This week’s Top Ten Tuesday is all about audiobooks! I haven’t actually listened to that many audiobooks, at least not by distinct authors, but I do have a couple of recommendations.
- The Dark is Rising, by Susan Cooper (BBC radioplay). I don’t know if there’s any way to actually get your hands on this if you don’t happen to have recorded it for yourself way back when, but I always found the casting perfect and the adaptation solid. It doesn’t keep every single feature of the original book, but it keeps to the spirit of it — unlike the movie version which, as far as I’m concerned, doesn’t exist.
- Strong Poison, by Dorothy L. Sayers (BBC radioplay). You’ll notice that I’m quite a big fan of the BBC’s radioplays in general, and that’s because they generally have really good production quality, their adaptations are solid if not absolutely faithful, and they’re usually well cast. This is no exception, with a perfect Lord Peter and a great supporting cast too.
- The Lord of the Rings, by J.R.R. Tolkien (BBC radioplay). Yes, another! It’s really well cast, there’s some music, and it’s pretty faithful — and it skips some of the bits people usually find boring, like Tom Bombadil. I wasn’t 100% a fan of Aragorn’s voice at first, but it grew on me.
- Among Others, by Jo Walton (Katherine Kellgren). I was a little nervous when I started to listen to this, because the voice had to be just right. Fortunately, it is — and with a lovely Welsh accent as well.
- The Collectors, by Philip Pullman (Bill Nighy). A neat little mystery, and very bitesize too. Bill Nighy does a great job at the narration.
- Beowulf, by Seamus Heaney (Seamus Heaney). It might not be the most faithful or scholarly translation, but it’s one that feels very much alive.
- Stardust, by Neil Gaiman (Neil Gaiman). The same goes for pretty much any book written and read by Neil Gaiman — not all authors are good at reading their own work, but Gaiman has got it down. There’s a warmth to his voice that just works perfectly.
- Good Omens, by Neil Gaiman (Martin Jarvis). The book’s a hell of a lot of fun, and this narrator ‘does the voices’ and really brings across characterisation and delivers the jokes perfectly. My only complaint was that it doesn’t have many natural breaks.
- The Martian, by Andy Weir (R.C. Bray). I haven’t finished listening to this one yet, but so far the narrator does a pretty good job. He doesn’t always deliver all the lines with feelings, but the deadpan delivery of some bits of it is just perfect. And it’s a book worth reading just for itself.
- Busman’s Honeymoon, by Dorothy L. Sayers (BBC radioplay). I’ll sneak this in as number ten — Ian Carmichael remains perfect, and this one made me giggle a lot, dealing as it does with Harriet and Peter’s honeymoon… and all that goes wrong.
Any recommendations? I’m always looking for something to spend my Audible credits on!