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Audiobooks performed by a cast or versatile narrator...

DrswordsDrswords Registered User
edited April 2010 in Help / Advice Forum
This call comes out of a sample for the audio book for the Nightrunners Book 1 - Luck in the Shadows by Lynn Flewelling. As Read by... well i dont remember the guys name.

But it was AWFUL. I listened to the sample. He had no acting ability whatsoever. He didnt show any difference in emotion in what he was reading. And to top it off, he read the thing the way a preacher reads the happy parts of the bible.

So now im on a quest.

I have a fond childhood memory of the Hank the Cowdog books read by the author. He had this amazing ability to play the characters that made them memorable, and gave them all great character.

That is what im looking for. Something like that for grown ups. I want to listen to a novel read by either a really versatile actor/narrator, or even better, a cast of people.

I have no idea where to start though. Google fails more and more these days and google bombed tags and links will take you straight to audible's front page if you so much as type audio book in the search.

I know a lot of you are readers, and novel enthusiasts, so i figure you people would know a really well read novel when you hear it.

Bonus: I enjoyed James Marsden's reading of the Dresden Files books. That serves as an example of the right person reading the right book.

Drswords on
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Posts

  • Fizban140Fizban140 Registered User, __BANNED USERS
    edited April 2010
    In high school English class we listened to The Raven by Christopher Walken, it was the most amazing thing I have heard in my life.

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  • DrswordsDrswords Registered User
    edited April 2010
    Fizban140 wrote: »
    In high school English class we listened to The Raven by Christopher Walken, it was the most amazing thing I have heard in my life.

    You are kidding. Christopher Walken did a reading of that?

    Gotta look that up.

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  • DiscoZombieDiscoZombie Registered User
    edited April 2010
    Niel Gaiman records his own audiobooks, and they're awesome.

  • KalTorakKalTorak Registered User regular
    edited April 2010
    Did you look around audible.com? They let you listen to clips for free to see if you like the narrator, and the first three months promotional price (something like $7.50 per month, with 1 free audiobook per month) is a pretty good deal.

    For books read by the author, Neil Gaiman does most of his books really well, though my favorites are done by other readers - "American Gods" by George Guidell (Guidell has done a TON of audiobooks, if you like his readings there's a huge library to choose from), and "Anansi Boys" by Lenny Henry (fantastic voices).

    Audible also has radio dramatizations, which usually has a full cast, though they're usually abridged/adapted - the BBC did adaptations of the full run of Sherlock Holmes stories with Clive Merrison as Holmes, really excellent. Full cast audiobooks tend to be abridged, but I know of one company that does full cast, unabridged books - www.fullcastaudio.com. They tend to focus on young adult books (the company was started by Bruce Coville), but they have some classics and other books as well, it's worth a look (I did some bit part voice work for them a while ago, so this is a bit of a plug, but they do fantastic work).

  • DrswordsDrswords Registered User
    edited April 2010
    Audible's search options are horrible. Unless you have a book in mind, it gives you no clear clue what you are looking for. And they don't have categories like how they are read and stuff like that.

    Also im not a Neil Gaiman fan.

    So far the only thing ive found, is a friend recommended Max Brooks' World War Z. It apparently has an amazing cast, and won some awards.

    Still don't know what else is out there. I will look into this Full Cast Audio place.

    Edit: Yea the Full Cast Audio place is all kids stuff.

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  • IncaInca Registered User regular
    edited April 2010
  • -SPI--SPI- Registered User regular
    edited April 2010
    The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy radio series. Technically the first 2 series aren't an adaptation of the book since the books came after it.

    Still, they're brilliant. And the defining version and format of those stories for me. The first 2 were done in 1978-80 while the last 3 were done in 2004-5 with the original cast (apart from the deceased members), the last 3 aren't quite as good as the original two but are still excellent.

    There's also the Audio Book versions done by Douglas Adams himself, the later series of the Radio Series actually included parts of the Audio Book version allowing Adams to appear as one character in the series after his death.

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  • BroloBrolo Broseidon Lord of the BroceanRegistered User regular
    edited April 2010
    A Song of Ice and Fire series, written by George R.R. Martin and narrated by Roy Dotrice.

  • DrswordsDrswords Registered User
    edited April 2010
    James Marsters. Not Marsden. Sorry for the confusion. James Marsters did the narration for the Dresden Files.

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  • FireflashFireflash Montreal, QCRegistered User regular
    edited April 2010
    Rolo wrote: »
    A Song of Ice and Fire series, written by George R.R. Martin and narrated by Roy Dotrice.

    That must take forever to go through.

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  • KalTorakKalTorak Registered User regular
    edited April 2010
    Fireflash wrote: »
    Rolo wrote: »
    A Song of Ice and Fire series, written by George R.R. Martin and narrated by Roy Dotrice.

    That must take forever to go through.

    Ya, they're long (unabridged), but excellent.

    Be warned, Dotrice does the voices so well that you may want to punch things after hearing Joffrey speak for a while.

  • Page-Page- Registered User regular
    edited April 2010
    Fireflash wrote: »
    Rolo wrote: »
    A Song of Ice and Fire series, written by George R.R. Martin and narrated by Roy Dotrice.

    That must take forever to go through.

    Seconding. And yes, they take a while to get through, but the stories are so well paced that you're never bored. And he does a great job with the different characters.

    I've listened to a fair number of audio books. I need them at work to keep myself sane. If you're looking for ones with full casts and effects and whatever then they're going to be heavily abridged. If you want unabridged then it's going to be one guy.

    The Star Wars EU, for example. They put out regular audio books with effects and John Williams themes and all that, but the books are chopped down considerably. And even though it's just one guy doing the voices, they're more like radio plays than straight reads, with most of the narration cut out.

    I think the last audiobooks that really stood out for me were Musicophilia by Oliver Sacks read, unabridged, by John Lee, and Infidel by Ayaan Hirsi Ali, read by the author.

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  • DehumanizedDehumanized Registered User regular
    edited April 2010
    There's an audiobook of Dark Empire/Dark Empire II/Empire's End that is actually pretty good on the Star Wars front. It has Billy Dee Williams as Lando and everything.

    Also thirding the World War Z audiobook. It's really great. It's not the whole book, but the places they made abridgments are basically in cutting whole chapters from the book. Since the book is presented as (essentially) a ton of short stories, you probably won't notice it unless you recently read the paper version. It's got an ensemble cast of readers including Henry Rollins, Mark Hamill, and Rob Reiner.

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  • Sir CarcassSir Carcass I have been shown the end of my world Austin, TXRegistered User regular
    edited April 2010
    KalTorak wrote: »
    Fireflash wrote: »
    Rolo wrote: »
    A Song of Ice and Fire series, written by George R.R. Martin and narrated by Roy Dotrice.

    That must take forever to go through.

    Ya, they're long (unabridged), but excellent.

    Be warned, Dotrice does the voices so well that you may want to punch things after hearing Joffrey speak for a while.

    I can't read Tyrion dialog without hearing his growl.

    There's a reading of A Scanner Darkly by Paul Giamatti that's really good. There's also an old radio drama of Stephen King's The Mist that's a little cheesy, but well done. I've also listened to an audiobook of The Davinci Code that was very well read, but I can't remember the actor.

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  • AlegisAlegis Impeckable Registered User regular
    edited April 2010
    I haven't listened to many audiobooks, but The 48 Laws of Power narrated by Don Leslie is hilarious. He's like a little devil whispering instructions in your ear.

  • dispatch.odispatch.o Registered User regular
    edited April 2010
    Poe read by Vincent Motherfucking Price

    It's awesome, I had it on Vinyl and loved it.

  • QuidQuid The Fifth Horseman Registered User regular
    edited April 2010
    Drswords wrote: »
    So far the only thing ive found, is a friend recommended Max Brooks' World War Z. It apparently has an amazing cast, and won some awards.

    Definitely get it. It's what I was going to recommend and for the most part the cast does an amazing job.

    PSN: allenquid
  • cooljammer00cooljammer00 Hey Small Businessman!Registered User regular
    edited April 2010
    People seem to like the Harry Potter ones with Jim Dale.

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  • KalTorakKalTorak Registered User regular
    edited April 2010
    People seem to like the Harry Potter ones with Jim Dale.

    The British versions (voiced by Stephen Fry) are also great.

  • WillethWilleth Registered User regular
    edited April 2010
    Scott Sigler releases all his books as audiobooks first, and he reads them himself. And they're all free.

    He also has a iPhone app through which you can listen to them.

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  • Page-Page- Registered User regular
    edited April 2010
    Midshipman wrote: »

    If we're bringing radio dramatizations into this, then you should miracle yourself a set of the Star Wars Radio trilogy. From what I remember only Hamill and Anthony Daniels played their own characters, but the rest are credible impressions. It greatly expands the stories from the films, especially in A New Hope, where it actually starts with the capture of the Death Star plans and follows them to Leia, then to Tatooine, where it gives more background on Luke's life; you meet his friends, see Biggs go off to the Academy, and visit the fabled Tosche station. Pretty fun stuff for any fans.

    I only got a copy from an uncle who worked for a radio station. I'm not sure if they're being sold anywhere.

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  • WillethWilleth Registered User regular
    edited April 2010
    Page- wrote: »
    Midshipman wrote: »

    If we're bringing radio dramatizations into this, then you should miracle yourself a set of the Star Wars Radio trilogy. From what I remember only Hamill and Anthony Daniels played their own characters, but the rest are credible impressions. It greatly expands the stories from the films, especially in A New Hope, where it actually starts with the capture of the Death Star plans and follows them to Leia, then to Tatooine, where it gives more background on Luke's life; you meet his friends, see Biggs go off to the Academy, and visit the fabled Tosche station. Pretty fun stuff for any fans.

    I only got a copy from an uncle who worked for a radio station. I'm not sure if they're being sold anywhere.

    According to Wikipedia they've all been released on CD.

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  • QuirkQuirk Registered User
    edited April 2010
    Terry Pratchett's books are available read by Tony Robinson in the abridged versions, and a few people including nigel planer read the unabridged versions. I've not listened to any of the unabridged versions, but I remember loving Tony Robinson's readings

  • MichaelLCMichaelLC In what furnace was thy brain? ChicagoRegistered User regular
    edited April 2010
    "A Short History of Nearly Everything" (UNABRIDGED) and "In A Sunburned Country" were both done well and good reads.

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  • Pixel BluePixel Blue Registered User regular
    edited March 2013
    -

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  • Cedar BrownCedar Brown Registered User
    edited April 2010
    I've listened to Nabokov's Lolita as read by Jeremy Irons. I found it very, very entertaining.

  • AlanielAlaniel Registered User regular
    edited April 2010
    KalTorak wrote: »
    Fireflash wrote: »
    Rolo wrote: »
    A Song of Ice and Fire series, written by George R.R. Martin and narrated by Roy Dotrice.

    That must take forever to go through.

    Ya, they're long (unabridged), but excellent.

    Be warned, Dotrice does the voices so well that you may want to punch things after hearing Joffrey speak for a while.

    Dotrice is excellent, which is what makes the narration for "A Feast for Crows" such shit in comparison. They got some new guy and he's just... awful.

    "Snow Crash" by Neal Stephenson and narrated by Johnathan Davis is one I'll recommend. Still my favorite book to this day.

  • BiopticBioptic Registered User regular
    edited April 2010
    KalTorak wrote: »
    People seem to like the Harry Potter ones with Jim Dale.

    The British versions (voiced by Stephen Fry) are also great.

    I remember when they first came out and ended up being £40 a set for the later ones - worth it. Given a single narrator, Fry's acting range is really wonderful - even the girls don't sound atrocious. Possibly worth it for his reading of 'Fat little poufs' alone.

  • JNighthawkJNighthawk Registered User
    edited April 2010
    Tales from the Afternow - http://rantmedia.ca/afternow/episodes.php

    *Incredibly* good... something. I don't know what to call it. Radio drama? It's someone from the future broadcasting his story of the dystopian future into the past.

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  • LovelyLovely Registered User regular
    edited April 2010
    I'll recommend two audio books by my current favorite author Abigale Hilton.

    The first one, is read by Hilton herself, who just has a wonderful reading voice. It's a young adult fantasy book called The Prophet of Panamindorah. Very good, very epic.


    Her other novel is still in production, fantasy, but a more adult novel and with a full cast, and also very, very, good called Guild of the Cowry Catchers.

    She just has a way with characterizations that I love.

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  • ScroffusScroffus Registered User regular
    edited April 2010
    Fizban140 wrote: »
    In high school English class we listened to The Raven by Christopher Walken, it was the most amazing thing I have heard in my life.

    From the bottom of my heart I think you, this is great.

  • Jimmy KingJimmy King Registered User regular
    edited April 2010
    I have only ever listened to the Wheel of Time audio books read by Kate Reading and Michael Kramer (There's also a set read by someone else, but I've never heard those versions and they may be cassette only). I have nothing to compare them to, but would consider them probably average. Different voices for different characters, accents for people from different regions of the world, etc. Many sound like more like cartoon voices than a real person, though.

  • claypoolfanclaypoolfan Registered User
    edited April 2010
    I listened to all of the Dark Tower series unabridged on audiobook... It was pretty excellent. I know George Guidall did a couple of the books, and whoever did the other ones was excellent too. It was two guys total between the seven books.

    Here is Guidall's list of his favorite readings of his, and I'm sure any of these would be EXCELLENT if you like the book's subject matter:
    http://www.georgeguidall.com/favorites.html

    EDIT: Frank Muller was the other one who did a few books. Definitely check those out if you haven't read Dark Tower yet.

  • Red RoverRed Rover Registered User regular
    edited April 2010
    Willeth wrote: »
    Scott Sigler releases all his books as audiobooks first, and he reads them himself. And they're all free.

    He also has a iPhone app through which you can listen to them.

    I can't stand Scott Sigler... his stories are certainly interesting but I find the writing (especially of female characters) to be less than stellar. Also, he does the voices of all the characters when he reads them and it just irritates me to no end. When he's trying to do a female voice... ugh... it's like fingernails on a chalkboard to me.

    I don't really have any other to add to your list. The good ones that come to mind have all been mentioned already. HHGG and WWZ especially.

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  • toolberttoolbert Registered User
    edited April 2010
    There's a reading of Stephen King's The Mist that I listened to when I was younger. It was a very good cast and I loved reading along with it. It's worth a look and listen.

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  • GihgehlsGihgehls Registered User regular
    edited April 2010
    KalTorak wrote: »
    People seem to like the Harry Potter ones with Jim Dale.

    The British versions (voiced by Stephen Fry) are also great.

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  • AntithesisAntithesis Registered User regular
    edited April 2010
    Pixel Blue wrote: »
    Philip Pullman's His Dark Materials (The Golden Compass, The Subtle Knife, The Amber Spyglass) series is done with a full cast. It's totally, totally cool.

    I can second this.

  • mcdermottmcdermott Registered User regular
    edited April 2010
    Gihgehls wrote: »
    KalTorak wrote: »
    People seem to like the Harry Potter ones with Jim Dale.

    The British versions (voiced by Stephen Fry) are also great.

    Definitely recommend the British over the American.

    Also, James Marsters shouldn't be allowed to speak without Spike's accent. It's disturbing.

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