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Audio Reviews Spotlight: America Again: Re-Becoming the Greatness We Never Weren’t

Adam Boretz -- February 28th, 2013

9781607889700Turning to the nonfiction side, Audio Reviews Spotlight takes a peek at Stephen Colbert’s America Again: Re-Becoming the Greatness We Never Weren’t

The audio edition is narrated by Colbert, Tim Meadows, and Jordin Ruderban, and is available from Hachette Audio.

America Again: Re-Becoming the Greatness We Never Weren’t
Stephen Colbert, read by the author, with Tim Meadows and Jordin Ruderban. Hachette Audio, unabridged, three CDs, 3 hrs., $24.98 ISBN 978-1-60788-970-0

The packaging of this audio edition of Comedy Central satirist Stephen Colbert’s latest title features an icon promoting the recording’s “3-D High-Def Surroundiness.” While this claim clearly follows Colbert’s pattern of tongue-in-cheek buzzwords and taglines, the production quality does contribute to a satisfying listening experience, as voices and sounds—including a stoner commentator’s bubbling bong water—are distinctly rendered in the fashion of live theater. Colbert’s narrative—steeped in his characteristic irony—weaves expository chapters on various hot-button issues with monologues from individual citizens. With the possible exception of the aforementioned stoner, the most memorable of these characters is a silver-tongued energy industry spokeswoman who embodies the very essence of spin in the current media culture. Colbert’s brand of entertainment occupies a unique niche in the marketplace, and regardless of whether the punch lines click for individual listeners, the comedian’s latest offering remains unmistakably faithful to that brand. A Grand Central hardcover. (Oct.)

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Audio Reviews Spotlight: Barry Lyndon

Adam Boretz -- February 27th, 2013

9781843797081Today in Audio Reviews Spotlight, we take a look at our Starred Review of the audio edition of William Makepeace Thackeray’s classic Barry Lyndon.

The audiobook is available from Naxos AudioBooks and narrated by Jonathan Keeble.

Barry Lyndon

William Makepeace Thackeray, read by Jonathan Keeble. Naxos AudioBooks, unabridged, 11 CDs, 13 hrs., $67.98 ISBN 978-184-379-708-1

Thackeray’s classic tale of Barry Lyndon, who escapes his life on the Emerald Isle to pursue a more luxurious existence in England, is reimagined in this audio edition, narrated by Jonathan Keeble. Reading in a rich, accented voice and making use of understated narration, Keeble immediately transports listeners back to the 18th century. His tone is firm and commanding, and he digs deep into Thackeray’s prose to precisely capture the very essence of Lyndon. Keeble’s narration is well paced, his timing impeccable. And while this audiobook weighs in at about 13 hours — a lengthy commitment for the casual listener — Keeble manages to keep his audience engaged for the duration. (Jan.)

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Audio Bestsellers: Through 2/17/2013

Adam Boretz -- February 26th, 2013

Screen Shot 2013-02-25 at 11.19.57 AMThis week on PW’s Audio Bestseller List, the inevitable happened: Bill O’Reilly’s Killing Kennedy: The End of Camelot (Macmillan Audio) reclaimed the top spot.

In at #2 was Dr. Phil’s Life Code: The New Rules for Winning in the Real World (read by the good doctor for Bird Street Books), while grabbing the #3 spot was Guilt by Jonathan Kellerman — read by John Rubinstein for Random House Audio.

James Patterson and Mark Sullivan’s Private Berlin (narrated by January LaVoy and Ari Fliakos for Hachette Audio) dropped to #4, and in at #5 — and back on our bestseller list following the tragic death of its author — was Chris Kyle’s American Sniper, read by John Pruden for HarperAudio.

For the complete list of audio bestsellers from PW, CLICK HERE.

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Audiobooks: Billion-Dollar Industry Shows Steady Growth

Adam Boretz -- February 25th, 2013

APA_logo_colorThe Audio Publishers Association released the results from two concurrent studies of audiobook sales patterns and consumer behavior revealing that total net sales of audiobooks in 2011 were up from the previous year.

According to the independent research firm Lewis & Clark, which conducted the 2011 Annual Sales Survey, 3.8 million more audiobooks were sold in 2011 than were sold in 2010, representing a 2.6 percent increase in total revenues year-over-year.

Some of the growth in the sales can be attributed to a wider selection of titles available to audiobook fans. The total number of titles published in the audio format has doubled over the past seven years and publishers continue to increase their output to ensure that the most popular trade books are available in audio at the time the print book is released. Continue reading

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Jackie Collins (Audio)Book Signing

Adam Boretz -- February 22nd, 2013

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At a recent book signing at the Barnes & Noble in Paramus, New Jersey,  Jackie Collins made a point of also signing the audio edition of her latest, The Power Trip — which she narrates with a full cast for Macmillan Audio.

For more information on the audiobook and for an audio excerpt, CLICK HERE.

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Audie Awards Finalists Announced, Handler to Host Awards Gala

Adam Boretz -- February 21st, 2013

 audie-awards-crystal-1The Audio Publishers Association announced the finalists for the 2013 Audie Awards — and writer Daniel Handler (aka Lemony Snicket), longtime friend and supporter of the audiobook industry, will emcee the Audies Gala on May 30, 2013, at the New-York Historical Society.

“It is always an exciting revelation to see which titles have been nominated, especially as the number of titles produced in audio each year is growing so rapidly,” said Michele Cobb, President of the APA. “Yet again, this year’s finalists do not disappoint. With an outstanding host, an amazing list of potential winners, and a gorgeous venue, we look forward to once again celebrating excellence in audio publishing.”

The finalists for this year’s Audie Awards are:

AUDIO DRAMA

Die, Snow White! Die, Damn You!, by Yuri Rasovsky, Narrated by a full cast, Blackstone Audio.

The Star Angel, by Jerry Robbins, Narrated by Jerry Robbins and The Colonial Radio Players, Brilliance Audio.

Trouble on His Wings, by L. Ron Hubbard, Narrated by Jennifer Aspen, Bob Caso, RF Daley, Jim Meskimen, Matt Scott, Galaxy Press.

Swordspoint, by Ellen Kushner, Narrated by Ellen Kushner & Supporting Cast Dion Graham, Katherine Kellgren, Robert Fass, Nick Sullivan, Simon Jones, Sam Guncler & Anne Bobby, SueMedia Productions.

Titanium Rain, Episode One, by Josh Finney, Narrated by a full cast, The AudioComics Company.

BIOGRAPHY/MEMOIR Continue reading

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Behind The Audio: Don’t Go

Adam Boretz -- February 19th, 2013

jeremydavidsondontgoToday in Behind the Audio, we take a look inside the studios at Macmillan Audio, where narrator Jeremy Davidson recently recorded the audio edition of Lisa Scottoline’s upcoming novel, Don’t Go.

Davidson is the first male narrator to read the bestselling author’s work.

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Pulp and Paper Audiobook Giveaway

Adam Boretz -- February 14th, 2013

51i9QMpvHbL._SL175_It’s free audiobook time again — and this time, we’re teaming up with Robert Fass to give away two copies of the digital audio edition of Josh Rolnick’s debut story collection, Pulp and Paper.

The independently-produced audiobook — which is narrated by none other than Fass himself — has been a Staff Pick at Audible, while the print edition won the John Simmons Short Fiction Award from the Iowa Writers’ Workshop in 2011.

The book’s eight stories are set in New Jersey or New York and — according to the publisher — “span the wide geographic tapestry of the area and demonstrate the interconnectedness of both the neighboring states and the residents who inhabit them.”

Fass — who is a big fan of the author’s work — had this to say about the audiobook and giveaway:

“I was thrilled to note that my narration of Josh Rolnick’s gorgeous, prize-winning collection of short stories, Pulp and Paper, has been featured as staff pick on the Audible home page for the last couple of weeks. In celebration of this honor, and to help spread the word about this wonderful, independently-produced audiobook, I am giving away two copies in digital download format from Audible.”

So, you know the drill: To enter, Simply leave a comment on this post. Once you comment, you’re registered for the giveaway. Want to up your chances of winning? Leave another comment. Or, leave another five comments. There’s no limit to the number of times you can enter to win.

We’ll announce the TWO WINNERS on March 1. Good Luck! And after you enter, check out the following audio excerpt from the final story in Pulp and Paper, “The Carousel.”

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Alan Cumming to Bring Richard III’s Speeches to Audio

Adam Boretz -- February 13th, 2013

a_610x408Close on the heels of the discovery of King Richard III’s bones in Leicester, England, an audio edition of the infamous monarch’s speeches from Shakespeare will be performed by Alan Cumming.

The recording entitled The Head that Wears a Crown: Speeches for Royal Men was recorded last month in New York City and features Cumming — who garnered significant praise for his one-man recording of Macbeth — in the roles of several of Shakespeare’s monarchs.

The audiobook is slated for a Spring publication and will be released worldwide by GPRrecords through Naxos. An audio clip of Cumming as Richard III can be found HERE.

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Behind The Audio: She Matters

Adam Boretz -- February 12th, 2013

Today, Behind The Audio looks at She Matters: A Life in Friendships by Susanna Sonnenberg.

The audiobook is read by Sonnenberg for Simon & Schuster Audio. The narrator talks about the recording process in this video:

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