Monday, March 15, 2010
On the Road

Dear Pat,

I won't be able to make any of your readings over the next two weeks, but I was wondering. How do you get ready for something like that? I've done a little public speaking in the past, and it terrifies me. I can't help but think that it must be a million times worse if you're reading your own stuff to a huge roomful of people.

So that's my question. What does an author do to get ready for a public reading?

Best of luck on your trip.


The truth is Dan, I've wondered the same thing myself.

I mean, I know how *I* get ready for a reading. But I wonder what other authors go through when they're getting ready.

A lot of authors I've talked to admit to having public speaking jitters. Some of them downright hate it. But that's not a problem for me. Public speaking is old hat. I've done commencement addresses, sermons, lectures, and more panels than you can shake a stick at.

Plus I used to do improv comedy. And let me tell you, after you've done improv comedy, no other type of public speaking will ever scare you. It's like a trial by fire.

In general, I imagine other authors think about regular things before a signing tour. They worry about who's going to show up, or what they're going to read. Maybe they dither over what sort of shirt they're going to wear.

Me, I worry about my hair.

At least that's what I've been doing for the last several days. I'm about to leave on a little signing tour, 8 readings in 9 days. I'm looking forward to it, and I'm looking forward to seeing who shows up.

The problem is, I haven't had a haircut in about 8 months. It's something that never occurs to me until I have to make a public appearance. Normally every 3-4 months I'm forced to brush up against the edges of civilization. I go to a convention, or a wedding, or something, and so I get a haircut to clean myself up for that.

But lately I've been so busy with revisions and the new baby that I haven't done any of those things. And that means almost a whole year without a haircut. That means that I look like a cross between a hobo, John the Baptist come out of the desert, and a particularly shaggy Muppet. I look, in fact, like one of those green men statues. Except not green.

Normally I'm fine with this. But when I make public appearances I feel bad showing up looking all wodwo. I feel like if people show up to see me, I should try to groom myself down to the point where I won't frighten small children.

But here's the problem. This week when I tried to make an appointment for a haircut with the only person I trust to cut my hair and beard... but she couldn't fit me in to her schedule. And I can't trust some random barber. Last time I did that the fucker sheared me like a fucking sheep.

So now, the day before I drive off to do my signings, I'm faced with an awful choice. Show up looking like the crazy guy at the bus station, or risk a haircut that would make a prison barber wince. I still haven't decided...

The other thing that I think about before I go on a trip like this is what I'm going to listen to in the car. I've become a sucker for audiobooks lately, and this trip is going to put me behind the wheel for almost 40 hours.

So I've got a return question for some of you out there. Do you have any good audiobooks to recommend? I've already listened to everything by David Sedaris, Neil Gaiman, and Garrison Keillor.

Here. I'll start things out with a recommendation or two of my own.

The BBC dramatization of The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy.

These BBC audio productions of the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy are really great. What's even better is that they contain different materials than the original books. That means even if you know your the source material inside and out, you can still be pleasantly surprised.

The later ones weren't done my Adams himself. But I have to say (and this is something that you will probably never *ever* hear me say again) I liked the ending of the final audiobook better than I like the ending of Adam's original novel.

I know. Blasphemy.

Anyway. Trust me. These are brilliant. Share and enjoy.

Shades of Grey by Jasper Fforde.

I listened to this just recently, and I was absolutely blown away by it.

That said, I don't know how I'd describe the entirety of it to someone.

It's funny without being goofy. It's clever without being pretentious. It's original without being desperate. And it has an element of what I consider the divine ridiculousness: a delightful, subtle, strangeness that is funny while still touching on some underlying truth.

I feel like I should say more about it, but I can't think of what else to say. Except, perhaps, that it's probably the best book I've read in a year or so. And Sarah really liked it too, if that sways you at all...

So what about you guys? Do y'all have any good audiobooks that you can recommend? I'm going to need a few more before I'm done with this trip....

P.S. I'm asking for audiobooks, mind you. Don't recommend a book that you liked and you're thinking *would* make a good audiobook. The narrator makes a huge difference in these things, so don't tell me it's good if you haven't listened to it yourself.


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Blogger GeekGirl said...

I really enjoyed the World War Z audio book - there are a slew of actors that participated and it's every bit as good as the book was, imho.

My kids are in love with the audio book for YOUR book, Pat - my nine year old son has just requested his second listen-through. Though, to be frank, the fellow who reads it has a voice for putting me to sleep!

March 16, 2010 9:21 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Virtually anything by Christopher Moore, but I particularly enjoyed A Dirty Job. Hysterical, touching, and well narrated.

March 16, 2010 9:25 AM  
Blogger Michael H. Tritter said...

The audio adaption of Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell is the best audio I've heard yet. Well worth a listen even after having read the book, IM(NSH)O.

March 16, 2010 9:26 AM  
Blogger The_Finn said...

i am seconding World War Z. My one gripe is that the quality of the production is so awesome that it makes the other audio books seem kinda poor.

March 16, 2010 9:28 AM  
Blogger buzz said...

I know my comment is going to be completely useless to you, but I'm curious and I'm going to ask my question anyway: Why audiobooks? Why not listen to music as you're driving? I think I'd fall asleep if someone was reading a book at me while I was trying to stay awake driving through Indiana and Ohio (hint: if you haven't before, THEY'RE FLAT.)

March 16, 2010 9:28 AM  
Anonymous Dan said...

All the Harry Potter audiobooks read by Stephen Fry are awesome. His voice makes the whole thing feel almost as if your reading it yourself.

March 16, 2010 9:28 AM  
Blogger Garrett said...

The Sword of Shannara audiobook is good, not to mention long if you get the anthology edition. I agree with GeekGirl World War Z is probably one of the best I've listened to, excluding NOTW of course. Then there is A Game Of Thrones, again a nice long one that will keep you busy for at least 20 hours if I remember correctly.

March 16, 2010 9:28 AM  
Blogger Matthew said...

Usually I just read fiction but there are some other worthwhile things out there. Try this one: The World is Flat by Thomas Friedman. You have to deal with Mr. Friedman's ego and his cutesy phrases, but is actually a very interesting meditation on how the global playing field has been leveled by the rise of the high speed internet.

If you never read them, the Harry Potter books work better for me as CDs than as a reading experience. If you like children's books the Bunnicula series is great.


PS. Visit San Antonio! Warm weather! Great Mexican food! The River Walk!

March 16, 2010 9:29 AM  
Blogger Feasoron said...

The Lies of Locke Lamora by Scott Lynch is an amazing Audiobook. The story is amazing, the second best thing I've discovered on Audible, and Michael Page does an amazing job reading it. However, like your work, you'll be left itching for the rest of the series to come out. . .

March 16, 2010 9:29 AM  
Anonymous Betsy Hughes said...

I really liked both of Joe Hill's audiobooks - Heart-shaped Box and Horns (listening now).

The readers have been really good and Hill's language is perfect for audio (sooooo delicious).

I also really enjoyed Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell on audio.

March 16, 2010 9:30 AM  
Blogger Kate said...

I would highly recommend the Vorkosigan series by Lois McMaster Bujold, starting with The Warrior's Apprentice. The entire series is narrated by Grover Gardner, and he does such an excellent job that his voice has become the voice of Miles Vorkosigan in my mind, even though I read them in print first. I also think Bujold's work particularly lends itself to audio format, as she always writes such fun, witty dialogue.

March 16, 2010 9:31 AM  
Blogger Toby said...

The HHG2G audiobooks have been a life saver on the long trips that I've had to do on the yearly trip down to Devon from Inverness. The radio plays are absolutely brilliant. I'd also recommend Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency and "The Long Dark Teatime of the Soul" also by Douglas Adams.

The Radio 4 dramatisation of The Hobbit is a classic and well worth a listen if you haven't already heard it:

I've also got most of Terry Pratchett's books as audiobooks and they've been a great distraction for when the Snotling has to accompany us on long journeys in the car.

March 16, 2010 9:31 AM  
Blogger Brandy said...

Dear Pat,

Have an excellent time on your trip! Our household is very concerned about the state of your beard, so please, be sure to reassure us it is in fine form.

As for audiobooks, we highly recommend the Ender-verse, by Orson Scott Card, and Magic Street, same author. Card's books are particularly good, as their are multiple readers.
Positronic Man, by Isaac Asimov, is also an enjoyable listen, and Heinlein's Moon is a Harsh Mistress is a favorite.


March 16, 2010 9:32 AM  
Blogger Jordan said...

well i thought that the audio books for the codex alera series by jim butcher were pretty good but that may just be because i like the books so much. and audio books are great to listen to when your driving, i do it all the time

March 16, 2010 9:32 AM  
Anonymous Coyo said...

I seldom listen to audiobooks, but on a long car trip with my niece and nephew discovered the audiobooks of the Harry Potter series. They are brilliantly read/dramatized and make the time fly.

March 16, 2010 9:32 AM  
Blogger Obdormio said...

I'll second "Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell". I also love "Wicked", read by John McDonough, and quite enjoyed "The Edge of the World", read by Scott Brick.

March 16, 2010 9:35 AM  
Blogger Booknutt said...

The Philip Pullman His Dark Materials books on audio are amazing. Full Cast recordings & Narrated by Pullman himself. They were out of print, but I think they're back in print now.

Also Shutter Island by Dennis Lehane.

March 16, 2010 9:35 AM  
Anonymous Luke said...

I LOVE the audio book of Christopher Moore's LAMB. Trust me Pat, you'll be laughing til milk shoots out of your nose. Go for it, and if it doesn't come through I'll send you an awesome souvenir as an apology.

March 16, 2010 9:35 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I know this great book called "The Name of the Wind" ... oh, wait.

March 16, 2010 9:35 AM  
Blogger Rebel Goddess said...

If you like Jasper Fforde, his best book was 'The Eyre Affair' (British reader on my version, which is good as the author's British and it's set in England). In it, he posits an alternate universe where Thursday Next, veteran of a Crimean War that never ended, must deal with the theft of original manuscripts of classic novels, first Dickens then 'Jane Eyre'. Acheron Styx, has stolen a device that allows him to enter the book and change things, including killing off characters, which affect every copy in the world. Other science includes Jurassic Park style resurrection of Dodos for pets & Neanderthals just because, and a Time Agency that continually rewrites history. Also you've got to love a book with a heroine working for a Government agency called JurisFiction. Don't go on to the sequels - diminishing returns do not cover book 3's terribleness - but this book is truly unique and truly funny and the reading's pretty good too.

Otherwise Nathaniel Parker does a great reading of the kids' genius book 'Artemis Fowl' and 'Guards! Guards!' by Pratchett, as read by Nigel Planer, should be mandatory for anyone wanting to understand how fantasy cliches can be made funny.

March 16, 2010 9:35 AM  
Blogger Orvis said...

An audiobook I really enjoyed — all 28 hours of it — was Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell by Susanna Clarke. It's interesting and creates a super-interesting world. I second the comments said above

As GeekGirl said, World War Z is nice, and one segment is even read by Mark Hamil.

Beyond Audiobooks, I suggest exploring the world of Podcasts. I particularly recommend two: The Moth for great stories and Stuff You Should Know, for just plainly interesting stuff. There are hundreds of episodes of each, all freely available. For Stuff You Should Know, I suggest the episodes How Muppets Work, What is a Body Farm, Do Zombies Really Exist, and How Noodling Works for a good smattering of lovable, funny, gross, and bizarre. It's good stuff.

March 16, 2010 9:36 AM  
Blogger Tae said...

Radio Drama being the cousin of audiobooks, I recommend just about everything from Decoder Ring Theatre. Their two main shows are the Red Panda Adventures (30s gadget superhero) and Black Jack Justice (post-war gumshoe). There's a good 50 hours of free(!) content between the both of them and are rather fun.

March 16, 2010 9:37 AM  
Blogger Kathy Kreeger said...

I'm going to third (?) the Harry Potter series recommendation - I've not heard Stephen Fry's (aka the UK version) books, but have heard the more likely to be available at your local library Jim Dale version and the whole family loved them. Plus - you won't get through all seven books, despite the trip you're doing. The biggest of them is 23 hours or so.

March 16, 2010 9:37 AM  
Blogger Ben said...

I agree with Dan. Anything narrated by Stephen Fry is a complete treat. I have a horrible time with narrators--they have ruined books for me in the past. I can sometimes still hear their voice when I go back attempt same book myself.

March 16, 2010 9:41 AM  
Blogger RandomZ said...

I've only heard the samples but the audiobook for C.S. Lewis' The Screwtape Letters sounds simply amazing. The incomparable Andy Serkis (Gollum for LoTR movies) voices the main demon, Screwtape, how can you go wrong?

March 16, 2010 9:43 AM  
Anonymous Ian Reutlinger said...

I would second the world is flat, especially if you have not read it before. Like the previous poster said you do have to deal with the fact that the author was a column writer which sometimes does make you think that hes repeating himself occasionally, and his ego, but overall it was a great book about globilization put into another light. At least try it and I promise it will amuse you, hope the book readings go great!!!!

March 16, 2010 9:43 AM  
Blogger jblazier said...

I just did a review for The Improbably Adventures of Sherlock Holmes, a John Joseph Adams Collection of Holmes short stories written by modern Scifi/Fantasy/Horror authors. It's read primarily by Simon Vance, who is just short of brilliant. This is the perfect road trip book, because you can listen to a couple stories, and then break to some music and come back to it later. (

Also if you haven't already read them, Jim Butcher's Dresden files on audio are an absolute blast. James Marsters reads them, and he is now the permanent voice of Harry Dresden in my head....he's perfect.

Look forward to seeing you in Cincy!

March 16, 2010 9:44 AM  
Blogger Alicia said...

Anything read by Stephen Fry. His voice is just so engaging - I hate audio books. Hate them with a great passion. But I will listen to Stephen Fry talk until ... I can't think of a limit. Although someone here reminded me he did Harry Potter. I'm not willing to subsidise that.


March 16, 2010 9:45 AM  
Blogger Thomas said...

I'll second the Dresden audiobooks. Agreed on James Marsters being the permanent voice of Harry as well.

March 16, 2010 9:48 AM  
Blogger PJ said...

I'd say that even if you HAVE read all of the Dresden books, it's still worthwhile to listen to them just to hear Marsters' performance. They're awesome.

March 16, 2010 9:49 AM  
Blogger PJ said...

And for what it's worth I enjoyed Spider Robinson's reading of Variable Star.

March 16, 2010 9:51 AM  
Blogger Spencer Davis said...

Lots of great recommendations but here are a couple from different genres that I've really enjoyed: Lonesome Dove by Larry McMurtry. A great western and a wonderful story about friendship. Also, for something a bit darker, violent and gritty, try Dead I Well May Be by Adrian McKinty. A fun thriller and the narration is top notch. I could listen to it over and over again just to be able to hear that fine Irish lilt.

March 16, 2010 9:52 AM  
Blogger SJ Stanley said...

I'd second Rebel Goddess on Jasper Fforde's other works; ironically enough, "The Eyre Affair" was my least favorite and the 3rd book ("The Well of Lost Plots") was my favorite by far. YMMV. Don't know if it's available on audiobook, but if you can get a British rendering of Fforde's book "The Fourth Bear" from his Nursery Crime series, do not walk, RUN to get it. Biting social commentary, insight, insider references and dry humor like you wouldn't believe. It almost pushes "Well of Lost Plots" out of the favorite Fforde book slot. I'll buy anything Fforde writes just b/c his name's on the cover. Period.

March 16, 2010 9:53 AM  
OpenID marilenalena said...

Ooooh, I am going to have to try the Vorkosigan saga Kathy just recommended! Love those books.

What I was going to recommend were the books by Roald Dahl (Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and the Great Glass Elevator) narrated by Eric Idle of Monty Python fame. Sure, they're kids books but Dahl is so delicious! Try to stick with Idle, as the James Bolam version was kind of 'meh'. Also good by Dahl: 'the Fantastic Mr Fox and other animal stories' read by Hugh Laurie, Stephen Fry and Martin Jarvis. You know you're going to want these for Oot in a few years anyway.

March 16, 2010 9:57 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Jim Butcher's Furies of Alera has a good narrator. The Temeraire books by Naomi nNvik have an excellent narrator and the story will definitely keep you entertained for 40+ hrs.

March 16, 2010 9:58 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I haven't listened to nearly as many books as I've read but I agree whith Feasoron who suggested Lies of Locke Lamora. The narrator was pretty good, especially considering the story, as you know, is about con men who each play multiple personalities with multiple accents and intonations. He did a good job bringing it to life.

I don't know if you want that kind of story playing for Oot, though. His earliest memory might be of listening to someone speak of being drowned in a barrel of horse piss.

March 16, 2010 10:01 AM  
Anonymous Erzberger said...

Vincent Price has read a lot of Edgar Alen Poes stuff. Those readings were very good in my opinion.

March 16, 2010 10:02 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This may be a bit off the wall . . . but I find Stephen King to make for good listening . . . especially during nightime driving.

I've listened to all of Davis Sedaris' work as well. You should make sure you've heard everything he has out. I've actually had to pull off to the side of the road because I was laughing soo hard.

Happy trails

March 16, 2010 10:04 AM  
Anonymous C.S. said...

Although rather off the rest of the content proposed above, Daniel Pinkwater's books, read by himself, are fantastic, vastly better than they are in print. His voice is peculiarly well-adapted to the unearthly humor he writes, and somehow manages to smooth over the bits that are so irritating when you read them yourself.

And although the idea of correcting you makes me shake with fear, Hitchhiker's was actually a radio drama first, and thus the BBC recordings are in fact the source material from which the books were adapted. Little-known.

March 16, 2010 10:09 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well Pat, you have mentioned numerous times you love Jim Butcher and Buffy.
(hmm, ... that makes you sound bisexual)

And I think James Masters narrated most, if not all, of Butchers works of fiction.
(insert a lame doubleteam joke to keep up with the 'Pat the big beardy bisexual' bit)

Spike being sarcy as Harry Dresden is pretty weird at first, but his voice really grows on you. And the man has great timing, so it's a pretty good audio-show.

I also support the Stephen Fry audio's. That man can mesmerise with his voice, he really can. His own books or the Potter ones, take your pick.

Lastly there's these super-audiobook things called GraphicAudio. They use actors and sound effects and stuff.
(Brent Weeks just had his Night Angel Trilogy done, but it's only out due April.)
They have a limited selection, but I'm sure you could find some stuff to your liking in there:

Have fun on your trip!
Oh and whatever you do, play the audio's you selected to Oot BEFORE you take off. He might not like 'em. And for a 40 hour drive you need to Do Whatever Pleases The Baby at all times.


March 16, 2010 10:09 AM  
OpenID jonathandanz said...

Killer Angels by Michael Shaara is excellent. Few audiobooks have aroused that kind of emotion in me. I would also second the His Dark Materials trilogy.

March 16, 2010 10:09 AM  
Blogger Lee said...

Another vote for both World War Z here. I'd also recommend anything by Terry Pratchett.

I'm currently listening to The Callahan Chronicles by Spider Robinson and loving the hell out of it. Spider reads his own work and really brings life to the characters.

March 16, 2010 10:11 AM  
Anonymous Jonathan said...

Killer Angels by Michael Shaara and the His Dark Materials trilogy by Philip Pullman. Both are well done and moved me like good cinema.

March 16, 2010 10:11 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anansi Boys by Neil Gaiman. I loved it when I heard it without having read it, and I know others who have read it and still enjoyed the audiobook.

March 16, 2010 10:13 AM  
Blogger Kate said...

I would second (third?) the Gentleman Bastards series, starting with The Lies of Locke Lamora. The Temeraire series by Naomi Novik also have an excellent narrator.

March 16, 2010 10:14 AM  
OpenID Alan said...

I recently listened to Steve Martin's "Born Standing Up." He reads it himself, and I found it an amusing and interesting insight into how he got his start.

March 16, 2010 10:14 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I recently listened to "Game of Thrones" by G.R.R Martin on audiobook to psyche me up for the HBO adaption of it coming next year. It is wonderfully narrated and the next two are as well. I haven't listened to "Feast for Crows" but I hear they have a new narrator that is quite terrible, so I'm hesitant to even try it.

March 16, 2010 10:15 AM  
Blogger darek said...

Anathem (Neil Stephenson) is fabulous -- with interludes of chanting! -- avail via iTunes and elsewhere (my public library had initially... i'm on my 6th time through...)

Ender... (Orson Scott Card) -- broader cast does chapter introductions; shifts lead reader (male/female) when reading sections featuring appropriate characters

The Prestige (Christopher Priest) -- Simon Vance does a fabulous job of 'aging' his voice as the story progresses and slips through time

H Potter... despite what some may say about their content, the audio delivery is very enjoyable.

March 16, 2010 10:18 AM  
Blogger logankstewart said...

I enjoyed the audiobook of Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell. The things massive, 32 discs and almost as many hours, but the narrator was great and the story one of my favorites that I read last year.

I'm still trying to think of some sort of present to give you at the Lexington signing. Something to remember Kentucky? Something from me to you? Gah. Maybe a Taco Bell gift card, cause you can't ever go wrong with tacos & burritos.

Back on topic. I didn't like the narration of Dan Simmons' The Terror. Not sure why, but there was something about the guys voice.

Be careful and safe on the road. Enjoy the drive. See ya tomorrow. I've spread the word as much as I can.

March 16, 2010 10:21 AM  
Blogger Been said...

If you're a Doctor Who fan at all, I highly recommend most of the 8th Doctor stories released by Big Finish. You wouldn't have thought that Paul McGann would be that great considering the qualitiy of the television movie, but his audio stories show he's absolutely amazing.

There's two jumping off points for him, neither of which require more than the most basic of Doctor Who lore (He's called the Doctor, he's a Time Lord and travels in his TARDIS). The first is Storm Warning which begins his new adventures with the companion Charlotte Pollard as they meet aboard the doomed R101 airship in the late 1920s. Having just finished listening to the very last one story starring this pair I can say with one or two exceptions I absolutely loved them.

The other point you can start at is the New Adventures of Doctor Who (again starring Paul McGann as the 8th Doctor) which admittedly I haven't listened to yet, but have heard very good things about. They're structured quite similarly to the newer series of Doctor Who, even being split into nice 45-50 minute episodes, the only difference being it's only available in audiobook form.

Again on the Doctor Who front, there's a lot of spin-off series which are equally amazing, but it helps if you have a good knowledge of the setting to get the most of out it. The I, Davros series brings a whole new depth to the character that really never gets explained very well in the series. The Doctor Who Unbound stories are also a pretty good selection of "What if?" stories, but your mileage may vary from story to story depending on what sort of story you like. Personally I found Full Fathom Five quite chilling.

March 16, 2010 10:22 AM  
Blogger Leitmotiv said...

NPR is my audiobook, but I'm spoiled living in Oregon. Their programs are great! This American Life, Radiolab, The Moth Radio Hour, Fresh Air, Wait Wait Don't Tell Me, Car Talk, and more.

Oh and if I could go see one of your book readings I wouldn't mind the author in his natural look. Bring beards back!

March 16, 2010 10:25 AM  
Anonymous Jonathan Entwisle said...

Whenever I go on long journeys i always take a few Pratchett audio books read by Tony Robinson, he does them very well, the only problem being they're abridged but still worth listening to even if you've read them. Also "Old Harry's Game" a BBC series about the varied adventures of satan and a group of hell bound mortals is definitaly worth a look into. Not sure if you'll have heard of any of the comedians in it in America but it is very funny.


P.S. Good choice with Hitch Hikers by the way, that lasted us through a two week French holiday.

March 16, 2010 10:34 AM  
Blogger Chris said...

I'm not really into audiobooks that much, but The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho is very good. It short (only about 4 hours) but it is very good and something that I pass on to anyone that will listen. A good one for Oot to hear too.

March 16, 2010 10:35 AM  
Anonymous fuzzer_monkey said...

Pat a set of stories I loved and ended up getting the book on CD for was Stephen King's Dark Tower series. The best of which is The Gunslinger (book 1) and Wizard and Glass (book 4). If you haven't read them I think they are rather close in type of story to NOTW (though I may have enjoyed NOTW better, I'm just saying) well have a good trip and come to Milwaukee some time :-)

March 16, 2010 10:37 AM  
Blogger Ken Harris said...

The last really good audiobooks I listen to were the Stephen King's The Green Mile as they were released, in serial form, once a month. The narration is excellent and it is unabridged. I know that is a little old now but King isn't one of my favorite authors and I really liked this.

March 16, 2010 10:37 AM  
Blogger Kristina said...

It's a few years old, but America: The Book: The Audiobook (Jon Stewart reading) is funny.

The Freakonomics and SuperFreakonomics books are a fun listen too.

March 16, 2010 10:37 AM  
Blogger Anne said...

My favorite recently has been "The Strain" by Guillermo del Toro. It's read by Chuck Hogan, which makes it really interesting. Honestly, it scared me, but in a good way. It's very suspenseful, and will definitely keep you awake for a long drive.

March 16, 2010 10:39 AM  
Blogger Baron said...

Second the Larry McMurty suggestion. Something about Westerns are perfect for road trips. And his language is so good.

Along those lines, I really enjoyed listening to The Story of Edgar Sawtelle. Again magical language, if a tad depressing. 22 hours too.

March 16, 2010 10:45 AM  
Blogger Nemeslith said...

"A Dirty Job". I had hours of laugh with that book.

March 16, 2010 10:50 AM  
Blogger barclayr said...

Try "The Fourth Tower of Inverness" and/or "Moon over Morocco" by ZBS or any in the Jack Flanders series. I may be dating myself here, but I think they are classics with fun characters. The miles fly by and you need to surface at times to see how far you've gone. "Ahh, Feegs"

March 16, 2010 10:50 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'd like to second the His Dark Materials trilogy by Philip Pullman. I just listened to The Subtle Knife on my eight-hour road trip two days ago! All of the audiobooks are narrated by the author, which made me feel like it was being interpreted exactly how it was supposed to be. The other vocal actors and actresses were wonderful as well.

March 16, 2010 10:51 AM  
Blogger Rebel Goddess said...

Got to concur with Jonathan Entwisle about 'Old Harry's Game'. It's superb - just make sure you buy full series rather than the older selections as the ongoing jokes make more sense that way. Totally addictive, satirical BBC series ("Next time you're sacrificing a virgin to satanic forces, don't use a tortoise. It's impractical and it looks like you're taking the piss"). It's so funny that I've been told to turn it off in the car because the driver is laughing too hard to see the road.

March 16, 2010 10:51 AM  
Blogger Bill said...

I love Jim Butcher's Dresden Files series. James Marsters (AKA Spike from Buffy the Vampire Slayer) does an excellent read of already great books. I can't read Jim's books now without hearing James' version of Harry in my head.

March 16, 2010 10:54 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'll add another recommendation for Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell. If you want a series that will take up a lot of your time, you could start on Patrick O'Brian's Aubrey/Maturin series, beginning with "Master and Commander". I prefer the version narrated by Patrick Tull.

You might also want to listen to "The Bad Beginning", the first of the Lemony Snicket books. The series tends to get a little repetitive, but the first couple are narrated by Tim Curry!

March 16, 2010 10:56 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

There's a collection of Poe's poems and short stories available on Amazon read by Basil Rathbone and Vincent Price. The only downside is that it has been recorded had a fairly low volume and the conclusion of "The Fall of the House of Usher" almost caused me to crash my car.

March 16, 2010 10:57 AM  
Blogger Karen said...

I am currently listening to Dune narrated by Simon Vance and other cast members. He and the others do an excellent job.

March 16, 2010 10:59 AM  
Anonymous Brent said...

Dennis L Mckiernan's Iron tower books are read very well.

March 16, 2010 11:04 AM  
Blogger nimrodiel said...

I'm fond of the Harry Dresden audio's
They are read by Jame Marsters and are very well done. Exept books 1-5 have audio's released then books 8-11 have audio's released. Books 6 and 7 don't come out until next month-ish.

Garth Nix's Abhorsen books are great (Sabriel, Liriel, and Abhorsen) audio versions.

We've been working our way through the audio versions of Dan Simmon's Hyperion Cantos and so far the first two books have been really well read.

I'l also add a vote towards Christopher Moore's books. I loved the Audio's for A Dirty Job, Bloodsucking fiends, and You Suck.

March 16, 2010 11:10 AM  
Anonymous Wendybird said...

First, let me thank you for creating a new list of audio books to listen to on my trip out to meet you while you're on your trip.

As has been said; Stephen Fry. He's freaking genius.

Bill Bryson reads his own stuff (which is both uncommon, and in this case, good)

I'll also add another vote for Christopher Moore, A Dirty Job was my favorite, but they're all entertaining.

Audio Book are the only way to travel by car. Safe travels!

March 16, 2010 11:14 AM  
Blogger Michael said...

Hey Pat,

I don't know if you've got an Ipod or an Iphone. If you only have an Ipod, try downloading as many podcasts of 'This American Life' as you can before your trip. If you have an Iphone, there is a 'This American Life' Iphone App. It actually streams every T.A.L. they've ever produced (of course the quality of these streams will depend upon your access to a good 3G network).

If you're unfamiliar with This American Life, it's an NPR show. I'm not completely sure, but I think it was the show that first broadcast David Sederis.

March 16, 2010 11:15 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Simon Jones reads most of Pratchett's Discworld novels. If you can get your hands on Thief of Time, it's one of the best.

hope to see you in Frederick

March 16, 2010 11:24 AM  
Blogger Kathleen said...

I love listening to Chapter a Day on WPR when I get a chance...I could listen to him read me a medical dictionary and it would feel like story time with grandpa. Also, they are usually books I never would have thought of reading, and usually end up loving :D

March 16, 2010 11:25 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I would have to recommend Going Postal or Making Money by Terry Pratchett as read by Stephen Briggs. Actually any Stephen Briggs reading Terry Pratchett is great fun...but beware of other readers they are not as a funny and they are abridged!
If you branch out of fantasy and sci fi and like PG Wodehouse then there are a variety of readers reading his works. Jonathan Cecil is good.

March 16, 2010 11:27 AM  
Blogger Chapel said...

Simon Vance does a GREAT job with Naomi Novik's "Temeraire" series. The first one is called "His Majesty's Dragon" and it got me hooked on the whole series. Each book is a relatively short listen (only about 12 hours or so)but excellent nonetheless.

March 16, 2010 11:30 AM  
Anonymous Little My said...

You know, I will read anything by Jasper Fforde, too, but after reading "Something Rotten", I thought, "You know, he kinda phoned that one in. . .or maybe the editor did. . ." All the others were terrific though. Have yet to read "Shades of Grey" but am looking forward to it. I don't listen to audiobooks and thus have no good recommendations to make ("I'm deliberately wasting your time!"), but I read all the recommendations in the comments and am impressed by the likemindedness among we fans. I recently enjoyed "Lies of Locke Lamora" because it was recommended by a commenter here on an earlier post.

Anyway, here's one of the books I have love love loved in the last few years, though it's not fantasy genre: A Girl Named Zippy, by Haven Kimmel. I can't vouch for any audiobook that may exist (I know, I know, you said don't bother but I cannot help myself; maybe someone else will want to read it). Very funny, a bit sweet and sad and quirky (the engaging kind of quirky, not the annoying one), set in small town Indiana. I submit my other favorite-author-and-book bona-fides: Rothfuss, Pratchett, Gaiman, Sedaris, Fforde, Tove Jansson, Neal Stephenson (everything, except the Quicksilver trilogy, which I had to give up midway, tired of the rambling, said the pot calling the kettle black), Robertson Davies, Susanna Clarke.

Enjoy the road trip!

March 16, 2010 11:31 AM  
Anonymous Jack Lancaster said...

The full voice cast of Deathstalker is pretty darn good.

And don't get the haircut... I mean, what happens if you get the haircut and have to fight off an army with an ox's jawbone? You'd be sadly doomed to lack that vital spark of Awesome that would allow you to otherwise stand triumphant before their nefarious forces... and then we'd never see book 2. So do the world a favor Mr. Rothfuss - don't get the 'cut - it's just tempting fate.

March 16, 2010 11:35 AM  
Blogger Phil said...

A Short History of Nearly Everything by Bill Bryson is amazing. It's more sciency than fictiony, but it makes a great audiobook.

March 16, 2010 11:39 AM  
Blogger Jamey Stegmaier said...

The old man reader of Nicole Krauss' History of Love is fantastic. I'm also usually entranced by Malcolm Gladwell's voice (he reads his own books).

March 16, 2010 11:43 AM  
Blogger Teri said...

Oryx & Crake by Margaret Atwood read by Campbell Scott is excellent. The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield, also. If you are looking for something big and you don't mind listening to old favorites, Jim Dale does an excellent job at Harry Potter, and Rob Inglis is amazing at The Lord of the Rings.

March 16, 2010 11:47 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm sorry, I tried listening to a Harry Potter book on tape and hated it. The reader made everybody sound even more whiny and obnoxious than JK Rowling already did with her writing. I've always found them to be only mediocre though.

March 16, 2010 11:48 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

okey so you want audiobooks... i will give you my list of good audiobooks...

Wheel of time <3

Dresden files <3

lies of locke lamora

There is a new edition to Robin Hobb's Farseer trilogy book 1 Assassin's Apprentice in audio book. its very well read.

Eragon Eldest and brisinger is well read for you in the audiobooks.

There is a bid of scifi you could hear Star wars. yes i know wtf. but the story goes on after the movie about luke skywalkers life and achievements.

Artemis Fowl is also well read in audiobook. and quite a fun book to hear.

There is just one more book to the list i can think of so i will present it with glee and delight to the world. its call (drum's in the background) Krabat i read it when i was young and have never ever read it since but its one of the few books i can still remember quite fairly in my head. Krabat is a wonderful book. and have not heard it on audio book so cant tell if its good on audio book... but have read it. and if you want a good book with magic sorrow and love read krabat. im self mostly for trilogy's so the story can end right. but this one is really good...

P.S you need to tell os about your book. did you get the draft back and what did she say to it.

March 16, 2010 11:57 AM  
Blogger Little Red-Haired Girl said...

I will add my voice to those who suggested anything by Stephen Fry, as well as Terry Pratchett as read by Stephen Briggs. For something completely different, I have become obssessed with Kerry Greenwood's Phryne Fisher mysteries as read by Stephanie Daniel. They are fun and improbable, and Greenwood's unflappable flapper might be the fictional character I most wish would be my best friend. Have a great trip!

March 16, 2010 12:03 PM  
Blogger Miss Medicina said...

There is a very good reason Jim Dale won a grammy and is in the Guinness Book of World Records for his reading of the Harry Potter series. I've never read the series in book form, because my first time hearing the story was from the mouth of Jim Dale - and his rendition gave more life to the characters than even a movie could do. When I try to read just the text now, I hear the characters in Jim Dale's voice.

March 16, 2010 12:03 PM  
Blogger kiaras said...

I saw it in the comments already, but seriously:

James Marsters reading Harry Dresden is *excellent*. Worth the listen, even if you've already read them. Books 6 & 7 aren't out yet but I think the first 5 are plenty to get you through 40 hours of driving.

If they're not though, I also like the UK audio version of Harry Potter. They make me speak in an accent and use the word 'git' a lot, and how can that be bad? (Also: they're child-friendly, because who knows what little'uns can pick up when they're still wee ones?)

March 16, 2010 12:06 PM  
Blogger GRM said...

Any of the Flashman books on tape by George McDonald Fraser make terrific listening. One of the best historical fiction/humor series out there. They're a bit hard to find, but definitely worth the effort.

March 16, 2010 12:07 PM  
Blogger Todd said...

I'd like to be the second "anonymous" to reccommend A Game of Thrones, by George R.R. Martin. It's more medieval than fantasy; but, it's narrated by a dude named Roy Dotrice. He does a good job. I normally can't stand audiobooks, I lose focus way too easily, or, fall asleep. I'm happy to say, I listened to the whole series up to a Feast for Crows. The new narrator sounds like shit, so I stopped, and just read the book from there.

March 16, 2010 12:22 PM  
Anonymous Ashlee said...

The Name of the Wind audiobook was pretty fantastic...

March 16, 2010 12:24 PM  
Blogger Peter Coffey said...

I have a few comments on the plethora of comments above.

First: World War Z was awesome, but I wouldn't force my better half to listen to it. I don't know what your wife's preferences are, but WWZ is no Terry Pratchett novel.

Second: All the TPratt audiobooks I've listened to have been really disappointing. They've been abridged. This is kinda like a carob brownie. You know it's going to be good, which only makes the disappointment that much worse. Also you miss out on all the annotations, which is really kicking you when you're already down.

I support the votes for Christopher Moore, Neil Gaiman, Orson Scott Card (Just his writing, not his politics), Jim Butcher, Frank Herbert, Harry Potter, Heinlein... But you've probably already read all of these.

But my very strong recommendation has to go to Bill Bryson's In a Sunburned Country. I see BB got a few nods in other comments, but I would go to the wall for this book. If you think to yourself "...but A Walk in the Woods was so disappointing..." Give him one more shot and listen to IaSC.

Lastly: Don't waste your time with The Wheel of Time series.

March 16, 2010 12:25 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Audiobooks. I listen to alot of Audiobooks.

The Time Travellers Wife (movie was lousy). This has a male and female performer. After 20 minutes of listenign to it, you will be hooked.

The Lovely Bones (movie for this again sucked). REALLY GOOD. Not really sci-fi. Read the reviews on amazon. Some sci-fi guys may not like this.

World War Z: This audiobook one a bunch of awards. It is better than any zombie movie you have ever seen.

Wheel of Time books. It is the same performers all the way through. You probably read the books. I did too and now I am listening to the audio. They get some pronunciations wrong in the first book though, but get alot better as they go on. I like how they do the Seanchen speech.

The Road: Won a pullitzer prize. It is an oprah book, but don't hold that against it. It also has rampaging cannabels. VERY GOOD BOOK. I heard the movie was average.

The Accidental Time Machine: This is Joe Haldeman light. Parts of it are very funny. It sort of has the anti-skynet. Skynet wants to kill people. This Artificial Intelligence thinks people are really annoying and shallow and wants to go through time to get away from them. It was very funny.

Cathedral by the Sea: This is not Sci-fi. It is historical fiction. I am including it because it is so good. If you read The Pillars of the Earth, you will love this book (George RR Martin raved about pillars). I read pillars, so I can't speak for the audiobook.

March 16, 2010 12:32 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Good readers: Nathaniel Parker (a la Artemis Fowl) and Allan Corduner (a la Garth Nix's Keys to the Kingdom series and Marc Zusak's 'The Book Thief').

Fun audiobooks: Anything by Terry Pratchett

March 16, 2010 12:42 PM  
Blogger Peter Coffey said...

I want to add an addendum.
I'm plugging the audiobook for IaSC here. I think Bryson makes a great narrator.
Also, I retract my inclusion of Neil Gaiman in the "probably already read" category, since you stated that you'd already listened to his stuff.

March 16, 2010 12:44 PM  
Blogger david said...

Just gonna give a quick second to a bunch of the productions I've heard already.

1. Ender's Game 20th anniversary edition: OSC says he considers a fine audio presentation the best way to experience his novels, and this is as good as it gets. All star cast of voices. This book will help familiarize you with some of the best narrators in the business. When you see one of these guys on the credits, you can usually bet that the presentation will be excellent, even if the novel itself is not.

OSC himself needs no introduction I'm sure.

2. James Marsters is brilliant at bringing the multiple and multifacited characters of the Dresden Files. I hope this means he'll be making narration a regular part of his career.

3. Dune: Lots of the same voices here as the Ender's Game ensemble. Fantastic rendition.

4. Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell: While my feelings are mixed on the story itself (Brilliant use of the language and intricately detailed plot, but I felt little to no connect with the characters themselves), the narration was indeed excellent.

5. Stephen Fry is indeed teh awesome.

March 16, 2010 12:46 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

We don't own many audiobooks - no car and they require more money to be spent and can't be 'read' without adittional equipment - but we do listen to the radio quite a bit, especially the comedy programs and we have tapes for some of those programs. I'm just recommending the genre in general though because I live in Britain and I don't know if they're available over there.

March 16, 2010 12:48 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I totally recommend Stuart McLean, any of his CD in the Vinyl Cafe series are supurb. He writes short stories about a small (semi-fictional) family and their neighbours, and then reads them on air. Very Canadian. The motto of the show: “We may not be big, but we’re small.” If you’re not convinced that you want to commit the money to buying one of his CDs, you can always sample it first by listening to one of his podcasts.

March 16, 2010 12:49 PM  
Blogger david said...

Those were the ones that I saw, but here are some that I didn't. If I missed someone I apologize.

1. Roy Dotrice's rendition of A Song of Ice and Fire by George R. R. Martin is phenomenal. Some of the periphery characters can tend to get a bit too phlegmy for my taste, but all the main characters (which, being the books they are, is quite a substantial number) are spot on brilliant. I've never heard a better narrator in my life, which is only fitting because the books deserve it. Unfortunately, Roy couldn't Narrate a Feast for Crows, and his abscence is perhaps even more sorely missed than many of the missing characters in that book, but word is he's going to be doing the narration for Dance as soon as it's out. I love these books, and this rendition with a passion I feel for little else.

(on a bit of a side note, it was GRRM's post about your shared commenter woes that drew my attention to your book in the first place, and I'm so glad it did)

2. Robert Graves: He narrated I Claudius, Claudius the God, and the Sharpe series by Bernard Cornwell. His shockingly British accent sounds at first brush like I always imagine your Ambrose would sound: Educated, stuffy, slightly nasal, and insufferably superior. However, once you get into the actual story, the range, grittiness, and sheer variety of voices he's able to manage make the story come to vivid life. He's won me over, and he narrates great books.

March 16, 2010 12:50 PM  
Blogger david said...

3. On your recommendation I read listened to The Fairies of Dreamdark and liked it very much.

4. The Bone Doll's Twin by Lynn
Flewelling begins a strange tale. It's not without its flaws, but it's strongly character driven, has a well conceived magical system, and managed to entertain me throughout. The narration was well done as well.

5. Brandon Sanderson's Mistborn series was well read. I admit, I enjoyed the first book more than the second, and the second more than the third, but even the third book in that series was better than most any of the books I've tried to read in the past couple years. The narration was in keeping with the books, very well done.

6. The Temeraire novels by Naomi Novik are among my favorites. Their audio versions are very well done indeed in my opinion. Although I was initially surprised by the lack of bass in the Narator's Temeraire voice, it soon grew on me.

7. John Scalzi - All of his books are well written and well narrated. Hard to go wrong here.

8. Although I personally couldn't stand to actually finish the books, it bears mentioning that Ken Follet's Pillars of the Earth was very well narrated. If you liked the books, the audio version will make for a nice re-read. A lot of people I talk to seem to like these books so I thought I'd mention them.

Anyway, sorry about the novel in your comments section, but you touched on something near and dear to my heart. Any and all of these books can be found on Hope you enjoy them half as much as I've enjoyed your book good sir.

March 16, 2010 12:52 PM  
Blogger Triskelmoon said...

METAtropolis is a great audio book of short stories. It redefines what cities and culture could look like...

March 16, 2010 12:53 PM  
Blogger darek said...

I'll also for for B Bryson's In a sunburned country as being well worth your time.

completely diff kind of writing from my man, Neal Stephenson, but a good listen.

March 16, 2010 12:55 PM  
Blogger Aaron B. said...

I absolutely adored Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell. The audio adaptation was brilliant. In fact, I'd say it was probably better than reading the book to yourself.

Alternatively, you could check out the weird and wonderful Drabblecast, an audio fiction podcast. I recommend episodes 128 (The End of the Universe), 129 (Annabelle's Alphabet), and 133 (Over The Walls of Eden). Or another podcast is Podcastle, which is totally fantasy oriented. You must listen to Ep. 74 (Restless in My Hand).

Both are awesome.

March 16, 2010 1:16 PM  
Blogger Martine said...

The Jasper FForde book was a thing of beauty.

March 16, 2010 1:19 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

For audio books, the original classic for my family was "The Wind in the Willows".

Also, a quick clarification, the BBC stuff isnt an ADAPTATION to hitchhikers. The BBC radio shows came first, and then Adams later adapted them into novels. And yes, they are awesome.

March 16, 2010 1:19 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Both A Dirty Job and Lamb: The Gospel According to Biff, Christ's Childhood Pall are great. Author is Christopher Moore and its narrated by Richard Stevens (I think).

March 16, 2010 1:19 PM  
Blogger Ms. Brenda said...

I'd second Kate's recommendation of the Vorkosigan books by Lois McMaster Bujold. Since you're traveling with Sarah, she might appreciate the romance and witty dialogue that accompany the zany space opera plot.
Or, if you just need a really long book, how about Stephen King, maybe Under the Dome. I don't recommend Cell for a car trip, though.
If you want something to make Sarah go aww, and are in the mood for historical fiction, try Jamie Ford's Hotel on the Corner of Bitter & Sweet. Brenda the audiobook buying librarian

March 16, 2010 1:20 PM  
Anonymous No one said...

Variable Star, a collaboration between Heinlein (an unfinished outline from one of his 50's juveniles) and Spider Robinson. I love it to pieces, and Spider's reading of the story made me appreciate it much more than just reading it did.

And yeah, there's the Escape Pod and Podcastle podcasts. Only short stories, but hey, they're free.

March 16, 2010 1:25 PM  
Blogger Brian said...


This may be the first time I'm posting on your site, but this is probably the most important thing I'd ever have to say to you so here goes:

"Make Love the Bruce Campbell Way"

Although, on second thought this may be dangerous to listen to while driving. I laughed so hard I crashed.

Seriously though, this was hilarious, it's done in an old fashioned radio serial program format. I won't ruin the story for you, but absolutly worth your time. It's perfect for your sense of mischif.

March 16, 2010 1:34 PM  
Anonymous Musereader said...

Dude - Re Hitchikers Guide - I think you ought to know that the tapes are the Radio show from 1978 and the Radio show *was* the original, the Book was in 1979 see here, I suppose if you are not english you wouldn't know that though. So it's not an audio book

March 16, 2010 1:40 PM  
Blogger RB said...

I enjoyed Chris Sarandon's reading of "Red Dragon" by Harris. I started it wondering if I could take Hannibal Lector and the Tooth Fairy seriously when voiced by Prince Humperdinck, but he's got a range of voices and accents that sometimes makes you wonder if there are multiple readers. One of the few audiobooks I can listen to over and over through sheer enjoyment of the narration.

March 16, 2010 1:51 PM  
Blogger erik said...

Not an audiobook but a great and dirty podcast is the "Savage Lovecast" by Dan Savage. Depending on Oot's age he will probably pick up way to many curses.

I disagree with the person who suggested This American Life -- Ira is way too soothing for a road trip. TAL increases the chance of falling asleep on the road exponentially.

If you're one of those all-through-the-night roadtrippers you can't go wrong with Late Night Coast to Coast AM.

Good luck on the trip.

March 16, 2010 1:55 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have never listened to an audio book but someone that is trying to get me into them is swearing up and down about the Dark Tower series. Not sure if someone already said that one but I enjoy the books so if I am going to try one that would be it. If you do try it let me know if it's any good.

March 16, 2010 2:03 PM  
Blogger Friend said...

All six of robin hobb's books, the Farseer Trilogy starting with the Assassin's Apprentice and her second trilogy The Tawny Man Trilogy are fantastic. All six of those are part of the same series too. I truthfully liked the reader that did your book and this one by Hobb is familiar to that.

I'd like to stress that if you are looking for a fantasy series, Hobb makes an incredible world, with some of the realest characters, and a unique magic. Her story is so gripping, emotionally and intellectually. And it's solid and can all be related to. You won't regret this listen.

March 16, 2010 2:10 PM  
Blogger JC said...

Have you ever heard "The Leviathan Chronicles"? It's a fully dramatized (full voice case, full sound FX, full soundtrack) audiobook serialized as a podcast. It's like listening to a big-budget adventure movie. Great fun, and very easy to download and take on the road. Check it out!

March 16, 2010 2:25 PM  
Anonymous Peat said...

If you want, I can send you a Warded Man audiobook. The narrator, Pete Bradbury, has a silken rumble of a voice that could charm the panties off a marble statue.

March 16, 2010 2:30 PM  
Blogger Tom Bailey said...

I'm currently enjoying The Lies of Locke Lamora as well by Scott Lynch, possibly the best audiobook since The Name of the Wind by whats his face...

March 16, 2010 2:38 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Pat, like a few people on here have already said, you've got to get the Dresden audiobooks. James Marsters is amazing as Harry Dresden! Spike + Dresden - british accent = win.

March 16, 2010 2:43 PM  
Anonymous g fitz said...

Don't cut your hair. You aren't interviewing for a job. Let the freak flag fly.

Also, listen to The Road by Cormac Mccarthy. Its about a man and his son. And Mccarthy is the best we have in america.

March 16, 2010 2:52 PM  
Anonymous Mac T said...


Kvothe and Aslan are fighting in the Thunderdome this round! are yout going to leave a comment on how you think the fight would turn out?

March 16, 2010 3:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well Mr. Rothfuss I don't really know what your favorite type of fantasy is but I will give my favorite audiobooks, which I also love because I listen to audiobooks at work.

Jim Butcher's Dresden Files
Brent Weeks Night Angel series (great listen)
Mistborn Trilogy by Brandon Sanderson
Wheel of Time the two that read it are great.

BTW love your book eagerly awaiting the next one. Keep up the good work.

March 16, 2010 3:01 PM  
Anonymous Baldsilver said...

ditto my man, audio books are fantastic, tho i haven't touched one since itunes got me started on the wheel of time. I can't risk another monster like that. Tho if I had to recommend, seeing as Howard Zinn died recently, i'll go for a People's History of the United States. If you haven't read it already, its a must. Adios.

March 16, 2010 3:05 PM  
Anonymous George said...

My favorite audiobook for the car is Daughter of Time by Josephine Tey. It's described as "historical mystery", which makes it sound awful, but it's an engaging novelization of a contemporary investigator looking into the Richard III murders of the princes in the tower. It's characters are well developed, it's read well, and it doesn't require a huge amount of work by the reader, so you can focus on driving.

I don't know if you're exclusively a fantasy guy, or if you like your books very cerebral, but I think it's really entertaining.

March 16, 2010 3:06 PM  
Anonymous David said...

My favorite audio book is "In A Sunburned Country" by Bill Bryson. I read mostly fantasy, but Bryson's travel narratives have kept me entertained for more hours than I care to count. It's read by the author which works very well for a travel narrative and has a shows a great sense of humor.

March 16, 2010 3:13 PM  
Blogger Jenny said...

All of the Dick Francis audiobooks I've listened to have been amazing. I particularly recommend "Decider." I mostly listen to mysteries on road trips, but here's a smattering of my favorites from all categories:

The Nero Wolfe mysteries by Rex Stout
Anything by Michael Criton, but especially Jurassic Park, Lost World, Timeline, and Andromeda Strain
Murder List by Julie Garwood
Death in Holy Orders by PD James
Anything with Dirk Pitt in it by Clive Cussler

The good news is that many of these are series, so they will provide endless hours of entertainment on trips.

Hope this helps! You rock my socks!

March 16, 2010 3:13 PM  
Anonymous Galvrin said...

Napalm and Sillyputty by George Carlin. You've probably at least heard of GC if you've done stand up yourself but in case you haven't he was probably the most thought provoking comedian that ever lived. The audio book is a collection of some of his material and it's also read by George himself. Downside is its only a little more then two hours long so its not going to eat a very big chunk of that 40 hour drive.

March 16, 2010 3:25 PM  
Blogger Silaqui said...

If you haven't read it yet, The Historian audiobook is really well read. Both the narrators are amazing.

Also the "How to Train Your Dragon" books read by David Tennant are also good, being a Dr. Who fan.

Gonna have to second both "The Moth" and "Stuff you you should know," as well as "Stuff you missed in history class" also from They have alot of good podcasts.

Have a good drive :D

March 16, 2010 3:38 PM  
Blogger Laura said...

If you like Sedaris, then you may like a friend of his, David Rakoff, who's done two books of essays, both of which are available on audio: FRAUD and DON'T GET TOO COMFORTABLE. I pulled Rakoff of the library audio shelves at random before driving 10 hours in November for a family gathering, and he made the trip go fast. (But be wary; at one point, I was laughing so hard I nearly drove off the road.)

I also listened to THE READER on that trip, which was excellent and really help me attention. Well read by Campbell Scott, and an excellent length for an audiobook. (I prefer shorter books on audio. Even if the book is good, 10-12 discs winds up feeling like a forced march.)

If you like British "manners" fiction (not quite sure how else to describe it), I recommend SNOBS and PAST IMPERFECT, both written by Julian Fellowes (who won an Oscar for his screenplay, GOSFORD PARK) and well read by the author (who is primarily an actor). Witty, well-written, wry novels about the contemporary upper classes of Britain and their odd place (or non-place) in the modern world.

March 16, 2010 3:54 PM  
Blogger Mr A. P. Salmond, esq. said...

Peter Ackroyd's "London, The Biography" is a superb audiobook. Broken down into five themed parts, it's a brilliant journey into London's past, from the grand sweep of history to the nitty gritty day to day lives. Read by Simon Callow, too, for added plummy authority.

March 16, 2010 3:57 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

one silent night by Sherrilyn Kenyon is pretty good

March 16, 2010 4:05 PM  
Blogger Sarah Smith said...

The Wheel of Time series by Robert Jordan is fantastic for driving (besides, there's tons of them so they'll last you a long trip). I wish I could give you the name of the readers (a woman and a man... how they manage to give each character their own distinct voice ammazes me), but I, errr, sort of got them off of Bittorrent... I do have a hard copy of each book (not just the digital version for my kindle), so I feel a little less guilty.
The Wastelands by Stephen King... but ONLY if you can find it read by the author. I have had the audio set since '91, and keep a cassette player just so I can listen to them. I've never been able to find it on CD or Torrent though. Happy listening!

March 16, 2010 4:18 PM  
Blogger dan said...


I finished reading book 1 today enjoyed your blog after that. I'm a fan of audiobooks too. I was introduced to them by the Crackerbarrel restaurant chain on a road trip through the south 15 or so years ago. They used to rent audiobooks, a customer magnet strategy that worked on me so well I made them my exclusive food provider on that trip and a few since. Anyway, my favorite audiobooks are the Patrick O'Brian books read by the late Patrick Tull, or anything else read by Tull. Tull's narration is the best I've heard and I've listened to many audiobooks.
Safe journey.

March 16, 2010 4:18 PM  
Blogger Chapel said...

Wheel is read by Michael Kraemer and Kate Reading - and they do a GREAT Job

March 16, 2010 4:23 PM  
Anonymous Agent Scully said...

I actually started listening to The Name of the Wind over the weekend. Overall, I'm enjoying it so far.

My favorite audio books, which I swear by since it's the only way I can survive work, are Harry Potter. Jim Dale is simply amazing. Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell is also very good. The Bartimaeus Trilogy is excellent fun. And the first three A Song Of Ice And Fire audio books are awesome. The fourth? Not so much. Oh, I also did NOT enjoy the Harry Dresden audio books. Really morose, the humor did not come through at all.

March 16, 2010 4:35 PM  
Blogger Eleanor said...

I'll leave a (seventh? eighth?) nomination of the Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell audiobook. It was ... amazing. I listened to it while driving around New Zealand, and actually found myself taking a few longer routes just because I didn't want to stop the book.

March 16, 2010 4:52 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The most recent audio book I listened to and really enjoyed was World War Z.
The best audio books ever for pure production value and experience are the full cast readings of His Dark Materials and Lord of the Rings.

March 16, 2010 5:20 PM  
Blogger Alexis said...

I really enjoyed the audio book for Dune.

What you really need is a fellow passenger who reads aloud well so you can pick any print book. That's how Dan and I work it.

March 16, 2010 5:30 PM  
Blogger Drew said...

I bought this in hardback and audiobook for my son. Get your steampunk on with Leviathan, read by Alan Cumming. It's pretty cool.

March 16, 2010 5:52 PM  
Anonymous Greg said...

I'm not sure about a good audiobook, but if it were me, I would go with the crazy bus station man look rather than a risky haircut. Looking like a crazy person basically counts as geek-cred anyway.

March 16, 2010 5:54 PM  
Blogger Dave said...

I can narrow it down to one, "The Art of Racing in the Rain" by Garth Stein. Me and my wife loved it. It has everything. Regardless of your choices, let us know what you picked and how they faired.

March 16, 2010 6:03 PM  
Blogger mkeller said...

I have been listening to Chuck Klosterman's "A Decade of Curious People and Dangerous Ideas"

Funny stuff, especially the novella at the end.

March 16, 2010 6:06 PM  
Anonymous Edward said...

I really enjoyed the audio book for Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell by Susanna Clarke

March 16, 2010 6:32 PM  
Blogger fergusons blog said...

I just read Shades of grey per your recommendation on goodreads and I did like it though I had a hard time at the beginning with the whole suspension of disbelieve thing. If the book was read by author I would bet it would be great. I dont have any recs myself as the only thing I listen to in the car is music or NPR. Maybee you could download a whole boatload of Wait Wait dont tell me pod casts. I listen to that religiously. It is WAY funny.

I also second your assessment of the Hitchhikers radio program. That was fawesome I still love even the theme music and just to hear Marvin speak, priceless.

Have a good trip!

March 16, 2010 6:55 PM  
Blogger Scott said...

It's not an audio book, but Orson Welles's radio show of The War of the Worlds is a classic and absolute fun to listen to.

March 16, 2010 7:06 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I always enjoy the Discworld Audiobooks.

March 16, 2010 7:16 PM  
Anonymous Holger said...

The radio performance of Orson Welles of "War of the worlds" is one of the best audiobooks ever, in my opinion.

March 16, 2010 7:41 PM  
Blogger Sam Grace said...

I agree with everyone who said Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell but I also want to plug Tim Curry's reading of Sabriel because AWESOME. So long as you don't mind YA. Which you shouldn't, because hooray for necromancer heroines, am I right?

March 16, 2010 7:41 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is a reply to the person who found the Jim Dale reading the first Harry Potter book very whiny. I only noticed that towards the end, and had the feeling he was tired of the book at that point. Honestly, I felt like the first book wasn't very good, it seemed mostly window-dressing and no substance. The following books were much better, as was Jim Dale's reading of them.

March 16, 2010 7:44 PM  
Blogger mfoley said...

First, I've got to add another recommendation of Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell. Even having already read it, I enjoyed listening to it again. Something I haven't seen anyone say yet is Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins, read by Carolyn McCormick. It's one of the best YA books to come out in the last few years, and Collins has managed to do that feat which is so very hard for authors, which I'm hoping you will replicate; writing a sequel that does not disappoint.

March 16, 2010 7:45 PM  
Blogger Stephen S said...

I have to agree with what some of the others said, I really enjoyed the Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell audio book. I read the book first though a year prior so I knew what I was into before listening to the audio book.

Side Note:
I just finished my first reading of "The Name of the Wind" last week and I loved it. I'll be making a trip down to the Frederick, MD March 23rd Reading/Signing from the Philadelphia area. This is my first reading/signing so I'm excited. Have a safe trip.

March 16, 2010 7:47 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Malcolm Gladwell's "Blink" is not a self-help book! It will cause you to think about what your're brain is doing when it is not thinking. Read by the author, who has just the right tone for the material.

March 16, 2010 8:01 PM  
Anonymous Thomas Nelson said...

Harry Potter. I know, but the guy who reads it is fantastic...
Anything by Christopher Moore stays at the top of my list. My favorite is Lamb, but any of his is sure to entertain.
Mistborn by Brandon Sanderson. Michael Kramer has an excellent voice. (Kramer also reads The Wheel of Time with his wife, Kate Reading, but you aren't driving around the world...)

Regarding the haircut/shave:
Take Oot with you and have him watch. I'm a Green Man myself, and know what kind of trauma it can cause to have a seeming stranger replace Daddy!
Although in truth my vote would be to let it grow, man.

March 16, 2010 8:06 PM  
Anonymous Thomas Nelson said...

Regarding Jim Dale/Harry Potter:
He only sounds whiny when he's in Hermione's voice and says, "Harry". It makes me cringe every time. Other than that Jim Dale is the best!

March 16, 2010 8:31 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Patrick, I saw you tonight at Borders in West Lafayette... I enjoyed listening to you share some of your story and your creative writing process. To be honest I had no clue who you were, I was going to a restaurant next door and saw a bunch of people gathered around in the bookstore so I went in. You were interesting.... in a good way. I think I'll get your book- My wife will probably read it first and she'll tell me if it's worth my time (can take me a while to get through a book). Anyway, good job out on the road- be safe.

March 16, 2010 8:46 PM  
Anonymous munin_and_hugin said...

I second (or third, or whatever, I'm not reading 150 comments to find out,) Christopher Moore's books. They're all pretty hysterical, but I agree A Dirty Job is the most so.

Also, Jim Butcher's Dresden Files got James Marsters for the audio books! So, I'd think that'd be on your must listen to list.

He's done Storm Front, Fool Moon, Grave Peril and Summer Knight from Buzzy Multimedia.

And Proven Guilty, White Night, Small Favor, and Turncoat by Penguin Audio.

March 16, 2010 8:46 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I've had an audible account for 10 years now. 2+ books a month... I can't be bothered w/ the math, but I've listed to a _lot_ of books (I have a long commute).

Far and away the best narration is Frank McCourt's Angela's Ashes, 'tis, and Teacher Man. If you haven't heard these, get them.

After that - hmm. Probably Roy Dotrice's narration on the first 3 GRRM A Song of Ice and Fire books.

Next, would be Patrick Tull reading the Aubrey/Maturin series by Patrick O'Brien (something you don't want to start unless you are committed to reading the 19 books in the series)


March 16, 2010 8:47 PM  
Anonymous Jesse M. said...

I had some great ideas for you, but I scanned down the list, to make sure I wasn't duplicating anyone, and something happened...

First, all of your other smart readers identified all of my best ideas (This American Life, The Moth, anything by David Sedaris, and Harry Potter).

Next, I found I was spending more time writing down the ideas of others, to use on my own road trips...

So, I've only got a couple more, which I don't think were covered:

- Douglas Adams: Last Chance To See
Douglas' hilarious account of trotting around the globe to see endangered species before they become extinct. If you haven't seen Stephen Fry's memorial video project by the same name, you MUST see it!

- Tom Clancy: Rainbow Six
I've run out of good ideas, so here's a funny one. This is a pretty good Tom Clancy novel, but the funny part is hearing a rough old man read this book--when he gets to the foul-mouthed parts, it's like hearing your dear old grandfather swear...

Lastly, see if you can dig up any tapes of:
Duck Juice Radio Comedy Quarter-Hour

(That show was ridiculously funny!)


March 16, 2010 8:48 PM  
Blogger David said...

Not that there aren't enough suggestions here, but if you are willing to foray into political comedy/commentary, then America (The Book): A Citizen's Guide to Democracy Inaction red by the Daily Show cast is truly hilarious. I'm not a politics or government studies junkie, and I learned more and laughed harder from this than any other audio source, including two colleges worth of professors.

March 16, 2010 8:59 PM  
Blogger David said...


March 16, 2010 9:00 PM  
Blogger Amanda said...


I am a Genius of Unspeakable Evil and I Want to be Your Class President by Josh Lieb. It was an amazing audiobook.


I am America and So Can You by Stephen Colbert


America by John Stewart

All freaking amazing, and fantastic adaptations to audiobook.

March 16, 2010 9:48 PM  
Anonymous WordSmith said...

The audio book of Into Thin Air (make sure to get the one narrated by Jon Krakauer himself) will blow your socks off. Literally.

Even if those socks are the only things keeping your frostbitten toes from blowing away in the wind at 28,000 feet.

March 16, 2010 9:57 PM  
Blogger cdieter said...

I have enjoyed simon r greens nightside audio books. I'm about half way through the first one and i really enjoy how the reader does his thing. he makes the character come alive more, and he sounds way better than how i imagined the character sounded when i read the books

March 16, 2010 10:24 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Life of Pi by Yann Martel is hands down the best audio book I've listened to. Great story and great narration. I also agree with all the Christopher Moore suggestions as well. Good luck and safe travels!

March 16, 2010 10:29 PM  
Blogger Horizon said...

Kvothe vs. Aslan in the Cage Match, next! Not looking good for Kvothe, sorry to say... That's the one character in the entire match-up who I'd root for over Kvothe. Kind of a shame, the way they arranged it.

March 16, 2010 11:18 PM  
Anonymous Natalie said...

I've listened to quite a few audio books from my library, which is fun because I have a limited selection and am forced to listen to stuff I otherwise wouldn't.

One of the best books I listened to was "Undertow" by Elizbeth Bear narrated by Timothy Renolds. The sci fi story has a wondefully crafted alien race and culture and plays with time and the idea that every chioce we make might create a parallel universe in whcich we make the other choice. Here's a review for it:

I also like the audio book "Prey" by Michael Chricton.

I think Vincent Price's readings of Edgar Allen Poe's works are classic.

On a different tone "Middlesex" by Jeffery Euginides was a very well written look at the fictional life of a hermaphrodite. It starts with the grandparents in Greece and follows the events until Cal realizes taht she is intersexed and goes on a journey to find herself. (The audio versions narrator does a very good job too).

I hope you find some good listening material and have a good trip. I won't be able to make it to any of your readings this time, but I look forward to seeing you sometime in the future.

March 17, 2010 12:19 AM  
Blogger Thewanderingmick said...

Evenin Pat. Long time reader, first time responder.

I would like to formally recommend The Dark Tower series by Steve King. The vocal talent is outrageously good. Also, Foundling, and its sequel Lamplighter, by D.M. Cornish are two that I've enjoyed to no little end lately. Cornish is very talented, and his stuff is a bit left of common, so I think you'd really dig 'em.


March 17, 2010 12:31 AM  
Blogger MouetteSheridan said...

"Outlander" by Diana Gabaldon - long and slow book, just how I like them, and very well-researched. The reader I felt was particularly good.

March 17, 2010 12:42 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm sure these have all been mentioned, but I'll toss them out there anyway:
1. Enderverse by Orson Scott Card
2. Shutter Island by Dennis Lehane...very very good!
3. The song of ice and fire series by George RR Martin
4. The Green Mile by Stephen King
5. The Lies of Locke Lamora by Scott Lynch
6. Anything by Christopher Moore...very funny!
7. Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell by Susanna Clarke.

Have a great trip!!

March 17, 2010 1:25 AM  
Blogger Jonathan said...

Hey Pat,

I don't know if you actually read these comments or not, but I'll give my honest opinion just the same:

If you are fond of The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy read by Stephen Fry, he also reads the Harry Potter series.

I don't know your opinion of the Harry Potter series, but I am personally very impressed by the plotting and story-telling. Add Stephen Fry's voice to it and, well, it can rock balls.

Check it out, if you have the time.

A fan in Canada,
named Johnny

March 17, 2010 2:02 AM  
Blogger Kevin said...

One good audiobook: Pale Blue Dot by Carl Sagan, read by Carl Sagan. You can't go wrong.

March 17, 2010 2:03 AM  
Anonymous Sarah said...

Stephen King's Dark Tower series is excellent on audio book - although I will admit, there are a few points where repetition that was effective in print becomes almost annoying when read aloud. Still a very lovely listen!

March 17, 2010 2:55 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

anyone for the Darktower series??

March 17, 2010 5:36 AM  
Blogger Phil Lowe said...

Haven't listened to a ton of audio books but I'll put my support in for the Enderverse books and World War Z.

If listened to Ender's Game multiple times, I think more than I've read it. Really well done.

March 17, 2010 6:22 AM  
Blogger Dennepeer said...

Hello Pat,

Huge audiobook fan myself.

Below are audio books all have great narrators

The Night angel trilogy by Brent Weeks
Orphan boy learns to be a wet boy (assassin with magic as bonus).

Odd Thomas by Dean Koontz
I see dead people. But at least i do something about it. One of the best books i've ever read.

Crusade by Greg Crites (iTunes, free)
About a columnwriter who goes on a quest to attain info for a column about religion in america. It's a bit like reading "fear and loathing in las vegas". With a lot more humor.

The Rookie by Scott Sigler (iTunes, free)
Star Wars meets Any Given Sunday meets The Godfather. Before this book i absolutely hated american football. If you can listen to 6 episodes and stop we are not compatible in taste i'm afraid. :-)

March 17, 2010 6:40 AM  
Anonymous Darb07 said...

James Marsters (Spike from Buffy) does some good Jim Butcher's Dresden Files Narrating for the AudioBooks. Something to take a look at.

March 17, 2010 6:52 AM  
Blogger A Life Long Scholar said...

Don't cut your hair--if it has been growing for a year, it will just be starting to get to a decent length!

March 17, 2010 6:56 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yes, yes, Bill Bryson...we listen to "A Walk in the Woods" at least once every 6 months.

March 17, 2010 7:30 AM  
Blogger Kathryn said...

Normally I'd say find the Name of the Wind audiobook but I can't see that helping you out lol. Good luck on your trip and have fun.

March 17, 2010 7:31 AM  
Blogger kertap said...

Hmm.... the one audio book i ever tried put me to sleep, but admittedly it would have taken a years worth of caffeine to keep me functioning on that particular car trip. But these posts have me thinking about trying them again for two reasons. First is so many people praising an audio book that i could barely finish in print. One or two people I could understand, but a dozen or more? There must be something very special about the audio version. Second is that i see a lot of people have suggested books written all or mostly in the first person, like your book, the Dresden books and a few others. I think that would make most readings a lot more interesting to me. I wonder if any of Jeff Lindsay's Dexter books are available as audio's? That would be the creepiest way to enjoy them I think....

March 17, 2010 7:45 AM  
Anonymous Ivy said...

The "Peter and the Starcatchers" series by Ridley Pearson and Dave Barry- yes, THAT Dave Barry.

A YA action/adventure series, read by Jim Dale, sort of a "prequel" to Peter Pan. These are fun and easy to listen to while you're doing something else.

Carter Beats the Devil, by Glen David Gold- the version read by Stanley Tucci is the best. A magician in the style of Houdini meets Beelzebub.

March 17, 2010 8:01 AM  
Blogger Rob said...

I'm pretty fond of Tim Curry reading Sabriel/Lirael/Abhorsen. Also Lenny Henry reading Anansi Boys. And, of course, nothing tops Gaiman reading Gaiman.

March 17, 2010 8:09 AM  
Blogger membrillu said...

I love the Mistborn trilogy audiobooks and the two available audiobooks of the Hunger Games trilogy, by Suzanne Collins.

March 17, 2010 8:26 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I second World War Z

March 17, 2010 8:27 AM  
Blogger Ry said...

I highly recommend searching audible by narrator for Michael Page. One of my favorites not only because he's just plain great but he also has a great selection of recent debut fantasy authors such as yourself. With Robert V.S. Redick, Scott Lynch, Joe Abercrombie, etc. you can't really go wrong. Most recently I've listened to his narration of the Ruling Sea (book 2 Chathrand Voyage) by Robert V.S. Redick.

March 17, 2010 8:44 AM  
Anonymous Laura S said...

Enjoy your road trip! I wish I lived in the US so I could come and see you.

I recommend The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins. It is amazing. Also, although it is not an audiobook, I very very highly recommend Smart Mouths Podcast. It is by far the most entertaining, informative, witty and hilarious podcasts I have ever come across. You like and connect with the hosts immediately.

March 17, 2010 8:45 AM  
Blogger Alex Sheftel said...

I am an avid audiobook listener. I just finished Cryptonomicon by Neal Stephenson. If you have not read it yet, I would highly recommend the audio. Dufris does an excellent job with this book.

March 17, 2010 10:05 AM  
Blogger Nick said...

This will be lost among other comments I'm sure but... Pat, have you seen description for the Kvothe vs. Aslan matchup on Suvudu? Beautiful. And they pick Kvothe to win!

March 17, 2010 11:26 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

stroud jonathan - bartimaeus trilogy. Yes its young adult but it is not fluff, it has humor too and it is so well done.

March 17, 2010 11:46 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

stroud jonathan - bartimaeus trilogy. Yes its young adult but it is not fluff, it has humor too and it is so well done.

March 17, 2010 11:47 AM  
Blogger Keith said...

Hey Pat, you've been mentioned in a Penny Arcade blog post! You've hit the big time now :)

March 17, 2010 11:48 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I LOVED The Yiddish Policemens Unit by Michael Chabon.

March 17, 2010 11:51 AM  
Anonymous mrforgetful said...

I'm going to have to go with the recommendation for Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell. Wonderful book, excellently read. It will consume almost your entire journey and it does take its time.

If not Matter by Iain M. Banks or The Contortionist's Handbook by Craig Clevenger are great.

March 17, 2010 12:35 PM  
Anonymous mrforgetful said...

I'm going to have to go with the recommendation for Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell. Wonderful book, excellently read. It will consume almost your entire journey and it does take its time.

If not Matter by Iain M. Banks or The Contortionist's Handbook by Craig Clevenger are great.

March 17, 2010 12:36 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I've listened to very few audiobooks - three to be exact. HHGTTH was my first. Excellent. Then came Storm Front by Jim Butcher, read very well* by Buffy alum James Marsters and The Eye of the World (Michael Kramer and Kate Reading). I enjoyed them all. My only issues were minor word pronunciation foibles. That's all I got.

Hey, where is the second part of your two part post on The Perils of Fan Fiction. You left us hanging!

March 17, 2010 12:50 PM  
Blogger mike said...

Ditto on the Stephen Fry Harry Potter audiobooks -- they turned a cross country road trip from "Are we there yet" to "Can we get back into the car?"!
Nonfiction-wise, I've really enjoyed all of Gladwell's & Pollan's (Omnivore's Dilemma) audiobooks.

March 17, 2010 1:08 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Try The Canning Season by Polly Horvath (read by the amazing Julie Dretzen). This is a story I keep coming back to time after time. It's only about 8 hours, but such a great mix of quirky, grisly and heartwarming.

March 17, 2010 1:33 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Don't forget to send a little blurb to Suvudu! It's currently 52% Aslan to 48% kvothe!

March 17, 2010 1:55 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Pat I just left your Cincinnati signing, thanks so much for squeezing in a reading while here. And for not trimming the beard!

March 17, 2010 1:59 PM  
Blogger Liam said...

Apparently Joe Abercrombie's *amazing* First Law trilogy is available on audiobook, along with the standalone Best Served Cold. These are the books I recommend to people immediately after NotW.

For those who haven't read them, they're full of GREAT characters, black humour, and great treatment of fantasy tropes and stereotypes all reworked with a gritty adult spin.

March 17, 2010 2:46 PM  
Blogger Christopher said...

Books as music

Lynne Thigpen is my favourite narrator. She treats the pages of the book as sheets of music. When I first read Toni Morrison's "Jazz" I read it with the voice in my head of a young white male from Brisbane Australia. Listening to Lynne Thigpen set me straight. It was more than that I didn't have the rhythm, I couldn't hear the music.

Toni Morrison, "Jazz", Recorded Books, CS ISBN 1556908423, Narrated by Lynne Thigpen, unabridged.

March 17, 2010 3:25 PM  
Anonymous Jen said...

The "How to Train Your Dragon" books read by David Tennant are fantastic. I'm confident that I would love them even without being a massive Who fan. As a bonus, they'll also be great for Oot to listen to in a few years.

March 17, 2010 4:07 PM  
Blogger M said...

On my road trips between Denver & WI I prefer to listen to podcasts of This American Life, and old time radio's X Minus One series.

March 17, 2010 4:18 PM  
Blogger Vincent said...

Another vote for Harry Potter.. But not by Stephen Fry but by Jim Dale!
The man is amazing. He is a natural storyteller. He won an Grammy for his naration of Harry Potter twice! Also, he is in the Guinness Book of Records for creating the most character voices in an audiobook (more than 200)

If a sentence would be: '"Goodmorning, Harry", said Seamus' then you would already know that Seamus said goodmorning because of the different voices Jim Dale uses.

March 17, 2010 5:23 PM  
Blogger Audrey said...

I don't have any audiobook recommendations that haven't already been mentioned several times, so i'll just wish you a happy 'school-year' birthday, pat!

March 17, 2010 5:44 PM  

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