Category Archives: Listen Up

Audio Excerpt: Paul Auster’s Report from the Interior

Adam Boretz -- November 12th, 2013

Paul Auster fans will want to check out the audio edition of the author’s latest memoir, Report from the Interior, which is narrated by none other than Auster himself.

The book is a companion to Auster’s Winter Journal, which the author also narrated. Both audio editions are available from Macmillan Audio.

Check out the below video for an audio excerpt from Report from the Interior, which includes personal photos that also appear in the print edition.

Audio Industry Unites to Fight ALS

Adam Boretz -- October 24th, 2013

audioThe audio industry is coming together to host a live, 25-hour audiobook marathon to benefit two ALS charities.

The event was inspired by audiobook producer Bob Deyan’s current fight with ALS. Deyan and his wife, Debra, own and manage Deyan Audio, a studio that has produced multiple Grammy and Audie Award-winning audiobooks.

The marathon will take place at the Victory Theater in Burbank, CA, on Saturday Nov. 9, and feature narrators and celebrity guests reading classics and contemporary best sellers from every genre. Continue reading

Behind the Audio: Billy Crystal

Adam Boretz -- October 18th, 2013

In our latest edition of Behind the Audio, we head into the studios at Macmillan Audio, where Billy Crystal recently recorded his new memoir, Still Foolin’ ‘Em: Where I’ve Been, Where I’m Going, and Where the Hell Are My Keys?

Check out this behind-the-scenes video for Crystal’s take on the book — which looks back on his career and examines the perils of getting older — and an audio excerpt from Still Foolin’ ‘Em.

Behind the Audio: Ender’s Game Alive

Adam Boretz -- July 31st, 2013

If you’re a fan of Orson Scott Card’s Ender’s Game, then check out Ender’s Game Alive, a new, full-cast audiobook from Skyboat Media and Audible.

The six-hour audioplay was written by Card himself and features more than 30 narrators (many of them winners of Audie, Grammy, and Tony Awards), an original score, and sound effects.

For more information on the production, check out the following behind-the-scenes videos from Skyboat.

Orson Scott Card:

Producer Stefan Rudnicki:

Director Gabrielle de Cuir:

Skyboat will also been posting a daily blog on its website, which is filled with photos, clips, and more details.

Audio Casting Contest: Veronica Roth’s Allegiant

Adam Boretz -- July 30th, 2013

AllegiantAudio_Graphics_1HarperAudio wants you to decide who will voice Four in the forthcoming audio edition of Veronica Roth’s Allegiant, the third and final volume in her Divergent series.

Allegiant is written from the point of view of Tris and Four, with narrator Emma Galvin returning to perform the part of Tris.

HarperAudio selected four narrators as finalists for the part of Four — they will remain anonymous until the contest is over — and fans can vote for their favorite until 12pm on August 2.

After voting, fans can enter to win “The Ultimate Divergent Series Audiobook Prize Pack,” which includes a Kindle Fire loaded with the audio editions of Insurgent and Divergent; a pair of Skullcandy Crusher headphones; 12 Audible credits; and an author-signed copy of Allegiant upon its publication in October.

Check out THIS LINK for all the contest details and to cast your vote.

Behind the Audio: The Auschwitz Volunteer

Adam Boretz -- July 18th, 2013

51qzrWpAxkL._SL300_Today in Behind the Audio, we take a look at Audible’s recording of The Auschwitz Volunteer: Beyond Bravery, Witold Pilecki’s account of his nearly three-year incarceration in Auschwitz.

In 1940, the Polish Underground wanted to learn more about the recently opened Auschwitz. A Polish army officer, Pilecki volunteered to be arrested by the Germans and report back from inside the camp. His subsequent intelligence reports were among the first eyewitness accounts of Auschwitz atrocities.

The audio edition of The Auschwitz Volunteer will be narrated by the Marek Probosz, who also played the Pilecki in the recent television film, The Death of Captain Pilecki.

Check out the following behind-the-scenes interview in which Probosz talks about Pilecki, his experiences at Auschwitz, and this important audiobook.

Billy Crystal Delivers Live Recording for Macmillan Audio

Adam Boretz -- July 11th, 2013

9780805098204If you missed Billy Crystal’s hugely successful reading from his new memoir, Still Foolin’ ‘Em: Where I’ve Been, Where I’m Going, and Where the Hell Are My Keys?, last month at New York University, don’t despair. Fans of the comedian and actor will be able to listen to the performance when it’s incorporated into the audio edition of the book for Macmillan Audio.

At NYU’s Cantor Auditorium, Crystal read 7 chapters — covering everything from the buying a burial plot to sex at age 25 versus sex at age 65 and playing with the New York Yankees for a day — to a full (and very enthusiastic) house.

According to Macmillan, Crystal’s performance and the audience responses — laughter, applause, and even shock — will all be featured in the audio edition of Still Foolin’ ‘Em.

For more on Crystal’s performance at NYU, check out John Schwartz’s write-up in The New York Times. And check out THIS LINK for more on the audio and print editions of Still Foolin’ ‘Em from Macmillan.

Going Public…In Shorts: With Johnny Heller and Robert Fass

Adam Boretz -- June 1st, 2013

GP_FINAL_2400x2400The audiobook community is giving back! Spoken Freely, a group of more than 30 professional narrators, has teamed with the Going Public Project to celebrate June is Audiobook Month 2013 by offering a serialized audio story collection: Going Public…in Shorts.

Each narrator has recorded a short piece from the public domain, including the work of Chekhov, Twain, Chopin, Poe, Lovecraft, Fitzgerald, Joyce, Wilde and many others — even Lincoln’s pivotal Second Inaugural Address. All proceeds will go to literacy advocacy organization Reach Out and Read.

Throughout June, one or two stories will be released each day via the Going Public blog, as well as on various author and book blogs, with each participating narrator hosted by a different blogger. As a “Thank you!” to listeners, stories will be available online for free for one week following their release. The full schedule of story release dates and narrator appearances is available at Going Public.


It’s all legs, all the time, as Johnny Heller, Robert Fass, and I help kick of Going Public…In Shorts at Recorded Books.

Excited to kick off Going Public…In Shorts on PWxyz, Johnny Heller and Robert Fass joined me at Recorded Books in New York City, where we recorded the following interview about the project and all things audio.

And now, without further ado, check out Heller’s fantastic reading of “Skip Tracer Bullets” by Joe Archibald:

And give a listen to Fass’s truly terrific narration of Washington Irving’s “The Spectre Bridegroom:”

In collaboration with Blackstone Audio, stories will also be available for download purchase at Downpour, with the full compilation available beginning June 30th. CLICK HERE to purchase Heller’s Reading of “Skip Tracer Bullets” and CLICK HERE to purchase Fass’s narration of “The Spectre Bridegroom.” All sales proceeds go directly to Reach Out and Read, which serves more than 4 million children and their families across the nation, with an emphasis on aiding those in low-income communities.

Going Public…in Shorts is made possible by the efforts of the Spoken Freely narrators and many others who donated their time and energy to bring it to fruition. Engineering and mastering provided by Jeffrey Kafer and SpringBrook Audio. Graphic design provided by f power design. Project coordination and executive production provided by Xe Sands.

And don’t forget to tune in tomorrow for the next installment of Going Public…In Shorts at Linus’s Blanket.

Behind The Audio: I Can Barely Take Care of Myself

Adam Boretz -- May 31st, 2013


This week in Behind the Audio, we take a look at comedian, actress, and author Jen Kirkman’s debut memoir, I Can Barely Take Care of Myself: Tales from a Happy Life Without Kids.

The audio edition, available from Tantor Media, is narrated by Kirkman herself. Here’s what she had to tell us about the project:

When I found out that Tantor wanted me to record an audio version of my book I was ecstatic. I thought, “This kind of counts as another comedy album and now I won’t have to record one of those this year.” As a stand-up comedian, it meant a lot to be able to read my own book — not that Morgan Freeman wouldn’t have given a respectable performance, but I don’t think he can impersonate my mom as well as I can.

While reading my book into a microphone, I remembered a game a teacher of mine used to play. The class would gather in a circle and one of us would read aloud until we screwed up and then pass the book to the next person — I excelled at not screwing up. It was a dream come true to finally make a living at this very specific skill!

Ever since the age of five, I have sounded like a two-pack-a-day smoker with a sinus infection. I sat in the audio booth with about three cups of hot water and honey. What I remember most about the experience is how often my bladder got exercised and my skin had a healthy glow from drinking a gallon of warm water a day. Some people may buy my audio book for the laughs and stay for the sexy vocal fry.

Once my book was on your favorite store bookcases or Amazon warehouse shelves — the way people read it is up to the voices in their head. That takes some surrender on the part of the author. I found great satisfaction in narrating the audio version of my book so that I could give certain sentences the inflection I feel they needed. Thank you Tantor, for giving me the opportunity to soothe my inner control freak.

For an audio excerpt from I Can Barely Take Care of Myself, check out the following SoundCloud clip:

Listen While You Work Out with Macmillan Audio

Adam Boretz -- May 20th, 2013


Just in time for Spring, our pals over at Macmillan Audio have launched “Listen While You Work Out” — a campaign aimed at helping people get in shape by listening to audiobooks.

Macmillan is encouraging its staff, colleagues, and listeners to use audiobooks as a way to log in extra time at the gym. Just by continuing to work out until the end of whatever chapter (or book) they’re listening to, people can burn more calories and get in shape more quickly.

Participants can log the hours spent working out while listening to audiobooks to track how much more they’ve exercised. As you can see from Macmillan’s Facebook page, people are really racking up some impressive numbers — with Macmillan’s own Esther leading the pack with a whopping 900 plus minutes active!

And, the campaign is getting some serious press — check out these stories from Fitness Magazine, Parents, and Fox. Summer may be almost here, but “Listen While You Work Out” is far from over. So sign up, download an audiobook, grab your iPod, and get to the gym today.