Different Types of Narration (and a few of my Faves)
Hi Guys! It is Felicia The Geeky Blogger here talking about Audiobooks for June is Audiobook Month. I was trying to come up with a topic that I haven’t discussed before (that is really hard for a gal that has been talking about audiobooks forever) and finally realized that I have never talked about Narration Types. So here we go….
There are 4 main narration types:
- Single Narration
- Dual Narration
- Duet Narration
- Full Cast Narration
I believe they each have their place and if done well then can make a book sparkle. I, of course have my favorite styles but want to give samples of each one. I have picked from some of my favorite narrators and/or books to showcase. I would love to hear who your favorites are for each style.
This is the one I listen to the most. I would say 80% of the books I own come in this style. It is when the same person does the narration through the entire book and/or series. I have loads of favorites in this category (I own over 300 audiobooks). So I will share what makes a single narration really shine to me: ability to do voices for different ages, genders, and locals is the main thing but also the ability to hold the performance all the way through a story with emotion, pitch, and pacing. This is hard to pull off consistently but when done right it can really bring a story to life. Here are two (one male/one female) performances I feel really shine in the single narration category:
Aiden Snow: He has narrated Shayla Black, Alexandra Ivy, and many more. He has one of those voices that just romances you. He also makes his women sound womanly instead of snide or young (a big pet peeve of mine). You can get lost in the story with his emotion and pacing keeping you engaged.
Tanya Eby: She has narrated everything from Rachel Van Dyken to Susan Mallery to Tess Gerritsen. She also has an alias (she gives it away: Tatiana Sokolov ) where she narrates some more sensual titles. She is great going across the age ranges and her emotion range is fantastic.
This is my second most listened to format. This is probably 15% of my audiobook library. This is when 2 (or 3) narrators (male/female, female/female, male/male) bring a book to life. Each person will read a whole chapter (or section) in the same way single narration operates (all voices) and then other chapters (or sections) are done by another narrator. To me this type narration works really well when both narrators have similar pacing and skill. It also helps if their “off-character” voices are as similar as possible. Some of my favorite combos:
Sebastian York and Rachel Fulginiti: They were great on Kristen Proby’s New Orleans series. They had to tackle a bunch of different accents, characters, and such. They have very similar pacing and there wasn’t a huge jolt between their two parts.
Donna Postel and Madeleine Maby: They did This is Not Over by Holly Brown and their narration knocked it out of the park. They complimented each other well and brought out each other’s performance. I could only find a sample of Madeleine from the actual book so I included another sample by Donna.
Confession: I have yet to try this type of narration so I am going with one of the popular duos that I have listened to individually or in a Dual Narration setting. This narration is where 2 narrators work in tandem generally taking on “roles” in the book. I have only ever seen male/female duet narrations so in those cases generally the roles are divided that way with the lead narrator often taking on the “narrator” role. If you know of other duet narrations, I would love to hear who your favorites are!
While this is not true for all Full-Cast Audiobooks (sometimes they work like Dual Narrations with 4 or more people)–I prefer the ones that act more like an old-time radio show. This make up about 5% of my library. They basically “act” out the book with generally each person taking on a single role or maybe two depending on the book’s cast size. These can be a ton of fun if done right!!!
American Gods (freaking out of this world)
Ender’s Game Alive
Locke & Key
So what is your favorite type of narration and who are your favorite narrators?
I am just your average gal from Texas that loves Audiobooks and Libraries with a passion! I can wine them, dine them, and love them forever. My eclectic reading tastes include: Cozy Mysteries, Thrillers, Swoon-Worthy Romance of all kinds, Zombies, Urban Fantasy, Historical Fiction, and the occasional YA read. I’m an avid dog lover that works with rescues & transports.