Tag: audiobooks

I Shall Wear Midnight

I Shall Wear Midnight by Terry Pratchett (Doubleday, 2010); audiobook read by Stephen Briggs (Isis, 2010) Though not among the funniest of the Discworld novels, I Shall Wear Midnight nevertheless upholds Pratchett’s near-ubiquitous drollery, rustling from within a serious treatise on intolerance and antagonism and other such weak points of human nature. Stephen Briggs proves a volant narrator.    

Doctor Who: The Lost Angel

Doctor Who: The Lost Angel by George Mann & Cavan Scott; audiobook read by Kerry Shale (BBC, 2017) The Weeping Angels, like the Daleks before them, have faded from show-defining monsters into one-dimensional ho-hum tripe. The bits with the Doctor work well enough — as one would expect — but whenever he’s absent the writing, characters and scenario simply fail…

Barking

Barking by Tom Holt; audiobook read by Ray Sawyer (ISIS, 2007) Do werewolves and vampires truly exist? Of course they do, says Tom Holt; they’re working as lawyers. Even though Sawyer’s delivery is spot-on, the audiobook drags a little, undone by an inability to keep pace with Holt’s fast, funny and simile-strewn prose.    

How to Fight a Dragon’s Fury

How to Fight a Dragon’s Fury by Cressida Cowell (Hachette, 2015); audiobook read by David Tennant This epic conclusion to Hiccup’s twelve-book quest brings the Viking-Dragon war to a resounding, heroic, emotional end. Cowell’s ability to linger long in a moment without losing her audience is exceptional. Tennant’s ebullient, multi-voiced narration will cement the series in childhood memory.    

Doctor Who: The Empty House

Doctor Who: The Empty House by Simon Guerrier (BBC, 2013); audiobook read by Raquel Cassidy Guerrier’s well-executed Eleventh Doctor novelette puts a new spin on some old Doctor Who tropes. (New to Who, that is; in the time-honoured tradition of gothic homage this one is rather reminiscent of Alejandro Amenábar’s The Others, which incidentally featured Christopher Eccleston.)    

How to Betray a Dragon’s Hero

How to Betray a Dragon’s Hero by Cressida Cowell (Hachette, 2013); audiobook read by David Tennant High above a publishing landscape devastated by gormless, plotless, half-illustrated fluff, Cowell’s How to Train Your Dragon series soars majestically. How to Betray a Dragon’s Hero is thoughtful, exhilarating, vivid and fabulously fun, with David Tennant putting in a full-on acting performance.    

Torchwood: The Sin Eaters

Torchwood: The Sin Eaters by Brian Minchin (BBC, 2009); audiobook read by Gareth David-Lloyd This short book comes across very much like a novelised Torchwood episode, with snappy action scenes and characteristic dialogue (well mimicked by Gareth David-Lloyd). The alien threat is built up more than the dénouement might warrant, but this too is in keeping.  

Doctor Who: Shroud of Sorrow

Doctor Who: Shroud of Sorrow by Tommy Donbavand (BBC, 2013); audiobook read by Frances Barber Although Donbavand captures the Eleventh Doctor’s quick-fire whimsy very well, he rather lingers upon it, which in book (and especially audiobook) form robs the story of tension. Barber’s narration is fine but her JFK Dallas accents sound gratingly like the wild west.  

Doctor Who: The Crawling Terror

Doctor Who: The Crawling Terror by Mike Tucker (BBC, 2014); audiobook read by Neve McIntosh Although featuring the Twelfth Doctor and Clara, this novel labours along like the most interminable of Third Doctor stories; neither original in content nor polished in execution (think ‘Planet of the Spiders’ meets ‘Invasion of the Dinosaurs’). Neve McIntosh cannot save it.  

A Bear Called Paddington

A Bear Called Paddington by Michael Bond (Houghton Mifflin, 1958) audiobook read by Stephen Fry (Harper, 2005) Paddington Bear seems destined to remain a perennial children’s favourite, his surroundings now dated somewhat but his mishap-inducing unfamiliarity with them never growing old. Stephen Fry, who was conceived at much the same time as Paddington, gives perfect voice to the stories.