The first step is admitting you have a problem…
Yeah….that’s not happening. In fact Audible was upgraded from one credit per month to three a while ago The app to listen is free..FREEEE! And it takes the tedium away from cleaning, weeding, driving & reinstated daily exercise.*
Once upon a time, I made selections based on authors I knew I liked. Now, author is about third on my “Is this credit worthy?” check list. Criteria one, for me is narrator. Followed by whatever genre is on deck – I try to get a good exposure, even dipping my toes into Sci-fi. THEN author, if the reader isn’t working for you, return the purchase and buy the book.
Here are a few of our Go To narrators*….And yes, I’ve wondered how they would deliver our books.
- Kathleen Early reading Karin Slaughter – Hat Trick!
- Davina Porter for Diana Gabaldon’s Outlander series – she IS the voice of Claire.
- Alexander Cendese discovered through JR Ward’s Bourbon Kings series
- Tom Stechschulte, multiple authors, multiple series
- Joyce Bean brilliant with Romantic Suspense/Crime Drama
- Richard Ferrone – John Sanford’s Lucas Davenport Prey series.**
- Michael Beck, often heard bringing John Grisham’s Southern lawyers to life.**
- Kate Reading for Sara Donati’s Into The Wilderness series
- Jeff Woodman reading Gabaldon’s Lord John books.
- Mary Peiffer for many of Sue Graffton’s Kinsey Millhone “alphabet” Mysteries**
There are more if we scan through our audiobook files, but ten is a nice round number. These performers are not only our favorites but top of their field, being tapped for long running series and intensely popular characters.
Why do we like them and like them enough to spend 8, 10, 20 hours with them? That is subjective, but perhaps we are easily drawn into their storytelling because they have good material and while bringing character to life, we as the reader/listener are still allowed to join in. Reading is after all, an audience participation activity. Good narrators become Virgil for our Dante, leading us through while leaving us to immerse ourselves in the story.
We can’t ask “what makes a good narrator?” without the follow up… “what makes a bad one?”
Pretty much anything that causes this…
- Screwing up or ignoring accents – Scottish character w/ Irish accent
- Mispronouncing words – phonetics are NOT your friend!
- Changing the pronunciation in Book 11 of the series *coughBDBcough*
- Extreme/phony pitch change between male and female characters
- Too familiar/distinct actor/actress voice
#5 is my own quirk. Morgan Freeman is great for a nature film. His voice would continually pull me out of a work of fiction. And I admit, a few of our Top Ten, have made me hit the reverse wondering if I’d heard that correctly – or incorrectly as it turned out. No one gets it perfect every time.
Once you untangle your buds….
Who’s yer reader? Do you select by narrator, author, genre, phase of the moon? Who did we miss on our list? Who would you like to hear read Eden’s Fall?
*Narrator list gathered from CC, SA, KR and Mom.
**Mom’s picks, she likes the mysteries.