These stories are given new life with talented voices that enrich the listening experience.
As it is often said, much is lost in adapting novels. For movies and TV series, certain concessions must be made for these visual mediums. Audiobooks on the other hand, provide a more direct conversion from page to earphones. Although for most, it can just be a literal reading that add little to no enhancement to the story—there are some that elevate it. Here are our audiobook picks that do justice to the original work.
The Handmaid’s Tale
by Margaret Atwood, read by Claire Danes
This dark dystopian story that delves into heavy themes such as female subjugation and totalitarian patriarchal society is treated with utmost seriousness with this audible adaptation. Award-winning actress Claire Danes uses her timbre to deep dive us into this intricate grim world filled that seems like a fitting read-slash-listen with the current state of our world.
The Handmaid’s Tale is exclusively available on Audible.
by Michelle Obama, read by Michelle Obama
Who else is best suited to read Michelle Obama’s story than the former First Lady of the United States herself? Michelle Obama recounts her life in sheer detail, her voice carrying the true weight of these experiences. The deeply personal memoir is an immersive piece as is, and this audiobook pulls no punches in expressing Obama’s life as a woman on the pursuit of reckoning.
Becoming is available on Audible.
by Neil Gaiman, read by Neil Gaiman, James McAvoy, Kat Dennings, and cast
What is considered by many as an unadaptable work outside of its graphic novel form, The Sandman gets its first taste of an adaptation through an audiobook supported with the voices of an all-star cast. With the talents of James McAvoy as Morpheus/Dream, Kat Dennings as Death, and none other than Neil Gaiman as the Narrator, we are reintroduced to the Gaiman’s saga in a sonically satisfying tale. The audiobook covers the first three volumes of the graphic novel, Preludes & Nocturnes, The Doll’s House, and Dream Country.
The Sandman is exclusively available on Audible.
Call Me By Your Name
by André Aciman, read by Armie Hammer
Armie Hammer not only played Oliver in the film adaptation of André Aciman’s romance novel but he has also lent his deep velvet voice to the audiobook version. Hammer’s smooth telling paces the story well and naturally fits the gradual fascination to then attraction of the two central characters and their inner thoughts. Plus, with the experience of bringing a central character to life on the silver screen, the reading was informed, insightful, and dare we say, more aching when he reads through the context of Elio and his father.
Call Me By Your Name is available on Audible.
by Yuval Noah Harari, read by Derek Perkins
The sheer information tank that is Sapiens may be an intimidating read with its use of many terminologies that may offset the common reader. Derek Perkins provides a soothing oral flow through the book’s chapters from the Cognitive Revolution to the Scientific Revolution, giving an easily consumable form to one of the most regarded non-fiction books in modern times.
Sapiens is available on Audible.
The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy
by Douglas Adams, read by Stephen Fry
Adams’ science-fiction comedy epic is realized in its maximal wit by the lending of Stephen Fry’s intellectual elocution. Follow the adventures of Arthur Dent as he faces the odd and strange worlds through the voice of one of The UK’s national treasures. As a tip: Best listen to it 42 times.
The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy is available on Audible.
by Louisa May Alcott, read by Laura Dern and cast.
If Little Women has proven one thing, it’s that it has become a timelessly adaptable classic. With seven film adaptations, multiple stage productions, a good number of TV series, and even an anime under its belt, the story of the March sisters resonates still with women today as it did back 1868 when it was first published. Fresh from her playing Marmee in 2019 feature film adaption, Laura Dern returns in this audio version as the narrator of the story, providing a motherly guide through the stories of Meg, Jo, Beth, and Amy.
Little Women is exclusively available on Audible.