For my Listening Pleasure: Part 2
|This post may or may not have just been
an excuse to post a picture of Claudia Black
on our blog. Image by Morhain-stef
CLAUDIA BLACK: I know her skills as an actress from Farscape and other film and television work and I know her voice acting from Dragon Age and various other games. In all things, she has impressed me to no end, so I expected no less in her audiobook narrations. She did not let me down. In acting and voice acting, she had the advantage of the visuals to aid her performance. Her narrations prove that those are just icing on the cake. She is fully capable of weaving mere words on paper into an emotional adventure. She creates unique personalities for each of the characters not only different accents, but with nuance as well. And, while some narrators reserve emotion for only the characters’ spoken words, Black brings her all to everything, getting completely wrapped up in the moment and dragging the reader along with her for the excitement.
SIMON VANCE: Tiara recently listened to Medicus, read by Simon Vance and sang his praises. I hunted down his resume on Audible and found that he’s basically narrated all the things! At least, he’s narrated a LOT of the books I’ve got on my to-read pile and I am strongly considering that Audible account *just* for him since my library’s selection is so limited. I did listen to You Only Live Twice, though and can firmly second Tiara’s opinion. Early in my listening, she asked what I thought of him and I told her that there was no more Simon Vance. There was only James Bond and Tiger Tanaka. Here is a video of Vance discussing the best book he’s ever narrated, Interview with the Vampire. I’ve read the Anne Rice books he speaks of, but would definitely be interested in hearing them retold by Vance. It always increases the enjoyment of a product when you know the person delivering it enjoys it as much as you do.
HUMPHREY BOWER: Here’s what I had to say about Bower’s work on Shantaram: Bower almost literally brought every one of these characters to life. Slipping from Lin’s native Australian to a myriad of different Indian accents, European, Palestinian, Afghani and more – it was dizzying to imagine how Bower could possibly keep track! Yet he did, making each each character perfectly unique and memorable, bringing out all the beauty and flaws that Lin loved about each one of them
JOHN LEE: I have actually not gotten beyond a few chapters of the China Mieville books narrated by Lee, but that does not mean he is unworthy of praise. In fact, it may be that he is just too good that stopped me from being able to listen to the books. Normally, I listen to books at work. I’m a multitasker and it feels wrong for me to be listening to a book without doing something else. But I found Perdido Street Station and Kraken just too engrossing to concentrate on both my work and listening to Lee. I definitely want to listen to more by him, but for the moment, I plan to read Mieville’s books myself.
JAMES MARSTERS: Like Claudia Black, I was a fan of the actor first. In this case, I knew Marsters from Buffy the Vampire Slayer and admit to squeeing like a fangirl just a little bit when he slipped into a dirty cockney accent for one of the characters in Jim Butcher’s Turn Coat. Marsters made an excellent Harry Dresden, catching all the sarcasm, wit and self-deprecation perfectly.