It takes a certain kind of genius to create a century full of characters — including an unforgettable Thomas Cromwell and an impetuous Henry VIII — and give each a distinctive voice and a fully formed personality.
Simon Slater more than manages this feat in Hilary Mantel's "Wolf Hall." It's hard to imagine any single reader's imagination performing as well. Listen here.
Robin Sachs reads "The Last Werewolf" by Glen Duncan. Surely this is what a werewolf sounds like: rumbling scotch, cigarette smoke and world- weariness. Listen here.
Hope Davis balances the impossible with the intimate in a perfectly pitched telling of Ann Patchett's "State of Wonder." Listen here.
Arte Johnson is so perfect as Misha Vainberg in "Absurdistan," by Gary Shteyngart, he very nearly steals the show. Johnson captures the spirit of this funny novel with hilarious accuracy. Listen here.
Ron Silver recorded two Philip Roth novels before he died in 2009. The quality of "I Married a Communist" doesn't meet today's standards, but it's still worth listening to Silver. He is the perfect Nathan Zuckerman. Listen here.
Read more about the science behind listening versus reading here.
Printers Row Journal
Five great audiobook performances
These narrators really hit the mark
Five great narrators.