Monday, January 17, 2011

Audio Crushes - narrators I love

The Girl with the Dragon TattooI listen to as many - or more - books as I read. (How else could I consume in the neighborhood of 100,000 pages in a year?)  That being so, I end up following some narrators as much as I do some authors. When a series I really enjoy is narrated by a reader I really enjoy, so much the better! Never was that more the case than with Stieg Larrson's The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo novels as narrated by Simon Vance. 

A Sort of Homecoming: A NovelVance is my favorite narrator. If Anna Fields were still alive, it would probably be a tie, and if you haven't heard her work you should definitely check it out. (I first heard her reading the delightful novels of Susan Elizabeth Phillips, who I can probably blame for putting me on the path to so many romance books.) But based on volume, Simon Vance wins. Anyway, following his narration I also throughly enjoyed novelists Naomi Novik, Iain Piers, Tatiana de Rosnay, Christopher Priest, Dan Simmons, and Patrick O'Brian, among others. (Technically I knew about O'Brian already, since he and my husband Robert Cremins share an agent - shared, in O'Brian's case - but I'd never have picked them if it weren't for Vance reading them.)

There are others I enjoy nearly as much. Among them is Simon Prebble (if your name is Simon, you can read to me anytime, I suppose! Prebble reads me lots of historical romance, especially that of Stephanie Laurens, who I can blame for all the historical romance on my reading list.) Davinia Porter (especially for Alexander McCall Smith and Diana Gabaldon), Cassandra Campbell (Stephanie Bond's Body Mover Series, etc.), and Lisette Lecat (more Alexander McCall Smith, et. al.) also hang out at the top of my list of favorite readers.

So - there's my answer to the question I often get about narrators. If you want to get a start listening to books, and only know about Jim Dale (and if you don't know about Jim Dale, put him on your radar), look for these names and you will ditch your pre-conceived notions about having to have the pages to turn to really delve into and enjoy a book.


  1. Well, thank you Melanie - it's an honor to be included in such a wonderful list of your favorite narrators.
    It means a lot that you match me with Anna Fields. Kate (Anna's real name) was a dear friend of mine, and I owe her a great deal in making my own path/talent clearer.
    Happy Listening

  2. Thanks, Simon - how nice of you to comment! I am glad you had Kate in your life, for her friendship as well as her inspiration. And thanks for all the happy hours of listening I've had, and those undoubtedly to come.
    Take care,