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August 2020 Earphones Award Winners

The award is given by AudioFile to truly exceptional titles that excel in narrative voice and style, characterizations, suitability to audio, and enhancement of the text.


THE EXILES
Earphones Award Winner
Fiction

Caroline Lee offers an outstanding narration of Kline's well-researched novel, which depicts a shameful moment in Australia's colonial history. Seduced, pregnant, accused of stealing, and convicted on slight evidence, Evangeline is marked for transport from Newgate Prison to Australia. Onboard the ship, fellow prisoners Hazel and Olive help her cope with various hardships and... Read More

THE FALCON ALWAYS WINGS TWICE
Earphones Award Winner
Mystery & Suspense

Listening to Bernadette Dunne perform the Meg Langslow audiobooks gives listeners a sense of coming home to a beloved family. In this installment, Meg and her family hold a Renaissance Faire at her grandmother's craft center. Dunne builds up listeners' ill will toward a particularly vicious performer, bringing it to a climax when he carries out his most dramatic and malicious... Read More

GHOSTING THE NEWS
Earphones Award Winner
Contemporary Culture

Listening to this book, one might think narrator Amanda Carlin is the author. Her narration is filled with the emotion and emphasis the author brought to the work. She stresses the important points without sounding strident and largely overcomes the fact that this book was written for the eye, not the ear. She breaks complex sentences into easier to comprehend segments without... Read More

GIRL, UNFRAMED
Earphones Award Winner
Young Adult

Narrator Alexandra Allwine maximizes the tension in this YA page-turner. Sydney Reilly is planning to spend her sixteenth summer in a mansion in San Francisco with Lila Shore, her movie-star mother. But her heavenly summer soon turns to hell, and Allwine's depiction makes that clear as Lila's tones range from helplessness to fury, with notes of egotism beneath both. Allwine... Read More

THE GREAT MORTALITY
Earphones Award Winner
History

John Kelly's richly detailed history of the medieval Black Death was published in 2005 but comes into its own as an audiobook in the age of COVID-19. Critics and readers have criticized Kelly for personifying the plague as a sensate being racing hungrily from town to town and country to country. But with polished elegance, narrator Matthew Lloyd Davies captures the grim ironies... Read More

A LITTER OF BONES
Earphones Award Winner
Mystery & Suspense

Narrator Angus King introduces Detective Chief Inspector Jack Logan, who is sent to the Scottish Highlands to investigate a child abduction similar to one he solved earlier. Logan is confident and tough but also vulnerable; his transition from Glasgow to the countryside is amusing. Listeners will meet his engaging and conscientious team and feel themselves to be in the middle... Read More

MALORIE
Earphones Award Winner
Science Fiction

Narrator Cassandra Campbell exquisitely evokes the existential dread that permeates Josh Malerman's well-wrought follow-up to his popular sci-fi suspense novel, BIRD BOX. America remains rife with creatures that drive viewers insane. Blindfolded and hooded, Malorie has kept her now-teenage children safe for 16 frightening years. Then they learn that Malorie's parents may be... Read More

THE MARRIAGE GAME
Earphones Award Winner
Romantic Fiction

Narrator Soneela Nankani enhances this witty story with her fantastic accents. Due to a misunderstanding, Layla and Sam find themselves sharing an office above her family's restaurant. This is not an easy feat for two people with vastly different styles. Newly single and busy with her new business, Layla is unaware that the 10 suitors who show up for blind dates with her have... Read More

THESE WALLS CAN TALK
Earphones Award Winner
Audio Theater

A full cast of experienced narrators frolics in Mallon's hilarious meta play about romance audiobooks. Andi Arndt voices frustrated wife Vera, whose secret obsession is a narrator, read by Joe Arden, whose magical performances have earned him the nickname "the Narwhal." Shane East portrays her confused yet adorable husband, Cameron, whose interactions with a romance writer,... Read More

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