Monthly Archives: July 2012

Audiobook Q&A: 50 Shades of Becca Battoe

Adam Boretz -- July 31st, 2012

Our Audiobook Q&A series is back — and this time, we’ve gone GREY. Today, we bring you our in-depth audiobooks chat with Becca Battoe, the narrator of E.L. James’s wildly popular Fifty Shades of Grey, Fifty Shades Darker, and Fifty Shades Freed.

1. How did you come to narrate the audio editions of the 50 Shades books? Were you a fan of the series?

I have worked with Random House Audio for a few years now, so they have me in their databank as a reader. When E.L. James and her people called Random House looking for voices, mine was one of the many options she was given to choose from. Apparently, she chose my voice as the reader for these novels, and I couldn’t be more thrilled!

2. Once you signed on to narrate the series, did you feel a certain amount pressure give the popularity of the books?

Fortunately, when I got the call from my producer offering me this job, neither one of us had any idea how huge this title was going to be. I was still recording the second and third books when they released the first one, and I was astounded at all the press it got right out of the gate. I’m still at a loss for words. They were released over 20 weeks ago, and all three are still in the top 10 on Kindle, audio and paperback. It’s amazing!

3. Did the “adult” nature of the books present any special challenges to you as a narrator? Were there any passages that gave you pause as you were recording them? Continue reading


Audio Bestsellers: 7.30.12

Adam Boretz -- July 30th, 2012

This week on PW’s Audio Bestseller List, Daniel Silva’s The Fallen Angel (narrated by George Guidall) debuts at #1 spot, Fifty Shades of Grey (narrated by Becca Battoe) stays stuck at #2, I, Michael Bennett (narrated by Bobby Cannavale and Jay Snyder) drops to the #3 spot, and James Lee Burke’s Creole Belle (narrated by Will Patton) debuts at #4.

And while Fifty Shades of Grey has been unable to claim the #1 spot on our list, all three volumes in the trilogy are still sitting pretty in the Top 10. And Bill O’Reilly’s Killing Lincoln? — after 43 weeks, it’s still in our #5 spot. To check out the complete PW Audio Bestseller List, click HERE.


Audio Reviews Spotlight: They Eat Puppies, Don’t They?

Adam Boretz -- July 30th, 2012

The latest batch of PW Audio Reviews is online and in print, and that means it’s time to turn to our Audio Reviews Spotlight and Christopher Buckley’s They Eat Puppies, Don’t They?

The audiobook — which received a Starred Review — is narrated by Robert Petkoff and available from Hachette Audio.

Check out our review is below, and be sure to read all the latest PW Audio Reviews HERE.

They Eat Puppies, Don’t They?
Christopher Buckley, read by Robert Petkoff. Hachette Audio, unabridged, 10 CDs, 10.75 hrs., $29.98 ISBN 978-1-61113-426-1

 In Buckley’s novel and political satire, to win approval for a new weapons system, lobbyist Bird McIntyre partners with a beautiful, right-minded radical named—of all things—Angel to turn the American public against the Chinese. But when their efforts fail, the duo concocts a story so outrageous that it just might end up becoming the truth. Narrator Robert Petkoff’s straightforward yet inspired reading brings this audio edition of Buckley’s novel to life. Petkoff’s narration is relaxed and steady, and his interpretations of the characters feature slight shifts in dialect and pitch—making them all the more realistic. Ably capturing the spirit of Buckley’s prose, Petkoff provides a reading that is sure to entertain. A Hachette/Twelve hardcover. (May)

Johnny Heller: The Audio Audiobooks Interview

Adam Boretz -- July 26th, 2012

Here at Listen Up, we’re very excited to launch our new Audio Audio Interview Series — Q&As with narrators, audio publishers, and authors, all recorded live, and all presented to you, The Listener, in audio format.

And today, we start things off with a bang: my one-on-one chat the inimitable Johnny Heller, one of the industry’s best narrators, winner of multiple Audie Awards, Listen Up Awards, Golden Earphone Awards, and one of Audiofile’s Top 50 voices of the 20th Century.

Last week, Johnny and I got together at the Recorded Books studio and chatted about everything from his latest project and celebrity impressions to preparing for a recording session and remaining true to the author’s vision. Along the way, Johnny offers tips to aspiring narrators and answers some probing questions sent in from fans via Twitter. And, needless to say, things get a little saucy.

Listen Up would like to give special thanks to Recorded Books, Rob Granniss of Brick Shop Audiobooks, and engineer and editor extraordinaire Marc Avila for all their help and support.

So, without further ado, we give you Johnny Heller: The Audio Audio Interview:


Alan Cumming Talks Macbeth, Audiobooks

Adam Boretz -- July 25th, 2012

Much to our delight, Simon & Schuster Audio earlier this month released the audio edition of Alan Cumming’s amazing solo interpretation of Macbeth.

And now, in the following behind-the-scenes video, Cumming himself talks about his performance, how his interpretation of Macbeth came to be, and the recording of the audiobook.


Orson Scott Card Talks Ender’s Game and Earth Unaware

Adam Boretz -- July 24th, 2012

To celebrate the release this month of the audiobook version of Earth Unaware let’s take a look at the following video of Orson Scott Card holding court on all things Ender’s Game.

The audio edition of Earth Unaware is available from Macmillan Audio and read by Stefan Rudnicki and a full cast.


Audio Bestsellers: 7.23.12

Adam Boretz -- July 23rd, 2012

This week on PW’s Audio Bestseller List, we saw I, Michael Bennett (by James Patterson and Michael Ledwidge) steal the #1 spot from 50 Shades of Grey, which dropped to #2.

Meanwhile, Deborah E. Harkness’s Shadow of Night debuted at #3, Janet Evanovich’s Wicked Business dropped to #4, and Bill O’Reilly’s Killing Lincoln (#5) stuck around for the 42nd consecutive week.

And, for all you 50 Shades audio fans out there, fear not, Fifty Shades Darker is sitting at #7 and Fifty Shades Freed at #9.

For our complete Audio Bestseller List, check out THIS LINK.


Now Playing: The Remains of the Day

Adam Boretz -- July 19th, 2012

Today, I’m listening to Kazuo Ishiguro’s classic The Remains of the Day.

The audiobook is narrated by the great Simon Prebble and available from Tantor Media. And this production of The Remains of the Day won an Earphones Award from our pals at AudioFile.

Check out THIS LINK for an audio excerpt and get your copy RIGHT HERE.


Sounds of Autumn: Fall 2012 Audio Listings

Adam Boretz -- July 18th, 2012

Wondering what great audiobooks are slated for release this Fall? Well, you’ve come to the right place. Publishers Weekly’s Fall Audio Listings are now available in print and online.

Take a look below for a sneak peek, and check out THIS LINK for the complete listings.

Though the memoir genre is always strong, numerous publishers are clearly hoping that memoirs and biographies of music icons will hit all the right notes with listeners this fall. There are no fewer than 10 titles featuring such legendary artists as Elton John, Bruce Springsteen, Neil Young, Pete Townshend, and Willie Nelson sharing their artistry and life stories. Neil Peart, the drummer for rock band Rush, has written a novel based on his lyrics, and there’s an inside look at cable network MTV, too, which tackles another side of the music business.

There is an autumn bounty of fiction debuts for adults as well as younger readers, with a bent toward literary tales. The newcomers are joined by several highly anticipated titles from prolific authors: Michael Chabon, J.K. Rowling, Alice Munro, Zadie Smith. Fantasy-adventure — including forays into dystopian worlds, time travel, and paranormal phenomenon — is still prevalent among the children’s and young adult titles, and has inspired the launch of several new series starring dragons, angels, and souls adrift.

We’re sure that audiophiles will find plenty of comfort listening to their favorite authors in the perennially popular categories — mystery, thriller, sci-fi, romance. It’s all here for the taking — and giving — as the holiday season is just a few calendar pages away.


The 15 Worst 50 Shades Audiobook Narrators Ever — Now With Video

Adam Boretz -- July 17th, 2012

If you were following all the #Worst50ShadesNarrator action on Twitter yesterday, then you’re going to love this list of hysterically terrible 50 Shades audio narrators from The Stir.

Check out THIS LINK for all the awful narration — some of which includes video excerpts, much of which is definitely NSFW.