|Patrick Tull: He even|
|looks like Cadfael!|
Stephen Thorne does a pleasing job with Ellis Peters' Cadfael books and short stories. Hugh Fraser (who plays Hastings opposite Suchet's Poirot) does a more than respectable job with Christie's texts.
Speaking of mysteries, Ian Carmichael may not look like Peter Wimsey but nobody sounds more like him! He reads well and fast and doesn't try to "act" too many different characters (it impresses me when a reader can do this, but it usually slows them down, and few of them are as good as Jim Dale).
|Joss Ackland as the diplomat|
|in hunt for Red October: that|
As does Joss Ackland! I am currently listening to him read The Screwtape Letters. I own the John Cleese-read version of the same text, and it is quite good. However, I must admit, Ackland's is better! (Joss Ackland played C.S. Lewis in Shadowlands, the BBC version--which is far superior to the Hollywood version.)
|Stephanie Cole: Hilarious comedienne.|
So there are strong female narrators! Rosemary Leach and Stephanie Cole come to mind. Nadia May, a reader from the days before audiobooks were made for more people than the visually-impaired (and kudos to those readers!)--does a respectable job. Joan Hickson is a great reader of Christie's short stories (I prefer Leach and Cole for the novels).
Judi Dench is a strong reader. In one episode of As Time Goes By, Jean (Judi Dench) is reading in bed with Lionel; he has gotten a pile of books out of the library, including Winnie-the Pooh by A.A. Milne. After she teases him for his choice, she reads a passage. Cadence and tone are exactly right! Afterwards, Jean chuckles and admits that Winne-the-Pooh is worth rereading, whether one is an adult or a child.
|Baldrick about to deliver his poem: Boom, boom, boom!|
The all-time best reader in my estimation is Simon Prebble. He has good cadence; he captures tone and meaning very well. On top of all that, his voice is unbelievably sexy: think James Earl Jones, only English and not quite so deep. Prebble has read Ellis Peters' "contemporary" series (based in the 1950s and 1960s) as well as Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell by Susanna Clark and some Sherlock Holmes' stories.