AudioFile

December 2010 / January 2011

Discover the World of Audiobooks

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AUTHOR-READERS BEST VOICES ANTHONY BOURDAIN Medium Raw (Harper Audio) CAROL BURNETT This Time Together (Random House Audio/Books on Tape) MICHAEL CHABON Manhood for Amateurs (Harper Audio) FRANK DELANEY Venetia Kelly’s Traveling Show (Random House Audio/Books on Tape) ELIZABETH GILBERT Committed (Penguin Audio/Books on Tape) MARY KARR Lit (Harper Audio) LISA SCOTTOLINE Why My Third Husband Will Be a Dog (Macmillan Audio/AudioGO) ALICE WALKER The Color Purple (Recorded Books) FRANK DELANEY “Reading my own books on audio has an effect on the way I write,” Frank Delaney says. Delaney’s BBC radio training serves him well—narrating his own audiobooks, he uses his gen- tle, thoughtful voice to full effect. “The relationship between writer and reader is an intimacy between strangers, people who would never meet, and the relationship between the audiobook listener and the narrator of the audio- book is the same relationship.” With such regard for the art of the spoken word, it’s no surprise that Delaney’s reading of Venetia Kelly’s Traveling Show is perfectly rendered as audio listening, a feast of hilarious, improbable details and memorable characters, all magically intimate and emotionally real. Delaney promises a new book in 2012—we can’t wait to hear it! Where we most often appreciate hearing an author’s own voice is in autobiographical accounts—the intimate experience of hearing authors sharing their own personal stories can make up for even a less-than-professional narration. Happily, Elizabeth Gilbert is warm and competent in the role of narrator. Committed continues the story begun in Eat, Pray, Love, and delivered in Gilbert’s friendly voice, it’s akin to a fascinating story shared with a friend over many cups of tea. Gilbert’s humor and acknowledgment of her own foibles come through clearly in her delivery, making her story easy for any listener to relate to. December 2010/January 2011  29 How could anyone less than Carol Burnett herself do justice narrat- ing her memoir, This Time Together? AudioFile’s review raves: “One of the things Carol Burnett is famous for is her practice of ‘bumping up the lights’ in the TV studio and skillfully fielding candid and often-hilarious questions from her audience. Inspired by those moments, the award-winning comedian warmly presents engaging anecdotes from her personal life and career, ranging from her adolescence in Hollywood and early television and Broadway experiences to her TV successes, marriages, famous and infamous friends, and family. Burnett’s bright and engaging tone brings to life both funny and sometimes-strange experiences with Jimmy Stewart, Lucille Ball, and her variety show cast, among others. As she tells stories about her remarkable life, this upbeat audio provides keen insights on an American treasure.” Photo by Jerry Bauer

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