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Always Look on the Bright Side of Life: A Sortabiography. By Eric Idle. Read by the author. 2018. 8hr. Books on Tape, CD, $35 (9781984829474).
The British comedian looks back with (mostly) love at his life and career, engaging listeners as he voices famous Python characters. A must for comedy fans.
Beastie Boys Book. By Michael Diamond and Adam Horovitz. Read by a full cast. 2018. 13hr. Books on Tape, CD, $95 (9781984828224).
It’s a party, a history, a backstage/backseat/basement eavesdrop, and an elegy. Music punctuates the recording with more than 40 voices, mimicking a “fly on the wall” party vibe.
Believe Me. By JP Delaney. Read by Sally Scott and a full cast. 2018. 9.5hr. Books on Tape, CD, $40 (9780525633143).
Scott carries the recording, punctuated with full-cast micro-plays and other clever features to make full of use of the format, seducing listeners into the maelstrom of this psychological thriller, as a British actress goes undercover to expose a killer.
Circe. By Madeline Miller. Read by Perdita Weeks. 2018. 12hr. Hachette, CD, $35 (9781549142383).
Narrator Weeks raises this eloquent reimagining to new heights with her stunning performance, inhabiting the mythical sorceress Circe and mesmerizing listeners in this intimate first-person retelling. (Top of the List winner—Adult Audio)
Eustace Diamonds. By Anthony Trollope. Read by David Shaw-Parker. 29.5hr. Naxos, DD, $92 (9781781981153).
In exquisitely plummy tones, Shaw-Parker regales listeners, and his extravagantly dramatic voice perfectly suits Trollope’s melodrama, making the most of asides from the large cast of secondary characters.
Greatest Love Story Ever Told. By Nick Offerman and Megan Mullally. Read by the authors. 7hr. Books on Tape, CD, $35 (9780525641919).
The author-narrators’ incredible comedic talents and clear affection for one another shine through as they hilariously discuss topics ranging from the story of their relationship to their families and fashion.
I’ll Be Gone in the Dark: One Woman’s Obsessive Search for the Golden State Killer. By Michelle McNamara. Read by Gabra Zackman and others. 10hr. Harper, DD, $26.99 (9780062798695).
Zackman perfectly balances the author’s passion with the terrifying nature of the crimes in this true-crime chiller. Her reading is so convincing that it feels as if the author herself is recounting her investigation.
Labyrinth of Spirits. By Carlos Ruiz Zafón. Read by Daniel Weyman. 28hr. Harper, DD, $26.99 (9780062864741).
From monstrous evildoers to innocent children, lovesick devotees to desperate victims, grieving parents to lost souls, Weyman embraces all manner of characters with energetic aplomb in this final entry in Zafón’s Cemetery of Forgotten Books quartet.
Monk of Mokha. By Dave Eggers. Read by Dion Graham. 8.5hr. Books on Tape, CD, $35 (9780735205796).
Graham always shines in multicharacter works, and his command of pacing is on point here, especially in the most heart-stopping moments in this nonfiction account of a Yemeni American’s unlikely quest to restore Yemen’s place as a coffee producer.
Munich. By Robert Harris. Read by David Rintoul. 9.5hr. Books on Tape, CD, $40 (9780525589068).
With seemingly effortless changes in accent, vocal tone, and emotional content, Rintoul makes each character distinct, from secretaries to military personnel to heads of state, in this historical thriller about the events leading up to Hitler’s takeover of Czechoslovakia. A tour de force recording.
Noir. By Christopher Moore. Read by Johnny Heller. 9hr. Harper, DD, $26.99 (9780062803115).
Heller clearly relishes his role as narrator in Moore’s comic noir set in 1947 San Francisco, never passing up a chance for an impression, be it James Cagney, Marlon Brando’s Godfather, or a madam who could pass for Mae West.
Secrets between Us. By Thrity Umrigar. Read by Sneha Mathan.12hr. Harper, CD, $26.99 (9781538550595).
Bolstered by a shared ethnicity with Umrigar’s memorable characters, Mathan shifts fluidly between accents, ages, and backgrounds in this moving story of Mumbai’s poorest residents. Mathan proves to be Umrigar’s ideal collaborator.
Transcription. By Kate Atkinson. Read by Fenella Woolgar.11hr. Hachette, CD, $35 (9781549116650).
Atkinson’s broad cast of intriguing characters in this mix of espionage and historical novel demands quick changes of gender, age, station, and regional and international accents, all of which Woolgar facilely adapts to with seamless ease.
Women of the Dunes. By Sarah Maine. Read by Ruth Urquhart.11hr. Tantor, CD, $42.99 (9781977319579).
Urquhart voices the entire emotional range of characters from the past and present in this story of archaeologist Libby Snow’s experience on a dig in Scotland. Urquhart’s delivery of Libby’s understated romantic thread is a joy to hear.
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