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The Reluctant Listener: Introduction and All Creatures Great and Small review


If you asked me, I would probably say that I’m not really much of an audiobook person: too often the narrator doesn’t get the voices right, or something else is off, and besides I’m a visual learner rather than an auditory one anyway. Given my choice between print and any other format and I’ll choose print 90% of the time. (And I know that just by virtue of being able to make that choice I’m pretty privileged.)

And yet, in the past few years I’ve ended up listening to several audiobooks, most of which I’ve enjoyed and one or two of which I’ve really loved. So I’m starting a new feature here to occasionally highlight an audiobook I’ve listened to. If you have any suggestions for excellently narrated audiobooks, feel free to let me know!

Review of All Creatures Great and Small
Book by James Herriot
Audiobook produced by Audio Renaissance, 2002; read by Christopher Timothy

This is the audiobook that really started me on my current trend. You see, I grew up reading James Herriot’s memoirs of his Yorkshire vet years and also watching the marvelous BBC adaptation (Peter Davison as Tristan! Robert Hardy as Siegfried!). And in the adaptation, James is played by Christopher Timothy, a wonderful and under-rated Welsh actor, who also did all the narration for the Herriot audiobooks. This combination turned out to be perfect for me! Timothy’s voice is already established in my head as “How James Herriot should sound,” besides which he’s a talented voice actor who can do the other characters quite well. It’s also a book I’ve read a number of times–since I listen to audiobooks almost exclusively while driving, this means I can not give the story my full attention without becoming completely lost. I absolutely recommend this one, especially if you’re a fellow Herriot fan!

By Maureen LaFerney

My name is Maureen. I currently work as a library assistant in a public library in the Indianapolis area, and also just so happen to be a voracious reader. I frequently end up under a cat.

9 replies on “The Reluctant Listener: Introduction and All Creatures Great and Small review”

Skulduggery Pleasant by Landy, The Knife of Never Letting Go by Ness and The Book Thief by Zusak are amazing audiobooks.

Yes! I listened to these audiobooks as a kid and absolutely fell in love with them. I remember laughing out loud at several points. I really liked the audio version of The Raven Boys, which I listened to this summer while I was running. The narrator had great timing, and a good sense of the book’s tone, I also prefer to listen to books I’ve already read, since I zone out occasionally.

Oh, LOVELY. I adore the books and the television series (I may have mentioned to you before that Peter Davison-as-Tristan was my first TV character crush, followed very shortly by Jonathan Crombie-as-Gilbert Blythe), and I cannot imagine anyone better to narrate the books than Christopher Timothy. Even though all the audio books we buy are for the kids, I still suddenly want to buy and listen to it. Pure comfort food.

If you are ever looking for great children’s audiobooks, Peter Dennis’ Winnie-the-Pooh and The House at Pooh Corner are absolutely marvelous. I bought them back when the kids were toddlers, and we’ve listened to them so many times since then, and yet not even Carl and I get sick of them. They are fabulous for road trips.

Also, I love Jenny Sterlin’s narration of Howl’s Moving Castle. She has the perfect voice for it.

We have practically the same TV crush history!

Audiobooks for kids are definitely good! I’m planning to review Swallows & Amazons at some point. I’ll keep both of those in mind.

I’d second the recommendation for Raven Boys on audio, as well as Scorpio Races. And I’d be interested to here how the Swallows and Amazons are on audio! We’re big fans of Katherine Kellgren narrating – we (my love and I, and sometimes my son) have enjoyed her narrating the Jacky Faber series, the Enola Holmes series, and the Incorrigible Children of Ashton Place.

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