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RRR Discussions & Top-Lists > LC: Best and Worst Audiobook Narrators

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message 1: by Yz the Whyz, Moderator (last edited Mar 15, 2010 02:10PM) (new)

Yz the Whyz (whyz) | 9327 comments Inspired by an audiobook thread in the PNR group, I have become curious if there are audiobook listeners here who take notes of narrators.

Are there narrators whose voices you enjoy listening to no matter what? Are there narrators who annoys you so much it ruins the reading experience for you?

Drop by and list some of your audiobook narrators recommendations, and also the ones you think everybody should stay away from.

I, for one, is always on the lookout for a good narrator to listen to.


message 2: by Yz the Whyz, Moderator (last edited Mar 15, 2010 02:05PM) (new)

Yz the Whyz (whyz) | 9327 comments Let me start:

Best list of those I have listened to:

Cynthia Holloway - Laurell K. Hamilton's Anita Blake books and Karen Chance's Cassie Palmer series. I would have given up on Touch the Dark, if I wasn't so in love with Holloway's voice. : )

Johanna Parker - Charlaine Harris' Sookie Stackhouse series

Susan Ericksen - JD Robb's In Death series

Phil Gigante - Karen Marie Moning's Highlander series. (I heard he is reading the fourth Fever book, but I haven't listened to that one yet)

Anna Fields - Mostly Susan Elizabeth Phillips' books (sad to hear that she is gone...but her voice lives on with her excellent performances)

Dick Hill - Nora Robert's trilogy series. I heard him also read a few Linda Howard books.

Patrick Lawlor (usually paired with Renee Raudman) - mostly Brockmann's later Troubleshooter books.

Tim Curry - Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events

Readers I did not enjoy:

Kimberly Alexis - Laurell K. Hamilton's Skin Trade (suffered greatly in comparison to Cynthia Holloway's performance. Horrible Jean Claude's voice)

Christine Louise Marshall - Kenyon's Fantasy Lover (a breathy voice that in no way improved Kenyon's over-the-top writing)

Eve Bianco - Brockmann's Freedom Price (the story was weak, and her reading was just annoying)

-------

Right now, I'm listening to Niffenegger's The Time Traveler's Wife, narrated by William Hope and Laurel Lefkow. I have a feeling that if I'm not listening to this, I might give up on the book. But I'm enjoying the performance so far, so I'm excited about the storyline.


message 3: by Carolyn F. (new)

Carolyn F. | 719 comments I LOVE Davina Porter with the Outlander series. She does an excellent job.


message 4: by Yz the Whyz, Moderator (new)

Yz the Whyz (whyz) | 9327 comments Carolyn F. wrote: "I LOVE Davina Porter with the Outlander series. She does an excellent job."

I have been toying about whether to read or listen to the Outlander series. This comment might swing me towards the audiobooks...but darn...they are loooonnng. : )


ஐ Briansgirl (Book Sale Queen)ஐ (BriansGirlKate) Jim Dale narrates the US version of the Harry Potter books. He does an excellent job. However, if you can get the UK version read by Stephen Fry, I think they're even better.

I have some Louis L'Amour books read by Willie Nelson that are good.


message 6: by Alexis-Morgan (last edited Mar 15, 2010 03:05PM) (new)

Alexis-Morgan Roark (alexismroark) | 36 comments Phil Gigante narrating Karen Marie Moning's Highlander series has caused many an eargasm. Also, Susan Ericksen and J.D. Robb's In Death series. Both of those are excellent.

Anna Fields is good in the Susan Elizabeth Phillips books. Joyce Bean is OK in the Jayne Ann Krentz Ghost Hunter series books. Her guys all sound a little strange and the women are a little whiney sounding. Oh, maybe I just got used to her.

Can't get through: Kitty series by Carrie Vaughn. I can't make it through the first book because of the narrator. Suzanne Brockman's firefighter series, the first one. Shudders! I could go on and on and on because I listen to A LOT of audio books and there are many bad matches out there.


message 7: by Carolyn F. (new)

Carolyn F. | 719 comments Yz the Whyz wrote: "Carolyn F. wrote: "I LOVE Davina Porter with the Outlander series. She does an excellent job."

I have been toying about whether to read or listen to the Outlander series. This comment might sw..."


You're right, both the books and the audiobooks are long but they're both really worth it. Outlander is my absolutely most favorite book.


message 8: by Yz the Whyz, Moderator (new)

Yz the Whyz (whyz) | 9327 comments Carolyn F. wrote: You're right, both the books and the audiobooks are long but they're both really worth it. Outlander is my absolutely most favorite book.
..."


I'll move Outlander up in my reading queue. At least, I can use it for the Chubby Chunkster challenge. : )


message 9: by Yz the Whyz, Moderator (new)

Yz the Whyz (whyz) | 9327 comments Alexis wrote: "Phil Gigante narrating Karen Marie Moning's Highlander series has caused many an eargasm. Also, Susan Ericksen and J.D. Robb's In Death series. Both of those are excellent.

Anna Fields is good i..."


Joyce Bean is hit and miss for me. I do enjoy her as Mac in the Fever series, but some people hated her delivery.

Anne Flosnik is another one that is okay with me. I like her with her British accent for Amanda Quick's historicals.


message 10: by Dee (new)

Dee (austhokie) | 7316 comments i love davina porter for the outlander series - i'm on voyager right now and it takes me about 3 weeks to listen to each books in the car on the way to and from work.

emily durante did ok narrating vision in white by nora roberts, but i wasn't so sure about the way she voiced carter...but the rest of the book was good

I DNF's Rosalyn Landor doing Mine 'Til Midnight - she made Cam, who is supposed to be a sexy gypsy sound like an uptight toff (for lack of a better word) and i just couldn't get into it


message 11: by Yz the Whyz, Moderator (new)

Yz the Whyz (whyz) | 9327 comments Adding Tom Stechshulte to the list of good narrators. Gamatst mentioned him in a different thread as the narrator of Christine Feehan's Ghostwalker books. I heard him reading Cormac McCarthy's The Road, and enjoyed his delivery. Looking forward to listening to him doing a romance novel.


message 12: by Jacqueline (new)

Jacqueline (jacquelineo) | 64 comments Barbara Rosenblat is fantastic in Elizabeth Peter's Amelia Peabody series


message 13: by Carolyn F. (new)

Carolyn F. | 719 comments I'm listening to Maureen O'Brien (not that one) narrating D.H. Lawrence's Women in Love. She talking way too fast and she does the same voice for two sisters so I can't tell who is talking/thinking. I've just started it and it's driving me crazy.


message 14: by Lady Grey (new)

Lady Grey (theladygrey) | 22 comments Yz the Whyz wrote: "Carolyn F. wrote: "I LOVE Davina Porter with the Outlander series. She does an excellent job."

I have been toying about whether to read or listen to the Outlander series. This comment might sw..."


I've listened to the first two books and I think the reader is great. It's worth it to hear her pronounce the Gaelic words.


message 15: by Lady Grey (new)

Lady Grey (theladygrey) | 22 comments Jackie wrote: "Barbara Rosenblat is fantastic in Elizabeth Peter's Amelia Peabody series"

She reads the Aisling Gray Guardian series (You Slay Me) and does an amazing job with all of the different characters and accents. Lots of fun to listen too.


message 16: by Jacqueline (new)

Jacqueline Coleman (Jacqden04) | 15 comments Jim Frangione is great in BDB series and Johanna Parker is very good in Sookie Stackhouse series.


message 17: by Penney (last edited Apr 09, 2010 11:14AM) (new)

Penney (pschoener) | 3553 comments Thankfully I stumbled onto this thread at just the right time! I just started Dark Desire and can't even get through the first chapter. The narrator, Juanita Parker, drones on and on in a monotone that never changes, no matter the character. She uses the same voice for male and female characters alike. And shouldn't a Carpathian have an eastern european accent of some sort!

Maybe I'm just spoiled by the books I have recently listened to: In Death Series, Moning's Highlander Series, Outlander Series, Fever Series etc...
Those narrators are able to bring a story to life, Juanita Parker is YUCK!
I feel so cheated, these books aren't cheap!

Ahhhh...Thank you for letting me vent. This is still very fresh


message 18: by AmandaG (new)

AmandaG (AmandaG3) | 254 comments That's too bad Penney that you spent all that money on an AB only to have the narrator suck! I get my audiobooks from the library, but I still usually listen to a preview on Audible.com to see if I'll like the narrator or not.

My favorite narrator is Jim Dale. His reading of HP, I thought, was great. I also like Rosalyn Landor. I know someone else mentioned they don't like her, but I've enjoyed listening to her. I've listened to her read Balogh books as well as Jane Greene and Sophie Kinsella books. I liked Phil Gigante reading the Highlander series. I'm looking forward to listening to Fever #4 since I like having male/female narrators read their respective parts. I was NOT crazy about the original narrator of the Fever series, however I was able to listen to all three of the books she read. I thought her Barrons was atrocious! I kept imagining a leprechaun or something. My first Ghostwalker book was Night Game (#3) and I thought the narrator did a great job with the New Orleans accents.


message 19: by Yz the Whyz, Moderator (new)

Yz the Whyz (whyz) | 9327 comments I'm currently listening to Nora Roberts Ardmore/Irish trilogy, and I'm thoroughly enjoying Patricia Daniels' Irish lilt. I'm not really familiar how the true Irish would sound, so I'm no expert, but her performance, in my opinion, is pretty good.


message 20: by Vanessa (new)

Vanessa (Vanessamc) | 394 comments Sandra Burr does a pretty good job with the Three Sisters Island Trilogy by Nora Roberts. The men are a little weak, but she does an excellent job with the women.

Mia's voice is especially good and very believable. I noticed with the men, that Sam Logan in Face the Fire (book 3), sounds a lot like Zach's voice in book one, and then Zach's voice in Face the Fire is a little different from the 1st and I was a little disappointed with that. Still, it wasn't enough of an issue to keep me from enjoying the series. For me, this trilogy is great whether in audio or book form.


message 21: by Carolyn F. (new)

Carolyn F. | 719 comments I just finished the audiobook Blue-Eyed Devil and thought Renee Raudman did a fantastic job. I was a little worried about her Texas male voices but she did a great job, to the point where I was totally engrossed in the story and didn't get hung up at all on the voices (which I find I do with some audiobooks).


message 22: by Chrizette (new)

Chrizette I am absolutely brand new to audio books and on Yz's suggestion, I am going to try to find some of the In Death Series by JD Robb. I really enjoyed this thread, I have never even considered that the narrator can make or break a book for the "reader" (listener?) :)


message 23: by Penney (new)

Penney (pschoener) | 3553 comments You'll love this series! I'm currently listening to Witness In Death (#10) and just walk around the house doing whatever chores I can find and chuckling aloud. I don't think my house gas ever been cleaner :)


message 24: by Yz the Whyz, Moderator (new)

Yz the Whyz (whyz) | 9327 comments I'm almost done with the first book of Mary Janice Davidson Queen Betsy series: Undead and Unwed, narrated by Nancy Wu.

I find her reading speed a little slow, but after several discs, I got used to it. Her comic effect is pretty par, she had me laughing out loud several times. When she does the lisp (when Betsy had her fangs extended), it was precious.

Based on her performance, I'll probably continue this series in audiobook format.


message 25: by Chrizette (new)

Chrizette I wasn't able to find the "In Death" series, so I have started listening to "The Time Traveler's Wife". I am really enjoying it. I am almost half way and love these two narrators (especially the female voice is very easy to listen to). :)


message 26: by Carolyn F. (new)

Carolyn F. | 719 comments I'll have to listen to the JD Robb and the Mary Davidson books. I haven't even tried them yet.


message 27: by Dee (new)

Dee (austhokie) | 7316 comments Yz - i'm listening to undead and unwed right now...the first words out of my mouth was is she supposed to sound so ditzy...when my friend said yes, i started really getting into it...

I love the JD Robb series

could never get into the time travelers wife - but I was listening to it in small amounts, so that might be why


message 28: by Yz the Whyz, Moderator (new)

Yz the Whyz (whyz) | 9327 comments Delicious Dee wrote: could never get into the time travelers wife - but I was listening to it in small amounts, so that might be why ."

I have to admit if I was reading it, I would have probably given up. But listening to it was okay at first, then it got better. And just like Chriz, I just happen to like the readers' voices. LOL...I know, shallow, right?


message 29: by Dee (new)

Dee (austhokie) | 7316 comments i didn't mind the reader's voices...IDK - it was hard to explain...i might try again now that i'm listening to audiobooks more


message 30: by Chrizette (last edited May 20, 2010 09:46AM) (new)

Chrizette Yz the Whyz wrote: "Delicious Dee wrote: could never get into the time travelers wife - but I was listening to it in small amounts, so that might be why ."

I have to admit if I was reading it, I would have probably g..."


I agree - I don't think I would have been able to keep reading if I read this book. But I am 3/4 through and am still enjoying listening to it.


message 31: by Dee (new)

Dee (austhokie) | 7316 comments Chriz - I may try again! right now, i'm listening to a Nora Roberts black hills and the narrator is pretty good, so i'm going to stick with it...my rule of thumb is 30 minutes of listening and if i don't get into it I DNF the audio...


message 32: by Beth F. (last edited Jul 07, 2010 12:41PM) (new)

Beth F. (quietknitter) For anyone who also enjoys reading mysteries, The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency is wonderfully read by Lisette Lecat.

I read the first 2 books in that series in book form and thought they were just okay. I've listened to 3-5 on audio and am enjoying the books so much more. I plan to continue the rest of the series on audio.


message 33: by Megan (new)

Megan A few weeks ago I got to see Charlaine Harris and Johanna Parker. Johanna read 3-4 selections and was great. It was crazy to hear her reading the selections. I felt like I should be sitting in my car driving rather than being in a theater, lol. She is very talented.

Also love Davina Porter who does the Outlander books. Don't know the name but whoever did One For The Money by Janet Evanovich was excellent.

I tried listening to Eclipse by Stephenie Meyer once, I couldn't make it 5 minutes with that narrator. I was bored at work and it was that or nothing, I ended up with nothing, lol.


message 34: by Sandy (last edited Jul 07, 2010 01:42PM) (new)

Sandy | 205 comments Scott Brick and Jim Dale (Harry Potter) both read well. And Neil Gaiman reads his own books. he's really fun to listen to.


message 35: by Yz the Whyz, Moderator (last edited Jul 07, 2010 04:57PM) (new)

Yz the Whyz (whyz) | 9327 comments Megan aka *Mheghan* wrote:I tried listening to Eclipse by Stephenie Meyer once, I couldn't make it 5 minutes with that narrator. I was bored at work and it was that or nothing, I ended up with nothing, lol. ."

I listened to Breaking Dawn with a male and female narrator and actually fell asleep. First audiobook that bored me.


message 36: by Kathy Anne (new)

Kathy Anne (KathyAnne) Sandy
I didn`t know Neil Gaimon read his own books,I have to get some of his,I can`t wait to hear him


message 37: by Carla (new)

Carla (Carla981) | 108 comments I just started listening to audio books this year in March. Quite honestly I spend too much time in the car and my to-read list is too long to not listen to audio books.
I really enjoyed listening to Joyce Bean reading Cry no More by Linda Howard.

Now of the readers that I didn't really care for, there have been a few.
Flo Gibson (I've learned to avoid her, she scares me)
Juanita Parker
Ilyana Kadushin (admittedly, by Eclipse - I had either become numb to the reading or she had gotten better)
I also listened to The Lovely Bones with Alice Sebold as narrator. I found her reading to be very dry.


message 38: by Erin (new)

Erin Christmas | 57 comments I am currently listening to The Help and enjoying all of the various voices that help create the story. I started reading this book but found it difficult to read the accents but listening to them is wonderful.

I also love anything read by George Guidall...he could read the phone book and I would be happy. (He does not read romance that I know of though).


message 39: by Carolyn F. (new)

Carolyn F. | 719 comments I listened to a Merry Gentry narrated by Claudia Black and really liked her.

I'm now listening to Stephen Fry's The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy and so far so good.


message 40: by Penney (new)

Penney (pschoener) | 3553 comments I can't remember the narrator but I'm currently listening to Undead and Unwed and I think she's ruining the book for me. Is the lead character supposed to sound like snotty teen? I'm having a really hard time liking her.


message 41: by southpaw285 (new)

southpaw285 | 588 comments Penney wrote: "I can't remember the narrator but I'm currently listening to Undead and Unwed and I think she's ruining the book for me. Is the lead character supposed to sound like snotty teen? I'..."

Hi Penny,

I read this book last year in August and had a difficult time with it as well. I had it on my Kindle. I struggled to finish it. If you have a narrator you have a hard time listening to, I can understand how this book would really, really be difficult.


message 42: by Penney (new)

Penney (pschoener) | 3553 comments southpaw285 wrote: "Penney wrote: "I can't remember the narrator but I'm currently listening to Undead and Unwed and I think she's ruining the book for me. Is the lead character supposed to sound like s..."

Strangely it makes me feel better to hear you say that. It would really suck if I was missing a good book. At least I can listen to it while I do chores a be productive, so I don't feel like I'm wasting my time.


message 43: by Yz the Whyz, Moderator (new)

Yz the Whyz (whyz) | 9327 comments Penney wrote: "I can't remember the narrator but I'm currently listening to Undead and Unwed and I think she's ruining the book for me. Is the lead character supposed to sound like snotty teen? I'..."

I had to get use to her pacing, and for the early part was slightly annoyed, but as the story progressed, I got used to her. She had plenty of funny moments. In the end, I say, Nancy Wu did a good job of portraying ditsy Betsy. : )


message 44: by Penney (new)

Penney (pschoener) | 3553 comments Yz the Whyz wrote: "Penney wrote: "I can't remember the narrator but I'm currently listening to Undead and Unwed and I think she's ruining the book for me. Is the lead character supposed to sound like s..."

I'm still hanging in there


message 45: by Dee (new)

Dee (austhokie) | 7316 comments I think Nancy Wu does a great job of the ditzy betsy...I had to ask someone who had read it first if she was supposed to be ditzy, but when they said yes, I had no problems enjoying the narrator - but I don't think its a book I could just read, its an audiobook only type deal


message 46: by Penney (new)

Penney (pschoener) | 3553 comments Delicious Dee the book slut wrote: "I think Nancy Wu does a great job of the ditzy betsy...I had to ask someone who had read it first if she was supposed to be ditzy, but when they said yes, I had no problems enjoying the narrator - ..."

Knowing she's supposed to be ditzy helps too.


message 47: by Yz the Whyz, Moderator (new)

Yz the Whyz (whyz) | 9327 comments Delicious Dee the book slut wrote: "I think Nancy Wu does a great job of the ditzy betsy...I had to ask someone who had read it first if she was supposed to be ditzy, but when they said yes, I had no problems enjoying the narrator - ..."

I agree with you on this series as an audiobook only type deal.


message 48: by Dee (new)

Dee (austhokie) | 7316 comments and honestly i'm only listening to them for U books for the various months...lol! which means after August, I probably won't pick them up again until next June


message 49: by Penney (new)

Penney (pschoener) | 3553 comments Delicious Dee the book slut wrote: "and honestly i'm only listening to them for U books for the various months...lol! which means after August, I probably won't pick them up again until next June"

LMAO! That's so funny, what is wrong with us!


message 50: by Regina (last edited Jul 14, 2010 07:40AM) (new)

Regina (ReginaR) Carolyn F. wrote: "I LOVE Davina Porter with the Outlander series. She does an excellent job."

I am one of those that did not like Davina's reading, but I still keep buying the audio versions when they are on sale.

I agree with almost all of the posts above -- Yz those are my favorites, and Jim Dale is amazing, I am not going to repost everything you all posted -- but I agree. :)

Not PNR or UF, but I just listened to the audio performance of
The Help by Kathryn Stockett and it is amazing. 4 narrators take on the different characters, it is truly a performance. Unfortunately I am at work and my work blocks out audible.com so I can't list the performers.

I saw while shopping at audible.com this morning that Renee Radman is doing the Kate Daniels series

I also like Lorelei King, she does many of the Stephanie Plum series by Janet Evanovich.

I am on the fence about the audio version of the BDB narrations -- Jim Frangione


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Books mentioned in this topic

You Slay Me (other topics)
Face the Fire (other topics)
Blue-Eyed Devil (other topics)
Undead and Unwed (other topics)
The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency (other topics)
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Authors mentioned in this topic

Jeaniene Frost (other topics)
Lisa Kleypas (other topics)
J.R. Ward (other topics)
Laura Kinsale (other topics)
Jim Butcher (other topics)
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