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Friday, February 20, 2015

Actors Turned Audiobook Narrators?

Posted by Jacob D.

Every audiobook fan will tell you that the narrator will make or break an audiobook experience. Listen to enough audiobooks and you’ll start to pick favorite narrators, and you might start searching for audiobooks by narrator over other criteria.

When I hear about established actors doing audiobook narrations, I’m always curious how they’ll turn out. I've found mixed results. Here are some actors turned narrators that I've listened to:

Ron Perlman of Hellboy, Sons of Anarchy, and Beauty and the Beast fame has done a few audiobooks. His Hellboy and Beast characters are known for their voices, so I thought Mr. Perlman’s voice would lend itself to a 10 hour long audiobook. After listening to his narration of City of Thieves by David Benioff and The Strain by Guillermo Del Toro, it seems that he thrives off of working with other actors because he sounds bored and detached in these audiobook recordings.

Will Patton is an actor that you might not know by name, but you’d recognize him from TV shows like Falling Skies or 24. He’s also been in a number of films. He has narrated most of the recent James Lee Burke books and Stephen King’s Doctor Sleep and Mr. Mercedes. In his audiobook performances, Will Patton sounds like an eloquent member of the working class. He sounds a bit more enthusiastic than Ron Perlman, and the audiobooks are much more engaging.

Bronson Pinchot is another television personality you might recognize as Balki from 1980s series Perfect Strangers.  He also played Serge in the Beverly Hills Cop movies. Bronson Pinchot is one of the better audiobook narrators I've heard—not just of the screen actor-turned-narrator bunch. If you want a meaty novel set during the Vietnam war, check out the audiobook for Matterhorn by Karl Marlantes. Bronson Pinchot’s narration on Matterhorn earned him the Narrator of the Year award from 

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