Audio Book Narrators
Apart from the quality of an audiobook’s writing, recording and production, undoubtedly one of the most important elements that affect the listening experience and enjoyment of any audiobook is the performing talent of the audiobook narrator, whose difficult job is to convey the story and engage the listening audience without getting in the way of the listener and their focus on the story.
Ultimately, it’s the narrators that bring the written word to life and fire up the listener’s imagination. Spoken word narrators come from various backgrounds, and many of the narrators you will meet as you listen to AudioBookOne.net titles are also accomplished actors, artists, poets and more. When choosing your next audiobook, therefore, it helps to be familiar with some of the more respected audiobook narrators in the audio narration industry.
One way to become familiar with audiobook narrators, is by understanding some of the more prestigious audiobook industry awards that are bestowed to audiobook narrators.
Best Audio Books And The Audies Awards
Each year, the best audiobooks are selected by a panel of selected members of the Audio Publishers Association (APA) to receive the “best of” awards in over 30 audiobook categories. These audiobook awards are known as ‘The Audies’, and since 1996 audiobook performers, authors, producers and publishers have been recognized for their achievements and their standards of excellence within the audiobook industry.
Like the “Oscars” in the film industry, The “Audies” are completely dedicated to audiobook and spoken word entertainment and winning audiobook titles are picked by a panel of distinguished judges from a shortlist of audiobooks that have been recognized as having made a significant impact on and contribution to the audiobook industry.
Audiobook industry awards are important not only to the audiobook industry, but to listeners as well. The Audies help to raise awareness of audiobooks and contribute to the expansion of spoken word entertainment as an exciting and rich source of information, entertainment and education.
Audio Book Narrator Awards – Golden Voices
AudioFile Magazine publishes reviews of audiobooks, original audio programs, commentary and dramatizations in the spoken word format. Their main focus is on the audio presentation, not the critique of written material.
Each year, editors of AudioFile Magazine celebrate the commitment and contribution of audiobook narrators to the craft of audiobook narration and their brilliant achievements in spoken-word recordings by awarding them with “Golden Voice” awards. This Hall of Fame showcases the audiobook industry’s top narrators for their exceptional audiobook work.
Audio Book Awards – Earphones Awards
Each year AudioFile Magazine also awards Earphones awards to audiobook narrators they consider to be truly exceptional presenters, and those who excel in narrative voice and style, vocal characterizations, appropriateness for the audio format, and enhancement of the text.
If you are unsure of which audiobook you should listen to next, then search for the winners of Audies awards and other audiobook awards in your favorite audiobook category and you’ll have a great list of “must listen to” audiobooks, since these titles will represent the highest quality and the very best of what the audiobook industry has to offer.
Audie Award Winning & Industry Recognized Audio Book Narrators
- Barry Whitener (Winner of several awards, including the Audio Publishers Association’s Audie and four Earphones Awards. Cited by AudioFile as being among “the best voices of the century.”) Barrett Whitener‘s work as a narrator has received the Audiofile Earphones Award, and was selected as Best of the Year by Booklist in 1998. Barrett was also included on AudioFile’s list of “Voices of the Century“.
- Dick Hill (One of the most awarded narrators in the business, having earned three Audie Awards and numerous Earphones Awards, as well as being named a “Golden Voice” by AudioFile magazine). With well over 200 titles to his credit, Dick Hill has earned 3 ‘Audie Awards‘, and he was named a ‘Golden Voice‘ by AudioFile Magazine. AudioFile has also granted numerous prestigious ‘Earphone Awards‘ to his work, and listed Dick Hill as a ‘Voice Of The Century‘. Dick Hill and Susie Breck won the 2004 Audie Award for Best MultiVoice Production. At AudioBookOne.net we have many of Dick Hill’s narrated audiobooks as well as audiobooks narrated by Susie Breck and Dick Hill available for immediate download.
- Grover Gardener (He is the recipient of more than thirteen Earphones Awards as well as an Audie Award.)
- Anna Fields (Winner of the coveted Audie Award in 2004).
- Christopher Lane (Audie award winner in 2004)
- Scott Brick (Winner of 18 Earphones Awards and the 2003 Audie Award in the category of best science fiction. He has recorded more than two hundred audiobooks in five years and earned AudioFile magazine’s Golden Voice award in 2004.)
- Patrick Lawlor (AudioFile Earphones Award winner and Audie Award finalist)
- Simon Vance (Has received numerous AudioFile ‘Earphone’ awards and Audie Award nominations)
- Gerard Doyle (Awarded 11 AudioFile Earphones Awards and was a nominee for the 2006 Audie Awards)
- Stefan Rudnicki (Winner Of Grammy Award for production, the 2005 Audie Award for narration, and two AudioFile Earphones Awards).
- Barbara Rosenblat (Three-time recipient of the coveted Audie Award and winner of twenty-six Earphones Awards.)
- Kristoffer Tabori (His first solo narration won a 1993 Audie Award for best audiobook of the year.)
- William Dufris (Nominated for three AUDIE Awards and winner of thirteen Earphones Awards.)
- Simon Prebble (Audie Award nominee for Hitler’s Scientists)
- Carrington MacDuffie (5 AudioFile Earphones awards for audioboook narration, and two Audie nominations)
- Humphrey Bower (Audie Award Winner And Nominee)
- Richard Rohan (2003 Audie Award winner in the Unabridged Nonfiction audiobooks category)
- Bernadette Dunne (Twice nominated for the Audie Award and winner of six AudioFile Earphones Awards)
- Ian McKellen (Internationally renowned stage and screen award winning actor and winner of 1997 Audie Award for narration)
- Frank Muller – Author Stephen King once said of Frank Muller that when he reads “the blind will see, the lame will walk, and the deaf will hear.” Author Pat Conroy says “He is the best. A prince of language”. The Los Angeles Times said “(he is) the best reader I have ever heard”. AudioFile Magazine says “Master narrator Frank Muller is a perfect interpreter, the medium through which an author’s words resonate to the listener. His voice is distinct, yet it yields a thousand characters. The Wilson Library Bulletin wrote this: “The most outstanding interpreter of audio in the United States is still Frank Muller”. And Library Journal described Frank Muller as “the first true superstar reader in the world of spoken word audio”.
- Susan Ericksen lives on the East Coast, where she performs on stage and on television. She also appears regularly with the Hope College Repertory Company, of which her husband David Colacci, another fine narrator, is artistic director.
- David Colacci, says that narrating a book is ‘… the opportunity to totally live in the world of the story.’ David has lived inside a lot of stories. David is active in regional theater throughout the year, he’s the Artistic Director of the Hope Summer Repertory Theater in Hope, Michigan.
- Joyce Bean has had careers as a television news producer, writer, actor, and voice talent. She has a B.A. in Telecommunications from Michigan State University, and in addition to narrating books, she enjoys directing books. She and her daughter Leigh live in West Michigan.
- Sandra Burr’s voice as a freelance voiceover talent has been featured on local, regional, and national commercials as well as countless industrial and instructional videos. Her favorite performances, however, can be heard on audiobooks. Where else, she points out, can an actor play all of the parts or talk to herself without attracting a lot of curious looks.
- Laural Merlington has performed professionally as an actor for 30 years. Laural has done extensive voice over work for television and radio, as well as narrating books on tape and audiobooks. Laural has taught acting at Lansing Community College, Muskegon Community College, Aquinas College, and Grand Rapids Community College. In her spare time Laural is a director for local community theaters as well as professional theater.
- Nadia May has been nominated as an AudioFile Golden Voice five years running and is a winner of thirteen AudioFile Earphones Awards. She is the co-founder of TheatreFirst, a theater company in the San Francisco Bay Area where she currently lives.
- Buck Schirner‘s professional career has primarily been on stage as a character actor. He is currently active in the theatre scene in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Buck Schirner does television and radio commercial work on occasion and loves to narrate books.
- Ralph Cosham is a film and stage actor, film voice actor, and book narrator. Cosham also records under the name Geoffrey Howard. He lives in Washington, D.C. where he also performs at the Arena Stage and The Shakespeare Theater.
- J. Charles has more than 40 years experience in professional theatre, radio, television, and film. His name is familiar to many Michigan and national audiences as a scenic and lighting designer, as well as a performer and director. He has narrated many audiobooks.
- Michael Page has recorded and narrated well over 50 titles. He is currently a Professor of Theatre at Calvin College in Grand Rapids, Michigan, and as an actor performs regularly with the BoarsHead Theatre in Lansing, and the Peterborough Players in New Hampshire.
- Anne Flosnik narrates audiobooks for the Library of Congress as well as for several commercial audiobook publishers in the United States. A native of Great Britain, she utilizes numerous accents with ease. Anne’s work has garnered a “Listen Up” award, as well as an American Library Association “Notable Children’s Recording” award.
More Audio Book Narrators
In addition to the narrators listed above, you will find many fine audiobook narrators in the audiobook titles listed here at AudioBookOne.net. Below is a list of spoken word narrators in alphabetical order. We suggest you click on the sample audio files of the books they have narrated and become better acquainted with their talent, their narration style and their voices:
- Richard Allen
- Jenny Agutter
- Terence Aselford
- Dylan Baker
- Guerin Barry
- Alan Bennett
- Kate Binchy
- Katherine Borowitz
- Susie Breck
- Scott Brick
- Jim Bond
- Len Cariou
- Tom Casaletto
- David Case
- Eric Conger
- Grace Conlin
- Ted Conover
- C.J. Critt
- Patrick Cullen
- Tim Curry
- David Daoust
- James Daniels
- Patricia Daniels
- Frederick Davidson
- David Ian Davies
- Roger Dressler
- William Dufris
- Bernadette Dunne
- Brian Emerson
- Melanie Ewbank
- Anna Fields
- Mel Foster
- Hugh Fraser
- Richard Fredricks
- Grover Gardner
- Kathy Garver
- Marguerite Gavin
- Linda Greenlaw
- Robert Hardy
- Charlton Heston
- Cynthia Holloway
- Deanna Hurst
- Jeremy Irons
- Lloyd James
- Martin Jarvis
- Neville Jason
- John Kenneth
- Christopher Lane
- Patrick G. Lawlor
- Patrick Lawlor
- Robert Lawrence
- Celeste Lawson
- Anton Lesser
- Edward Lewis
- David McCullough
- Paul McGann
- John J. Nance
- Edwin Newman
- Tom Parker
- Laura Paton
- Ian Peakes
- Ridley Pearson
- Tim Pigott-Smith
- Richard Poe
- Bernadette Quigley
- Jeanne Ray
- Lynn Redgrave
- Jean Reed-Bahle
- Bruce Reizen
- Miranda Richardson
- Jeff Riggenbach
- Cokie Roberts
- Barbara Rosenblat
- Stefan Rudnicki
- Louis Rukeyser
- Kerry Shale
- Fred Stella
- David Stuart
- David Timson
- Raymond Todd
- Simon Tolkien
- Simon Vance
- Aasne Vigesaa
- James Daniels and Aasne Vigesaa
- Johanna Ward
- Fran L. Washington
- Robert Whitfield
- Sharon Williams
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