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Know of kick ass audio books?
May 14, 2009 2:15 AM   Subscribe

I'm beginning the second to last Harry Potter book, and fear in a month or so I'll be looking for some more. What I"m looking for isn't so much just a good book (though is important), but also one that has a good reader. Jim Dale (from the HP series) is phenomenal, and I was hoping for some other recommendation.

I'm beginning the second to last Harry Potter book, and fear in a month or so I'll be looking for some more. What I"m looking for isn't so much just a good book (though is important), but also one that has a good reader. Jim Dale (from the HP series) is phenomenal, and I was hoping for some other recommendation.

I generally read quite a bit at home more "adult" books, with the audio books being fluff for working out, travel, etc. I owe a few beers (if you make it to Okinawa) to anyone who can point me to a good series. I've done LOTR, and now HP, so what next?

Thanks!
posted by aggienfo to Media & Arts (29 answers total) 17 users marked this as a favorite
 
The His Dark Materials trilogy makes an excellent followup.
posted by piedmont at 2:31 AM on May 14, 2009


I really enjoyed Dorothy L. Sayers' books read by Ian Carmichael, with Murder Must Advertise as the absolute highlight. Carmichael is witty and sly and endearing in just the right way for Peter Wimsey and it's totally absorbing.
posted by carbide at 2:45 AM on May 14, 2009


Also, you might find this previous question worth a look. Damn, I was hoping it was deja vu, but I did just repeat myself.
posted by carbide at 2:46 AM on May 14, 2009 [2 favorites]


I'm a big fan of How to Succeed in Evil. He's written a novel and is podcasting the whole thing, but I'm not caught up to the latest episode so I don't know if he's done yet.
posted by juv3nal at 3:09 AM on May 14, 2009 [1 favorite]


I enjoyed Timothy West's reading of Treasure Island, and Geoffrey Palmer doing Diary of a Nobody.
posted by nja at 3:19 AM on May 14, 2009


Kara Shallenberg is a volunteer reader for LibriVox (FREE public domain audiobooks) and my entire family enjoys her reading. She has a list of her LibriVox recordings on her blog.
posted by DWRoelands at 3:43 AM on May 14, 2009


Any of the Terry Pratchett books read by Stephen Briggs or Tony Robinson (Baldrick in Blackadder)
posted by Petrot at 4:44 AM on May 14, 2009


carbide, that other post has some really good info! I'm about to float in the ocean for a while (in USN) so look forward to digging into these.
posted by aggienfo at 4:45 AM on May 14, 2009


My friend was in exactly the same situation a few months ago, and he went from Harry Potter to listening to all of the James Patterson books. He said they also had good production values and a strong reader.
posted by cider at 4:57 AM on May 14, 2009


I found the Artemis Fowl series of audiobooks to be in the theme of Harry Potter, and well read. Definitely enjoyed them.
posted by inigo2 at 6:19 AM on May 14, 2009


Also, generally any Stephen Fry book read by himself is a treat.
posted by inigo2 at 6:20 AM on May 14, 2009


Seconding Petrot--I came in here to suggest the very same thing.
posted by MrMoonPie at 6:41 AM on May 14, 2009


Jasper Fforde's Tuesday Next books, or at least, The Eyre Affair, are wonderful audio books.
posted by jacquilynne at 7:09 AM on May 14, 2009


Good call jacquilynne -- I can vouch for the full series.
posted by inigo2 at 7:11 AM on May 14, 2009


Stephen King's The Dark Tower series, made up of 7 books. SO GOOD.
posted by firei at 8:01 AM on May 14, 2009


Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell: A Novel
posted by charlesv at 8:22 AM on May 14, 2009 [1 favorite]


The His Dark Materials trilogy is awesome, read by a full cast. I also recommend grabbing some of the HP books as read by Stephen Fry (which I am dorky enough to have done). He is awesome, and it's cool to compare their takes on individual characters.
posted by syntheticfaith at 8:54 AM on May 14, 2009


I'll recommend The Wheel of Time series....although it's 11 books long (really thick books too)...the readers Michael Kramer and Kate Reading. They are both pretty good about using different voices for the multitude of characters, and pretty well sticking with them throughout the series. I just started book 8.....Great story. :)
posted by AltReality at 9:41 AM on May 14, 2009


The Anna Pigeon series by Nevada Barr are great reads, and the audio versions have a fantastic reader, Barbara Rosenblatt. She is incredible.
posted by 8dot3 at 9:46 AM on May 14, 2009


Also, not a series, but the guy who reads "The Ax", by Donald E Westlake, is freakin awesome. I remember laughing so hard at his dry intonations I rewound just to hear parts again. The book is about a downsized middle management guy who posts an ad for a fake job in the paper so he can kill off his competition.
posted by 8dot3 at 9:56 AM on May 14, 2009


Also not a series, but the audio book version of Anansi Boys was amazing, and one of the best audio books I've ever listened to.
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 10:45 AM on May 14, 2009


The World According to Garp is a great listen, so is Middlesex by Eugenides... Oh, and A Confederacy of Dunces. nthing His Dark Materials.
posted by getawaysticks at 11:53 AM on May 14, 2009


Recent audio-book favs for content and readership:
The Help (great regional accents)
Naomi Novik's UNABRIDGED Dragon series
A Short History of Nearly Everything

And repeating my favs from that other thread:
Everything available by Neal Stephenson, except Anathem, which is still putting me to sleep…
The Bartimaeus Trilogy

Other old favs:
Lonesome Dove (altho the currently available version is by a different reader than I remember and the sample seemed heavy on breath sounds…)
West with the Night
posted by dpcoffin at 11:54 AM on May 14, 2009


Neil Gaiman's Anansi Boys read by Lenny Henry is wonderful and one of my favourite audiobooks.

Also pretty much anything that Stephen Fry has leant his mellifluous tones to, though of course you'll not be wanting to listen to the Harry Potter books again with a different reader.
posted by electricinca at 12:09 PM on May 14, 2009


Seconding Johnathan Strange and Mr Norrell -- it's read by Simon Prebble and he is one of my favorite audiobooks reader. He also did The Daydreamer by Ian McEwan, which is also fantastic.
posted by capnsue at 1:37 PM on May 14, 2009


I really enjoyed listening to audiobooks from No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency by Alexander McCall Smith. Lisette Lecat did a great job reading them, handling a lot of different voices/accents very well.
posted by creepygirl at 9:19 PM on May 14, 2009


Shorter stories-
The Moth Podcast
What seem to be true stories told by an interesting cross section of the public. Professional performers, policeman, investment bankers,. 10-20 minute podcasts.

Selected Shorts-PRI
Professionals reading short stories. If you can find John Lithgow reading Sherman Alexie's "Indian Country" you are in for a treat. 1 hour each.
posted by pointilist at 11:22 PM on May 14, 2009


My first reaction was ANYTHING by David Sedaris that he reads himself.

I am on the road all the time so I'm always looking for something to cure the boredom. My two all time favorites are Middlesex and The Help in audio.

I was actually volunteering to run errands and finding excuses to drive because I couldn't wait to get back to the stories.

A close second is the audio version of The Namesake.
posted by ReneeOg at 7:41 PM on June 2, 2009


And if you can find it anywhere Magic Johnson's autobiography that he reads himself is the absolute best ever, especially when he details how he invented the "high five". Best audiobook EVER!
posted by ReneeOg at 7:42 PM on June 2, 2009


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