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Solve: Death at Breakfast

Cozy mystery fans, take note of Beth Gutcheon’s series debut. With characters as colorful as the fall foliage, this is a story listeners won’t want to miss.

Death At Breakfast

DEATH AT BREAKFAST
by Beth Gutcheon, read by Cynthia Darlow
Harper Audio

Two women set out on a travel adventure—attending a cooking seminar at a remote Maine inn—when a suspicious fire leaves a celebrity guest dead. Cynthia Darlow performs this whodunit with confidence and ease. Listen to a sound clip and read our full review here.

Browse our newest mystery reviews any time to find your next great listen.

Behind the Mic: In the Land of Armadillos

Narrator Elizabeth Wiley goes Behind the Mic for AudioFile this week. Elizabeth draws us to the magic that Helen Maryles Shankman brings to listeners in IN THE LAND OF ARMADILLOS, weaving Jewish folklore into rich stories of Holocaust survival.

“It’s a brilliant title. It holds all the significance and layers of meaning that I came to find while I was narrating it.” —Narrator Elizabeth Wiley

In the Land of ArmadillosIN THE LAND OF ARMADILLOS
by Helen Maryles Shankman, read by Elizabeth Wiley
Tantor Media
Earphones Award Winner

Don’t let the cute cover divert you—this unique addition to the canon of Holocaust literature is must listening. Magical realism meets grim reality in this superb collection of short stories. Each lyrical story merges the ordinary with the horrific, and narrator Elizabeth Wiley makes each one poignant without sentimentality. Listen to a sound clip and read our full review here.

Elizabeth Wiley
To find more audiobooks narrated by Elizabeth, click here.

Solve: A Hero of France

From the many terrific suspense, thrillers and mystery audiobooks we review, this week we’re keen on the latest from spy master Alan Furst where “ordinary people fight the darkness.”

A Hero Of France

A HERO OF FRANCE
by Alan Furst, read by Daniel Gerroll
Simon & Schuster Audio

This WWII thriller is atmospheric, savage, and dark. Should it be your next beach read? Find out more—read our full review and listen to a sound clip here!

Browse our newest mystery reviews any time to find your next great listen!

What Makes a Great Narrator Memorable and Mediocre Narrators Terrible?

Image of narrator as connector between text and listener

When a listener revels, “That narrator was outstanding,” can you guess the one fundamental reason why? If you answer, “Outstanding narrators consistently bring the author’s story and characters to life,” you’ve got it. Conversely, when a frustrated listener laments, “Well, at least my insomnia was cured,” what went fundamentally wrong? If you answer, “The story and its characters felt dead on arrival,” you’re right again. In my definition, an audiobook narrator must be a storyteller who, like an electrical wire with dual connectors, plugs into a book’s story, brings that story, whether fiction or nonfiction, and including its characters, events, and ideas, to life, and connects that life to the listener.

To be sure, storytelling is a complex process that requires highly skilled and intuitive performers. That said, an advanced degree is not required to identify and explain, at its core, what makes great narrators compelling, and terrible narrators not. Here’s how the best get it done–and why the worst leave listeners frustrated or bored.

Read more…

Our Website Leads the Way to Great Listening

Since 1992, AudioFile Magazine audiobook reviewers have applied critical listening skills to evaluate so many hours of audiobooks that it would take 65 years of endless audiobook listening (yup, 24/7) for one person to hear them all! Needless to say, that means our database of reviews has more than just one something for everyone. And we add reviews of about 200 new audiobooks every month.

For the past year, AudioFile‘s publisher and staff have been working to increase the ease with which you, our website users, audiobook fans, and anyone else wanting stellar critical review coverage of audiobook publishing can browse and dig deep into our stores of resources. Along the way, we’ve changed a name or two of our featured access points, and also boosted our online and social media publishing presence. To help you discover parts of this treasure trove you may not have realized are at your fingertips, here’s a quick overview from our home page.

Newest reviews iconOur Newest Reviews can be reached right from this icon. They can be searched according to any of 17 thematic areas, from Audio Theater to Young Adult titles. New reviews are added so frequently that you may find something new here on each visit.

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Looking for audiobook reviews for children’s and teen titles? Searching Audiobooks for Kids & Teens can help you to find reviews written with the listening needs and interests of kids  and families in mind.  Seven age groups can be searched separately.

AudioFile Magazine Earphones Award iconOne reason our Earphones Award for “exceptional titles that excel in narrative voice and style, characterizations, suitability to audio, and enhancement of the text” sets the standard for narrators and audiobook publishers is because we’ve been evaluating audiobooks critically for so long–38,000 and counting, to date. Dip into this search for guaranteed excellent listening.

Golden Voices icon GIFIn addition to audiobook reviews, we also give you quick access to information about dozens of award-winning Narrators. Check out our Golden Voices for those who have achieved narrator hall of fame status.

Wherever your audiobook listening happens, we can be there to help you find exactly what to hear next. Pack your earphones and join us!

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