Tag: audiobook

Small Gods

Small Gods by Terry Pratchett (Victor Gollancz, 1992); audiobook read by Nigel Planer (Isis, 1997) Pratchett’s one-off Discworld novels were often rather special, and such is the case with this exposé on organised religion. The (formerly) Great God Om finds himself unwillingly manifested as a tortoise with only one follower. Nigel Planer is exquisite in his narration.    

Doctor Who: Forever Fallen

Doctor Who: Forever Fallen by Joshua Wanisko; audiobook read by Nicholas Briggs (Big Finish, 2016) A nicely low-key story exploring one of Doctor Who’s great untapped questions: what would happen if the villain just stopped when given the chance to rethink his megalomaniacal scheme? Between them, Wanisko and Briggs capture some of the Seventh Doctor’s melancholic brooding.    

Biggles Flies North

Biggles Flies North by W.E. Johns (Oxford University Press, 1939); abridged audiobook read by Michael Palin (BBC Radio 4, 1981) Biggles is effortlessly heroic and cool under pressure (if not always quick on the uptake). His mission of mercy to Canada’s Fort Beaver leaves no doubt as to the good and bad guys. Michael Palin captures the Boy’s Own spirit…


Spellslinger by Sebastien de Castell (Hot Key Books, 2017); audiobook read by Joe Jameson (Bolinda, 2017) Sebastien de Castell delivers a fully realised magical world with perils and pitfalls aplenty, an unobtrusive moral, and a quick-thinking young protagonist. Joe Jameson’s audiobook reading gives excellent voice to the characters. With all due respect, this leaves Harry Potter for dead.    

Broken Homes

Broken Homes by Ben Aaronovitch (Gollancz, 2013); audiobook read by Kobna Holdbrook-Smith (Isis, 2013) Aaronovitch weaves an intriguing scenario around covert magic use and modern-day policing, but then continually dilutes it with unrelated (if laudable enough) class activism. Holdbrook-Smith tries hard to build impetus and make the extraneous detail sound compelling, but can’t quite manage it.    

The Kingdom of Bones

The Kingdom of Bones by Stephen Gallagher (Shaye Areheart, 2007); audiobook read by Jonathan Keeble (Oakhill, 2013) A slow-moving but enthralling story of murder and redemption in three acts. Stephen Gallagher does full justice to England in the late 19th and America in the early 20th century. Jonathan Keeble definitively captures the characters of Sebastian Becker and Tom Sayers.  …

Doctor Who: The Ribos Operation

Doctor Who: The Ribos Operation by Ian Marter (Target, 1979); audiobook read by John Leeson (Chivers, 2011) As a TV serial ‘The Ribos Operation’ is respected for its production values, script and performances. As a novelisation it becomes saggy and tedious. Wholehearted writer Ian Marter assiduously seizes every conceivable opportunity to unerringly inject knee-hammer adjectives and slavishly conceived adverbs.  …

The Return of Sherlock Holmes

The Return of Sherlock Holmes by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle (George Newnes, 1905); audiobook read by Stephen Fry (ABC, 2017) Stephen Fry takes seriously the task of voicing Conan Doyle’s stories, yet with faint echoes of his own comedic characters seeping through (in contrast sufficient to add further gravitas to the great detective). Sherlock Holmes resumes practice post-Reichenbach, as superior…

The Finer Points of Sausage Dogs

The Finer Points of Sausage Dogs by Alexander McCall Smith (Polygon, 2004); audiobook read by Hugh Laurie (W. F. Howes, 2004) The somewhat unlikeable Professor Moritz-Maria von Igelfeld, German scholar and philologist, is drawn by way of his own pride and jealousy into several awkward (and at times very funny) situations. Hugh Laurie’s narration carries just enough facetiousness to keep…