.

I also like Adams Morgan, Todd McLaren, Scott Brick, Michael Prichard (who does the perfect Nero Wolfe), Patrick Tull, Simon Vance.

I dislike some of the very popular readers. For example, I have problems with George Guidall. I don't hate listen to books narrated by him, but something about his voice irritates me. I also really dislike Shelly Frasier.

message 32: by Sarah A. (last edited Aug 25, 2016 12:17PM) (new)

Sarah A. | 2 comments I really like Ilyana Kadushin who did Stephanie Meyer's Twilight series.

message 33: by Jess (last edited Aug 25, 2016 12:18PM) (new)

Jess (jessmonster) I just finished listening to Eva Ibbotson's A Countess Below Stairs read by Davina Porter - and I have to third that recommendation! She's got a great range of voices and felt perfect for the story. I'll have to look for the others she's done.

message 34: by Janice (last edited Aug 25, 2016 12:18PM) (new)

Janice | 1 comments me too ... Jim Dale is a genius

message 35: by Amy (last edited Aug 25, 2016 12:20PM) (new)

Amy (fluffypenguin) | 7 comments I agree- Davina Porter is my favorite followed by the Harry Potter narrator. And I cannot listen to a Bill Bryson book if it's read by anyone but him. I think his humor is lost in translation by anyone else.

message 36: by Beth (last edited Aug 25, 2016 12:21PM) (new)

Beth (bibliocat4) Yes! Bill Bryson is great, I enjoy his humor so much more when he is reading!

message 37: by Lisa (last edited Aug 25, 2016 12:26PM) (new)

Lisa McMillan | 1 comments I have a HUGE crush on Scott Brick. He's by far my favorite.

message 38: by Judy (last edited Aug 25, 2016 12:34PM) (new)

Judy | 3 comments The Stephen Fry verson of the Harry Potter books is fantastic - superior to Jim Dale's, IMHO. (Dale's Hermione is too whiny for my taste.) In case you don't know who he is...Stephen Fry plays Jeeves to Hugh Laurie's Wooster on the BBC (?) series "Jeeves and Wooster ."

My favorite audiobook EVER is the recent version of "To Kill a Mockingbird," read by Sissy Spacek. Her lilting, expressive voice are perfect for that story. Everyone I have suggested it to has loved it!

message 39: by Maria (last edited Aug 25, 2016 12:34PM) (new)

Maria | 1 comments Some of my favorites are Ron McLarty (his own work), Tom Stechschulte (Kent Haruf's titles among others), Will Patton (Thirteen Moons.) Some of my favorite kid's narrators are Nancy Cartwright for the "Stink" series and Edward Hermann for the "Geronimo Stilton" series. Also Barbara Caruso for loads of children's titles including "Henry Huggins."

message 40: by Jules (last edited Aug 25, 2016 12:36PM) (new)

Jules | 5 comments I love Lisette Lecat as well, and went looking for other books she was the reader for, such as, "Don't Let's Go to the Dogs Tonight" and "Scribbling the Cat" by Alexandra Fuller -- set in Africa as well, but very different from Mma Romotswe! Lisette is *excellent* at so many different accents in Africa (not necessarily great at American accents, but, who can blame her? Hard to choose just one!)

I love the Douglas Adams books that he read himself, especially the Dirk Gently series.

Annie Lamott's reading of her own books started out a little flat, but I realized as I continued that it was a deadpan delivery--just what the sometimes hilarious, sometimes pensive material needed.

I've found that I canNOT listen to Dave Barry read his own material--I would much rather read it myself--it's tons funnier on the page.

message 41: by Steve (last edited Aug 25, 2016 12:36PM) (new)

Steve (otplsteve) Jim Dale reading the Potter books or the Peter Pan stories by Dave Barry and Ridley Pearson.

Frank Muller reading Elmore Leonard's "Tishomingo Blues" or books 2, 3 and 4 or Stephen King's Dark Tower Series.

Nathaniel Parker reading the Artemis Fowl series.

Augusten Burroughs and David Sedaris reading their own work.

Maybe because I'm a fan of the brit version of The Office and actually like the HHGG movie, I really liked Martin Freeman's reading of "Life, The Universe and Everything" & "The Restaurant at the End of the Universe."

And Scott Brick is really making "Under the Banner of Heaven" interesting. I don't know if I'd make it through the book otherwise.

message 42: by Meredith (last edited Aug 25, 2016 12:36PM) (new)

Meredith Don't know if anyone has brought this up yet but I'm just staring to get into audiobooks and am wondering what people think about memoirs/biographies being read by the author? Right now I'm listening to Anthony Rapps memoir about the musical Rent and his life. I'm enjoying so far hearing it spoken from him. What does everyone else think?

message 43: by Sarah A. (last edited Aug 25, 2016 12:36PM) (new)

Sarah A. | 2 comments Wow...I am listening to Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close right now, which offers spectacular narration by Jeff Woodman (and two others who are good as well). Jeff Woodman hits every inflection and brings out every nuance in the text. I absolutely love both the story and the narration.

message 44: by Leslie (last edited Aug 25, 2016 12:36PM) (new)

Leslie (alabamagrrl) | 6 comments I agree with Steve about listening to Augusten Burroughs and David Sedaris reading their own work. I personally like it when authors read their own work if they have the voice for it. Another book I enjoyed that was read by the author is Between, Georgia, by Joshilyn Jackson.

message 45: by Caryn (last edited Aug 25, 2016 12:36PM) (new)

Caryn Caldwell (caryncaldwell) | 1 comments My all-time favorite narration has to be Fisher Stevens' reading of It's a Dirty Job by Christopher Moore. He took material that was very funny to begin with and made it hilarious.

Barbara Rosenblat's readings of the long-ago Mrs. Pollifax series were always entertaining. They were my first introduction to audio books. My mom and I listened to these clean, humorous cozy mysteries when we went on vacation together. They might be difficult to find now, though.

Right now I'm listening to Jodi Picoult's book Vanishing Acts, and I've come to the conclusion that sometimes a particular production is not a reflection of how a reader reads. For example, it is read by several accomplished readers, yet every single one of them includes interminable pauses between every paragraph--pauses the size of a section or chapter break. At first I thought it was the reader, but then every single one did it, so I can only assume that the producer, etc. wanted it that way. (The book is otherwise interesting, though, and well-read. I'm toward the end now, and I'm finally almost used to the pauses.) BTW, I had the same issue with the #1 Ladies Detective Agency, too, only the pauses there were even longer. I simply could not stay focused.

message 46: by Cindywho (last edited Aug 25, 2016 12:38PM) (new)

Cindywho | 1 comments I enjoy Jim Daly's Harry, but have always wanted to hear the British version with Stephen Fry. I very much enjoyed the Abhorsen trilogy read by Tim Curry. I believe he does the Lemony Snicket books too, but I've never been interested in them.

message 47: by Hollyhocks (last edited Aug 25, 2016 12:41PM) (new)

Hollyhocks | 5 comments I really like Frank Muller a lot .. he was my Louis and Lestat! But I swear that I listened to one he narrated after his accident but I could be wrong!

I also liked the narrator of A Time Traveler's Wife Christopher Burns .. I loved him!

CJ Critt is also hilarious in the Janet Evanovich Stephanie Plum series .. I'm ticked that the last three books weren't her though!

message 48: by Hollyhocks (last edited Aug 25, 2016 12:41PM) (new)

Hollyhocks | 5 comments I too love it when the authors read their own stuff .. whether it be autobiographical, I listened to Dreams from my Father narrated by Barrack Obama or what I think is fiction, Kite Runner narrated by Khaled Hosseini.

message 49: by John, Moderator (last edited Aug 25, 2016 12:41PM) (new)

John | 3533 comments I absolutely cannot stand Lorelei King reading the Stephanie Plum series (now that Critt is out of the picture) - I wouldn't listen to it if you gave me free copies!

I find authors reading their own a mixed bag ... at best. Some of those I did like were: Elizabeth Gilbert doing "Eat, Pray, Love"; Myla Goldberg reading "Bee Season"; Julie Powell narrating "Julie and Julia".

message 50: by Carla (last edited Aug 25, 2016 12:42PM) (new)

Carla (whitelady) I haven't listen to many audio books yet. I started hearing them because I found some read by Sean Bean. After, I found and loved the BBC's adaptions, and became addicted to them.

More recently, I've been hearing Sharpe's Triumph by William Gaminara, and I am truly loving him. He seems to transform himself into the many characters, making you able to point out which one is talking.

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