I have always enjoyed listening to audiobooks. My first purchases were Ray Dotrice’s magical reading of Watership Down and Douglas Adam’s fantastic Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. Since then I have continued to use audiobooks, in parallel with reading, to widen my reading and listening enjoyment.
Let’s just quickly explain what an audiobook is for those who have never come across them before. An audiobook is a book that is read out aloud by a narrator and was originally mainly available in the tape format but can now be purchased on CD and also downloaded in mp3 / mp4 format. Audiobooks are extremely useful because they can help children learn to read and are also invaluable to the blind.
The audiobook’s popularity has increased over the last five to ten years due to the many activities that can still be carried out still being able to listen to them. For example, you are able to listen to an audiobook whilst driving, doing the housework or even naughtily in bed after lights out.
We have put together a selection of the finest fantasy tales available in the audiobook format today.
Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell
This is an excellent unabridged telling of Susanna Clarke’s debut novel Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell. At more than thirty two hours this is certainly brilliant value for money. The narrator Simon Prebble has an excellently descriptive voice that perfectly fits the story and captures the period setting of the novel. As already mentioned, this is over thirty two hours worth of audiobook and may take you a while to get through but the tale of the two competing magicians should keep you enthralled throughout.
This is J.R.R. Tolkien’s classic tale of Bilbo Baggins and Smaug the Magnificent brought to life on audiobook. Rob Inglis narrates The Hobbit and this is an abridged version of the children’s and adults ,favourite. Due to this being in abridged form it is only 11 hours in length but that is more than long enough to get this wonderful story across to the reader. This audiobook is also available with the narration of Martin Shaw, who has already done such a good job on Tolkien’s collection of ancient tales, The Silmarillion.
The Lord of the Rings – Fellowship of the Rings
Following on from The Hobbit, is of course, The Lord of the Rings. This audiobook is also narrated by Rob Inglis and The Fellowship of The Ring is the first installment of J.R.R. Tolkien‘s masterpiece. This is a beautiful unabridged reading and really brings The Lord of the Rings to life. I would still have to honestly say that reading the book is the best way to enjoy this classic but this audio version is also of an excellent standard. This could make a long journey considerably easier…
This audiobook is a recent addition and features Stephen Briggs as the narrator of Terry Pratchett‘s discworld book THUD! Ten hours worth of pure enjoyment!
These are just a few titles that can now be purchased in stores or online as audiobooks. There are many, many more, why not visit Aubible.co.uk to see what they have to offer?