Monthly Archives: August 2011

Elementary, My Dear Watson?

Adam Boretz -- August 31st, 2011

We asked you to pick your Favorite Sherlock Holmes Narrator — and you certainly responded! The polls are now closed, the results are in, and I have to say they’re a bit surprising.

After a relatively weak start, David Timson fans rallied, propelling him to the top spot with 39 percent of all votes cast in a flurry of last minute ballot-box stuffing.

This pushed the late great Edward Hardwicke — who listeners will remember as Dr. Watson from the Granada television adaptations of the Holmes stories — into the number two spot with 25 percent of votes cast.

And in a tie for third place with 9 percent of the votes were Simon Prebble and the trio of John Gielgud, Ralph Richardson, and Orson Welles. After that, Ralph Cosham, Charlton Griffin, and Benedict Cumberbatch (a write-in candidate! and star of Masterpiece Mystery’s “Sherlock” television series) each had 3 percent of all ballots cast.

If you want to listen to any or all of these fine Sherlock Holmes audiobooks, check out Naxos Audio for recordings by David Timson; CSA Word for audiobooks featuring Edward Hardwicke; Tantor Audio for Simon Prebble; HighBridge Audio for the radio dramas starring John Gielgud, Ralph Richardson, and Orson Welles; Blackstone Audio for Ralph Cosham; Audio Connoisseur for Charlton Griffin; and AudioGo for Benedict Cumberbatch reading a selection of new Sherlock Holmes stories.

Thanks to everyone who voted! And if you disagree with the results, feel free to let us know in the comments section or on Twitter!


Audiobook Review Spotlight: Untouchable

Adam Boretz -- August 31st, 2011

Our latest batch of audio reviews online — and we’ve got the rundown on everything from Samuel L. Jackson reading Go The F**K To Sleep to Patti Smith narrating Just Kids. One title receiving a Starred Review this month is the audio version of Scott O’Connor’s Untouchable. The audiobook is narrated by Bronson Pinchot and available from Blackstone Audio.

Take a look below for the review and don’t forget to check out all the latest audio reviews from PW.

Scott O’Connor, read by Bronson Pinchot. Blackstone Audio, unabridged, 10 CDs, 12 hrs., $32.95 ISBN 978-1-4551-1020-9

Bronson Pinchot proves the perfect choice to narrate this novel of grief, sorrow, and recovery. Eleven-year-old Whitley Darby—known as “The Kid”—refuses to accept his mother’s death. Instead, he convinces himself that she’s alive and will eventually return to him. To ensure that return, Whitley takes a vow of silence and communicates by writing in school notebooks. This behavior only adds to his alienation and the daily bullying he endures. Pinchot—with a soft, easy delivery—lovingly brings this melancholy story and its diverse characters to life. His narration is smooth and compelling, while the voices he lends Whitley and his father fully realize their sadness and despair. But Pinchot also manages to infuse each scene with a sense of hope. The result is heartfelt performance of a rich and deeply moving story. A Tyrus Books paperback. (May)


Now Playing: Bossypants

Adam Boretz -- August 31st, 2011

I know I’m terribly late to this party, but — after much prompting from various parties on Twitter — I’m finally listening to the audio version of Tina Fey’s Bossypants. And it’s pretty amazing. The audiobook is available from Hachette Audio and is (of course) read by Tina Fey, which is kind of like being in a really long episode of 30 Rock — which is (of course) also pretty amazing.

Check out an audio excerpt of Bossypants HERE and get your copy today!


Poll: The Voice Of Sherlock Holmes

Adam Boretz -- August 29th, 2011

Here at Listen Up, we’re pretty much obsessed with Sherlock Holmes Audiobooks. And while we’re not too picky — we like the single narrator audios, the full cast productions, the radio dramas, anything that lets us feel like we’re strolling about 221B Baker Street with a pipe and a brandy — there are often great internal debates about who should hold the title of Best Sherlock Holmes Narrator.

But with so many Sherlock Holmes Audiobooks out there, it’s kind of hard to decide — let alone listen to all the different narrators who have voiced Holmes over the years. It’s clear we need help crowning the Best Sherlock Homes Narrator. And that’s where you come in! So, without further ado, Listen Up presents THE SHERLOCK HOLMES BEST NARRATOR POLL.

Vote as often as you like. Feel free to write in your favorite narrator. Feel free to state your case in the comments section.  Let’s do this thing!


Now Tweet This

Adam Boretz -- August 26th, 2011

Hey Audiobook Fans:

We — Listen Up and the Publishers Weekly audio reviews department — are now on Twitter.

So, for more audiobook news, reviews, inside information, Q&As, contests — and a dash of misanthropic complaining about the state of the world — follow us here: @PWAudio!


Naxos AudioBooks At The Morgan

Adam Boretz -- August 25th, 2011

As part of its upcoming Charles Dickens at 200 exhibit, The Morgan Library & Museum will be putting together a huge collection of the author’s manuscripts, letters, books, photographs, original illustrations, and caricatures. And to its online portion of the exhibit, The Morgan will be adding audio recordings of some of Dickens’s classic works from Naxos AudioBooks.

According to William Anderson, U.S. sales director at Naxos, The Morgan will sync high-resolution images of a handwritten manuscript of Our Mutual Friend with selections from the Naxos audio edition. Additionally, The Morgan has digitized the entire manuscript of A Christmas Carol and will sync parts of it with the Naxos audio production.

The online Dickens exhibit will be similar to one The Morgan curated around Jane Austen’s Lady Susan — which also featured audio from Naxos and can be found HERE.

Charles Dickens at 200 at The Morgan opens on September 23 and runs through February 12, 2012.


2012 Audie Awards: First Entry Deadline Fast Approaching

Adam Boretz -- August 24th, 2011

I don’t want to alarm you, Gentle Reader, but it’s time to start thinking seriously about the 2012 Audie Awards.

In fact, the first entry deadline — for all titles issued from November 1, 2010 through July 31, 2011 — is August 31st.

And this year, the APA is making it even easier for audio publishers to enter by digitally managing most of the major categories. Check out THIS LINK for all the important submission guidelines and entry details.


Audiobook Q&A: Ron McLarty

Adam Boretz -- August 23rd, 2011

This week, we’re thrilled to sit down and chat with Ron McLarty about his recent work on the audio version of Neil Gaiman’s American Gods, his longstanding partnership with David Baldacci, the perils of narrating after lunch, and what it was like to narrate his own novels.

1. You recently worked — with Dennis Boutsikaris and Daniel Oreskes — on Neil Gaiman’s American Gods, playing the part of Mr. Wednesday. You’ve obviously done both solo narration and multi-cast audiobooks — like American Gods.  Do you prefer one to the other?

I haven’t done many big cast audiobooks, but I do prefer solo narration, where you’re sort of creating from scratch as opposed to trying to fit in…In fact, I didn’t see Dennis or Dan at all doing Mr. Wednesday.

2. Neil Gaiman has narrated some of his own books and even won awards for his narration. Was he involved in the creation of this audiobook at all? Did he offer input?

Neil’s involvement was after the fact. He listened to my first go-thru, didn’t like it, and had me re-do it. (He was right.)

3. In addition to narrating audiobooks, you’ve also done a lot of work on television and in films. How does acting for the camera and narrating an audiobook differ in terms of performance? Do you prefer one to the other?

There’s a kind of anonymity in narration that seems comforting. You’re not showing off, just trying to vary the characters in personality and style. The microphone is a friend. The camera is different. The whole set-up is different. You’re performing for your director, crew, and co-workers. It’s a pretty wild environment. I supposed I liked it all better when I was younger, but now I must admit I prefer just reading the book to the audio engineer. Continue reading


Now Playing: Skyjack: The Hunt for D.B. Cooper

Adam Boretz -- August 22nd, 2011

Today, I’m listening to the audio version of Skyjack: The Hunt for D.B. Cooper by Geoffrey Gray. The audiobook is narrated by the author and is available from Random House Audio.

I’ve always been pretty fascinated by the case: In 1971, D.B. Cooper hijacked a Boeing 727 somewhere over the Pacific Northwest, made off with $200,000 in ransom, parachuted out of the plane, and then disappeared without a trace. And while the FBI is pretty sure he didn’t survive, they can’t really be sure — and they haven’t closed the case.

If you’re a fan of true crime, check out this AUDIO EXCERPT and get your copy today!


Slate’s Audio Book Club

Adam Boretz -- August 18th, 2011

It was recently brought to my attention that Slate has an Audio Book Club — now before all you audio fans get too excited, keep in mind that this is not an Audiobook Club (in which listeners discuss audiobooks) but rather an Audio Book Club (in which readers discuss books and Slate records the conversation and posts it online). However, it’s still pretty cool and definitely worth a listen.

Each month, Slate does a different book — they’ve tackled everything from Joan Didion’s The Year of Magical Thinking to Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows — and August’s title is Jennifer Egan’s A Visit from the Goon Squad. You can CLICK HERE for more information on the Audio Book Club. And check out its archived conversations HERE or on iTunes.

Oh, and someone should definitely start a monthly Audio Audiobook Club. If not Slate, then maybe PW. Audio fans, is that something you would be interested in?