Several years ago, Nicolas Soames of Naxos AudioBooks approached actor Jim Norton and asked him if he'd like to record "everything that James Joyce wrote. First, we did a four-hour version of ULYSSES, and then DUBLINERS , which, of course, is a beautiful series of stories, and then he persuaded me to do FINNEGANS WAKE." Norton and Naxos followed with the unabridged ULYSSES , which won AudioFile's Earphones Award and was a finalist in the 2005 Audies. Their latest collaboration, A PORTRAIT OF THE ARTIST AS A YOUNG MAN , is celebrated in this issue (see page 45). Active in film and theater, Jim admits his first loves are radio and audiobooks. As a child actor living in Dublin, one of his first plays was one of Brendan Behan's first plays, "and those plays were performed on radio before they were performed in theater." He still reads for the Royal National Institute for the Blind and believes "audio is a wonderful medium. It gets right into the brain. Once you say, 'Once upon a time,' people lean forward. They want to know what happens next. Audiobooks continue that wonderful tradition of storytelling." Jim is currently at work on a new play called "The Seafarer," by Colin McPherson, at the National Theatre in London. His recent film project, "Driving Lessons," with Laura Linney, will be released in this country soon.
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