I didn’t know how to approach the audiobook top ten, I listen just as much as I read physical books so I have a decent amount of hours sunk into different narrators. Do I pick my favorite books, or do I pick narrators that across the board do a good job? Do I pick narrators everyone loves and have won awards but I haven’t listened to?
Eventually I settled on who I’ve personally listened to, and the narrator not the book.
I’ll do a little blurb about narrator and link to their audible books and point out a few I’ve listened to personally and enjoyed.
10. Vikas Adam –
“Vikas Adam is a classically trained actor with numerous credits in stage, film, commercials, and television, in addition to his over 100 recorded audiobooks. He’s quickly established himself as one who creates versatile, distinct, and clear voices for characters he embodies. Equally at home with a light piece of literature or a dark thriller, a short story or an epic novel (his longest—forty-nine hours!), Vikas’s audiobooks have garnered numerous awards and nominations, including Earphones, various Best of the Year lists, and the Audie Award. When not recording, acting, or directing, he’s a lecturer in the Theater Department at UCLA” https://tantor.com/narrator/vikas-adam.html
I’ve personally listened to all of the Heartstriker series which starts with Nice Dragons Finish Last, and I’ve also listened to the Dungeon Born series.
9. Richard Poe –
“New York actor Richard Poe has a long string of TV (“Star Trek”), film (Born on the Fourth of July), and stage credits to match his growing audiobook accolades. Richard’s fine narration of EAST OF EDEN by John Steinbeck is an Audie Award Finalist in the Classics category“. https://www.audiofilemagazine.com/narrators/richard-poe/
Although I haven’t listened to any of his classics, I have listened to The Thousand Names/Shadow Campaigns by Django Wexler and I enjoyed that immensely.
8. Martin Jarvis
“Martin Jarvis is one of Britain’s most distinguished and versatile actors. He has narrated and produced audiobooks in the UK and is beginning to apply his narrating talents to audiobooks in the U.S., as well. Martin narrates Dick Francis’s newest mystery 10 LB. PENALTY ; seven other Francis titles narrated by Martin are available only in Britain. His appearances in West End theater productions are numerous, including Sir Peter Hall’s ON APPROVAL, Alan Ayckbourn’s WOMAN IN MIND and Michael Frayn’s EXCHANGE, a performance he repeated in Los Angeles. Martin’s appearances for BBC Television include classics: “Nicholas Nickleby,” “David Copperfield” and “The Pallisers”; P.D. James’s “The Black Tower”; and episodes of “Inspector Morse” and “Rumpole.” Martin has narrated numerous classics available from Chivers Audio Books, including HARD TIMES , OLIVER TWIST , DAVID COPPERFIELD and GREAT EXPECTATIONS “
This guy has a huge library of audiobooks under his belt, I’ve listened to a few but my favorite is probably Good Omens.
7. Cat Gould –
“Cat Gould grew up in Sydney, Australia, and after extensive travel moved to the United States in 1990. She is a classically trained actress with a BFA from Southern Oregon University and has performed in many regional productions. Her passion for storytelling, communication, and language is matched well with her dexterity with characters and dialect. She can communicate in French, Spanish, and Italian, and is a voracious reader of fiction, philosophy, and psychology to deepen her understanding and ability to express the human condition.”
I’ve only listened to one of her books, but, she did really really well with Burning Bright by Melissa McShane.
6. Stephen Fry –
I tried to find a synopsis online about Fry as a narrator, but since he’s really more of a movie actor and less of an audiobook narrator I couldn’t find one. He doesn’t do too many, def not 800 like some of the narrators on here but what he does is divine, I could listen to him narrate a telephone book. My favorite hands down is Harry Potter which he won awards for, I keep meaning to listen to his Sherlock books.
5. Simon Vance –
“Simon Vance, a former BBC Radio presenter and newsreader, is a full-time actor who has appeared on both stage and television. He has recorded over eight hundred audiobooks and has earned fifty-seven Earphones Awards from AudioFile magazine, including one for his narration of Scaramouche by Rafael Sabatini. A multiple Audie finalist, Simon has won Audie Awards for The King’s Speech by Mark Logue and Peter Conradi, The Life and Adventures of Nicholas Nickleby by Charles Dickens, Great Expectations by Charles Dickens, Market Forces by Richard K. Morgan, and The Tao of Pooh by Benjamin Hoff. Winner of the 2008 Booklist Voice of Choice Award, Simon has also been named an AudioFileGolden Voice as well as an AudioFile Best Voice of 2009″.
I’ve listened to a bunch of his, but my favorite would be Lightbringer, and it’s a great bang for your buck too, Lightbringer has long audiobooks so your credits/money is well spent.
4. Kate Reading –
“Kate Reading has been a freelance narrator for over twenty years. She received an Audie Award for Bellwether by Connie Willis and for Breasts by Florence Williams; an Audie nomination for The Gathering Stormby Robert Jordan and Brandon Sanderson, recorded with her husband, Michael Kramer; and an Audie nomination for Blow Fly by Patricia Cornwell. She has also received numerous Earphones Awards from AudioFile magazine, which has named her Narrator of the Year and, for two years running, Best Voice in Science Fiction and Fantasy for her narration of Jim Butcher’s Codex Alera series. As Jennifer Mendenhall, she has worked as a stage actor in the Washington, D.C., area and has been a member of the Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company since 1987. Her work onstage has been recognized by the Helen Hayes Awards Society, the Washington Theatre Lobby Awards, and the Carbonell Awards in Florida. She and her husband live in Hyattsville, Maryland, with their two children.” https://tantor.com/narrator/kate-reading.html
I looove Kate Reading, especially when paired with Michael Kramer, they both have extensive libraries and I’ve listened to so many, but my favorites would be Wheel of Time and Stormlight Archives.
3. Michael Kramer –
“Audiobook veteran Michael Kramer has recorded more than two hundred audiobooks for trade publishers and many more for the Library of Congress Talking Books program. An AudioFile Earphones Award winner and an Audie Award nominee, he earned a Publishers WeeklyListen-Up Award for his reading of Savages by Don Winslow.” https://tantor.com/narrator/michael-kramer.html
Again, I’ve listened to many of his audiobooks, def not all 200 but my favorites for him are the same favorites for Kate Reading – Wheel of Time and Stormlight Archives.
2. Nick Podehl –
I had trouble finding a synopsis for Nick as well, but did find a short interview if you’re interested https://www.audiofilemagazine.com/narrators/nick-podehl/
Many people love him for his King Killer Chronicles narration, but I love his performance in Sufficiently Advanced Magic, very talented guy who has no trouble bringing a large cast of characters to life
1. Tim Gerard Reynolds
“Tim Gerard Reynolds was trained at the Samuel Beckett Centre for Theatre and Drama Studies, Trinity College Dublin, and at the Eugene O’Neill Theater Center, New London CT. His theatre work has taken him from the Abbey Theatre Dublin, to the London Fringe; the Official Avignon Theatre Festival; Regional US theater, and on and off Broadway. To date, he is the recipient of four Audiofile Earphone Awards, and one Audie Nomination, and has recorded numerous titles for Audible, Simon & Schuster, Recorded Books, Random House, and Podium Publishing, ranging from biography to romance; from thrillers to classics, and contemporary literature.” https://www.recordedbooks.com/Resources/Blog/June-2016/Tim-Gerard-Reynolds-is-the-voice-of
I love TGR, and r/fantasy also seems to have a soft spot for him I know he’s done at least one AMA. He’s voiced so many of my favorites, but I guess I’ll go with Riyria/Legends of the First Empire as my favorite.
Well, hope you liked my list and if any of them piqued your interest do make sure to check them out!
Great choices! Have you ever listened to Lies of Locke Lamora? Michael Page is a favorite of mine.
i was debating throwing on 2 honorable mentions and he was one of them, i really do love michael page as well
If you ever read Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater, make sure you get the audio. The narrator is incredible.
I do have that already on my audible library but i haven’t listened to it yet, on paper the book doesn’t sound like something i’d typically like, but people keep talking about it so i picked it up to give it a shot, and just haven’t yet.
Yeah I’m not sure why i picked it up in the first place, it sounds way different than what I like. It’s characters reminded me a lot of A Long Way to a Small Angry Planet
Great post – truly a performer can revive even a clunker of a book 🙂