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Favourite audio books

(12 Posts)
babybythesea Wed 07-Feb-18 21:24:17

Inspired by not one, but two threads. I could be in two lots of trouble for that. Oh well.
One thread is the one about comfort reading, and the other is one where audio books came up and someone asked if the narrator made a difference.
I realised that I don't so much comfort read, as comfort listen. I have several favourite audio CDs and who reads them is a big part of that.

My top few are:
Chronicles of Narnia, read by Michael Horden. Abridged, but the music is so gorgeous (Moonlight Sonata played by a harp and flute) and I love his voice, so I can forgive the abridging.
Harry Potter. Stephen Fry. Has to be.
The Just William stories, read by Martin Jarvis.
Most things read by Emma Fielding. I have Rebecca and Jane Eyre and several others and they are all wonderful.
I used to have, back in the days of cassettes, a version of Jane Eyre read by Dane Wendy Hiller. Again abridged, but I loved it. I wore it out and the tape broke and I've never been able to find it since. I'd so love to.
Bill Bryson reading his own stuff. I had some of his read by Kerry Shale and he makes it funnier to listen to but they are abridged which bothers me a bit. Bryson reading A Short History of Nearly Everything and his Shakespeare book is great.
I have the old Radio 4 performance of Lord of the Rings. Michael Horden as Gandalf. It's epic.
Hugh Fraser reading Poirot. And the lady who plays Lynda Snell in the Archers reading some Agatha Christie ones. They came as a set. They're good.
Finally, This Sceptered Isle read by Anna Massey. Love her voice. And I learn stuff. Although sometimes I just stop to listen to her voice and then realise I've missed a chunk of what she actually said, and have to go back because I've lost the thread of what is happening.

So what about you? Favourite audio versions you've worn out?!

tobee Wed 07-Feb-18 22:00:27

Timothy West narrating Forgotten Voices of the Second World War. Dad's Army Radio Shows. Anna Massey reading Rebecca. Peter Firth Regeneration Trilogy. Listening in the dark to Martin Jarvis reading A Night to Remember is evocative but emotional. Alan Bennett reading memoir type stories, especially his mother 's mental illness and the decline of one of his aunts strangely makes me feel peaceful. The sharing of these worries and fears about ourselves and our loved ones. It's very centring. I find upsetting stuff quite useful. I feel less alone through sharing I suppose.

tobee Wed 07-Feb-18 22:01:38

I should mention the eyewitnesses on the Forgotten Voices series as well. First and Second World War.

EyeDrops Thu 08-Feb-18 12:15:34

Dan Stevens is a wonderful narrator. He's done some Roahld Dahl, Agatha Christie, Casino Royale, Frankenstein, a wonderful WW1 novel called My Dear I Wanted to Tell You.
Quite a bit more too; but those I've particularly enjoyed.

thelionthewitchandthebookcase Fri 09-Feb-18 11:28:22

Small Great Things by Jodi Picoult

babybythesea Fri 09-Feb-18 15:54:55

Will look out for things by Dan Stevens. Thanks for the tip.
Is the Night to remember one the Titanic thing?

DwangelaForever Fri 09-Feb-18 15:56:10

The Silent Child narrated by Joanne Froggart is fab!

babybythesea Fri 09-Feb-18 18:55:47

I also like Juliet Stevenson as a reader. But not as much as Anna Massey. Anna Massey could read the back of a cereal packet and I'd be happy.

BookWitch Fri 09-Feb-18 22:31:19

Yes to Anna Massey and Juliet Stephenson

If you like historical fiction Jonathan Keeble is your man!

IreneWinters Fri 09-Feb-18 22:52:34

Anything at all read by Andrew Scott - The Chalk Man, Darkmouth (yes I know it's a children's series, I don't care! I'd listen to Andrew Scott read the telephone book). David Tennant - My Sister Lives on the Mantelpiece is amazing and so beautifully narrated. James Marsters - currently re-listening to the Dresden Files. Kobna Holdbrook-Smith is a great narrator too. I tend to search Audible by narrator more than author. It's a good way to find books I might not normally pick up.

tobee Sun 11-Feb-18 01:44:46

Yes Night to Remember is the Titanic thing. Martin Jarvis reads it in a very calming way. Complete opposite to how he reads Just William for example.

cariadlet Sat 24-Feb-18 12:41:30

Thanks for the tips. When I download audio books I do consider the narrator as much as the book. I already look out for Juliet Stevenson and Martin Jarvis (as well as Stephen Briggs for Discworld novels), but a lot of the other names mentioned were either new to me or ones that I didn't realise narrated audiobooks.

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