Stephen King’s Favorite Audiobooks

Stephen King The Mist Audiobook

Top 10 lists are becoming increasingly popular among audiobook listeners and authors alike. Here’s one from Stephen King, a longtime backer of spoken word recordings and an adept narrator in his own right. King earned the gratitude of audiobook fans everywhere when he organized a benefit on behalf of Frank Muller after a nasty motorcycle accident. The Haven Foundation was established by King shortly afterward to support audio narrators and other freelance writers who lack a safety net.

King also earned respect by telling book purists like Harold Bloom to stuff it. Below are the books he recommends for anyone who wants to hear a good story.

Stephen King’s Top 10 Audiobooks:

1. Philip Roth, American Pastoral (read by Ron Silver)

2. Larry McMurtry, Lonesome Dove (read by Wolfram Kandinsky)

3. J.K. Rowling, The Harry Potter novels (read by Jim Dale)

4. Annie Proulx, That Old Ace in the Hole (read by Arliss Howard)

5. Anne Tyler, Back When We Were Grownups (read by Blair Brown)

6. Ian McEwan, Enduring Love (read by Steven Crossley)

7. Patrick O’Brian, Aubrey/Maturin novels (read by Patrick Tull)

8. Frank McCourt, Angela’s Ashes (read by Frank McCourt)

9. Margaret Atwood, Oryx and Crake (read by Campbell Scott)

10. Neil Gaiman, American Gods (read by George Guidall)

King’s list first appeared in Entertainment Weekly in 2007: “Stephen King on Why He Loves a Good Audiobook.”

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Audiobooks: Are They Really the Same as Reading?

Last April, journalist Jenni Laidman discovered that an audiobook is more than just some guy reading. The epiphany came after hearing Ron Silverman read Philip Roth’s American Pastoral. That’s when she encountered the Nathan Zuckerman of her imagination.

Logging over 100 audiobooks gives Laidman the authority to ask the perennial question: isn’t reading a book superior to listening to it? She turns for advice to Don Katz, founder and CEO of Audible.com. Actors formerly told to “read bland” were given very different directions by Katz, who brought in marquee names to read books in a dramatic fashion: Kate Winslet, Anne Hathaway, Colin Firth, Dustin Hoffman, Susan Sarandon, Nicole Kidman, and Hilary Swank, to name a few.

The next person turned to for advice is Arnold L. Glass, a professor of cognitive psychology at Rutgers, who has good things to say about both reading and listening. The piece concludes with clips from five great narrators, including Simon Slater’s reading of Wolf Hall by Hilary Mantel.

You can read the story here: “Audiobooks: Are they really the same as reading?”

The top five list is here: “Five great audiobook performances.”