They are usually read by experienced actors who are trained in how to infuse appropriate emotions in the narration, vary tones and pitch for different characters, and speed up in quick actions and slowdown in reflection. Some audiobooks include sound effects or are read by authors themselves. All of these make the con…
Currently, I’m 9 books into the Dresden Files by Jim Butcher, read by James Marsters. The series is about a wizard/private investigator living in Chicago and the mysteries and hijinks that ensue in this clever urban fantasy world.
It has only taken me about 2 months to get this far. I’ve taken breaks here and there to listen to other content; love podcasts, NPR, etc. Otherwise, I’d be further along. However, if I had to make time to read the physical books, I wouldn’t have been able to get as far, if ever. My to-read pile is seemingly endless. Working full time, learning new skills in my free time, and spending time with my family and tending to the needs of my home dominate my time. So in recent years, I opted to convert my “to read” list to digital and audio content. As much as I want to be a paperback purist, I just don’t have the time (or space). And, based on how well the audiobook industry is doing, I know I’m not the only one. They’re able to invest more into the listener’s experience and produce some spectacular content; hiring on very talented narrators.
Marsters, for example, played Spike in Buffy the Vampire Slayer, and later in the spin-off series Angel in the late 90s early 2000s. He’s since done some acting, including theater, is a musician, etc. So when I found out he had been doing the narration for the Dresden Files, all of them, I was intrigued. Marsters does an incredible job infusing the characters with emotion, action, and personality in this urban fantasy, magic-focused series. Like the series, he kinda had to grow into the role. Now, I can’t imagine anyone else doing it justice.
Luke Daniels, RC Bray, and Ray Porter are a few other noteworthy narrators who have honed their craft to an absolute art. Any time their name is attached to an audiobook, it instantly piques my interest.
The Washington Post posted an article about the symbiotic relationship between authors and their narrators: https://www.washingtonpost.com/entertainment/books/i-can-write-the-words-he-supplies-the-melody-the-harmonious-bond-between-authors-and-audiobook-narrators/2019/01/30/4fabc76e-18f8-11e9-9ebf-c5fed1b7a081_story.html?noredirect=on&utm_term=.9d7be0f6e030
Worth a read.