My Favourite Audiobook Narrators
I love audiobooks, it’s fast growing to become my top format of choice when it comes to reading books. And for anyone that thinks it’s a false way to ‘read’ books, just remember how stories were originally told…
Today I thought I would share a list of my favourite audiobook narrators. A narrator can make or break an audiobook, based on my experience. I’ve listened to the first two or three chapters of a story I’ve previously read in paperback and loved, purely because the narrator was bugging me.
It’s the same for podcasts and YouTube, if you don’t like the narrator – for whoever innocent reader – it’s hard to click with the text.
But in the list below, these are the narrators I find that make listening to a story an amazing and engrossing experience.
Juliet Stevenson is one of the most versatile British actress’s out there. She can play a comedy mother (Bend it like Beckham anyone) just as well as she can play a villain or a wise woman. Her audiobooks are perfectly paced and each of her characters stand out, be it through an impressive accent she is able to do or to the pitch of her voice. I personally recommend her audiobook narration of North and South by Elizabeth Gaskell. It was excellent, and I’ve just this minute purchased Mary Barton by the same author, with her narration to listen to as well.
The Audio Editors at work dream of hiring Richard to narrate our audiobooks. His deep voice and excellent character work is what brings the stories he narrates to life. I recently listened to David Copperfield by Charles Dickens, narrated by Richard and it was over 32 hours long. Yet I loved every second of it. The amount of characters in any Charles Dickens’ book is telling of how strong a narrator has to be to do a valid and enjoyable performance of his books. But each character was differentiated perfectly, and I hardly realised I was listening to Richard Armitage at all.
There is something very relaxing about Stephen Fry’s voice. I’ve no idea why. I listen to the audiobooks of Harry Potter, narrated by Stephen, every summer and each time it is a pleasure. How he remember the voices of each character book to book is beyond me. Harry’s voice in Philosopher’s Stone is the same as Deathly Hallows – although, be it a little deeper – and I can tell which teacher is talking before ever hearing Stephen say ‘said Professor McGonagall’ or ‘Snape’. Fabulous.
I listened to The Girl Who Saved Christmas a few years ago and I still remember how crystal clear Carey Mulligan’s narration was. She doesn’t narrate man books, she has only narrated three titles so far I believe. But each is deliciously relaxing and easy listening.
Rachel only narrates her own books, but she is still an excellent narrator. Technically, her books come under Christian non-fiction… not exactly my go-to reads. But they’re also memoirs and self-development books which I do quite enjoy. There is something about Rachel’s voice, which I would describe as passionate, which makes them great listens. I’d never pick up the hardback in a shop, but I always download her audiobooks.
Which audiobook narrators do you enjoy listening to? Let me know in the comments below.