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Reviews from Naxos AudioBooks

Reviews displayed chronologically

  • THE GREAT POETS: MATTHEW ARNOLD

    THE GREAT POETS: MATTHEW ARNOLD

    by Matthew Arnold | Read by Jonathan Keeble

    Naxos AudioBooks | Unabridged Selections
    Poetry & Drama

    Matthew Arnold's poetry is not widely read today, except for "Dover Beach" and perhaps "The Scholar Gipsy," but this selection shows the strengths that made him popular in the nineteenth century. Jonathan Keeble's readings are romantic, as the poems are, and they show the result of careful thought. Arnold's writerly craft and ideas come through. Keeble reads the antique diction... Read More

  • A HOUSE FOR MR BISWAS

    A HOUSE FOR MR BISWAS

    Earphones Award Winner

    by V.S. Naipaul | Read by Sam Dastor

    Naxos AudioBooks | Unabridged
    Classics

    Naipaul, whose body of writing earned him Nobel laureate status, first came to international attention with this engaging and accessible novel. Narrator Sam Dastor's consistent Trinidadian accent is perfect for its audio performance, making it as fresh and enjoyable as it was to readers when it was published in print nearly 60 years ago. Dastor paces his narration so that it... Read More

  • GOOD WIVES

    GOOD WIVES

    by Louisa May Alcott | Read by Liza Ross

    Naxos AudioBooks | Abridged
    Classics

    GOOD WIVES is the second half of Alcott's beloved classic, LITTLE WOMEN. Liza Ross does a lovely job of narrating this abridged version about the March sisters, beginning with Meg's marriage and ending with Jo's. The story is told through narrative and letters, mainly from Amy and Jo's perspectives as they have adventures in Europe and New York, respectively. Ross gives each... Read More

  • LEVIATHAN

    LEVIATHAN

    by Thomas Hobbes | Read by Peter Wickham

    Naxos AudioBooks | Unabridged
    Classics

    Hobbes's 1651 masterwork of political and ecclesiastical philosophy is generally clear and succinct, though not always easy. Narrator Peter Wickham uses emphasis, tone, pacing, and pauses admirably to convey Hobbes's meaning, but even his clarity may not always get the sense across at first listen, and at times he reads a touch too quickly for the material. There is great... Read More

  • DEAD SOULS

    DEAD SOULS

    Earphones Award Winner

    by Nikolai Gogol | Read by Nicholas Boulton

    Naxos AudioBooks | Unabridged
    Classics

    There are many voices, of many classes and temperaments, for Nicholas Boulton to portray in this audiobook. He meets the challenge with a wide range of British class and regional accents, along with character voices. More of a challenge is the range of moods, from comedy to near-tragedy, and the problematical text, which lacks an ending as well as several chunks toward the end.... Read More

  • THE WINGS OF THE DOVE

    THE WINGS OF THE DOVE

    by Henry James | Read by Juliet Stevenson

    Naxos AudioBooks | Unabridged
    Classics

    The melodic quality of Henry James's prose is even more so as Juliet Stevenson narrates. Kate Croy, a British beauty without means of her own, and Milly Theale, a wealthy American with no living family, are an interesting pair of opposites. They soon find themselves in the midst of a tragic romantic triangle. Stevenson is masterful in guiding the listener through what could be... Read More

  • THE TURN OF THE SCREW

    THE TURN OF THE SCREW

    by Henry James | Read by Penelope Rawlins, Ben Elliot

    Naxos AudioBooks | Unabridged
    Classics

    An unnamed governess arrives at a sprawling English estate and immediately finds herself both charmed and mystified by her new charges--the darling young niece and nephew of a wealthy absentee landlord. Ben Elliot, who reads the prologue, and Penelope Rawlins combine a skillful delivery of Henry James's careful nineteenth-century prose with a more modern pace that will keep... Read More

  • THE KABULIWALLAH AND OTHER STORIES

    THE KABULIWALLAH AND OTHER STORIES

    by Rabindranath Tagore | Read by Sagar Arya

    Naxos AudioBooks | Unabridged
    Fiction

    This collection of stories is told in the lively tradition of an oral storyteller by narrator Sagar Arya. He tells these tales of love and separation with humor and gravitas, evoking a range of emotions for which the author's writing is well known. Postmen, shopkeepers, fathers, and young children are a few of the many characters that people these narratives. Arya captures the... Read More

  • OROONOKO

    OROONOKO

    by Aphra Behn | Read by Clare Wille

    Naxos AudioBooks | Unabridged
    Classics

    Clare Wille's performance may help listeners appreciate Behn's tragic romance despite the story's seventeenth-century prose. It features the star-crossed love of a noble (and highly emotional) African king who is tricked into slavery. Wille's pace can be a touch quick, but she aids understanding through her clarity of enunciation and her astute interpretations of emotion,... Read More

  • PUCK OF POOK'S HILL

    PUCK OF POOK'S HILL

    by Rudyard Kipling | Read by Peter Kenny

    Naxos AudioBooks | Unabridged
    Classics

    Kipling is not known as a fantasist, but this audiobook features Puck, one of Shakespeare's fairies--or "people of the hills," the author's own preferred term. Other characters include one of the old gods and a number of people magicked out of history for the amusement and education of a pair of English children. Narrator Peter Kenny's varied British accents are wonderful; a... Read More

  • THE TRUMPET-MAJOR

    THE TRUMPET-MAJOR

    by Thomas Hardy | Read by Nicholas Rowe

    Naxos AudioBooks | Unabridged
    Classics

    Among the great Victorian novelists, only Hardy and Dickens consistently addressed issues of class. Narrator Nicholas Rowe gives a clear portrayal of the accents and diction of various classes, ranging from rural servants to King George III. It's sometimes hard to distinguish the three major female characters' voices, but the men are clear and distinctive. Those who aren't... Read More

  • THE CONFESSIONS OF ST AUGUSTINE

    THE CONFESSIONS OF ST AUGUSTINE

    by | Read by Mark Meadows

    Naxos AudioBooks | Unabridged
    Classics

    How do you bring an early Christian literary classic to life for a new generation? You have Mark Meadows narrate it. Listeners will hear Augustine's angst and concern as he confesses sin after sin. They also will feel the questions welling up from deep within as Augustine wrestles with God while looking for salvation from his many sins. The prospect of forgiveness and knowledge... Read More

  • THE MIMIC MEN

    THE MIMIC MEN

    by V.S. Naipaul | Read by Sam Dastor

    Naxos AudioBooks | Unabridged
    Classics

    Rarely do listeners encounter as unique a protagonist as Naipaul's Ralph Singh. He lives in London, though he grew up in the Caribbean and even shared ruling power for a time on the island with an Afro-Caribbean politician. Sam Dastor's strong narration enlivens Singh as he remembers his childhood and political career. Dastor ensures that Singh's disillusionment becomes evident... Read More

  • JOURNEY TO THE CENTRE OF THE EARTH

    JOURNEY TO THE CENTRE OF THE EARTH

    by Jules Verne | Read by Bill Homewood

    Naxos AudioBooks | Unabridged
    Classics

    Narrator Bill Homewood slips easily into the persona of Axel, the nephew of a well-known professor with whom he travels to Iceland to begin a journey to the center of the earth. It's the nineteenth century, and Axel is a reluctant adventurer, clearly wanting to please his uncle but feeling nostalgic for home almost from the beginning of the journey. Much of the audiobook is... Read More

  • THE MONK

    THE MONK

    by Matthew Lewis | Read by Nicholas Boulton, Georgina Sutton

    Naxos AudioBooks | Unabridged
    Classics

    This classic gothic novel is filled with mystery, romance, and horror. Narrators Nicholas Boulton and Georgina Sutton tell Matthew Lewis's sordid tale of a monk who was left at the steps of an abbey as a baby and the strange cast of characters he is surrounded by as an adult. Boulton and Sutton share the storytelling, each bringing his or her best to the performance. This tale... Read More

  • THE DOOR

    THE DOOR

    by Magda Szabó, Len Rix [Trans.] | Read by Siân Thomas

    Naxos AudioBooks | Unabridged
    Fiction

    Siân Thomas narrates this audiobook with a zest and a reverence that suit the content beautifully. The story explores the relationship between two opposites--Magda, an intellectual who seeks human bonds as part of her outgoing personality, and Emerence, an illiterate caretaker who works for Magda and whose distant, aloof nature makes Magda uneasy. Thomas is a precise narrator,... Read More

  • WASHINGTON SQUARE

    WASHINGTON SQUARE

    by Henry James | Read by Adam Sims

    Naxos AudioBooks | Unabridged
    Classics

    With this performance, narrator Adam Sims sounds both historical and contemporary, bridging the time span between James's nineteenth-century novel and the present day with style. His brisk pace and youthful tone seem modern, while his sharp-edged, superbly enunciated syllables hark back to an earlier time. This dichotomy works to the listener's advantage: One feels transported... Read More

  • MORE GREAT SCIENTISTS AND THEIR DISCOVERIES

    MORE GREAT SCIENTISTS AND THEIR DISCOVERIES

    by David Agnus | Read by Benjamin Soames

    Naxos AudioBooks | Unabridged
    Children

    Narrator Benjamin Soames presents listeners with snapshots of nine scientists and their impactful discoveries in this collective biography. The scientists are Copernicus, Pascal, Halley, Linnaeus, Davy, Volta, Babbage, Humboldt, and, finally, Oppenheimer. The scientists' work covers a variety of scientific fields including astronomy, geometry, physics, and chemistry. Each bio... Read More

  • THE LAST CHRONICLE OF BARSET

    THE LAST CHRONICLE OF BARSET Chronicles of Barsetshire, Book 6

    by Anthony Trollope | Read by David Shaw-Parker

    Naxos AudioBooks | Unabridged
    Classics

    Trollope's final Barsetshire novel brings back many characters in an audiobook that combines mystery and romance. Narrator David Shaw-Parker uses his rich, resonant voice to establish and differentiate those characters through tone and accent, giving the impression of a full-cast performance. He excels naturally at male voices; women's voices are not as distinctive and are... Read More

  • HISTORIES

    HISTORIES

    by | Read by David Timson

    Naxos AudioBooks | Unabridged
    History

    David Timson's performance makes the Greek historian Herodotus a character, not just the narrator of his histories. He sounds like an amiable, garrulous uncle--worldly, cheerful, by turns credulous and skeptical. That character fits the audiobook and helps keep it entertaining. But Timson also shows respect for Herodotus as a historian--rather than just a tall-tale spinner--by... Read More

  • ON THE ORIGIN OF SPECIES

    ON THE ORIGIN OF SPECIES

    by Charles Darwin | Read by Peter Wickham

    Naxos AudioBooks | Unabridged
    Contemporary Culture

    Narrator Peter Wickham lends a necessary tone of discovery and excitement to Darwin's seminal work, in which he outlines his theory of evolution. Wickham injects the thrill of discovery into his reading, a useful counterbalance to the occasionally overwhelming lists of examples that Darwin employs to illustrate his theory. Wickham responds to the systematic and factual tone of... Read More

  • THE PICTURE OF DORIAN GRAY

    THE PICTURE OF DORIAN GRAY

    by Oscar Wilde | Read by Greg Wise

    Naxos AudioBooks | Unabridged
    Classics

    Dorian Gray is one of Wilde's most iconic characters, referenced consistently in any number of contemporary art forms. Loyal to this tradition, Greg Wise offers a timeless narration of this audiobook. His classic British voice--elegant and erudite--moves languidly between formally proper and ironic. Wise is the quintessential narrator of this type of novel; his laconic style... Read More

  • SELECTED POETRY BY LEWIS CARROLL

    SELECTED POETRY BY LEWIS CARROLL

    Earphones Award Winner

    by Lewis Carroll | Read by Roger May

    Naxos AudioBooks | Unabridged Selections
    Children

    Roger May narrates a wide collection of verse composed by the author of ALICE'S ADVENTURES IN WONDERLAND with engaging animation that neither oversteps into camp nor slides into rote recitation. His delivery makes the audiobook a perfect choice for listeners of all ages to enjoy, either on its own or in concert with reading Carroll's prose works. In addition to verses from the... Read More

  • THE PERIODIC TABLE

    THE PERIODIC TABLE

    by Primo Levi, Raymond Rosenthal [Trans.] | Read by Neville Jason

    Naxos AudioBooks | Unabridged
    Classics

    Narrator Neville Jason brings a soothing tone to Primo Levi's collection of autobiographical and fictional short stories. Set during WWII, Levi's stories demand breadth, and during the more emotional and extreme episodes, Jason delivers with aplomb. In particular, he handles Levi's description of his capture by SS guards with sensitivity. However, one is disappointed by his... Read More

  • CHRISTMAS STORIES

    CHRISTMAS STORIES

    Earphones Award Winner

    by Charles Dickens | Read by David Timson

    Naxos AudioBooks | Unabridged
    Classics

    Dickens's four Christmas-themed novellas display the author's strengths and weaknesses; David Timson enhances the strengths and strengthens the weaknesses, such as sentimentality and overplayed emotions. When Dickens is excessive, Timson is, too, but he manages to carry it off. He alone is an entire cast, with only female characters occasionally not fully convincing. He not... Read More

  • DON JUAN

    DON JUAN

    Earphones Award Winner

    by Lord Byron | Read by Jonathan Keeble

    Naxos AudioBooks | Unabridged
    Poetry & Drama

    Byron never managed to finish this epic, but Jonathan Keeble narrates right up to the end of what did get done. This may be the only classic poem that rhymes "Euxine" (a classical name for the Black Sea) with "pukes in," but Keeble keeps up with the shifting moods and tones, which range from expressions of pure romantic love to snarky commentary on British politics (and poetic... Read More

  • THE GO-BETWEEN

    THE GO-BETWEEN

    by L.P. Hartley | Read by Sean Barrett

    Naxos AudioBooks | Unabridged
    Fiction

    Narrator Sean Barrett brings his range and sensitivity to this classic coming-of-age novel in which an older man rediscovers his childhood diary. Barrett's natural rhythm contemporizes any anachronisms, and his ability to shift between the weariness of the elderly protagonist and the curiosity and vibrancy of the youth he remembers sounds effortless. As the novel journeys into... Read More

  • THE FURTHER ADVENTURES OF ZORRO

    THE FURTHER ADVENTURES OF ZORRO Zorro, Book 2

    by Johnston McCulley | Read by Bill Homewood

    Naxos AudioBooks | Unabridged
    Classics

    Don Diego Vega is expecting to settle down to the "peace and quiet" of married life. On the eve of his wedding, though, the pirate Barbados and his crew raid Los Angeles--and kidnap Don Diego's bride-to-be. Narrator Bill Homewood milks the melodrama as Zorro puts on the mask one more time to face the self-described pirate and the corrupt authority of Captain Ramon. Homewood's... Read More

  • A VINDICATION OF THE RIGHTS OF WOMAN

    A VINDICATION OF THE RIGHTS OF WOMAN

    by Mary Wollstonecraft | Read by Fiona Shaw, Jonathan Keeble

    Naxos AudioBooks | Unabridged
    Classics

    Fiona Shaw's narration brings out the meaning of prose that many listeners may find a bit difficult to parse, making this classic work more accessible to a general audience. Described as an early feminist, Wollstonecraft was both a product of, and ahead of, her time. Her primary thesis--which was far from the prevailing view of the nineteenth century--was that women should have... Read More

  • UTOPIA

    UTOPIA

    by Thomas More | Read by Mark Meadows

    Naxos AudioBooks | Unabridged
    Classics

    Mark Meadows brings his British diction and engaging storytelling style to the narration of Thomas More's political treatise. UTOPIA appeared just after Henry VIII left the Church of Rome. Published in Latin in 1516, More's classic speculative fiction is set on a mythical island. Here residents cast off the trappings of English and European society, and dispatch the class... Read More

  • THE GREAT POETS: WALT WHITMAN

    THE GREAT POETS: WALT WHITMAN Selections

    Earphones Award Winner

    by Walt Whitman | Read by Garrick Hagon

    Naxos AudioBooks | Unabridged Selections
    Classics

    The Naxos Great Poets series has finally gotten around to Whitman, and Garrick Hagon's readings are worth the wait. He is declamatory at some points, soft and tender at others, and almost always rhapsodic. If you're not familiar with Whitman's poetry, this selection is an excellent introduction. It includes some of Whitman's most renowned works (such as "Crossing Brooklyn... Read More

  • NIGHT AND DAY

    NIGHT AND DAY

    by Virginia Woolf | Read by Juliet Stevenson

    Naxos AudioBooks | Unabridged
    Classics

    Listeners will enjoy a vivid depiction of Edwardian society in this novel, which deals with the period's fixed attitudes about the roles of women and marriage. The principals are Mary Datchet, an independent woman who works in an office and supports the women's suffrage movement, and Katharine Hilbery, the only daughter of an estimable English family. Narrator Juliet Stevenson... Read More

  • THE ASPERN PAPERS

    THE ASPERN PAPERS

    by Henry James | Read by Adam Sims

    Naxos AudioBooks | Unabridged
    Classics

    A plot, according to some critics, starts with a person with a problem. The unnamed narrator of this classic, ably narrated by Adam Sims, doesn't even know what his real problem is. Sims brings to life the protagonist's pursuit of some papers concerning the fictional poet Jeffrey Aspern, revealing along the way just how unaware he is of the effects of his actions on those... Read More

  • THE WAY WE LIVE NOW

    THE WAY WE LIVE NOW

    by Anthony Trollope | Read by David Shaw-Parker

    Naxos AudioBooks | Unabridged
    Classics

    When Augustus Melmotte moves to London in a blaze of splendor, the English upper class is both confused and awed by this upstart with an enigmatic past. Trollope's 1875 novel deals with many vices of the period including financial scandal, social climbing, and arranged marriages. British actor David Shaw-Parker's almost iambic cadence makes his narration of the novel pleasant... Read More

  • THE FAERIE QUEENE

    THE FAERIE QUEENE

    by Edmund Spenser | Read by David Timson

    Naxos AudioBooks | Unabridged
    Poetry & Drama

    Spenser's long but incomplete epic, allegorically instructive and linguistically archaic, is also a fantasy romp among knights, monsters, witches, and beautiful damsels. David Timson both conveys the fun and actually makes the poem easier to understand (though perhaps still daunting for newcomers) by interpreting it through his narration. He uses his voice richly and well to... Read More

  • MONKEY

    MONKEY

    Earphones Award Winner

    by Wu Ch'êng-ên, Arthur Waley [Trans.] | Read by Kenneth Williams

    Naxos AudioBooks | Unabridged
    Classics

    Kenneth Williams--best known from the British "Carry On" films--gives an extravagantly theatrical performance of Waley's adaptation of a Chinese classic (JOURNEY TO THE WEST), matching the fantastic world of the story, filled with Chinese deities and monsters and Monkey's larger-than-life shenanigans. Williams provides many character voices, some rather silly, rolls his r's,... Read More

  • IN A GLASS DARKLY

    IN A GLASS DARKLY

    by Sheridan Le Fanu | Read by Jonathan Keeble, Daniel Philpott, Sean Barrett, David Horovitch, Nicholas Boulton, Alison Pettitt

    Naxos AudioBooks | Unabridged
    Classics

    Whether you're new to Le Fanu's classic tales or a veteran of his particular brand of imaginative horror, these narrators are sure to entertain and spook you with these stories of stalking monkey-demons, supernatural courtroom revenge, premature burial, lesbian vampires, and more. Although it's not clear which reader performs which story, it's worth noting that all six are... Read More

  • DANIEL DERONDA

    DANIEL DERONDA

    Earphones Award Winner

    by George Eliot | Read by Juliet Stevenson

    Naxos AudioBooks | Unabridged
    Classics

    It’s difficult to overstate the quality of this work. The precision with which narrator Juliet Stevenson brings each character to life is impressive. Each of them—the long-suffering Gwendolyn, the singular Mirah, even the altruistic Daniel himself—lives as a distinct personality in the telling of the story. Listening to Stevenson, one notes that the effectiveness of her... Read More

  • DE PROFUNDIS

    DE PROFUNDIS

    Earphones Award Winner

    by Oscar Wilde | Read by Simon Russell Beale

    Naxos AudioBooks | Unabridged
    Classics

    DE PROFUNDIS (From the Depths) is perhaps the least read of Wilde's major works, and the most heartbreakingly sincere. Merlin Holland, Wilde's grandson, delivers his own moving introduction, and Simon Beale narrates the book-length letter as though he were talking about his own life. The tone is sometimes bitter but always striving toward love as Wilde tries to explain his... Read More

  • TOM BROWN'S SCHOOLDAYS

    TOM BROWN'S SCHOOLDAYS

    by Thomas Hughes | Read by Jamie Parker

    Naxos AudioBooks | Unabridged
    Classics

    Narrator Jamie Parker enters fully into the spirit of this very British story of a schoolboy at Rugby in the 1830s. Parker conveys clearly, richly, and seemingly without effort the narrator's excitement at games, manly advice to his presumed audience of boys, winking at boyish misbehavior, quiet seriousness at moments of sadness or piety, and occasional waggishness, as when he... Read More

  • THE RAINBOW

    THE RAINBOW

    by D.H. Lawrence | Read by Paul Slack

    Naxos AudioBooks | Unabridged
    Classics

    Narrator Paul Slack's soft tone naturally complements Lawrence's melodic prose. This classic tells the story of the Brangwen family, beginning with Tom Brangwen's marriage to a Polish refugee. The audiobook then follows the life of Brangwen's step-daughter, Anna, in her difficult marriage to one of Tom's nephews, and ends with Anna's daughter, Ursula, in her search for... Read More

  • JUPITER'S TRAVELS

    JUPITER'S TRAVELS

    Earphones Award Winner

    by Ted Simon | Read by Rupert Degas, Ted Simon [Intro.]

    Naxos AudioBooks | Unabridged
    Biography & Memoir

    In 1973, Ted Simon embarked upon an epic journey that would take him 64,000 miles around the world on a Triumph Tiger motorcycle. Four years later, he would return to London a changed man with many a colorful tale, recounted here. Simon himself provides the introduction for his epic motorcycle journey, and hearing his voice sets a good tone for the rest of the audiobook; in... Read More

  • ARTHUR CONAN DOYLE, A LIFE

    by Hesketh Pearson | Read by Tim Pigott-Smith

    Naxos AudioBooks | Abridged
    Biography & Memoir

    Tim Pigott-Smith's performance is the perfect fit for Pearson's revealing biography of the man who created the world's greatest detective--Sherlock Holmes. Pigott-Smith has a flexible, fluid voice, and he sound comfortable telling this rags-to-riches account of Doyle's life. He takes us through Doyle's youth, his training in medicine, his experiences as a war correspondent, his... Read More

  • THE CANTERVILLE GHOST

    THE CANTERVILLE GHOST

    by Oscar Wilde | Read by Rupert Degas

    Naxos AudioBooks | Unabridged
    Classics

    The combination of outstanding sound effects (ghostly laughs, a fainting housekeeper, a speeding carriage) and Rupert Degas's expert performance guarantees that listeners are in for a treat. After hearing about its resident ghost, an American family nevertheless takes up residence in a haunted mansion. Degas performs American and English accents to perfection. To the ghost he... Read More

  • KIM

    KIM

    by Rudyard Kipling | Read by Madhav Sharma

    Naxos AudioBooks | Unabridged
    Classics

    Enchanting music, ideal for an exotic Indian setting, is the perfect accompaniment to this marvelous tale. Narrator Madhav Sharma dazzles--whether he's using English, Irish, or various melodious Indian accents, along with the style of an old-fashioned storyteller. Kim sounds just like the lively, gutsy, intelligent survivor he is. Sharma is engaging and funny when he quotes... Read More

  • THE CHRISTMAS COLLECTION

    by Thomas Hardy, William Shakespeare, Clive Sansom | Read by Peter Jeffrey, John Moffatt, David Timson, a Full Cast

    Naxos AudioBooks | Unabridged
    Classics

    This Christmas package contains poetry and prose from diverse authors. The addition of Christmas carols in many languages adds to the holiday spirit. The text begins with a recipe for Christmas pastry from 1594, which is skillfully recited in a charming English accent. Dickens's Christmas articles from HOUSEHOLD WORDS magazine are enthusiastically delivered, concluding... Read More

  • ANNE OF GREEN GABLES

    by L.M. Montgomery | Read by Liza Ross

    Naxos AudioBooks | Abridged
    Children

    The contrast between chatty, warm Anne and reticent, aloof Marilla Cuthbert makes audio the perfect format for this classic. When Anne is mistakenly sent to live with the Cuthberts, who preferred to adopt a boy, performer Liza Ross is off and running with her delightfully spirited rendering of Anne's story. It's enjoyable to hear about Anne's life as she settles down on the... Read More

  • CLASSIC GHOST STORIES

    by Charles Dickens, M.R. James | Read by Stephen Critchelow

    Naxos AudioBooks | Unabridged
    Classics

    Mournful violin music opens this selection of lesser-known ghost stories. In Dickens's "Signal Man," narrator Stephen Critchelow presents a truly terrified railroad worker. As his story unfolds, his co-workers' skepticism soon turns to incredulity. The final twist is Critchelow at his best. M.R. James's "Whistle And I'll Come" gives Critchelow an opportunity to present a... Read More

  • KIDNAPPED

    by Robert Louis Stevenson | Read by John Sessions

    Naxos AudioBooks | Abridged
    Classics

    Lush music introduces this gripping tale and returns as the appropriate accompaniment when the action ebbs and flows. John Sessions's performance is splendid; his rich Scottish accent characterizes young David Balfour, and he portrays slimy Uncle Ebenezer with just the right tone. Sessions's best creation is the ship's captain, who sounds just like every sea captain... Read More

  • PINOCCHIO

    by Carlo Collodi | Read by John Sessions

    Naxos AudioBooks | Abridged
    Classics

    Written in 1883, this classic could have been written today since the character Pinocchio has all the qualities of a contemporary child. Sprightly music accompanies this delightful tale. Narrator John Sessions inhabits many of Collodi's characters, particularly Pinocchio and Geppetto. His Italian accent couldn't be better, and his timing is spot-on. Pinocchio always has the... Read More

  • IN THE RAVINE, AND OTHER STORIES

    by Anton Chekhov | Read by Kenneth Branagh

    Naxos AudioBooks | Unabridged
    Classics

    The talented Kenneth Branagh, most known for his film and television roles in various Shakespeare works, tears into these classic stories with relish. Weaving a tapestry of character voices, Branagh uses accents, pacing, enunciation, and seemingly boundless energy to bring these great Russian works to life. Listeners will find themselves chuckling at times and tearing up at... Read More

  • PHANTOM OF THE OPERA

    by Gaston Leroux | Read by Jeremy Nicholas, Peter Yapp

    Naxos AudioBooks | Abridged
    Classics

    Narrators Jeremy Nicholas and Peter Yapp tackle this production of the venerable thriller with vigor and panache. As depicted by this talented duo, the love triangle between the lovely Christine, the handsome Raoul, and the disfigured Phantom soars with music, rhythm, and joy. Most poignant is the portrayal of the Phantom, who is both romantic and evocative. Listeners familiar... Read More

  • TRAVELS WITH A DONKEY IN THE CEVENNES

    by Robert Louis Stevenson | Read by Billy Hartman

    Naxos AudioBooks | Abridged
    Classics

    Listeners will feel the bright sun and cool breezes and taste the wonders of Gallic food as narrator Billy Hartman recounts master storyteller Robert Louis Stevenson's journey with his beloved pack donkey, the mouse-colored Modestine, through the French countryside. Hartman's rumbling bass and friendly tone add to the trip, which continues to inspire solitary travelers in... Read More

  • THE LAST OF THE MOHICANS

    by James Fenimore Cooper | Read by William Hope

    Naxos AudioBooks | Abridged
    Classics

    Narrator William Hope uses his clear-as-a-bell voice to bring this classic of American fiction to life in a very enjoyable rendition. With an amenable tone, Hope brings listeners into the American frontier world of Hawkeye and his two companions, the last chieftains of the Mohicans, Chingachgook and Uncas. Hope punctuates this adventure with a confident delivery that perfectly... Read More

  • THE AWAKENING

    by Kate Chopin | Read by Liza Ross

    Naxos AudioBooks | Abridged
    Classics

    Haunting music introduces Chopin's novella, written in 1899, which Liza Ross narrates with appropriate grace and charm. Considered shocking and vulgar in its time, the story revolves around Edna Pontellier, a young wife and mother who rejects her husband and children to indulge in an adulterous affair with the son of a friend. Ross offers a whispery, intimate portrait of a... Read More

  • BLITHE SPIRIT

    by Noel Coward | Read by Corin Redgrave, Kika Markham, and a Full Cast

    Naxos AudioBooks | Unabridged
    Poetry & Drama

    Each actor in this audiobook offers full-bodied characterizations, while appropriate sound effects and period music add dimension to Coward's improbable farce. Charles Condomine, a writer, and his second wife, Ruth, engage the services of a medium to conduct a séance--just for laughs. To their shock and horror, they are unexpectedly visited by Condomine's late first wife,... Read More

  • GERMINAL

    by Emile Zola | Read by Leighton Pugh

    Naxos AudioBooks | Unabridged
    Classics

    Zola's novel paints a chilling image of poverty and desperation in a small mining town in Northern France in the 1880s. Narrator Leighton Pugh has a serious tone that lends itself to the story's somber mood. tienne, a despairing outcast, takes a job in a coal mine to avoid starvation. Influenced by his rising socialist views, he plants the seed within the miners to strike in... Read More

  • THE MAN WHO WOULD BE KING AND OTHER STORIES

    by Rudyard Kipling | Read by Sean Barrett

    Naxos AudioBooks | Unabridged
    Classics

    Many of the stories in this collection differ in tone from Kipling's best-known work, THE JUNGLE BOOK. This book focuses on adult-oriented themes like colonialism and corruption. Sean Barrett's serious delivery is appropriate for such content, but he seems to use his command of deliberate British diction more than an ear for nuance throughout the range of stories. His serious... Read More

  • ROB ROY

    ROB ROY

    by Walter Scott | Read by Sean Barrett

    Naxos AudioBooks | Unabridged
    Classics

    Narrator Sean Barrett doesn't let early-nineteenth-century verbiage bog down Scott's tale of adventure involving a London merchant's son, a Highlands rover, and Jacobite plots. Nonetheless, his reading does convey the immersive, comforting pleasure of books of the period. He is skillful in supplying appropriate emotions, acting various parts, varying voices, and maintaining an... Read More

  • THE SOCIAL CONTRACT

    THE SOCIAL CONTRACT

    by Jean-Jacques Rousseau | Read by Neville Jason

    Naxos AudioBooks | Unabridged
    Philosophy & Religion

    Rousseau's classic work on political organization, with prescient discussions of the corruption of democracies, is narrated by Neville Jason in a style that is elevated but not stiff, conversational but proper. His interpretation lends appropriate emphasis and weight to words and sentences, and his understanding of the text helps the listener's understanding. For the most part,... Read More

  • AN ENQUIRY CONCERNING HUMAN UNDERSTANDING

    AN ENQUIRY CONCERNING HUMAN UNDERSTANDING

    by David Hume | Read by Hugh Ross

    Naxos AudioBooks | Unabridged
    Classics

    Hugh Ross reads Hume's brief but important philosophical tract as the philosopher himself might, thinking his ideas through as he speaks, explaining them in an avuncular fashion, sounding as if he's anxious to make them understood--while his skeptical inquiry devastatingly undermines cause and effect, free will, miracles, and skepticism. Ross's use of intonation, emphasis, and... Read More

  • RIP VAN WINKLE

    RIP VAN WINKLE including: The Legend of Sleepy Hollow, The Pride of the Village, and bonus download.

    by Washington Irving | Read by Adam Sims

    Naxos AudioBooks | Unabridged
    Classics

    Many of Irving's short stories are easily recognizable by their exaggerated plot details--a man who sleeps for far too long, a Halloween creature terrorizing a small town--and, for the most part, the language is strong enough to stand on its own. Adam Sims takes the reins here and provides a clear, steady reading of some of Irving's best-loved tales, but he offers little new to... Read More

  • DISCOURSE ON THE ORIGIN AND THE FOUNDATIONS OF INEQUALITY AMONG MEN

    DISCOURSE ON THE ORIGIN AND THE FOUNDATIONS OF INEQUALITY AMONG MEN

    by Jean-Jacques Rousseau | Read by Neville Jason

    Naxos AudioBooks | Unabridged
    Classics

    Rousseau's early essay on the origins of man and society--using biology, anthropology, and linguistics--is now mostly of historical interest, but Neville Jason's skilled reading helps keep it enjoyable. His pleasant voice, distinguished-sounding accent, and somewhat rolling style--at the same time precise and conversational, intellectual but easygoing--matches Rousseau's... Read More

  • CHILDE HAROLD'S PILGRIMAGE

    CHILDE HAROLD'S PILGRIMAGE

    Earphones Award Winner

    by Lord Byron | Read by Jamie Parker

    Naxos AudioBooks | Unabridged
    Poetry & Drama

    Narrator Jamie Parker wisely avoids poetic affectation or awkward emphasis on rhyme or rhythm in reading Byron’s long poem on his European travels, which introduced the world-weary “Byronic hero.” Parker emphasizes sense, letting it direct his reading, but the rhyme and rhythm come through as a kind of lyrical, mellifluous prose, bathing the listener in a lush flow of words.... Read More

  • THE PILGRIM'S PROGRESS

    THE PILGRIM'S PROGRESS

    by John Bunyan | Read by David Shaw-Parker

    Naxos AudioBooks | Unabridged
    Classics

    John Bunyan's classic allegory tells the story of Christian, who searches for salvation amid a world of temptation and deceit. As the story is presented in the framework of the author's dream, Christian must follow his path to redemption by discerning between friend and foe. Narrator David Shaw-Parker speaks clearly and often slows his pace for Bunyan's lengthy explanations.... Read More

  • ANDERSEN'S FAIRY TALES

    ANDERSEN'S FAIRY TALES Selections

    by Hans Christian Andersen | Read by Erica Johns

    Naxos AudioBooks | Anthology
    Classics

    Gorgeous orchestral music contributes to the dramatization of these charming tales. In "The Emperor's New Clothes," narrator Erica Johns creates the ideal huffy voice for the emperor, shady-sounding voices for the swindlers, and a realistic child's voice when all is revealed. In "The Tinder Box," listeners can almost see the crafty witch as she cajoles the soldier to steal with... Read More

  • ADAM BEDE

    ADAM BEDE

    by George Eliot | Read by Georgina Sutton

    Naxos AudioBooks | Unabridged
    Classics

    Through the lens of literary realism, George Eliot examines the female role through Hetty, a woman tempted by illusions of grandeur, and Dinah, a woman whose life is dedicated to a religious calling as a Methodist itinerant preacher. Both women impact the heart of the honest carpenter Adam Bede. Georgina Sutton offers an expressive narration of Eliot's novel. It's clear that... Read More

  • THE DIARY OF SAMUEL PEPYS

    THE DIARY OF SAMUEL PEPYS Volume I: 1660-1663

    by Samuel Pepys | Read by Leighton Pugh, David Timson

    Naxos AudioBooks | Unabridged
    Classics

    [Editors' Note: The following is a combined review of THE DIARY OF SAMUEL PEPYS, Vols. 1-3.]--Not many listeners are so thrilled by the minutiae of seventeenth-century English life that they will want to devote nearly 115 hours to listening to this classic journal--but those who stick it out will be well rewarded. Narrator Leighton Pugh's portrayal of Pepys is sometimes... Read More

  • THE DIARY OF SAMUEL PEPYS

    THE DIARY OF SAMUEL PEPYS Volume II: 1664-1666

    by Samuel Pepys | Read by Leighton Pugh, David Timson

    Naxos AudioBooks | Unabridged
    Classics

    [Editors' Note: The following is a combined review of THE DIARY OF SAMUEL PEPYS, Vols. 1-3.]--Not many listeners are so thrilled by the minutiae of seventeenth-century English life that they will want to devote nearly 115 hours to listening to this classic journal--but those who stick it out will be well rewarded. Narrator Leighton Pugh's portrayal of Pepys is sometimes... Read More

  • THE DIARY OF SAMUEL PEPYS

    THE DIARY OF SAMUEL PEPYS Volume III: 1667-1669

    by Samuel Pepys | Read by Leighton Pugh, David Timson

    Naxos AudioBooks | Unabridged
    Classics

    [Editors' Note: The following is a combined review of THE DIARY OF SAMUEL PEPYS, Vols. 1-3.]--Not many listeners are so thrilled by the minutiae of seventeenth-century English life that they will want to devote nearly 115 hours to listening to this classic journal--but those who stick it out will be well rewarded. Narrator Leighton Pugh's portrayal of Pepys is sometimes... Read More

  • THE AENEID

    THE AENEID

    by | Read by David Collins

    Naxos AudioBooks | Unabridged
    Poetry & Drama

    The late poet laureate Cecil Day Lewis's translation of this Roman epic is idiosyncratic, but David Collins's narration is consistently gripping. This is no small achievement, considering how remarkably passive Aeneas is for an epic hero. Letting Virgil do most of the work of distinguishing the characters, Collins brings the drama to life. His portrayal of Dido is particularly... Read More

  • JUDE THE OBSCURE

    JUDE THE OBSCURE

    by Thomas Hardy | Read by Neville Jason

    Naxos AudioBooks | Unabridged
    Classics

    Hardy's most haunting novel follows Jude's piteous loyalty to his enigmatic muse, Sue Bridehead. Narrator Neville Jason evokes Hardy's somber tone through his resonant voice and measured pace, eloquently moving the listener through the novel's descriptive prose. The story takes place in Hardy's Wessex country, among artisans and teachers. Jason captures the dialects of the... Read More

  • LORD JIM

    LORD JIM

    by Joseph Conrad | Read by Ric Jerrom

    Naxos AudioBooks | Unabridged
    Classics

    Conrad's LORD JIM pieces together the events of a shipping disaster. It's a novel whose narrative structure is as elusive as the background of its central character. Narrator Ric Jerrom's masterful approach to characterization suits this work perfectly. For most of the story, Conrad's famous narrator, Marlow, recounts his perspective of the case in the manner of a modern bard.... Read More

  • DRACULA

    DRACULA

    by Bram Stoker | Read by David Horovitch, Jamie Parker, Joseph Kloska, Alison Pettitt, and a Full Cast

    Naxos AudioBooks | Unabridged
    Classics

    Narrators David Horovitch, Jamie Parker, Joseph Kloska, and Alison Pettitt and cast adopt the identities of the well-known characters of Bram Stoker’s classic: Jonathan Harker, Mina, Lucy, the Count, and others. As the story is told in a series of diary entries and letters, Dracula himself comes off as both charming and caring—until his true form is revealed. Highlights of this... Read More

  • THE SECRET AGENT

    THE SECRET AGENT

    by Joseph Conrad | Read by David Horovitch

    Naxos AudioBooks | Unabridged
    Classics

    Conrad’s fine character study of a lazy, disaffected secret agent in Victorian London, whose desire for a paycheck from his shadowy masters produces a disaster, is one of the world’s great novels. It’s also slow to start, which is why the excellent David Horovitch is so vital. His attentive pacing highlights Conrad’s beautiful language and minute social observations without... Read More

  • THE BODY SNATCHERS AND OTHER STORIES

    THE BODY SNATCHERS AND OTHER STORIES

    by Robert Louis Stevenson | Read by Roy McMillan

    Naxos AudioBooks | Unabridged
    Classics

    Narrator Roy McMillan takes one of Stevenson's best horror stories and wraps his vocal cords around it with a reedy English accent that brings the dramatic sequences to a stunning conclusion. McMillan ably portrays the two friends who went to medical school together, studying under a doctor of questionable ethics. The duo's meeting, years later, in a bar leads to the story's... Read More

  • GREAT EXPECTATIONS

    GREAT EXPECTATIONS

    by Charles Dickens | Read by Anton Lesser

    Naxos AudioBooks | Unabridged
    Classics

    With its meandering paragraphs, colorful character names, and engrossing plots, Charles Dickens's masterpiece is magical in the audiobook format. Anton Lesser's performance is especially notable for its blend of the traditional and contemporary. He captures young Pip's transformation from downtrodden lad to society gentleman with all the typical trappings of Dickens's... Read More

  • THE MOONSTONE

    THE MOONSTONE

    by Wilkie Collins | Read by Ronald Pickup, Sean Barrett, David Timson, Jamie Parker, Jonathan Oilver, Fenelia Woolgar, Joe Marsh

    Naxos AudioBooks | Unabridged
    Classics

    Novels written from multiple points of view pose a particular challenge for the audiobook format; the listener must easily differentiate between the numerous voices. Collins boldly presents nearly a dozen character voices, and the narrators in this production masterfully perform their parts. Even those unfamiliar with the story can track its progress through the narrators, all... Read More

  • THE SNOW QUEEN AND OTHER STORIES

    THE SNOW QUEEN AND OTHER STORIES

    by Hans Christian Andersen | Read by Clare Corbett

    Naxos AudioBooks | Unabridged
    Children

    Narrator Clare Corbett elegantly delivers each fairy tale in this collection featuring “The Snow Queen,” Andersens's most beloved tale. Each is punctuated by enchanting classical music. When young Gerda's friend, Kai, is spirited away by the Snow Queen, she travels far and wide to rescue him. Corbett flawlessly handles each child as well as the many adults, birds, and animals... Read More

  • UNDER THE GREENWOOD TREE

    UNDER THE GREENWOOD TREE The Mellstock Choir - A Rural Painting of the Dutch School

    by Thomas Hardy | Read by Jamie Parker

    Naxos AudioBooks | Unabridged
    Classics

    This early Hardy novel tells the story of a pastoral romance in the small Wessex village of Mellstock. Jamie Parker’s friendly, resonant tone adds warmth to a surprisingly cheerful work by an author known for his dour stories. Parker’s use of vocal variation in delivering Hardy’s descriptive prose guides listeners smoothly through the plot. He also demonstrates mastery in his... Read More

  • BARRY LYNDON

    BARRY LYNDON

    by W.M. Thackeray | Read by Jonathan Keeble

    Naxos AudioBooks | Unabridged
    Classics

    This classic promises an entertaining look at the corruption, duplicity, and ambition of Thackeray’s ironic narrator, Redmond Barry Lyndon. A confident social upstart, Redmond draws little empathy from the listener as he expounds upon his villainous actions to obtain wealth and prominence. Jonathan Keeble captures Redmond’s voice perfectly in his narration. Keeble has a deep,... Read More

  • FAR FROM THE MADDING CROWD

    FAR FROM THE MADDING CROWD

    by Thomas Hardy | Read by Jamie Parker

    Naxos AudioBooks | Unabridged
    Classics

    A dark-haired muse, Bathsheba Everdene, entices and repulses the men of Hardy's rural Weatherbury. When she's finally won in marriage, she's consumed by despair. British actor Jamie Parker's sonorous voice complements Hardy's deliberate style. While Parker assumes an unhurried tone throughout the narrative, he provides energetic feeling in the dialogue. His vocal... Read More

  • THE MOONLIT ROAD AND OTHER CHILLING STORIES

    by Ambrose Bierce, B.M. Croker, Le Fanu | Read by Jonathan Keeble, Clare Anderson

    Naxos AudioBooks | Abridged
    Horror

    Gifted narrators Jonathan Keeble and Clare Anderson employ their prodigious talents to render these classic short stories from the 1800s with a sense of dread and gloom. With deliveries that are both smooth and believable, they use pauses and rhythm to create tension between the characters. They also produce fear and shock as they describe scenes of abject horror and suspense.... Read More

  • VENETIA

    VENETIA

    by Georgette Heyer | Read by Phyllida Nash

    Naxos AudioBooks | Unabridged
    Classics

    Phyllida Nash is in rare form as she performs Heyer’s quintessential Regency romance. In the aftermath of the Napoleonic Wars, in Yorkshire, well-bred Venetia, age 25, encounters her rakish neighbor, Lord Damerel, while riding one day. Despite his libertine reputation, Venetia falls into a fast friendship with him. Their dialogue is full of witty repartee, wonderful classical... Read More

  • LIFE AND WORKS OF W.B. YEATS

    by John Kavanagh [Ed.] | Read by Jim Norton, Denys Hawthorne, Nicholas Boulton, Marcella Riordan

    Naxos AudioBooks | Unabridged
    Poetry & Drama

    Narrators Jim Norton and Denys Hawthorn make this compilation of W.B. Yeats's life and poetry a listening joy. From the lovely tenor voice that opens the audiobook to the recitation of many of the most beloved of the poet's offerings, listeners will be enthralled. As well as providing captivating interpretations of individual poems, Norton and Hawthorn deliver the prose with... Read More

  • TALES OF IRISH MYTHS

    by Benedict Flynn | Read by Dermot Kerrigan, Marcella Riordan

    Naxos AudioBooks | Unabridged
    Children

    This multi-cast presentation illustrates once again that the Irish are greatly skilled storytellers. It all begins with rich Irish music, which reappears throughout to signal changes in the mood of the stories. Each narrator, in addition to delivering colorful accents and pronunciations, expresses action words with energy and descriptions with vividness. The stories move from... Read More

  • STORIES FROM SHAKESPEARE The Plantagenets

    by William Shakespeare, David Timson [Ed.] | Read by Anton Lesser and a Full Cast

    Naxos AudioBooks | Audio Program
    Poetry & Drama

    Engaging Elizabethan music opens this Shakespearean gem and occasionally reappears. The complex and volatile histories of Richard II and Henry IV come alive, thanks to the ensemble of actors led by Anton Lesser who portray the hatred between the two enemies and their followers. It's particularly compelling to hear brilliant and famous speeches from the eight plays, including "... Read More

  • A FAMILY CHRISTMAS Compilation

    by | Read by Philip Madoc, Jenny Agutter, Benjamin Zephaniah

    Naxos AudioBooks | Unabridged
    Children

    A wonderful ensemble of actors entertain listeners with classic, Christmas stories and poems cherished by families all over the world. Actress Jenny Agutter shines as she uses her perfect English accent and enthusiastic delivery to bring the story of the Nutcracker magically to life, augmented with thrilling music from the play. The variety of vocal styles--Philip Madoc's deep... Read More

  • PORTRAIT OF A LADY

    by Henry James | Read by Elizabeth McGovern

    Naxos AudioBooks | Abridged
    Classics

    Superb acting by Elizabeth McGovern highlights this abridgment of Henry James's classic. McGovern's voice is lush and intimate as she recounts the tragic story of Isabel Archer, a young woman of bright future and promise who bucks the tide of social customs and pays dearly for her unconventional ways. McGovern's deep, husky voice lends itself well to male voices, and her range... Read More

  • THE SIGN OF FOUR

    by Arthur Conan Doyle | Read by David Timson

    Naxos AudioBooks | Unabridged
    Classics

    Naxos Audiobooks once again demonstrates impeccable casting by entrusting one of Conan Doyle's best Holmes mysteries to master narrator David Timson. Timson KNOWS Holmes and Watson. With just the right amount of flair, he allows Sherlock his idiosyncrasies without overdoing them, and his Watson is stodgily concerned about his friend's dangerous habits. Timson recounts an... Read More

  • THE PROPHET & THE WANDERER

    by Khalil Gibran | Read by Robert Glenister

    Naxos AudioBooks | Anthology
    Classics

    Robert Glenister is outstanding narrating this collection of poetic essays from Lebanese poet and author Kahlil Gibran. Glenister's sensitive, well-considered performance gives new life to THE PROPHET, Gibran's first collection, and THE WANDERER, his last, and posthumously published, work. Glenister makes Gibran's messages resonate as if he is the author himself, speaking from... Read More

  • VALLEY OF FEAR

    by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle | Read by David Timson

    Naxos AudioBooks | Unabridged
    Classics

    Sinister music opens this final Sherlock Holmes novella and adds dramatically to the atmosphere, particularly when murder is revealed. Narrator David Timson is sublime, whether he’s delivering narrative or portraying either Sherlock Holmes or Dr. Watson. Most unique are his renderings of Holmes's description of his archenemy, Professor James Moriarty, and Holmes’s impressive... Read More

  • THROUGH THE LOOKING GLASS AND WHAT ALICE FOUND THERE

    by Lewis Carroll | Read by Fiona Shaw

    Naxos AudioBooks | Abridged
    Children

    Enchanting music opens the story and returns as a perfect accompaniment, particularly within the poetry segments. Fiona Shaw uses a lovely conversational style for telling the story. She brings characters to life: Alice conveys a sense of wonder and even pants as she gets away from the house, Humpty Dumpty is critical and grumpy, and the talking flowers are rude and impatient.... Read More

  • THE PLANETS AND THE SOLAR SYSTEM

    THE PLANETS AND THE SOLAR SYSTEM

    by Jen Green | Read by Ruth Sillers

    Naxos AudioBooks | Unabridged
    Children

    Listeners are treated to an impressive scope of space information—from details about each planet to an overview of space exploration and the scientists who have contributed to our understanding of the solar system. While one could listen to this recording straight through, it also merits listening to chapter by chapter. Ruth Sillers is an unobtrusive narrator who lets the... Read More

  • THE THING ON THE DOORSTEP AND OTHER STORIES

    THE THING ON THE DOORSTEP AND OTHER STORIES

    by H.P. Lovecraft | Read by William Roberts

    Naxos AudioBooks | Unabridged
    Classics

    Narrator William Roberts evokes just the right amount of tension and terror to reflect the spirit of H.P. Lovecraft. Roberts delivers these stories in a subtly coarse voice that is well suited to horror, keeping listeners solidly engaged. Throughout the macabre tales, Roberts captures characters’ voices expertly—from Derby’s maniacal ravings in “The Thing on the Doorstep” to... Read More

  • JACOB'S ROOM

    JACOB'S ROOM

    Earphones Award Winner

    by Virginia Woolf | Read by Juliet Stevenson

    Naxos AudioBooks | Unabridged
    Classics

    JACOB’S ROOM, a classic modernist text, is more about language and the art of fiction than it is actually a story, which means the narrator has to be as alive to the pleasure of the exact right word as a thriller narrator is to the power of a car bomb. Juliet Stevenson is a perfect actor for the challenge. Her voice is lovely, her diction clean and precise, and she is so... Read More

  • THE RETURN OF THE NATIVE

    THE RETURN OF THE NATIVE

    by Thomas Hardy | Read by Nicholas Rowe

    Naxos AudioBooks | Unabridged
    Classics

    A story of isolation, passion, and misplaced lovers, Hardy’s classic novel is moving and enigmatic. The almost druidic nature of the fictional Egdon Heath sets an ominous atmosphere that permeates the novel. Nicholas Rowe’s narration is both subtle and resonant. He has a soft, melodic way of speaking that resonates with Hardy’s vivid descriptive style. Rowe’s steady pace... Read More

  • SILAS MARNER

    SILAS MARNER

    by George Eliot | Read by Anna Bentinck

    Naxos AudioBooks | Unabridged
    Classics

    In Eliot’s classic, a bitter man finds happiness in the adoption of an orphaned child. Narrator Anna Bentinck’s pleasant cadence immediately draws listeners into the story. Because Eliot includes a diverse cast of characters, from illiterate farmers to country squires, Bentinck is frequently called upon to deliver unique accents and personalities. She does so splendidly. At one... Read More

  • DINOSAURS

    DINOSAURS

    by Jen Green | Read by Benjamin Soames

    Naxos AudioBooks | Unabridged
    Children

    Benjamin Soames's welcoming narration combines the tones of a teacher and a kindly storytelling uncle. The amount of information on dinosaurs is vast, covering their types, history, locations, and much more. Short musical interludes conjuring images of the large beasts separate segments, preventing the plethora of information from being overwhelming. Periodically, the audio... Read More

  • THE DECLINE AND FALL OF THE ROMAN EMPIRE, VOLUME 1

    THE DECLINE AND FALL OF THE ROMAN EMPIRE, VOLUME 1

    by Edward Gibbon | Read by David Timson

    Naxos AudioBooks | Unabridged
    History

    Gibbon’s monumental history of the later Roman Empire and its fall is given a spirited treatment by David Timson, who narrates with expressiveness, brisk pacing, and intonation and modulation sensitive to the sense of the text. He fully uses the rare opportunities for voice characterization or acting—in the reading of letters, for instance—but without overdoing, keeping the... Read More

  • THE DECLINE AND FALL OF THE ROMAN EMPIRE, VOLUME 2

    THE DECLINE AND FALL OF THE ROMAN EMPIRE, VOLUME 2

    by Edward Gibbon | Read by David Timson

    Naxos AudioBooks | Unabridged
    History

    Gibbon's monumental history of the later Roman Empire and its fall is given a spirited treatment by David Timson, who narrates with expressiveness, brisk pacing, and intonation and modulation sensitive to the sense of the text. He fully uses the rare opportunities for voice characterization or acting--in the reading of letters, for instance--but without overdoing, keeping the... Read More

  • THE DECLINE AND FALL OF THE ROMAN EMPIRE, VOLUME 3

    by Edward Gibbon | Read by David Timson

    Naxos AudioBooks | Unabridged
    History

    Gibbon's monumental history of the later Roman Empire and its fall is given a spirited treatment by David Timson, who narrates with expressiveness, brisk pacing, and intonation and modulation sensitive to the sense of the text. He fully uses the rare opportunities for voice characterization or acting--in the reading of letters, for instance--but without overdoing, keeping the... Read More

  • SAMSON AGONISTES

    SAMSON AGONISTES

    Earphones Award Winner

    by John Milton | Read by Iain Glen, David de Keyser, Philip Madoc, Matthew Morgan, Samantha Bond, Michael Maloney

    Naxos AudioBooks | Unabridged
    Classics

    While Milton's closet drama was not intended to be performed onstage, it could have been written for audio. Iain Glen and his supporting cast give listeners everything we need to follow this seventeenth-century disquisition on faith, duty, and blindness, both physical and moral. Glen's Samson is agonized by guilt and faith but is energized out of his despair by the taunting... Read More

  • CATHEDRALS: IN A NUTSHELL

    CATHEDRALS: IN A NUTSHELL

    by Jonathan Gregson | Read by Roy McMillan

    Naxos AudioBooks | Unabridged
    Contemporary Culture

    Narrator Roy McMillan delivers this fascinating study of the great cathedrals of Europe with an authoritative tone and bell-like clarity. His pleasing accent, enunciation, and sublime rhythm make this performance extraordinary. McMillan uses his trained and professional voice to create a visual aspect to the work that brings these inspiring structures down to earth. He uses... Read More

  • CONFUCIUS: IN A NUTSHELL

    CONFUCIUS: IN A NUTSHELL

    by Neil Wenborn | Read by Nigel Carrington

    Naxos AudioBooks | Unabridged
    Philosophy & Religion

    Opening with delightfully mood-setting music, narrator Nigel Carrington takes the reins and uses his well-modulated authoritative voice to transmit the time-tested wisdom of the great philosopher. Carrington takes perfectly timed pauses to allow the listener a moment or two to digest the ideas gathered here. His tone is friendly and engaging, allowing the delivery of the... Read More

  • THE JUST MEN OF CORDOVA

    THE JUST MEN OF CORDOVA

    by Edgar Wallace | Read by Bill Homewood

    Naxos AudioBooks | Unabridged
    Mystery & Suspense

    Bill Homewood narrates this classic tale of mystery and suspense with a pace like a marching army. He uses emphasis and pauses to build tension in this world of danger and intrigue. His expertise in performing accents and creating characters with sublime ease makes the story come alive. The tension in his voice matches the growing conflict between the hunted and the hunters.... Read More

  • CHARLES DICKENS: A PORTRAIT IN LETTERS

    CHARLES DICKENS: A PORTRAIT IN LETTERS

    by Charles Dickens | Read by Simon Callow, David Timson

    Naxos AudioBooks | Unabridged
    Classics

    Not surprisingly, over his lifetime, Dickens wrote many letters. David Timson and Simon Callow find the man behind the letters, exploring Dickens’s emotions--from joy and humor to confusion, great sadness, and resignation. Timson is as interested in the material as the listener will be. His crisp tenor voice is a pleasant contrast to Callow’s deeper, rounder tones. Callow is a... Read More

  • ETHAN FROME

    by Edith Wharton | Read by William Hope

    Naxos AudioBooks | Abridged
    Classics

    William Hope offers a sensitive performance of Edith Wharton's poignant story of Ethan and Zeena Frome and Mattie Silver, the young woman who brings a bit of warmth to their frozen lives. As the narrator pieces together Frome's tale, Hope makes the "stinging whiteness" of winter in Starkfield, Massachusetts, palpable. His rhythmic, almost droning, tone at times has the same... Read More

  • RIKKI-TIKKI-TAVI AND OTHER STORIES

    by Rudyard Kipling | Read by Madhav Sharma

    Naxos AudioBooks | Abridged
    Classics

    Dazzling sitar music appears throughout this short story from THE JUNGLE BOOK. Rikki-Tikki-Tavi is a mongoose, and his story is presented with appropriate verve, and speed, by narrator Madhav Sharma. The many animals speak befitting their species: the snake hisses his demands and threats while the bird mournfully pretends to be injured to fool the snake. After Rikki saves a... Read More

  • NEW TREASURE SEEKERS

    by Edith Nesbit | Read by Teresa Gallagher

    Naxos AudioBooks | Abridged
    Children

    Narrator Teresa Gallagher has an amazing ability to differentiate the voices of a wide-range of children by age. They're not just a bevy of kids. When she dramatically describes a family wedding, it's from the viewpoint of youngsters who see the 26-year-old bride as old. Equally entertaining is hearing the lengths the kids go to to make a real Christmas pudding after their... Read More

  • FAVOURITE POEMS FOR CHILDREN

    FAVOURITE POEMS FOR CHILDREN

    by Lewis Carroll, James Reeves, Oliver Herford, Edward Lear, Kenneth Grahame, Hilaire Belloc, William Blake, Thomas Hardy | Read by Anton Lesser, Roy McMillan, Rachel Bavidge, Katinka Wolf

    Naxos AudioBooks | Unabridged
    Children

    Children of all ages will enjoy the wide range of poems, authors, and narrators in this spirited collection. There are many works by Edward Lear, including one about himself, which is somewhat negative but quite funny. Accents vary, even Cockney appears occasionally, as in "Framed in a First Story Window." The firemen yell, "Jump into this net what we are holding." "The Pied... Read More

  • ROBINSON CRUSOE

    ROBINSON CRUSOE Retold for Younger Listeners by Roy McMillan

    by Daniel Defoe | Read by Jonathan Keeble

    Naxos AudioBooks | Abridged
    Classics

    Robinson Crusoe was marooned for 28 years, during which he kept meticulous journals, which narrator Jonathan Keeble recounts in his understated style. However, when Crusoe survives the wild sea and an earthquake or describes his daily life or a dream-vision he experiences, Keeble's performance intensifies. Listeners will feel they're with Crusoe as he reacts with trepidation... Read More

  • HAPPY PRINCE AND OTHER STORIES

    by Oscar Wilde | Read by Anton Lesser

    Naxos AudioBooks | Unabridged
    Classics

    Oscar Wilde wrote this moving piece for his own children. Lovely music, often appropriately melancholy, can be heard throughout the story. The happy prince, which is a statue, is anything but joyful, a state that narrator Anton Lesser deftly captures. As the prince looks over his village, he sees the pain of those who live there and feels compelled to help. He's assisted by a... Read More

  • CASEBOOK OF SHERLOCK HOLMES: VOLUME 1

    by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle | Read by David Timson

    Naxos AudioBooks | Unabridged
    Classics

    David Timson as Dr. Watson is as perfect a narrator as the listener could hope for. His light British accent makes for exceptional diction, while his superb acting provides appropriate pacing, pauses, and vocal fluidity. Each of his character voices is completely separate from the others, and when Holmes and Watson have a dialogue, it's as if two different men are speaking and... Read More

  • LADY OF THE CAMELLIAS

    by Alexandre Dumas | Read by Laura Paton, Daniel Philpott, and a Full Cast

    Naxos AudioBooks | Abridged
    Classics

    Setting the mood with music, the production unfolds with vignettes - mini-scenes with sound effects, including background and crowd noises, a horse and buggy on cobblestones, just enough to suggest, not too much to be intrusive. The cast is uniformly excellent as the story of the beautiful, dying courtesan and her passionate lover spirals to its inevitable conclusion. Cast... Read More

  • LADY WINDERMERE'S FAN

    LADY WINDERMERE'S FAN

    by Oscar Wilde | Read by Juliet Stevenson, Samuel West, Emma Fielding, Michael Sheen, Sarah Badel, and Full Cast

    Naxos AudioBooks | Unabridged
    Classics

    An outstanding group of actors performs this full-cast production of Oscar Wilde's droll look at society’s double standard. They deliver Wilde’s bon mots with the polished style of the period. "I can resist everything but temptation," is delivered by the roué Lord Darlington with great good humor. Maintaining the elevated energy necessary for good theater, the actors keep the... Read More

  • LES MISERABLES

    by Victor Hugo | Read by Bill Homewood

    Naxos AudioBooks | Abridged
    Classics

    From the title announcement surrounded by thrilling music, you will be captured and held fast through this long, heartbreaking, beautiful audiobook. Prisoners, priests, prostitutes, revolutionaries, and romantics, from Jean Valjean to Javert, Bill Homewood is everyone at once. His ability to slip between characters at high speeds is astonishing. Women, men, children, old, and... Read More

  • SIR GAWAIN AND THE GREEN KNIGHT New Verse Translation by Benedict Flynn

    by Naxos AudioBooks | Read by Jasper Britton

    Naxos AudioBooks | Unabridged
    Classics

    Narrator Jasper Britton handles Benedict Flynn's new verse translation with ease, never allowing the rhymes to call attention to themselves. He draws clear portraits of King Arthur, Gawain, the mysterious Green Knight, and the many others who populate this literary classic, from Guinevere to Morgan le Fay. Britton's intensity and pacing make the magical saga live and breathe.... Read More

  • TEVYE THE MILKMAN

    TEVYE THE MILKMAN

    by Sholem Aleichem | Read by Neville Jason

    Naxos AudioBooks | Abridged
    Classics

    Neville Jason's performance makes Tevye's Yiddish wit, wisdom, and melancholy utterly believable. Tevye, whom listeners will know from the popular musical Fiddler on the Roof, recounts the tales of his family's daily life under the iron fist of the Russian tsar. Jason makes Tevye more than a milkman, but rather a philosopher of commonsense with a keen eye for irony. With... Read More

  • 20,000 LEAGUES UNDER THE SEA

    by Jules Verne | Read by John Carlisle

    Naxos AudioBooks | Abridged
    Classics

    With a voice that insists on attention, John Carlisle performs Jules Verne's thrilling classic revolving around a gigantic sea monster that is reportedly roaming the seas and sinking ships. Carlisle masterfully delivers the tale of three men who set off on an American frigate; their goal: killing the "gigantic cetacean." Performing with passion, intensity, and impeccable... Read More

  • FOUR SHORT STORIES

    by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle | Read by Carl Rigg

    Naxos AudioBooks | Anthology
    Classics

    Narrator Carl Rigg uses his extraordinary vocal talent to infuse this collection of Conan Doyle's most suspenseful stories with a sense of danger and horror. There is exactitude to Rigg's delivery that engages the listener both intellectually and emotionally, creating empathy with the characters and their plights. As Rigg employs an authoritative tone for the descriptions, he... Read More

  • THE MOONSTONE

    THE MOONSTONE

    by Wilkie Collins | Read by Clive Swift, Chris Larkin, Delia Paton, Bill Homewood, and Neville Jason

    Naxos AudioBooks | Abridged
    Classics

    Clive Swift and Chris Larkin lead an ensemble of talented storytellers to take on this classic story of mystery and suspense. Accents are handled with professionalism and round out the creation of the characters’ clearly defined personalities. The narrators also build tension in their deliveries and are both haunting and detailed in their descriptions. Musical interludes add to... Read More

  • DOMBEY AND SON

    DOMBEY AND SON

    by Charles Dickens | Read by David Timson

    Naxos AudioBooks | Unabridged
    Classics

    Narrator and Dickens expert David Timson becomes a partner with the great novelist to bring to life this classic tale about a shipping magnate and his family and business interests. With his appealing voice and understanding of the story, Timson handles the accents and dramatic scenes with a thoroughly professional performance, but it’s his sensitivity to the portrayals of the... Read More

  • LIFE & WORKS: ANTONIN DVORAK

    by Jeremy Siepmann | Read by Jeremy Siepmann, Sean Barrett, Jonathan Keeble, Garrick Hagon, Caroline Friend, Daniel Philpott, Michael Tudor Barnes

    Naxos AudioBooks | Unabridged
    Biography & Memoir

    Author and narrator Jeremy Siepmann leads a large, talented cast through this behind-the-scenes biography of the popular classical music composer. The perfectly chosen narrators play their parts with professionalism and subtlety in the extraordinary drama of the great man's life. Siepmann lets his authoritative voice and knowledge of the subject lead listeners through the... Read More

  • FALSTAFF: OPERA EXPLAINED

    by Thomson Smillie | Read by David Timson

    Naxos AudioBooks | Unabridged
    History

    Narrator David Timson brings his vast knowledge of Shakespeare's much loved comic character and his energetic, talented voice to this discussion of the classic opera of Falstaff. Interspersed with bits of music, Timson interprets the work of Smillie to expound on the history of the work and why it still works for worldwide audiences. Timson's enunciation and rhythm perfectly... Read More

  • GILBERT AND SULLIVAN: OPERA EXPLAINED

    by Thomson Simillie | Read by David Timson

    Naxos AudioBooks | Unabridged
    History

    Master narrator and theater historian David Timson delivers this story, which is augmented by the stirring music created by Gilbert and Sullivan. With an authoritative tone, Timson delivers an energetic rendering of the behind-the-scenes drama about the team who created the classic operas. Timson brings a palatable joy to his performance as well as a depth of clarity about the... Read More

  • THE LIFE OF WOLFGANG AMADEUS MOZART

    THE LIFE OF WOLFGANG AMADEUS MOZART A Musical Biography

    by Perry Keenlyside | Read by Nigel Anthony, Paul Rhys

    Naxos AudioBooks | Unabridged
    Biography & Memoir

    Talented narrators Nigel Anthony and Paul Rhys work well together in rendering this fascinating look at one of the greatest composers in history. They use their prodigious vocal talents and experience to pull back the curtain on the strained relationship between Mozart and his father and his early success as a composer and performer for the royals of Europe. Using an... Read More

  • THE GREAT POETS: JOHN CLARE

    THE GREAT POETS: JOHN CLARE

    by John Clare | Read by David Shaw-Parker

    Naxos AudioBooks | Unabridged
    Poetry & Drama

    Even many people who know poetry aren't familiar with John Clare. Why listen to this reading of some of his work, then? "The Peasant Poet," as he was known, fit in with his contemporaries, the Romantics, but, unlike them, his knowledge of nature was from working in it, not strolling in it. Narrator David Shaw-Parker takes advantage of the poetry's strong structural elements and... Read More

  • THE GREAT POETS: JOHN MASEFIELD

    THE GREAT POETS: JOHN MASEFIELD Selections

    by John Masefield | Read by Ronald Pickup

    Naxos AudioBooks | Unabridged
    Poetry & Drama

    This appears to be the first recording of a Masefield collection since the poet's own LPs in the late 1950s and early '60s. The now unfashionable long narrative poems are only excerpted here, but the selection of Masefield's shorter works is well considered. It includes "Sea Fever," of course, but there's a great range of tone in the rest. Ronald Pickup finds the right voice... Read More

  • THE BLACK MOTH

    THE BLACK MOTH

    by Georgette Heyer | Read by Julian Rhind-Tutt

    Naxos AudioBooks | Unabridged
    Classics

    Julian Rhind-Tutt is simply superb in his narration of this delightful and charming Regency romance, written in 1921, the first novel by Georgette Heyer, "the Queen of Regency Romance." In this tale, the hero turns highwayman after he takes the blame for his younger brother's cheating at cards. The handsome hero must save the beautiful lady who helps him when he is wounded when... Read More

  • THE NAME OF THE ROSE

    THE NAME OF THE ROSE

    by Umberto Eco | Read by Sean Barrett, Nicholas Rowe, Neville Jason

    Naxos AudioBooks | Unabridged
    Mystery & Suspense

    Sean Barrett adopts a reminiscent air as Adso, now an old man, tells of a time when he was a novice traveling with Brother William. Brother William was tasked with investigating charges of heresy at an abbey in 1327 and ended up also solving a series of murders. Barrett deftly handles the Latin phrases (no translation provided) and the long passages of church history and... Read More

  • BARCHESTER TOWERS

    BARCHESTER TOWERS

    Earphones Award Winner

    by Anthony Trollope | Read by David Shaw-Parker

    Naxos AudioBooks | Unabridged
    Classics

    David Shaw-Parker's exemplary reading of Trollope's masterpiece is like sitting in your club in a comfortable chair after a good meal and listening to one of the particularly good-natured other members tell you a story about some people he knows. His tone is confiding and personal, perfectly capturing the spirit of Trollope's narrative voice. There’s no attempt to impersonate... Read More

  • THE GRAND SOPHY

    THE GRAND SOPHY

    by Georgette Heyer | Read by Sarah Woodward

    Naxos AudioBooks | Unabridged
    Romantic Fiction

    Heyer’s novels tend to be filled with sly wit and great fun, and narrator Sarah Woodward captures both of these qualities perfectly. It’s immediately obvious that Woodward understands the characters and their motivations very well, in particular the titular Sophy, who is both kindhearted and strong headed, and who is determined to put the world to rights as she sees it.... Read More

  • GREAT MEN AND WOMEN IN THE HISTORY OF MEDICINE

    GREAT MEN AND WOMEN IN THE HISTORY OF MEDICINE

    by David Angus | Read by Benjamin Soames

    Naxos AudioBooks | Unabridged
    Children

    Benjamin Soames breathes life into this chronological compendium of men and women who dramatically changed the practice of preventing, diagnosing, and treating illness and disease. His crisp English accent is easy on the American ear and gives an air of scholarliness to the production. From Hippocrates (460-370 BC) to modern DNA explorers Crick and Watson, the audiobook details... Read More

  • THE HISTORY OF WESTERN ART

    THE HISTORY OF WESTERN ART

    by Peter Whitfield | Read by Sebastian Comberti

    Naxos AudioBooks | Unabridged
    History

    Author Whitfield and narrator Sebastian Comberti do an excellent job of guiding the listener on a quick tour of Western art. (Five minutes and 42 seconds on Roman Art, four minutes and 40 seconds on French Impressionism, etc.) Why would anyone produce an audio history of Western art? No pictures? The production does provide graphics that are available as a PDF, but not an... Read More

  • AT THE MOUNTAINS OF MADNESS

    AT THE MOUNTAINS OF MADNESS

    by H.P. Lovecraft | Read by William Roberts

    Naxos AudioBooks | Unabridged
    Classics

    Frigid, mysterious, and awe-inspiring are the words to describe this classic story of a doomed trip to Antarctica by a group of scientists. William Roberts's blustery, haggard tones help listeners imagine the horror of the the scientists as the expedition goes massively wrong, and his older voice is a good match for the vintage text. The anxiety is palpable when Roberts... Read More

  • THE PRELUDE

    THE PRELUDE Growth of a Poet's Mind: An Autobiographical Poem

    by William Wordsworth | Read by Nicholas Farrell

    Naxos AudioBooks | Unabridged
    Classics

    Wordsworth's poem is one of the fundamental documents of the Romantic period. Written and revised over a period of more than 50 years, it expresses Wordsworth's moral and aesthetic autobiography in blank verse. It isn't easy to maintain the listener's interest in such an abstract subject, but Nicholas Farrell finds the passion and intensity that must have struck readers when... Read More

  • THE WARDEN

    THE WARDEN

    by Anthony Trollope | Read by David Shaw-Parker

    Naxos AudioBooks | Unabridged
    Classics

    One of Trollope's most notable works tells the story of a clergyman who is set on doing right in the face of a judgmental legal system and press. Narrator David Shaw-Parker's reading is both thoughtful and sympathetic to the events of the story. With his mastery of British accents he captures the 12 temperamental bedesmen of Hiram's Hospital. His portrayal of the kindhearted... Read More

  • VANITY FAIR

    VANITY FAIR

    by W.M. Thackeray | Read by Georgina Sutton

    Naxos AudioBooks | Unabridged
    Classics

    Although all the characters in Thackeray’s famous “novel without a hero” ultimately disappoint in terms of heroic attributes, they provide a telling view of Victorian high society. Georgina Sutton’s colorful narration provides an enjoyable medium for listeners to experience this literary classic. She masters the irony of the author’s narrative voice with careful attention to... Read More

  • DRACULA'S GUEST AND OTHER STORIES

    DRACULA'S GUEST AND OTHER STORIES

    by Bram Stoker | Read by Rupert Degas

    Naxos AudioBooks | Unabridged
    Classics

    Rupert Degas demonstrates that he was the perfect choice of narrator for Bram Stoker’s collection of macabre short stories. Degas's graceful use of pauses adds a deliciously suspenseful edge to each work. With impressive versatility, he fluidly transitions from harshly accented peasant to appropriately haughty nobleman. With a dramatic flair, he expertly delivers both hushed... Read More

  • THE HISTORY OF THE PELOPONNESIAN WAR

    THE HISTORY OF THE PELOPONNESIAN WAR

    by | Read by Neville Jason

    Naxos AudioBooks | Abridged
    Classics

    Generations of schoolboys haven't been wrong. Thucydides is a terrible bore. This abridgment is composed largely of speeches in public assemblies, delivered in a highly formal rhetorical style. And though delivered masterfully by Neville Jason, the voices inevitably sound the same, and the issues seem abstract. At times, the great historian steps forth and speaks on his... Read More

  • EVGENII ONEGIN

    EVGENII ONEGIN

    by Alexander Pushkin | Read by Neville Jason

    Naxos AudioBooks | Unabridged
    Classics

    Because this is a novel in verse, its audio rendition requires especially focused listening. The text's impact comes as much from plot and character as from the all-important persona Pushkin creates to tell the tale. Neville Jason recounts the unfortunate Onegin's story in the voice of an overly tolerant uncle--often amused but sometimes saddened or surprised by the... Read More

  • KINGS AND QUEENS OF ENGLAND

    KINGS AND QUEENS OF ENGLAND

    by Jen Green | Read by Benjamin Soames

    Naxos AudioBooks | Unabridged
    Children

    Benjamin Soames narrates this short history of the British monarchy at an even, measured pace. He effectively uses vocal expression to help keep young listeners focused. Still, this brief work covers a thousand years of history, so most listeners will miss some details. Even those who get lost amid the names and dates will find the flow again when Soames slows down for the... Read More

  • GULLIVER'S TRAVELS Retold for younger listeners

    by Jonathan Swift, Roy McMillan | Read by Benjamin Soames

    Naxos AudioBooks | Abridged
    Children

    Benjamin Soames presents McMillan's smooth adaptation of Swift's classic adventure. Listeners will hear the tone of Swift's dry style in McMillan's writing. Well-chosen vocabulary suitable to Swift's era adds to its authenticity. Clear sentence structure, abbreviated episodes, and a condensed version of Swift's often lengthy social commentary help the abridgment's accessibility... Read More

  • THE BLACK TULIP

    THE BLACK TULIP

    by Alexandre Dumas | Read by Peter Joyce

    Naxos AudioBooks | Unabridged
    Fiction

    The quest to grow a black tulip doesn’t have the same narrative appeal as Dumas’s COUNT OF MONTE CRISTO or THREE MUSKETEERS, but it provides adventure enough for those who love the great melodramas of the nineteenth century. Peter Joyce delivers a fine rendition of Dumas’s meaty prose and is especially good at depicting villains and brutal jailers, less effective at conveying... Read More

  • FAMOUS HEROES OF THE AMERICAN WEST

    FAMOUS HEROES OF THE AMERICAN WEST

    by William Roberts | Read by Adam Sims

    Naxos AudioBooks | Unabridged
    Western

    Although this production is intended for a younger audience, adults will also warm to Adam Sims’s tenor voice as he ably narrates the stories of Daniel Boone, Kit Carson, Davy Crockett, Sitting Bull, Chief Joseph, Buffalo Bill Cody, Wild Bill Hickok, Calamity Jane, and Wyatt Earp. Sims gives a seemingly effortless performance as he narrates these accounts with ease and... Read More

  • CLASSIC POEMS FOR BOYS

    CLASSIC POEMS FOR BOYS

    by Lewis Carroll, W.S. Gilbert, Rudyard Kipling, Benjamin Zephaniah, et al. | Read by Benjamin Soames, Roy McMillan, Rachel Bavidge, Michael Caine, Benjamin Zephaniah, Anton Lesser, et al.

    Naxos AudioBooks | Unabridged
    Children

    All the narrators in this production excel, but Michael Caine's rendering of Kipling's “If” and Benjamin Zephaniah's delivery of his own “Talking Turkeys” are standouts. A century or more ago, this was the home entertainment system: Young people would memorize popular poems and recite them after dinner. Some of the poetry here is light entertainment (W.S. Gilbert’s and Lewis... Read More

  • CLASSIC POEMS FOR GIRLS

    CLASSIC POEMS FOR GIRLS

    by John Keats, Lewis Carroll, Edward Lear, Louisa May Alcott, Christina Rossetti, William Wordsworth, et al. | Read by Laura Paton, Roy McMillan, Benjamin Soames, Anne-Marie Piazza

    Naxos AudioBooks | Unabridged
    Children

    As an introduction to classic poetry, this audiobook is simply delightful. It starts off with memorable children’s rhymes, including works by Lewis Carroll, Edward Lear, and Louisa May Alcott. As the listener moves through the collection, the poetry grows in sophistication with poems by John Keats, Christina Rossetti, and William Wordsworth. Short clips of classical music... Read More

  • SEVEN PILLARS OF WISDOM

    SEVEN PILLARS OF WISDOM

    by T.E. Lawrence | Read by Roy McMillan

    Naxos AudioBooks | Unabridged
    Classics

    Known to most as Lawrence of Arabia, T.E. Lawrence was a passionate chronicler of Middle East military events during WWI, in which he was embedded. This book is his story. Narrator Roy McMillan conveys Lawrence’s sincerity with a calm yet enthusiastic delivery, depicting a man fascinated with the world around him. Through McMillan’s compassionate reading we can better... Read More

  • SELECTIONS FROM SKETCHES BY BOZ

    SELECTIONS FROM SKETCHES BY BOZ

    by Charles Dickens | Read by David Timson

    Naxos AudioBooks | Abridged
    Classics

    David Timson weaves his special magic as a one-man full cast in this abridged production of Dickens’s earliest magazine publications of essays and short stories. While delivering the author’s observations of London in the morning and at night, the Greenwich fair, and the fixation of Londoners on their gardens, Timson adopts a lively and contemplative tone. He hits his stride in... Read More

  • THE PRIVATE MEMOIRS AND CONFESSIONS OF A JUSTIFIED SINNER

    THE PRIVATE MEMOIRS AND CONFESSIONS OF A JUSTIFIED SINNER

    by James Hogg | Read by Nicholas McCardle, Peter Kenny

    Naxos AudioBooks | Unabridged
    Classics

    This 1824 prototype of the psycho-killer confessional novel is eerily brought to life in a new reading by Nicholas McCardle and Peter Kenny. The book has two parts: The first is a thirdhand account of the story, read by the steady-voiced McCardle, the second is the memoirs of the possessed killer, read by the younger-voiced Kenny who embodies the main character and tells the... Read More

  • GULLIVER'S TRAVELS

    GULLIVER'S TRAVELS Retold for Younger Listeners

    by Jonathan Swift, Roy McMillan | Read by Benjamin Soames

    Naxos AudioBooks | Abridged
    Children

    Benjamin Soames presents McMillan’s smooth abridgment of Swift’s classic adventure. Listeners will hear the flavor of Swift’s dry style in McMillan’s writing, and well-chosen vocabulary suitable to Swift’s era adds to its authenticity. Clear sentence structure and a condensed version of Swift’s often lengthy social commentary help the abridgment remain accessible to... Read More

  • BONELAND

    Earphones Award Winner

    by Alan Garner | Read by Robert Powell

    Naxos AudioBooks | Unabridged
    Fantasy

    Professor Colin Whisterfield is a brilliant astrophysicist. He believes the stars are telling him a story. He reads them like he reads ancient myths and Jungian psychology. Often he hears his sister’s voice calling to him from the heavens. Narrator Robert Powell delivers Garner’s poetic prose with the conviction and understanding that come from being a longtime collaborator... Read More

  • JULIUS CAESAR

    JULIUS CAESAR

    by William Shakespeare | Read by Andrew Buchan, Sean Barrett, and a Full Cast

    Naxos AudioBooks | Unabridged
    Poetry & Drama

    In this classic play, Brutus grapples with his own loyalties—is he devoted to Rome or to Caesar? How best to serve one’s homeland? This production works a kind of magic, lending realism to the struggles within. Ambient background noise creates three-dimensional scenes without overwhelming the actors, whose understanding of the material makes the timeless prose contemporary.... Read More

  • METAMORPHOSES

    METAMORPHOSES

    by | Read by David Horovitch

    Naxos AudioBooks | Unabridged
    Poetry & Drama

    David Horovitch's richly enunciated delivery is a superb vehicle for the classical style, with its elevated diction and its elaborate rhetorical and poetic figures. Ovid poses a special challenge, and only a reader with expert pacing, matched with a sensitivity to nuances of tone and language, could deliver this text to its full impact. This Ovid is a delight. Horovitch... Read More

  • WESSEX TALES

    WESSEX TALES

    by Thomas Hardy | Read by Neville Jason

    Naxos AudioBooks | Unabridged
    Classics

    In Hardy's first collection of short stories he presents the region of Dorset in the 1880s—the lives of its people, as well as their beliefs and superstitions. Narrator Neville Jason beautifully conveys the rich depictions of people and place, including regional and historical speech patterns and characters of varying ages and stations. Romance and family life are often Hardy's... Read More

  • DAVID COPPERFIELD

    DAVID COPPERFIELD

    Earphones Award Winner

    by Charles Dickens | Read by Nicholas Boulton

    Naxos AudioBooks | Unabridged
    Classics

    Probably any well-trained actor can make a good thing of Uriah Heep. Still, Nicholas Boulton’s Heep is miraculously visual. You’ll remember that in addition to being poisonously "’umble,” Heep writhes a good deal. Boulton somehow makes his voice sinuously whiney, such that you actually see Heep coiling one horrible leg around the other while he smarms somebody. Still, it was... Read More

  • ANCIENT EGYPT: THE GLORY OF THE PHARAOHS

    ANCIENT EGYPT: THE GLORY OF THE PHARAOHS

    by David Angus | Read by Nicholas Boulton

    Naxos AudioBooks | Unabridged
    Children

    Nicholas Boulton's smooth tone is well suited for this overview of the ancient civilization that developed around the Nile. His slow delivery and excellent enunciation provide listeners with ample time to comprehend the information provided and make complicated information accessible. Everything from the reign of various pharaohs and the building of the Sphinx to the mythical... Read More

  • OLIVER TWIST

    by Charles Dickens | Read by Jonathan Keeble

    Naxos AudioBooks | Unabridged
    Classics

    Jonathan Keeble's voice is well suited to Dickens's beloved story of a parish boy's progress. In particular, his British accent gives this production a nice "twist." His smooth, deep voice lends itself especially well to the words of the omniscient narrator. Keeble's depiction of the title orphan tends towards the high pitched, perhaps in an attempt to capture Oliver's naïveté,... Read More

  • THE CALL OF CTHULHU AND OTHER STORIES

    THE CALL OF CTHULHU AND OTHER STORIES

    by H.P. Lovecraft | Read by William Roberts

    Naxos AudioBooks | Unabridged
    Classics

    Reading Lovecraft is challenge enough, but listening to his work can be fraught with peril—unless William Roberts is at the mike. Readers and listeners either love or hate Lovecraft, most commonly because of his complex language and near overwhelming sentence structure. Roberts takes on this challenge and delivers these short stories beautifully. He seems to have wrangled the... Read More

  • THE MYSTERY OF EDWIN DROOD

    THE MYSTERY OF EDWIN DROOD

    by Charles Dickens | Read by David Timson

    Naxos AudioBooks | Unabridged
    Classics

    Characteristically, Charles Dickens blends tragedy and comedy and peoples this novel with an array of outlandish individuals. Narrator David Timson expertly translates into audio the complexities of Dickens’s multilayered plotline, and he gives each of Dickens’s peculiar characters a distinct voice—from the menacing Mr. Jasper to the pretentious Miss Twinkleton and the... Read More

  • OLIVER TWIST

    OLIVER TWIST Retold for younger listeners by Roy McMillan

    by Charles Dickens | Read by Jonathan Keeble

    Naxos AudioBooks | Abridged
    Classics

    This retelling presents a condensed version of Dickens’s work for young listeners. Smoothly written, it has been considerably shortened from the original. It recounts the main events but lacks Dickens’s signature word craft. Jonathan Keeble is an authoritative guide through Oliver’s orphan narrative. Keeble’s commanding voice presents a series of interrelated vignettes, each... Read More

  • TALES FROM THE ARABIAN NIGHTS

    TALES FROM THE ARABIAN NIGHTS

    by Andrew Lang | Read by Toby Stephens

    Naxos AudioBooks | Unabridged
    Children

    This is a gorgeous introduction for young listeners to fine literature, a vastly different time and culture, and enchanting music. Narrator Toby Stephens is dazzling as he presents three of the best-known tales: “Aladdin and the Wonderful Lamp,” “Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves,” and “The Voyages of Sinbad the Sailor.” He skillfully renders the text—be it stupendous description,... Read More

  • THE PICKWICK PAPERS

    THE PICKWICK PAPERS

    Earphones Award Winner

    by Charles Dickens | Read by David Timson

    Naxos AudioBooks | Unabridged
    Classics

    In Dickens's first novel, the many adventures, or perhaps misadventures, of Mr. Samuel Pickwick and his traveling companions are detailed in a series of interrelated vignettes ranging from the frightening to the absurd. David Timson is a one-man ensemble who skillfully portrays dozens of characters. He is equally adept at chilling the spine with the gravelly, breathy tones of a... Read More

  • THE COUNCIL OF JUSTICE

    THE COUNCIL OF JUSTICE Four Just Men, Vol. II

    by Edgar Wallace | Read by Bill Homewood

    Naxos AudioBooks | Unabridged
    Mystery & Suspense

    COUNCIL OF JUSTICE is a critically acclaimed novel by English writer Edgar Wallace, the co-creator of King Kong, who died in 1932. In an understated yet effective performance, Bill Homewood brings Wallace’s work to life. The second novel in the Four Just Men series focuses on four anarchists who believe they are above the law as they protect society. They kill for a greater... Read More

  • HARD TIMES

    HARD TIMES

    by Charles Dickens | Read by Anton Lesser

    Naxos AudioBooks | Unabridged
    Classics

    Anton Lesser finds the emotive force behind Dickens’s bleak social commentary, HARD TIMES, and gives it a unique reading. Dickens’s stock characters are fleshed out by Lesser’s quavering voice and given outward emotions, making these Victorian-era personas more accessible to contemporary listeners. Atypical for a Dickens story, HARD TIMES lacks any comic relief and reads like a... Read More

  • THE HISTORY OF ENGLISH POETRY

    THE HISTORY OF ENGLISH POETRY

    by Peter Whitfield | Read by Derek Jacobi et al.

    Naxos AudioBooks | Unabridged
    Poetry & Drama

    Derek Jacobi brings this production together with a clear and lively narration of its introduction. The collection is a general presentation, rather than a scholarly tome, on the evolution of the idea of English poetry (and its American cousins and influences)—and where readers fit into the tradition. In each era, the text addresses the question of what a poem was expected to... Read More

  • TITUS GROAN

    TITUS GROAN

    by Mervyn Peake | Read by Rupert Degas

    Naxos AudioBooks | Abridged
    Fiction

    Enter the world of Gormenghast—a vast, meandering city reminiscent of London or Byzantium. New to U.S. audiences, Peake's trilogy, aired on BBC Television in 2000, created a cult following in the UK. Rupert Degas acts out all the parts of this gothic novel with extreme characterizations, based on the BBC show, contrasted with lengthy spates of narrative. On the day Titus, 77th... Read More

  • THE ADVENTURES OF BRIGADIER GERARD

    THE ADVENTURES OF BRIGADIER GERARD

    by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle | Read by Rupert Degas

    Naxos AudioBooks | Unabridged
    Classics

    Sir Arthur Conan Doyle may be best known for his Sherlock Holmes stories, but they were not his favorites. He loved the stories that promoted the chivalric ethos, even if they sometimes made fun of their heroes, as here. Gerard is a cavalry officer who is devoted to Napoleon and is incapable of seeing the world through any other lens. Rupert Degas is reliably excellent as the... Read More

  • SHE

    SHE A History of Adventure

    Earphones Award Winner

    by H. Rider Haggard | Read by Bill Homewood

    Naxos AudioBooks | Abridged
    Classics

    This imaginative classic from the late 1800s is expertly read by Bill Homewood. The story is a first-person narrative that follows the journey of Horace Holly, a Cambridge University professor, and his ward, Leo Vincey, to a lost kingdom in central Africa. After a shipwreck, they encounter a primitive people called the Amahagger in the lost kingdom of Kor and a mysterious white... Read More

  • HEAVEN'S COMMAND

    HEAVEN'S COMMAND

    by Jan Morris | Read by Roy McMillan

    Naxos AudioBooks | Unabridged
    History

    Roy McMillan narrates this sprawling history of the British Empire during the reign of Queen Victoria (1837-1897). Morris fills this study with small details and sweeping discussions of all the lands of the empire on which the sun never set. With warm, fluid tones, McMillan’s voice takes the listener to small and large cities around the world. The material is organized around a... Read More

  • THE VIRGIN AND THE GYPSY

    THE VIRGIN AND THE GYPSY

    by D.H. Lawrence | Read by Georgina Sutton

    Naxos AudioBooks | Unabridged
    Classics

    Georgina Sutton delivers the story of the virgin daughter of a vicar and her fascinating romantic entanglement with a gypsy in East Midlands, England. Set after WWI, the story recounts the events of daily life in the rectory, where all action is stifled by the mores of the day. Sutton flawlessly describes how Yvette, traveling throughout the countryside, comes across a gypsy... Read More

  • POEMS OF THE ORIENT

    by Omar Khayyam, Rumi, Sa'di, Hafiz, Tagore, et al. | Read by David Timson, Madhav Sharma, Philip Madoc, Polly Hayes, Daniel Philpott

    Naxos AudioBooks | Unabridged
    Poetry & Drama

    The word “Orient” is a nineteenth-century European term, and a concept that carries the lush overtones of mystery, luxury, and exotica. These extravagant readings of familiar Middle Eastern and Indian poets and Western poets writing about the region harken back to the “mysterious East” of yesteryear. The selections are heavy in meter and rhyme, the readings are bombastically... Read More

  • A SHROPSHIRE LAD

    A SHROPSHIRE LAD The Great Poets

    Earphones Award Winner

    by A.E. Housman | Read by Samuel West

    Naxos AudioBooks | Unabridged
    Poetry & Drama

    Housman is a high-water mark of British lyric poetry, and this fine production captures perfectly his strong, melodic beat and decisive rhyme, and his wonderful way with words. Samuel West’s cultivated Midlands accent may not be specifically Shropshire, but his voice and reading are true to Housman—who was not, after all, some rough Shropshire lad himself but an Oxford don. His... Read More

  • THE RED AND THE BLACK

    THE RED AND THE BLACK

    by | Read by Bill Homewood

    Naxos AudioBooks | Unabridged
    Classics

    Stendhal’s wonderful chronicle of the nineteenth century tells the story of his hypocritical protagonist, Julien Sorel. A poor youth and brilliant scholar, Julien begins a career in the church despite his liberal views and his disgust for his superiors. His pious front gives him access to aristocratic households as a tutor, but his ambition for social prestige leads him to... Read More

  • THE INVISIBLE MAN

    THE INVISIBLE MAN

    by H.G. Wells | Read by Daniel Philpott

    Naxos AudioBooks | Unabridged
    Science Fiction

    A harrowing read from cover to cover, THE INVISIBLE MAN is perfect for the audio format. The action-packed plot, eccentric characters, and entertaining dialogue could overwhelm a narrator, but British actor Daniel Philpott is the man for the job. His voice is energetic throughout the book and echoes the author’s ironic tone. His vocal characterizations are wonderfully diverse,... Read More

  • HEAVEN'S COMMAND

    HEAVEN'S COMMAND

    by Jan Morris | Read by Roy McMillan

    Naxos AudioBooks | Abridged
    History

    Jan Morris acknowledges that this opening volume of her Pax Britannica Trilogy, a history of Britain’s empire building from the reign of Queen Victoria to the death of Winston Churchill, is at first too positive in its attitude toward the colonizers. As listeners hear the first section, full of heroic battles read in an excited voice by Roy McMillan, they might agree. However,... Read More

  • THE CLUMSY GHOST AND OTHER SPOOKY TALES

    THE CLUMSY GHOST AND OTHER SPOOKY TALES

    Earphones Award Winner

    by Alastair Jessiman et al. | Read by Sean Barrett, Anne-Marie Piazza, et al.

    Naxos AudioBooks | Unabridged
    Children

    These seven ghost stories were written specially for Naxos AudioBooks, and the production is first-class. Excellent writing and perfect narration are a common thread among the tales of historical ghosts, an accident-prone ghost, and spirits from ancient Egypt. Sean Barrett offers a perfectly tuned narration of "The Clumsy Ghost." Gorgeous classical music adds to the atmosphere... Read More

  • FAUST

    FAUST

    Earphones Award Winner

    by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe | Read by Samuel West, Toby Jones, and a Full Cast

    Naxos AudioBooks | Abridged
    Classics

    If it’s been a while since you tackled Goethe’s FAUST—like, forever—don’t wait a moment longer. John R. Williams’s sparkling English translation is delightful, full of wit and delicious rhymes, and would be reason enough to fling yourself at it, but this full-cast production more than doubles the pleasure. The actors play it as if we were all Faust and hell were going to be a... Read More

  • RESTORATION

    RESTORATION

    by Rose Tremain | Read by Rupert Degas

    Naxos AudioBooks | Abridged
    Fiction

    The restoration of the English monarchy, in the person of Charles II, forms the background for Tremain’s historical fiction, which follows the life of the profligate courtier Robert Merivel. Initially favored by Charles, Merivel goes from triumph to despair—as does the restored King himself. Rupert Degas captures Merivel’s character perfectly—his self-important foolishness... Read More

  • GORMENGHAST

    GORMENGHAST

    by Mervyn Peake | Read by Rupert Degas

    Naxos AudioBooks | Abridged
    Fantasy

    Gothic and sprawling, the ancient castle Gormenghast is the centerpiece of a kingdom cloistered in intrigue and dark rituals. Titus Groan, the kingdom’s 77th earl, and his mother and sister are the castle’s prisoners. Titus is 7 years old. So opens this second volume of Peake’s titanic and sublimely ornate Gormenghast trilogy. Narrator Rupert Degas not only reads the heightened... Read More

  • COMPOSERS' LETTERS

    COMPOSERS' LETTERS

    Earphones Award Winner

    by Ludwig Van Beethoven, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, et al. | Read by Jeremy Nicholas, Daniel Philpott, Edward de Souza, et al.

    Naxos AudioBooks | Audio Program
    Biography & Memoir

    In a perfect and perfectly delightful use of the audio format, this offering pairs accomplished and well-cast actors with letters written by famous composers. The letters are given chronologically, from J.S. Bach’s writing about career and money difficulties in the seventeenth century through the letters of Hayden, Mozart, Beethoven, Brahms, and others up to Tchaikovsky and... Read More

  • DON QUIXOTE

    DON QUIXOTE The Ingenious Gentleman Don Quixote of La Mancha

    by Miguel de Cervantes | Read by Roy McMillan

    Naxos AudioBooks | Unabridged
    Classics

    First published in 1605 and 1615 in two volumes, DON QUIXOTE is a tale of reinvention and the romantic imagination. Roy McMillan delivers it quickly and crisply, an approach that allows the listener to focus on its humor. Upon his retirement, Don Quixote takes on the life of the heroes of old and becomes a wandering knight. As he searches for adventure and opportunities to... Read More

  • MIDDLEMARCH

    MIDDLEMARCH

    by George Eliot | Read by Juliet Stevenson

    Naxos AudioBooks | Unabridged
    Classics

    Juliet Stevenson is unmatched in her narration of George Eliot’s sweeping novel, which puts a lens to the fictitious English town of Middlemarch. Eliot’s complex plot takes the listener into various households and lives, revealing scandal, secret longings, and unexpected ties. Stevenson’s pleasant, friendly voice makes this relatively lengthy audiobook a listening delight. She... Read More

  • THE LIFE AND WORKS OF FRANZ LISZT

    THE LIFE AND WORKS OF FRANZ LISZT

    by Jeremy Siepmann | Read by Jeremy Siepmann, Neville Jason, David Timson, Elaine Claxton, Laura Paton, Raphael Clarkson

    Naxos AudioBooks | Unabridged
    Biography & Memoir

    The life, music, and career of Franz Liszt were equally unconventional and groundbreaking for his time. Jeremy Siepmann’s concise biography defines Liszt’s glamour and mystique, and the accompanying musical selections highlight what was so distinctive and revolutionary in the great composer/pianist’s work. The text, narrated by Siepmann, with Neville Jason reading for Liszt, is... Read More

  • THE TRIAL

    THE TRIAL

    by Franz Kafka | Read by Rupert Degas

    Naxos AudioBooks | Unabridged
    Classics

    In Kafka’s iconic novel, bank functionary Josef K., arrested on unspecified charges, is swallowed up by a bizarre legal system with incomprehensible motives and purposes—a mix of Carrollian absurdity, Eastern European oppression, and nightmare. Rupert Degas’s voice acting is understated and telling. His tones are varied and expressive, but appropriately grayed or minor keyed,... Read More

  • THE VIKINGS

    THE VIKINGS

    by David Angus | Read by Joe Marsh

    Naxos AudioBooks | Unabridged
    Young Adult

    The Vikings are as intriguing as one would anticipate, and Naxos makes this audiobook a thrilling educational experience. Here dragons of old are REAL—they are the fiercely decorated Viking ships. Narrator Joe Marsh brings his humor, enthusiasm, and excellent pronunciation to this book. The "wild" men have names, and their bravery is heralded. Their rich history is covered, and... Read More

  • NIGHTMARE ALLEY

    NIGHTMARE ALLEY

    by William Lindsay Gresham | Read by Adam Sims

    Naxos AudioBooks | Unabridged
    Fiction

    Gresham’s little-remembered noir masterpiece deserves a whole new generation of readers, and Adam Sims’s dark performance is a marvelous way to reach them. The story begins in a carnival, which provides a narrator’s dream assortment of characters. Though some are unmistakably comic, Gresham’s vision is anything but lighthearted. His protagonist, Stanley Carlisle, is a mind... Read More

  • THE COMMUNIST MANIFESTO

    THE COMMUNIST MANIFESTO

    by Karl Marx, Friedrich Engels | Read by Charles Armstrong, Roy McMillan

    Naxos AudioBooks | Unabridged
    History

    This work includes Marx’s short, iconic book on socialism and communism and finishes with some very short writings by Friedrich Engels, who wrote on the same subject during the same period. The great value to listeners interested in Western thought would be to experience the short essay by the founder of one of the most important political ideas in the mid-nineteenth century.... Read More

  • NAPOLEON - IN A NUTSHELL

    NAPOLEON - IN A NUTSHELL

    by Neil Wenborn | Read by Rupert Degas

    Naxos AudioBooks | Unabridged
    History

    French emperor Napoleon Bonaparte was "a symbol of human potential, for both good and ill," controlling much of Europe at the high point of his reign before falling when the continent allied against him. This work is meant as an overview, but Wenborn's account of Napoleon's life goes by too fast, at times seeming like a blur of dates and facts. Rupert Degas does a good job with... Read More

  • MARTIN CHUZZLEWIT

    by Charles Dickens | Read by Sean Barrett

    Naxos AudioBooks | Unabridged
    Classics

    Charles Dickens is not known for subtlety, and MARTIN CHUZZLEWIT is typically unsubtle, satirical, often quite funny, and, in this case, vastly improved by the expertise of Sean Barrett. There are so many distinct and consistent characters here, and Barrett nails them all, especially the two Martin Chuzzlewits, the gruff grandfather and the feckless grandson. The younger Martin... Read More

  • THE STORY OF THE BIBLE

    THE STORY OF THE BIBLE

    by Peter Whitfield | Read by Oliver Ford Davies

    Naxos AudioBooks | Unabridged
    Philosophy & Religion

    Peter Whitfield’s accessible introduction to the Bible, aimed at the secular listener, approaches literary and theological material from historical and cultural perspectives. However, the contents of the brief audiobook are disappointingly narrow, with only a cursory overview of the range of the entire Old and New Testaments. The bulk of the material deals with the history of... Read More

  • MEDITATION—THE BUDDHIST WAY

    MEDITATION—THE BUDDHIST WAY

    by | Read by

    Naxos AudioBooks | Unabridged
    Philosophy & Religion

    MEDITATION—THE BUDDHIST WAY is a guidebook to the practice and benefits of the Buddhist meditation technique of loving kindness. Jinananda deftly elucidates the benefits of overriding emotions, cultivating love, and differentiating emotions from feelings and reactions. With a subtle English accent he soothes listeners through a guided loving kindness meditation session.... Read More

  • THE WATSONS AND SANDITON

    THE WATSONS AND SANDITON

    by Jane Austen | Read by Anna Bentinck

    Naxos AudioBooks | Unabridged
    Classics

    Even Austen’s unfinished novels will excite her fans. In THE WATSONS, abandoned after five chapters, Emma Watson returns to her widowed father and crude siblings after being raised in refinement by a wealthy aunt. Austen died after completing 11 chapters of SANDITON, about an attempt to build a state-of-the-art resort by the sea. Anna Bentinck narrates THE WATSONS in a languid,... Read More

  • THE RAGGED TROUSERED PHILANTHROPIST

    THE RAGGED TROUSERED PHILANTHROPIST

    by Robert Tressell | Read by David Timson

    Naxos AudioBooks | Unabridged
    Fiction

    This 1914 political novel “of 12 months in hell, told by one of the damned” caustically depicts the plight of English workers, whom the author views as unwittingly complicit in their own exploitation. It’s more heartfelt polemic than literature. Blind to their situation, these inadvertent “philanthropists” argue endlessly about it with confrere Frank Own, a clear-eyed... Read More

  • THE FOUR JUST MEN

    THE FOUR JUST MEN

    by Edgar Wallace | Read by Bill Homewood

    Naxos AudioBooks | Unabridged
    Fiction

    Originally written in 1920, this entertaining novel benefits from the superb performance of narrator Bill Homewood. The story focuses on four men with ostensibly laudable goals who battle injustice like modern-day Robin Hoods. Yet the four remain enigmas, whose motives at time appear to be highly questionable. Because the protagonists lack sufficient individual personalities to... Read More

  • THE GREAT POETS: JOHN DONNE

    THE GREAT POETS: JOHN DONNE

    by John Donne | Read by Geoffrey Whitehead, Will Keen

    Naxos AudioBooks | Unabridged Selections
    Poetry & Drama

    The best readers of poetry don't recite it; they enact it, taking on the character of the narrator. The poetry of Metaphysical poet John Donne—once ranked with the works of Shakespeare and Milton—has at least two facets, so it’s fitting that this production has two narrators. Geoffrey Whitehead brings out the passion of Donne's religious poetry, particularly the selections from... Read More

  • FAR FROM THE MADDING CROWD

    FAR FROM THE MADDING CROWD Young Adult Classics

    by Thomas Hardy | Read by Neville Jason

    Naxos AudioBooks | Abridged
    Classics/ Young Adult

    A vivid classic set in a remote rural corner of early Victorian England features conflicting values, class dichotomy, opposing principles, and romantic drama. Never ceasing to be relevant, Hardy's classic endures as Bathsheba Everdene waivers between wielding her feminine wiles to secure love and marriage and maintaining her stoic independence and self-reliance. Neville Jason... Read More

  • THE GLORY OF ANCIENT GREECE

    THE GLORY OF ANCIENT GREECE

    by Hugh Griffith | Read by Benjamin Soames

    Naxos AudioBooks | Unabridged
    Children

    Starting with familiar tales of Prometheus and Odysseus and ending with Alexander the Great, Hugh Griffith gives listeners a quick tour of Ancient Greece. British narrator Benjamin Soames takes the history seriously while making the examples and comparisons in Griffith's writing fun. Those examples—such as describing a Spartan camp as "a kind of Scout troop"—show that this... Read More

  • THE CASTLE

    THE CASTLE

    Earphones Award Winner

    by Franz Kafka | Read by Alan Corduner

    Naxos AudioBooks | Unabridged
    Classics

    This novel-length parable by the brilliant master of existential angst Franz Kafka was published posthumously in 1926. Our hero, K. (pronounced “Kah” in this recording), enters a small village ready to assume duties as municipal surveyor. He finds that mysterious, bureaucratic, and willful denizens of the nearby castle exercise absolute and self-serving rule over the precincts,... Read More

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