John Schwartz continues to cover audiobooks for the New York Times with a recent piece on his favorite narrators. Schwartz begins by pointing out that a mediocre narrator can cause a reader to lose interest even in a good book. By contrast, a skilled narrator can bring out a book’s hidden depths or make it more enjoyable. Like many other readers, Schwartz often picks books not by their titles but by their narrators. Some of his favorites include Simon Vance, Grover Gardner, John Benjamin Hickey, and – spoiler alert – Rita Moreno. Amateur readers receive a share of the praise too in the case of Andrew Solomon’s 962-page book, Far From the Tree. If picking favorites can at times seem impressionistic, Schwartz does a good job here of identifying exactly what he likes about each performance.
The full story is available here: “When Words Sing.”