Top 10 Magical Author/Narrator Combos by Audio Book Reviewer

Posted June 11, 2014 by Jennifer in Blogger Guest Post, JIAM | | 8 Comments


Top 10 Magical Author/Narrator Combinations
by Paul (Audiobook Reviewer)


Book fans already know what makes a good book. A successful combination the storyline, tension, suspense, interesting characters are all very helpful in reading a good story. But if you are anything like me you know that’s something magical happens when you’re reading a really good book.

But what if you don’t have time to sit down to devote solely to reading. We all get too busy with life happening all around us and it doesn’t seem to be a spare minute in the day. Many people don’t even realize that audio books are becoming hugely popular and a great effort is put in to them. Now you can “read” while doing all sorts of various things. Listen to a book while folding laundry, while mowing the lawn, while raking the leaves, while driving to and from work everyday, or like my while toiling away in my cubicle, the opportunities to get in listening time are almost endless.

What then makes really good book into an outstanding audiobook? Or a just ok story into something awesome? It is that special kind of magic that happens when an author and a narrator are paired together like a match made in heaven. There are instances when it seems like the narrator is able to live inside the head of the author to make the characters and the situations truly come alive in a fashion that makes you unable to stop listening.

Having listened to several hundred audio books in the past two years I have come across these rare instances but I thought you might like to know about.

  1. Ray Porter and Jonathan Maberry in Code Zero or really any Joe Ledger NovelI may have said this before, but just in case I haven’t Ray Porter is Joe Ledger. There are few other pairings of narrator to leading character that are in this class of perfectness.
  2. R.C. Bray and Andy Weir in The Martian By completely becoming Watney and including all of the ticks and laughs and yelling and grunting that Weir could only wish was transferable via the written word, Bray made me believe that he was suck on Mars and I was watching this all unfold on television or in the movies.
  3. Chris Barnes and Graeme Reynolds in High Moor Barnes style very fast paced, some could argue too fast, with hardly a breath between the last word of a chapter and the announcement of the next, but for this story he nailed it.
  4. David Stifel and James Crawford in Blood Soaked and Contagious: Blood Soaked, Book 1…it was really the combination of [Stifel] with the writing style of Crawford that made a special little marriage in my head. Stifel did not miss a beat, going from being full of seriousness to well-timed inappropriate sarcasm.
  5. Todd Haberkorn and Peter Stenson in Fiend: A Novel I  must say that Haberkorn was able to embrace, what I would think to be difficult roles to pull off, a meth addict in the midst of his addiction [,while being surrounded by zombies].
  6. Corey Brill and Nick Cutter in The Troop Brill was able to scare me with nothing more than his voice. He has a very slow pace, some may not like it but I think it only added to the tension. I wish I knew if the slight quivers in his voice were on purpose or not.
  7. Sean Runnette and Mark Tufo in Timothy I was surprised by how with ease Runnette seemed to be with this very violent, perverted and somewhat disturbing story. I am starting to see why Runnette has narrated most if not all of Tufo’s audiobook, the two are like peanut butter and jelly, perfect for each other.
  8. Carolyn McCormick and Jeff VanderMeer in Annihilation: Southern Reach Trilogy, Book 1 McCormick delivered a spot on performance here, somehow able to inject drama into the story without seeming like she’s trying.
  9. Christian Rummel and D.J. Molles in The Remaining A true technician of bringing the written word to life, with all the nuances all the subtle tones and pauses that make a really great performance.
  10. Wil Wheaton and Ernest Cline in Ready Player One I was delightedly surprised by his one of a kind narration. I can now not think of anyone who could have done better.
  11. Kevin T. Collins and Eloise J. Knapp in The Undead Haze: Undead, Book 2 Collins, in my opinion, did over half of the work making Cyrus successful, sure there was a great foundation to start with from Knapp but Collins pushed it over the edge.

Yes, I know that is more than ten, but I had a hard time narrowing it down. As you can see I enjoy listening to a wide variety of genres with zombie apocalypse being one of my favorites. If you haven’t tried audiobooks or just none of these I sincerely hope that you take a chance.

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About Paul

My name is Paul and I was sucked in to the world of audio books. One day at work I needed something to stimulate my brain will toiling away in front of my 3 computer screens. I tried music but that gave me a headache after a while. Then I had an epiphany, “I should listen to audio books”, I thought to myself. And there the journey began.

I am not a professional writer or reviewer or book critique. I am a simple man from the Midwest of American that likes to speak his mind and often has trouble writing about what is on his mind. I know my grammar and punctuation isn’t that great. Please bare with me as all I want to do is to get my opinion out there.

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Owner/Blogger at The Book Nympho
My name is Jennifer (not Jen!) and I live in the South. I coexist with my husband of 15 years, our 11-year-old son and two cats. I'm finishing my BA in English this Spring (no I do not want to be a teacher). Before majoring in English I would not touch anything labeled "classic" but I have enjoyed a few along the way in my courses. While I hated to read growing up I am now avid book reader and audiobook listener. I love rejecting reality one book at a time. I only read fiction with my favorite (at least to date) genres include: most romance (paranormal, contemporary, D/s, BDSM, M/M)Urban Fantasy, and a few YA (mostly paranormal from authors I read in the adult genre but I'm explaining after enjoying a few contemporary YA novels in my college courses).
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8 responses to “Top 10 Magical Author/Narrator Combos by Audio Book Reviewer

  1. Linda Townsend

    Great list! Thank you! I would add Swamp Monster Massacre by Hunter Shea to the list… I was mesmerized by it when I listened to it.

  2. I haven’t really read any of those, since they’re really outside my typical genres – but I do know how great some pairings can be. Like Amanda Ronconi and Molly Harper. Those two are MEANT TO BE. I think I’ll check these out, just to see if I might be interested in the books! You never know, a great narrator/author combo could be the best way to pull me out of my comfort zone.