I love audiobooks. Do you?
Audios are great because they don’t tie me down to a book. I can listen to them while I’m cleaning house, driving the car, gardening, riding my bike, and steaming in the bath.
A good narrator can bring life to a story, even more so than if I read it. Here are some of my favorites:
The Thursday Murder Club
Author: Richard Osman, Narrator: Lesley Manville.
Lesley Manville is brilliant at bringing to life several characters “of a certain age,” which I am so I am particular about how we’re presented. She is witty and brings intelligence, compassion, and wisdom to her narration.
The story: The club consists of four retired individuals living in a Kent, England, retirement community. They meet weekly to discuss cold cases purloined from the files of a past member, a detective. Meanwhile the developer of the retirement community wants to add additional housing by removing a convent’s burial ground and building on that space he now owns. Everyone else is opposed to it. As the conflict develops, his contractor is murdered. So the Thursday Murder Club are now investigating an open case.
Author: Eoin Colfer, Narrator: Johnny Heller
The narrator’s accent and delivery is deceiving. My first listen took a while to settle into; I wasn’t sure what the story is about. But stick with it. Heller’s wry delivery milks a joke for all its worth. I laughed out loud many times.
The story: A vodka-drinking dragon living in the bayou meets up with a wily Cajun teenager. It’s more than a boy and his winged dog story. Way more. For openers, it’s a winged dog and his boy story.
Sometimes a little raunchy but not salacious, it’s a laugh-out-loud every ten minutes tale of how these two rescue each other from the real and metaphorical swamp they live in. I can’t verify the authenticity of the narrator’s accent but to say that my long-ago hillbilly accent surfaced and I started talking like him in the most inappropriate circumstances. My favorite line is Heller’s reading of the application of the word “perfect” to the town of New Orleans.
Need a laugh? This book’s for you.
Author: Dervla McTiernan, Narrator: Aoife McMahon T
The audio, read by Aoife McMahon, is one of the best I’ve heard. I select audible books solely because she performed them. She has a command and delivery that makes me feel like I’m listening to one of my best friends tell a story she knows very well.
The story: DI Cormac Reilly has returned to Galway twenty years after he made a horrible discovery: two children in a delipidated country mansion with, their mother in bed dead from a drug overdose. Not long after Reilly’s return, Jack, the younger child is found dead in the river Corrib from an apparent suicide and his sister, Maude, had mysteriously returned from Australia just a few days before his death. While Cormac tries to unravel this mystery, the new-boy hazing he’s been getting from his comrades escalates.
A brilliant debut from author Dervla McTiernan, THE RUIN is a seamless police procedural elegantly told with vivid characters and set in Ireland we don’t see in picture postcards.