11 Brilliant Audiobook Performances You Can’t Miss
So, you’re kinda dreading the trip over the river and through the woods to Grandma’s house; but we know that audiobooks are a great way to pass the time! They fill the hours consumed on an otherwise dreary trek and are a wonderful way to share a story with the whole family. These are some of our favorite audiobooks narrated by some pretty amazing people.
So many great new audiobooks have been released since we first wrote this post that we’ve added another list of audiobooks you’ll love!
It's one thing to read a book and get a simple idea of a narrator's accent, tone and sentence structure. But oh wow - hearing Mr. McCourt tell the story of his childhood as he wrote it, with his endearing Irish accent, is like nothing else. This story was meant to be told this way. You have to hear it. From the first few seconds, you'll be hooked.
Narrated by Frank McCourt
2Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone
Jim Dale does every.single.VOICE, you guys. JIM DALE! Go look him up and see all the roles he's had over the years. And then, start playing this audiobook. We promise you'll be blown away with his funny characters, the frightening ones (his "Snape" voice will make you recoil and shiver) and especially the kind ones (his "Dumbledore" will have you wishing you had this guy in your own life).
Narrated by Jim Dale
The premise is cool: what if you could go back in time and prevent one of the greatest American tragedies of the 20th century? Wasson gives every voice a distinct accent and tone. You'll swear you can hear Stephen King himself in some of these characters. And the effect is weirdly bewitching.
Narrated by Craig Wasson
4The Testament of Mary
Sure, we'd listen to Meryl Streep read the phone book, but this is SO. MUCH. BETTER! This story is an imaginative take on what Mary, the mother of Jesus Christ, might say years after her son's death. To put it mildly, she's not the kindly, silent woman represented in thousands of years of art. Ms. Streep gives this Mary a backbone and displays some harsh judgement of herself and others. Did we mention it's Meryl Streep?!
Narrated by Meryl Streep
5The Kite Runner
This bestseller comes alive in the author's own voice as he narrates a tale about a young man who returns to his native Afghanistan to find it torn apart by war, greed and evil. And yet in the midst of it all is a beautiful story of redemption and love. This is one of those audiobooks we love to hear again and again.
Narrated by Khaled Housseini
6The Funny Thing Is…
We all love Ellen, and we love her stand-up routines, too. I mean, when have you ever turned down a chance to hear a funny person tell funny stories? Never? Good. You're just like us, then. Ellen gives us some of her best stories in her unique, familiar, very charming way.
Narrated by Ellen DeGeneres
7Me Talk Pretty One Day
This bestseller has some of the weirdest, funniest essays we've ever heard. There's one in particular that is so startling in its frank and, ahem, basic nature...well, that one's not for the squeamish. But we guarantee you'll laugh until you cry and then laugh even harder.
Narrated by David Sedaris
8Go The F— To Sleep
The very title makes you giddy with anticipation. Even better: knowing that it you'll hear the greatest tough-talker in entertainment today, Samuel L. Jackson, reading this in his unique dulcet tones. PLEASE, don't say we didn't warn you. PLEASE don't listen to this with kids in the car. It's not a mean-spirited book at all, but many parents have surely felt this way as they try putting unruly children to bed.
Narrated by Samuel L. Jackson
A fifth-grade boy decides to invent a new word, and a pen becomes a "frindle." The new word catches on quicker than he expected, and soon enough it's much bigger than he ever anticipated. This one is really fun, and Keith Nobbs' narration and acting really shine here. This is one of those audiobooks that's great fun for everyone in the car.
10Tin Roof Blowdown
This is an action-packed story about a sherrif from rural Louisiana who is dispatched to New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina to track some horrible criminals. There's a scene wherein the narrator describes a nightmare he's had. And then as he continues, you realize just how much of a nightmare he's about to face as he enters a city decimated by a major storm. We think you won't be able to turn this off until it's over.
Narrated by Will Patton
11A Christmas Carol
To say this classic is a tour de force by Mr. Stewart is an understatement. He played Scrooge on stage and on TV. And thank heaven he's recorded an audiobook as well. This one feels like an old radio play from the early 20th century. Though you know the story already, hearing this man's captivating voice play all the characters is the real joy of the holiday spirit.
Narrated by Patrick Stewart