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BEST audio book narrators

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Showing 1-25 of 143 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Sep 17, 2007 1:35:43 PM PDT
M. Childers says:
I was posting in another thread and I started wondering. Are there books or authors that you might not read, except you accidently stumbled onto an audio book with an excellent narrator who did such a great job that you went looking for other books narrated by that same artist?

For me, although I had always enjoyed Elizabeth Peters books, (the Amelia Peabody series and the Vicky Bliss series), it wasn't until I rented an audio version of one of her books that I was just in LOVE with these books.
The artist who routinely narrates Ms Peters books is
Barbara Rosenblat, and in my opinion, she makes these characters come alive in a most entertaining and wonderful way. She does different voices and tones for each character, just does an amazing job. As we all know.....NOT ALL narrators are created equal.
My recommendation for audio book best narrator: Barbara Rosenblat's readings of Elizabeth Peters books.

Anyone else have any audio recommendations based on the fantastic narration done?

In reply to an earlier post on Sep 17, 2007 2:41:33 PM PDT
Patrick Lawlor is one half of the team that does Suzanne Brockmann's audio books. I love his reading. I have hunted down books (including The Darwin Awards on audio) just because he is the narrator. I forget the person who reads Charlaine Harris's Sookie Stackhouse books, but she is great as well. I really feel like I know Sookie. Two other great readers are Joyce Bean & Laurel Merlington.
I have a bookcase filled with To Be Read books. With books on audio I get to "read" 2 books at once. I would normally buy Karen Robards or Nora Roberts in hardcover, but now I buy the audio. It takes up less space.

In reply to an earlier post on Sep 17, 2007 2:46:12 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Sep 17, 2007 2:47:26 PM PDT
I just want to second the recommendation about the marvelous Barbara Rosenblat! I recently drove cross country and entertained myself by listening to her read an unabridged version of Social Crimes by Jane Stanton Hitchcock. The book, which is sort of a blend of chick lit and mystery, is witty and dry and sardonic. Ms. Rosenblat's interpretation of the lead character, Jo Slater, was dead on perfect and really added to my enjoyment of the book. Ms. Rosenblat is terrific.

I also really like John Rubenstein's narration (remember him... he was the young actor in the TV shows Family and Crazy Like a Fox that aired several years ago.). He narrates all of Brian Haig's books, as well as Jonathan Kellerman's novels featuring Alex Delaware. I know these aren't romance novels, but people often read in different genres at different times. So, I thought I'd include my recommendation for him here since we're on the topic of audio book narrators.

In reply to an earlier post on Sep 17, 2007 6:53:49 PM PDT
Kay says:
Barbara Rosenblat is my favorite, followed by Jennie Sterlin. Also Simon Preble (Stephanie Lauren's books), Jeff Daniels and the guy who does the unabridged version of Carnal Innocence by Nora Roberts. His voice interpretation of Tucker Longsteet just melts me. I'll find his name & pass it along.

In reply to an earlier post on Sep 18, 2007 10:11:42 AM PDT
I know this is romance forum but I just have to say that I liked Harry Potter novels but I didn't LOVE Harry Potter until I listened to the audio book. Jim Dale has to be favorite narrarator to this date. No your not all narrators are created equal but some good ones I have come across, Anne Heche(Men in Trees) she read James Patterson's Sam's Letters to Jennifer and is a very moving story. Ilyanna Kudshin she reads Stephanie Meyer's Twilight series. Jonathan Frakes he read a couple of Star Trek novels like Imzadi and I guess it was very cool to actually hear Comander Ryker's voice read out his own story and there also a couple of others where the actor reads the audio book about his Star Trek charater. I think thats about it I haven't listened to alot of romance novels in audio because I listen to them at work and steamy scences like that are not really work apprortiate,lol.

In reply to an earlier post on Sep 18, 2007 12:48:08 PM PDT
I totally agree about Jim Dale! He is a wonderful, wonderful reader and did an amazing job on the HP books.

Another non-romance (sorry!) but excellent audio book is Dragon Rider read by Brenden Fraser, the actor. He did a really good job on that book and I would highly recommend it.

I have to admit I've been hesitant to try a romance audio book. I keep thinking it might be embarrassing to hear them read outloud, even if it is only me in the car LOL

BTW-Thanks for the heads up on Imzadi. That is one of my favorite Trek books and I think it would be cool to hear Jonathan Frakes do a reading. I'll definitely check it out!

In reply to an earlier post on Sep 18, 2007 1:11:27 PM PDT
R M says:
I am familiar with several of the narrators that have been mentioned - especially B. Rosenblatt and Patrick Lawlor. I wanted to mention Kate Fleming aka Anna Fields that has done all of Susan Elizabeth Phillips' books. She was one heckuva storyteller! Her death has left a void in the audio book world. She had done narrations as well as directing for quite a few audio books. I am listening to the Tori Carrington series, about Sophie Metropolis. Ms. Fields did the narration on the first two (I am not sure about third, Foul Play, the newest one) and she was terrific as usual.
Just thought I'd throw that in! I'm glad you opened this thread - I would dearly love some recommendations on good narrators.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 10, 2007 8:12:21 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Jun 1, 2012 9:23:52 PM PDT
I have enjoyed the narrators mentioned in this discussion as have many of my students. Harry Potter xomes alive via Jim Dale. Barbara Rosenblat, George Guidall and Frank Muller are all wonderful narrators. However, it is Alexandra Karma reading Berlin Diaries that "blows me away" and sent me looking for anything she narrates.

As for those who enjoy romance, look for anything read by Anna Fields/Kate Flemming. Readers get a double treat listening to Ms. Fields read Susan Elizabeth Phillips books. For the most part, SEP is a very good author being read by a major talent who sadly, lost her life several years ago. Kate Flemming's death is a significant loss to fans of audiobooks.

There are quite a few readers reading fun romance novels. One of my personal favorites is Jenny Sterlin (reading anyone, contemporary or historical). Not everyone has a talent for the regency novel, but she is one who does. I particularly like her reading Jo Beverley's books. Sandra Burr is also a major talent. The many characters the very prolific Jennifer Crusie seems to enjoy developing, in her very funny romantic novels, come to life, each with a distinctive voice thanks to Burr.

Finally, there is also Simon Preble who is good reading just about anything and probably contributes to Stephanie Laurens sales. Like the Harry Potter books, like Anna Fields reading Susan Elizabeth Phillips and Alexandra Karma reading Berlin Diaries, Simon Prebble reading Stephanie Laurens is a delifht. Even my younger students, who are often reluctant to listen to regency/historical novels, will listen to Simon Prebble. He has a golden voice and he reads males as well as females in a way the reader will not notice. Everything he does is perfect and I'm not related, don't know him, have never met him. Just love him.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 12, 2007 4:22:01 PM PST
J. Klinger says:
Anna Fields Aka Kate Flemming is/ was my favorite reader, I'm sorry for her families loss
I did not Know of her death until I read it here, she was and exellant reader,
Another good reader is reader is CJ Critt, Joyce Bean, Scott Brick

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 16, 2007 5:45:20 AM PST
If you Google Kate Flemming I believe there are several very poignant articles about her tragic death. She was definitely a major talent and a wonderful reader.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 16, 2007 10:14:10 AM PST
Jayd says:
I have also really enjoyed Jim Dale's reading on the HP books, and hearing him narrate on Pushing Daisies is so cool! I have Twilight and New Moon (by Stephenie Meyer) read by Ilyanna Kadushin, She sounds so close to what I imagine Bella sounds like (Edward, too!) I like to listen when I'm sewing, doing housework, etc.

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 17, 2007 12:10:29 PM PST
M. Childers says:
Wondering if anyone knows if Suzanne Brockmann's troubleshooters books are on audio? I haven't been able to locate them.

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 17, 2007 12:25:02 PM PST
Ragus says:
M. Childers -

You may want to try this Google search ... there appears to be lots of them out there:

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 24, 2008 10:55:38 AM PST
bonnie says:
I also am in love with Simon Prebble. I have accumulated all the unabridged audiobooks from the Stephanie Laurens Cynster series with his narrations. I can't find out if he has narrated What Price Love yet. I am now listening to Where the heart leads. I also wonder why Recorded Books did not have him narrate the other Stephanie Laurens books such as the Bastion series. I listened to the narrator of a Bastion book for all of one minute. Is there a way to let Recorded books know about this? Also, have you encountered any audiobooks with the same Stephanie Laurens style as well as any male narrators who mesmerize like Simon Prebble? Thanks. B0nnie Yassinger

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 24, 2008 1:31:51 PM PST
Surprised that no one has mentioned Davina Porter. I could listen to her read the phone book.
She's done the Outlander series and a couple of other mystery series-I can't remember the names of them but you can search for narrators on I'll probably check them out eventually, but having listened to the OL books, she will forever be Claire.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 24, 2008 1:42:46 PM PST
Denni says:
My only experience with audio books is Brian Jacques reading his own Redwall series. Excellent reading with a charming accent...he' so wonderful my kids were inspired to read the entire series. The wait list for audio books was so long at the library, we just bought the series used. After hearing a few audio books read by Mr. Jacques, I can mentally hear his wonderful voice while reading a book. An added bonus, he pronounces his name correctly (Brian Jakes).

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 24, 2008 2:17:31 PM PST
K.O says:
M. Childers: I am new to audiobook listening (but admire the efficiency!:). I've only listened to a few books now, but immediately recognize the overall enjoyment of the book for me is going to be completely dependent on the reader of same.

Laural Merlington: (Captive of my Desire, by Johanna Lindsey) Bought this one because I've read all the Mallory novels and this was the next in the series for me. Oh my - I found myself cringing on this reader's interpretations of the characters. Her "manly" voice was just awful! Sounded like some lecherous old guy, and at times, Snow White's wicked queen, seducing the heroine (double Oww-ick!), who, BTW's voicing, sounded like a child a lot of the time (adding to the overall "ick" factor!). By the end of the story (which I diligently hung in despite the displeasure), she was doing a little better, but it was too late by then!

Dennis Boutsikaris: (MacKenzie's Pleasure, by Linda Howard) - This is one of my favorite romance novels, so fortunately, overall, he did a great job. Has a nice male voice. Although it was a little tough to get used to his "female" interpretation, it was okay after a bit of listening. On the slipside, I kept wishing he would just stick with "his own" male voice instead of trying to create some "really low tones" for the hero's voice. It wasn't as sexy to me, and he lost a lot of "drama" or acting abilities that he should have had more focus on. The hero ended up sounding too monitone. All that said, I would definitely listen to Dennis again without hesitation.

Katherine Kellgren: (Austenland, by Shannon Hale): This reader just did a wonderful job and her acting skills with regard to each character deserve honorable mention. This was a really fun story and great portrayal. Over too quickly!

Whichever poster mentioned, they were skittish about listening to romance because they thought the "love scenes" might be unnerving, I had the same thoughts pre-experience. I found I didn't find them offensive at all (Dennis did a great job), except when the voices seemed so out of context (Laurel - again . . . ick!) :(

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 24, 2008 2:31:03 PM PST
KarenH says:
Although I love audio books, I am still rather new to this method of "reading". Basically, my experience is limited to Phil Gigante's excellent readings of KMM's Highlander series and Anna Fields' stunning performances. I have now read all of Susan E Phillips' novels by way of Ms. Fields and am wondering if there are any other narrators of romance that have the talent of bringing the characters to life as she did.

(Van Fan, I've been sitting on the Outlander fence for too long, and your praise for the narrator has just pushed me off. Outlander will be the next audio book I listen to.)

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 24, 2008 2:35:11 PM PST
T. Brown says:
M. Childers, thanks for opening up this thread. I'm having my book converted to audio format and the responses listed here are useful to read and incorporate before the process is complete. And thanks, to everyone here for those open and honest responses.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 24, 2008 2:51:21 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Nov 24, 2008 2:51:52 PM PST
I hope that you enjoy them as much as I have-I only read the series earlier this year (after a lot of prodding from my step-mom) but have re-read and re-listened so many times that I feel like I've been reading them forever.
I don't know how much you read the message boards here but just be advised that they aren't typical romances, they're historical fiction (with a fantastic romance) and very violent.
There are a number of folks here that wouldn't be so full of praise as me. I only say this because the audios are very expensive and you might not want to make that much of an investment-unless you use, where you can get a book for $1.99!

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 24, 2008 3:21:02 PM PST
Mary Stuart Masterson also read one book that i listened to and she did an awesome job

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 24, 2008 3:48:39 PM PST
I listen to a lot of books on CD on the way to work and Kate Reading is my favorite narrator. I've really enjoyed her reading of the Lauren Willig Pink Carnation series and Sara Donati's Into The Wilderness series. She has a facility for accents. She can switch back and forth from American to British without a hitch. I'm always sad when the book ends.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 24, 2008 3:53:53 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Nov 24, 2008 3:55:11 PM PST
K.O says:
Karen: I want you to know that I have Kiss of the Highlander (my fav. by Moning) waiting on my iPod. I'd heard Phil was dreamy on these boards (was it you?! :) previously, and so bought it "listen-unheard." I've got faith in you, and can't wait to share the experience. Thanks!

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 24, 2008 5:03:08 PM PST
KarenH says:
Van Fan, I just finished reading 1000 pages of historical fiction with a fantastic romance (The Pride of the Lions & The Blood of Roses by Marsha Canham) and I'm ready and willing to take on another. And yes, I do read and participate in many of these threads; and, frankly, I'm tired of being an Outlander Outsider. :) I am a member at so I'll be able to use a free credit to purchase it.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 24, 2008 5:19:32 PM PST
KarenH says:
Hi K.,
No faith necessary - this is a "given". One of those rare times in life that one can actually guarantee the happiness of another! :)
(Actually, I must have faith in you since I've always shied away from J McNaught but ordered Almost Heaven since you were singing it praise... and received it Sat.)
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Discussion in:  Romance forum
Participants:  71
Total posts:  143
Initial post:  Sep 17, 2007
Latest post:  Jun 12, 2015

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