AudioFile goes Behind the Mic to talk with narrator Nicole Poole. She filmed her comment in her hometown library . . . shhhh . . . adding a bit of eerie mystery to telling us about Walter Tevis’s post-apocalyptic world in MOCKINGBIRD.
“Tevis creates a world where books are used as building materials—they are just strange hieroglyphics.”—Narrator Nicole Poole
by Walter Tevis, read by Robert Fass, Nicole Poole
AudioFile Earphones Award
In a dual narration with Robert Fass, Nicole beautifully portrays Mary Lou, the last mother on a dying Earth. Robots and the last surviving humans make for fascinating listening. Read AudioFile’s full review here.
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The Catholic Church’s election of a new pope epitomizes mystery for the vast majority of the world, and Robert Harris takes advantage of that fact in his new audiobook, CONCLAVE, narrated by Roy McMillan.
Harris weaves in power struggles, politics and puzzles to captivate the audience in this suspenseful pontiff selection. Narrator Roy McMillan takes full advantage of the opportunity to display his range. While not strictly miraculous, his transformation of Cardinal Lomeli, the protagonist, from dispirited to Spirit-filled is most certainly charismatic. And Earphone award-worthy.
by Robert Harris,
read by Roy McMillan
Random House Audio
AudioFile Earphones Award
Read AudioFile’s full review and listen to a sound clip here, or browse more reviews of Robert Harris’s audiobooks.
Browse all of our newest mystery reviews to find your next great listen!
AudioFile goes Behind the Mic to talk with Richard Ferrone. We knew that Richard’s gravelly voice and keen sense for haunting suspense would be perfect for Ron Rash’s THE RISEN.
“An author who can combine the lyricism of a poet with the ominousness of an Edgar Allan Poe.”—Narrator Richard Ferrone
by Ron Rash, read by Richard Ferrone
Harper Audio/ Blackstone Audio
Earphones Award Winner
Richard’s performance of Ron Rash’s lyrical storytelling is a treat for listeners.The tightly written mystery, set in a North Carolina backwoods, looks back forty years when the lives of two brothers were changed by a free-spirited girl. Hear a sound clip and read AudioFile’s complete review here.
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When Golden Voice Narrator John Lee agreed to hop onto Goodreads for a narrator interview, we couldn’t believe our luck! John Lee is famous for his resonant voice, thoughtful characterizations, range, and stamina. He’s won awards for everything from serious history books to mysteries to Ken Follett’s sprawling novels. He has had many titles reviewed by AudioFile reviewers over the years, including the Earphones Award Winner Sweetland. Read a selection of our readers’ questions and John’s thoughtful answers below.
Q: I adored your performance of Georgina Harding’s The Solitude of Thomas Cave: A Novel, which takes place mostly in the Arctic winter. How did the situational details affect you while you were narrating?
John Lee: Some books excel at what I call mood. The Solitude of Thomas Cave seemed to have a sort of mournful music under the whole thing. It’s not quite the same as having an imagined soundtrack, it’s more like that unidentifiable hum you hear sometimes which catches your attention and you can never quite figure out where it’s coming from. That tone informs the whole reading and a book such as this requires a poetic approach or perhaps it might better be described as a musical approach: my tone needs to match what feels like the tone of the book. I certainly ended recording sessions on Thomas Cave with a sense that I was emerging from another world. It was very immersive.
Q: You are the historical fiction king—in my (audio)book. How do you decide if you’ll use an accent for characters or the narrative text? How do you prepare for speaking in an accent?
John Lee: The decision to use accents is always a tricky one. I just did a book about a historical Irish character and it was clear that both the narration and the characters needed to be in an Irish accent. Yet, if I am doing something like the Ken Follett’s The Century Trilogy there are dozens of accents and the narration needs to be in my voice simply to distinguish it from the Welsh and the German and the Boston ones. I prepare for doing accents mostly by trying to call up the voices of people who speak that way. It’s partly a visual recall of the people and partly a sort of recording I have in my head of their way of speaking.
Q: Can you tell us how you engage emotionally with your characters and how you manage tension and pacing?
John Lee: Pace is the heart of the matter. There are two basic schools of thought—one that the ear or brain takes in information at a certain speed, and that speed is quicker than you might think. The other is that a book is different from pure information and needs to be read a little slower. Because English people tend to speak more quickly than Americans, directors are always asking me to slow down. Speed, though, helps raise tension in the right places. And tension is that indefinable middle ground where the silence and the speed are just right. Engaging emotionally is a matter of basic acting. I am a creature of the theatre and came to audiobooks from a world where you know if you’ve paced yourself and held the tension well simply by sensing the audience’s reaction. I think of audiobooks as my personal theater space.
Hear John Lee’s performances of The Century Trilogy that includes FALL OF GIANTS, WINTER OF THE WORLD, EDGE OF ETERNITY.
Succeeding against all odds. These Hot Picks may have a rocky road to romance… but it’s all worth it.
Four Weddings and a Sixpence
by Julia Quinn, Elizabeth Boyle, Laura Lee Guhrke, Stefanie Sloane, read by Mary Jane Wells
Four young ladies at a boarding school hope a lucky sixpence will help them find husbands.
Someone to Love: Westcott Novel, Book 1
by Mary Balogh, read by Rosalyn Landor
An orphan becomes an earl’s daughter but needs the help of the Duke of Netherby to fit in.
Man on the Run
by Carl Weber, read by Kevin Free
Jailed unjustly, Jay enlists his three friends to help him turn his life around.