The Abyss beyond Dreams. By Peter F.
Hamilton. Read by John Lee. 2014. 22.5hr.
Tantor, CD, $59.99 (9781494505325).
In an utterly enthralling performance, Lee’s
narration evokes reverence and awe while subtly building tension through the space opera’s
multiple and complex story lines in this prequel to Hamilton’s Void Trilogy.
Best Boy. By Eil Gottlieb. Read by Bronson
Pinchot. 2015. 7.5hr. Blackstone, CD, $55
Pinchot’s compelling and convincing portrayal of fiftysomething, autistic Todd Aaron
creates a thoroughly enjoyable and unforgettable listening experience.
Career of Evil. By Robert Galbraith. Read
by Robert Glenister. 2015. 18hr. Hachette,
CD, $40 (9781478962663).
While Glenister brilliantly voices the various
accents of a wide cast of characters, including
nuanced portrayals of Strike and Robin, he
excels in his chillingly deadpan depiction of
the serial murderer who stalks them. You may
not want to listen after dark. (Top of the List
Dracula. By Bram Stoker. Read by David
Horovitch and others. 2015. 17hr. Naxos,
CD, $89.98 (9781843798736).
Read by a full cast of British stage and screen
actors, this captivating production brings new
life to a familiar and timeless horror classic,
making it a splendid choice both for fans and
for those new to the novel.
First Ladies: NPR American Chronicles. By
NPR. Read by Cokie Roberts. 2015. 3hr.
HighBridge, CD, $24.95 (9781622313501).
Shattering the misconception that First
Ladies are merely behind-the-scenes “tea
pourers,” this collection of interviews,
profiles, and commentary reveals the personalities, roles, and contributions of numerous
First Ladies, from Martha Washington to Michelle Obama.
The Girl on the Train. By Paula Hawkins.
Read by Clare Corbett and others.
2015. 11hr. Books on Tape, CD, $40
The haunting voices of the three principal
women—portrayed by Clare Corbett, Louise
Brealey, and India Fisher—pull listeners into
this riveting tale of memory and obsession, as
the harrowing story unfolds through multiple
points of view.
Go Set a Watchman. By Harper Lee. Read
by Reese Witherspoon. 2015. 7hr. Harper,
CD, $34.99 (9780062409904).
As she tracks Scout’s dawning awareness of
the realities of life in the South, Witherspoon’s
wonderfully effective reading captures both
character and tone in an insightful performance of Lee’s controversial novel.
In a Dark, Dark Wood. By Ruth Ware.
Read by Imogen Church. 2015. 9.5hr.
Simon & Schuster Audio, DD, $17.99
From the first pages, Church’s mesmerizing
reading ensnares listeners in this disturbing,
twisty novel. Her fabulous character portrayals
create the feel of a full-cast narration, resulting
in a not-to-be-missed listening experience.
Jurassic Park. By Michael Crichton. Read
by Scott Brick. 2015. 15.5hr. Brilliance, CD,
Brick’s brilliantly performed narration of this
thrilling classic reminds listeners of the power
of the story, apart from the popular movie
version, to create a fantastic world, add rich
scientific detail, and sustain a sense of both
wonder and menace without added visuals.
The Knockoff. By Lucy Sykes and Jo
Piazza. Read by Katherine Kellgren.
2015. 12hr. Books on Tape, CD, $45
Kellgren brilliantly nails each cast member in this laugh-out-loud tale of the fate of
a high-end fashion magazine and its editor,
faced with a takeover attempt by her younger,
Last Bus to Wisdom. By Ivan Doig. Read by
David Aaron Baker. 2015. 16hr. Recorded
Books, CD, $102.75 (9781470372071).
Enlivening characters and story with his
spot-on pace and cadence, Baker adeptly
conveys the heartwarming tone and the rich
variety of regional dialects and jargon in mas-
ter storyteller Doig’s final novel, a charming
The Liar’s Wife. By Mary Gordon. Read
by Nick Podehl and Laural Merling-ton. 2014. 13hr. Brilliance, CD, $32.99
Luminous prose and expert narration
combine for a fantastic audio experience
as Gordon’s four novellas range across history and continents. Podehl and Merlington’s
expert pacing and characterizations allow
Gordon’s insights, poignancy, and humor to
capture and move the listener.
Station Eleven. By Emily St. John Mandel.
Read by Kirsten Potter. 2014. 10.5hr. Books
on Tape, CD, $40 (9780553545586).
With the lyricism of an epic poem, Mandel’s
dystopian literary novel traces a startlingly
possible flu pandemic. Potter’s warmly expressive reading delicately conveys characters and
mood, as she crafts recognizable personalities
with haunting emotional realism.