When it comes to audiobooks, voice is everything.
Depending on the listener, the cadence and timbre of the narrator’s voice can make or break the story. A mellifluous voice is a big part of the job description. Their ability to strike just the right tone at just the right time can elevate a simple story into a timeless classic.
After all, half the fun of a good story told comes from the person writing it, and the other half from the person telling it. So when shopping for audiobooks, you might want to give them a listen. How? Most audio retailers will offer an audio sample of the book. Some books have several recorded versions so readers can find just the right narrator.
Audible.com enlisted several well-known voice actors for USA TODAY to record themselves reading Clement C. Moore’s classic “The Night Before Christmas” on video. Above is a compilation video of the actors giving life to this holiday favorite. Below, you can watch each narrator’s full rendition and flubs – recorded in their homes thanks to COVID-19. Like what you hear? We’ve also included a selection of books voiced by each voice artist.
“The Hate U Give,” by Angie Thomas
“Transcendent Kingdom,” by Yaa Gyasi
“The Underground Railroad,” by Colson Whitehead
“If Beale Street Could Talk,” by James Baldwin
“Bad Feminist,” by Roxane Gay