Discussion: What Makes A Good Audio-Book


I love a good audio-book I tend to listen when I’m at work, doing house work or exercising…..okay exercising might be a little fib at the moment 🙂 but the point is that audio-books for me really help with all the mundane day to day chores.

I’ve been thinking recently about what makes a good audio-book and even though it might be different for a lot of you the first and most important thing for me is narration! If there’s someone dull  narrating an action book or a cheery voice narrating a horror/thriller that will instantly make me move right along.

On my audible app I have 56 books on my cloud and even though I listened to samples and thought I’d enjoy them when I listened for more than a chapter or two I stopped listening to 23 and have rarely revisited them. This might not sound like that many but it’s nearly half of the ones I own!

I think because most audio-books are over 10 hours long you really have to connect with the narrator because you’ll be with them for the next 10+ reading hours. They are also the voice of the characters and so I feel like you need to connect with them in a different way to how you would if you were just reading the physical edition of the book.

Although I’ve not got on with nearly half the audio-books I own some of the ones I own have been so brilliant they have changed my mind! For example I have read Alice in Wonderland and watched the Disney version a few times but I’ve never really been able to get into it. I listened to the audio-book narrated by Scarlett Johansson last year and I loved it! That, for me, was the power of the narration because it was brought to life in a way so different to how I’d experienced it before and it was read in a tone and voice I imagine it was always supposed to be read in!

The two best Narrators I have come across are Neil Gaiman and Stephen Fry. Stephen Fry is a famous TV personality here in the UK and he narrates the Harry Potter series. I urge you to listen to a sample of this if you haven’t already downloaded/brought them. He’s what most people around the world imagine English guys sound like. His voice, tone and accent are perfect to give depth to the plot and characters. As for Neil Gaiman I adore than he narrates almost all his books! I think it’s something most authors should do if they feel comfortable enough. His voice matches perfectly with the tones of his books and he knows what to emphasise and what to express in his speech better than anyone else because he wrote the words and knows what he wanted to get across the most.

I would love to know if you guys enjoy audio-books, if you agree that narration is the most important part or let me know what you think is more important if you disagree!

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9 thoughts on “Discussion: What Makes A Good Audio-Book

  1. Very interesting topic! I’ve only ever bought one audio book and it was Chosen by Pc Cast and Kristen Cast. I thoroughly enjoyed it because the narration was well done but because I wasn’t actually staring at the book, I found myself thinking elsewhere while the audio was playing so it caused me to miss out on certain parts :s but otherwise, I think audiobooks can be a really cool alternative (if, like you said, it’s done in the right way!)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That’s a common thing I think and even I do it sometimes but I find it really helps when I’m playing a game like tetris or candy crush something that is keeping my mind active but doesn’t require so much thought that I forget about what I’m listening too. It’s also why it’s good to do while doing chores/at work etc for me personally

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I’d never thought about any of this cause I don’t really listen to audiobooks! I think narration would be quite important to me as well tho!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Wonderful discussion post Kirsty! You already know audiobooks are my jam. I also love to listen to them while doing mundane tasks. Not only does it make the task more enjoyable, but I read so many more books this way!

    I definitely agree that the narrator makes or breaks a book. I have often wondered if I would enjoy the paper version of a book more when I am not feeling an audiobook.

    My favorite narrators are Neil Gaiman, Will Patton, Jeremy Irons…. just off the top of my head.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Well Will Patton narrated The Raven Cycle… but I know you didn’t enjoy that series. He also did the Bill Hodges Trilogy (crime fiction by Stephen King) and was fantastic. Jeremy Irons (voice of scar in the Lion King) narrated The Alchemist 😊

        Liked by 1 person

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