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August 2017 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.


ANNE BOLEYN: A KING'S OBSESSION
Earphones Award Winner
Historical Fiction

Historian Alison Weir offers a unique view of the infamous Anne Boleyn. Weir's Anne is presented as an intelligent woman who was manipulated by the men in her life. Thanks to the vocally gifted Rosalyn Landor, each character--and there are tons--has a unique personality, a different way of speaking, a different timbre--and each is completely recognizable. We know Henry VIII... Read More

BECOMING BONNIE
Earphones Award Winner
Fiction

When the perfect narrator is matched with a stellar story, the result is an even greater pleasure. And while Walsh's story of a young Bonnie and Clyde takes place before the couple's notorious rampage, narrator Susan Bennett makes their early years just as exciting. Bennett's delivery deepens the characters' dimensions and complexity. Capturing the sass of Bonnie's best friend,... Read More

THE BRIGHT HOUR
Earphones Award Winner
Biography & Memoir

THE BRIGHT HOUR is a thing of beauty. Nina Riggs is honest and profoundly human as she comes to terms with life with terminal cancer and death. Narrator Cassandra Campbell is just perfect. She matches Riggs's emotions at every stage, and her lovely smooth voice has a bittersweet quality. The memoir manages to be both entertaining and heartbreaking as Riggs considers her family... Read More

COLLARED
Earphones Award Winner
Mystery & Suspense

With neighborly ease and a sly wit, one of audio's true originals, Grover Gardner, again gives voice to David Rosenfelt's bestselling amateur sleuth and dog lover, Andy Carpenter. In this sixteenth outing, a dog that was abducted more than two years earlier mysteriously shows up at the door of our hero's rescue foundation, That development sends Andy and his crew on a desperate... Read More

DEATH OF ANTON
Earphones Award Winner
Mystery & Suspense

Narrator David Thorpe gives a delightful performance of this 1935 novel. He offers perfect character voices for all the members of Carey's Circus, including Lorimer and Loretta, the trapeze artists; Dodo, the clown; and Anton, the tiger trainer. Thorpe is also perfect as Detective Inspector Minto, of Scotland Yard, who happens to be attending the circus when Anton is found dead... Read More

EDGAR AND LUCY
Earphones Award Winner
Fiction

Victor Lodato's unique novel features a cast of vividly drawn characters who are dealing with love and loss. It's utterly absorbing, with evocative, lyrical writing that is rendered beautifully in the author's narration of his own work. Centered around Edgar, a quiet albino boy who is abducted by a grief-stricken man, Lodato's novel includes vivid descriptions of the child's... Read More

FRIENDSHAPE
Earphones Award Winner
Children

Amy Krouse Rosenthal and the young narrators who accompany her give listeners young and old a memorable shape-inspired look at the essence of friendship. The story follows a pattern. Rosenthal cheerily and clearly speaks a line of text; for example: "Friends . . . welcome others to join in." Then, the various shapes--rectangle, square, triangle, and circle--as portrayed by the... Read More

THE GELATIN COAST
Earphones Award Winner
Humor

There's not an accent or personality that narrator Joel Froomkin doesn't deliver with zest in this hilarious romp. Through a series of calamities, Jamie Brewster finds himself on Africa's Gelatin Coast (where ships go to die). There he befriends Ernest, an African child, and a Canadian moose named Mickey. When a billionaire wants to kidnap Mickey Moose, Brewster energetically... Read More

GLASS JAW
Earphones Award Winner
Business & Finance

The author's 30-plus years in crisis management give this audiobook momentum and the unmistakable ring of truth. Narrator Kevin Stillwell magnifies listening satisfaction with an appealing everyman voice and sensitivity to the book's drama and nuance. With believable vocal emotions, he modulates his tone without calling attention to his skill in doing so. The stories of people... Read More

THE GOOD DAUGHTER
Earphones Award Winner
Mystery & Suspense

Narrator Kathleen Early brings to life Slaughter’s compelling story of past and present violence and its impact on sisters Charlie and Sam. Using pitch, tone, and pace, Early contrasts the personalities of the two sisters as teenagers and then, 28 years later, as adults. She excels at projecting the larger-than-life character of their father, Rusty. The way Early enacts the... Read More

A HOUSE AMONG THE TREES
Earphones Award Winner
Fiction

Julia Glass's tender, uncompromising novel is centered on the life and death of Mort Lear, a gay illustrator of children's books. Narrator Mary Stuart Masterson offers credible portraits of the famous man and his most famous character, Ivo; his live-in assistant, Tommy; and Nick, the actor hired to play him in the biopic. When Morty dies suddenly, making Tommy his literary... Read More

JANE OF AUSTIN
Earphones Award Winner
Romantic Fiction

Narrator Kate Handford will win listeners over with this sweet and charming performance. Jane of Austin is a contemporary retelling of the classic SENSE AND SENSIBILITY. Jane and her two sisters, Ceila, recovering from heartbreak, and Margot, still in school, move their business and lives to Austin, Texas, from their home in California after their shop is bought out. The... Read More

LINCOLN'S PATHFINDER
Earphones Award Winner
History

Many historians argue that the American Civil War began in Kansas, years before South Carolina seceded. In addition, the 1856 presidential election reflected the national divide over slavery as clearly as the 1860 race did. These are among the major points of this examination of John C. Fremont's campaign for the presidency. Fremont was the nascent Republican Party's first... Read More

LUCY AND DESI
Earphones Award Winner
Biography & Memoir

What a treasure! Anyone who has ever seen Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz on television (which is most of the free world) will be fascinated by this impressive review of their lives, onstage and off. Narrator Jim Frangione surpasses himself with his performance. He manages to take on different personas to demonstrate how the couple spoke on and off the stage. Thankfully, he doesn't... Read More

MIDNIGHT AT THE ELECTRIC
Earphones Award Winner
Young Adult

A trio of narrators portrays the three heroines in this novel, which nicely integrates its subplots. Jorjeana Marie animates cold 17-year-old Adri, who is orphaned and bound for Mars in 2065. While living with a distant cousin, Adri discovers the writings of two ancestors, and her prickly detachment turns to curiosity, then caring. Bailey Carr reads the emotional journal of... Read More

THE PAINTED QUEEN
Earphones Award Winner
Mystery & Suspense

When Elizabeth Peters (Egyptologist Barbara Mertz) died in 2013, she left a partially finished manuscript. Thanks to mystery writer Joan Hess, who completed the manuscript, and the remarkable Barbara Rosenblat, fans can rest assured that the Peabody-Emerson clan is in more-than-capable hands. The family gathers in Cairo for the season and, as Amelia soaks in her bath, a man... Read More

A POEM FOR PETER
Earphones Award Winner
Children

Narrator Channie Waites is quick to establish the rhythms and emotions of this tribute to Ezra Jack Keats, author and illustrator of the children's classic THE SNOWY DAY. The book featured an African-American boy named Peter and introduced readers to multiculturalism in children's literature in 1962. Keats's Jewish parents fled Poland before his birth to escape prejudice, but... Read More

REFUGE
Earphones Award Winner
Fiction

Mozhan Marno and Yousif Kamal share the narration of this engrossing audiobook, which captures a father-daughter relationship built on four visits in 20 years. As a girl, Niloo sought refuge in America, leaving her father, Bahman, behind in Iran. A powerful narrative duo, Marno and Kamal create these two complex personalities with sincerity and care, keeping their vocal tones... Read More

RISE & SHINE, BENEDICT STONE
Earphones Award Winner
Fiction

In the English town of Noon Sun, jeweler Benedict Stone is lamenting the demise of his marriage and obsessing over how to win back his wife, Estelle, as his teenaged niece, Gemma, from America arrives. Can Gemma help Benedict face past worries and help mend his marriage? Narrator James Langton's interpretation of this story is enchanting. Forty-something Benedict's stiff and... Read More

THE SECRET DIARY OF HENDRIK GROEN
Earphones Award Winner
Fiction

The humble diary of a gentleman who is fighting depression in the twilight of his life is masterfully brought to life by Derek Jacobi's outstanding narration. It's a treat to listen to Jacobi's rich voice and musical intonation as they carry the listener through Hendrik's year as he makes new friends and fights bureaucracy and boredom, carrying on through fear and loss and... Read More

THE WORLD BENEATH
Earphones Award Winner
Young Adult

Narrator Debi Hawkins grew up in Africa and still lives there, so it's not surprising that she's so fluent in portraying both the Xhosa-speaking young Joshua and his mother, as well as the Afrikaans language of white South Africans. She brings realism and character distinction to this story of a boy who learns to fight South Africa's apartheid system in 1976. Speaking in the... Read More

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