Audiobooks featuring speakers with deep/calm/pleasant voices
April 5, 2014 11:50 AM   Subscribe

Can you recommend audiobooks read by (preferably male) speakers with a deep and pleasant voice? Topic of the book not terribly important. Think noise-sensitive listener who needs to be kept moderately entertained.

Ideally it's available via Audible, but other sources are fine as well. Longer podcasts are also OK. Thanks for any suggestions!
posted by wavelette to Sports, Hobbies, & Recreation (22 answers total) 17 users marked this as a favorite
Not an audiobook, but Welcome to Nightvale might fit your criteria though there is a musical interlude in each episode.
posted by synecdoche at 11:57 AM on April 5, 2014

My uncle has a really nice mellow voice and narrates a bunch of stuff that you can find on Audible. I suggest Zen Mind Beginner's Mind. You can sample and see what you think.
posted by jessamyn at 11:59 AM on April 5, 2014

You might consider exploring ASMR videos on youtube, or search for "whisper videos"...

Not quite what you asked for, but might be similar to what you're seeking.
posted by HuronBob at 12:00 PM on April 5, 2014

I love Charlton Griffin's voice. He has read quite a few things on Audible.
posted by Tchad at 12:01 PM on April 5, 2014

My husband Benedict Cumberbatch did a rather nice reading of Casanova.
posted by mochapickle at 12:05 PM on April 5, 2014 [2 favorites]

Ian McKellen narrates an unabridged version of Homer's Odyssey, the Robert Fagles translation, and I could just eat his voice up. I relisten to it all the time. I bought it on disc, but it's also available on Audible.
posted by theatro at 12:08 PM on April 5, 2014 [1 favorite]

Scott Brick has narrated hundreds of books, and is the best sleeping voice EVER! Especially when reading Foundation. I sleep to audiobooks every night, and can't recommend him highly enough.

James Marsters reading the Dresden Files books is also good that way.

Welcome to Night Vale would be great for this, except that the "Weather" always wakes me up.
posted by monopas at 12:15 PM on April 5, 2014

Seconding Scott Brick - one of the best audiobook readers I have ever heard. I used to commute quite long distances daily and loved almost all books he read.
posted by MrsMGH at 12:18 PM on April 5, 2014

You will never go wrong with this gem: Catching the Big Fish narrated and written by David Lynch
posted by Rikocolin at 12:49 PM on April 5, 2014

HuronBob's use of the word whisper made me think of Ethan Hawke's reading of Slaughterhouse Five. His voice isn't especially deep, but I felt as if he was speaking only to me, very quietly, just above a whisper. I found it to be mesmerizing.
posted by kbar1 at 1:07 PM on April 5, 2014 [1 favorite]

George Guidal's Don Quixote is charming.
posted by steinsaltz at 1:12 PM on April 5, 2014

Seconding George Guidall - I've been a fan of his since I was very small. He's the reader on literally hundreds of books and is reliably excellent. I'm in the middle of his recording of Les Miserables right now and it's wonderful. (And is something like 60 hours long, so it would keep you going for a while.)

I would also recommend Simon Vance, Michael Pritchard, and Stephen Briggs. (The last two I've only heard work on specific series - Nero Wolfe and Discworld, respectively - so I don't know if they do books outside those series. However, they do a lot of books within those series, so you'd have a lot of books to choose from.)
posted by darchildre at 1:35 PM on April 5, 2014

Alan Rickman reading Thomas Hardy's Return of the Native. OMG. Jack Davenport (Commodore Norrington from Pirates of the Caribbean) also has done a bunch of nice ones including The Thirty-Nine Steps and The Tesseract.
posted by karbonokapi at 2:34 PM on April 5, 2014 [2 favorites]

Dick Estell hosts a radio show on NPR that I always get sucked into because of his voice, even though I never have any idea what he's reading. It's very soothing. Here are a few on Audible and here is the schedule of times his show is streaming on the internet.
posted by TallulahBankhead at 3:09 PM on April 5, 2014

Nthing Scott Brick and (even more) George Guidall as narrators. I could listen to George all day every day for the rest of my life I think.

I'm listening to the Walt Longmire mysteries (set in Wyoming) right now, by Craig Johnson, narrated by George Guidall. George's voice is very soothing and evocative, slow, and he doesn't make a lot of gross sound effects with it in these books (I hate it when they do a lot of coughing, throat clearing, etc!).
posted by bluesky78987 at 4:51 PM on April 5, 2014

Frank Mueller is one of the grandfathers of audio narration. I know him from the first couple of Stephen King's Dark Tower books. George Guidall took over after he was badly injured in an accident, and Guidall is good but Mueller's gravel levels were better.
posted by Lyn Never at 5:36 PM on April 5, 2014

I will second Frank Mueller also, but with a caveat. I have really enjoyed some of his work but not on the Dark Tower series. For whatever reason, in those books, he uses the same. damned. inflection for every sentence, like they each need to follow precisely the same vocal arc in pitch and volume every time. I found weirdly monotonous and kinda off-putting. Though, of course, YMMV.
posted by darchildre at 6:51 PM on April 5, 2014

Sean Barrett has a goooorgeous deep, steady, buttery voice, and has recorded a ton of audiobooks on the 'moderately entertaining' range. I'm enjoying Paganini's Ghost.
posted by Erasmouse at 5:26 AM on April 6, 2014 [1 favorite]

William Langewiesche read his own book "Outlaw Sea" and I love his voice. (The material gets a wee bit heavy at the end, though.)
posted by wenestvedt at 7:52 AM on April 6, 2014 [1 favorite]

I'd recommend Stephen Fry. His voice is the pleasantest, quite deep, and I find his British accent soothing. I've listened to his reading of Harry Potter (the whole series) countless times, but it's not available on Audible. Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, his autobiography, and a couple of children's books are though.
posted by moons in june at 3:49 PM on April 6, 2014 [1 favorite]

John Keating has this kind of voice.
posted by soelo at 10:16 AM on April 7, 2014

Right now, my fall-asleep reading is The Old Ways: A Journey on Foot, narrated by Robert MacFarlane. I couldn't tell you much of what the content of the book is, as MacFarlane's voice lulls me to sleep!
posted by telophase at 12:08 PM on April 7, 2014

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