Audiobook Recommendations

Ollie’s Winter Audiobook Recommendations

So, it’s that time of year, the wilderness between Christmas and New-year.., an excellent time to sprawl out and have a listen to my audiobook recommendations… You’re in safe hands. I mostly hibernate this time of year, attempt to not write… He says, as he writes this blog post… And just have a bit of a shut down which is a great time to listen to audiobooks.

As this is the first of this type of blog post I’m doing, let me just say… I funking love audiobooks… They can add yet another dimension to a story. If you can get a book performed by the author, even better, you can hear it as it was intended. So, here are three books I’ve listened to recently which I think you should be listening to too…. Hang on, that doesn’t sound right…

The Bryant And May Series

So, I’ll start by cheating and recommending a whole bunch of books. Arthur Bryant and John May, presumably named after the matches, are a pair of elderly detectives tasked with protecting London from crimes that could cause social unrest. Bryant, a small, scruffy and generally obnoxious yet lovable character is the brains of the duo, consulting with occultists, witches, masters of esoterica and general members of the public as he makes his belligerent way through London’s streets. May is the elderly, charismatic counterpart to Bryants repugnant irascibility and acts more like a minder than a detective.

There are many books to the series all of which explore mysterious and unusual deaths, think Jonathan Creek meets Last Of The Summer Wine (If you remember either of these).

Tim Goodman is the narrator and does a fantastic job with both Bryant and May. Some of his accents leave something to be desired and his variation in voice is no match for the diversity of characters that Bryant and May encounter during their investigations but, this adds to a warm sense of familiarity which is very enjoyable… LISTEN TO THEM NOW!!!

Artemis

I’m a sucker for a sexy voice and Rosario Dawson’s voice is up there with that of Scarlett Johansson, Jenifer Lawrence and Jessica Rabbit (she counts!)… What were we talking about? Oh yes, Artemis…

The book is written by Andy Weir, author of The Martian, and is based on the moon. Where The Martian lacked any real interpersonal conflict, Artemis makes up for in spades of deadly moon-dust. It is obvious that Weir enjoys setting himself problems and then, through meticulous research, find and expound the solution to the reader. Now, I’m a geek, I love this sort of stuff and, as with The Martian, all of the technology that is used in the book is available right now!! Love it… If you’re not a nerd who might have grown up watching Star-trek and feeling disappointed that such magical tech such as warp speed and transporters were achingly intangible… This book might not be for you. Then again, if you like a breathy sexy voice… Have at it.

Oathbringer: The Stormlight Archive, Book Three

Finally, Oath Bringer… This is a monster of a book, running to 48 hours of listening time. To put that in perspective, the previous two (Okay, I know the first was a series, but you know what I mean) come in at about the 8 hour mark. This is loooooonnnnnnnggggg…. And worth it.

I think Brandon Sanderson is an incredible fantasy writer at the top of his game. He’s a really lovely chap too. In interviews I’ve seen (Yes, I am that fanboy), he has a boundless energy and puts across a true passion for his art, a quinton Tarantino of the epic fantasy world… Anyway, to the book.

This, as the more perceptive of you, is the third book in the series and, I’m afraid, you do need to listen/read to the first two books. It’s an incredible world of High Storms that rampage across the land, great land crustaceans the size of city blocks, giant unstoppable swords that form from air and powered armour that can send the wearer soaring through the air to land amidst terrified foe.

It’s funny, it’s gripping, the characters are well formed, none too pure, none too evil and the magic system he has created, well, it’s just incredible.

The Narrators, Michael Kramer and Kate Reading are synonymous with fantasy audio books… If they ain’t read it, it ain’t worth listening too. The audio is split for the point of view, so a female part is read by Kate and the Male part, you guessed it you clever little bug, by Michael. I’m not so sure how I feel about this as there can be incongruities in fantastical name pronunciation as well as the changes in overall rhythm and timbre.

Either way, it is superbly performed an amazing book so… If you like the sound of it, listen to it.

Golly, this was fun…

Until next time, nincompoops.

O X

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