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A Spot of Bother by Mark Haddon

From AudioFile Magazine:
Be prepared to laugh and groan out loud as you listen to the machinations of retired Englishman George Hall and his family. In his previous novel, THE CURIOUS INCIDENT OF THE DOG IN THE NIGHT-TIME, Haddon managed to make autism fascinating, funny, and heartwarming. Now he takes on today’s family and produces a comic tale of love, need, and misunderstanding. Simon Vance inhabits everyone with class–as well as character-revealing accents and terrific, clear pacing. He gives us ponderously serious George; gay son, Jamie, and his leather-jacketed lover–yes, Vance lets us hear the leather; confused daughter, Katie, and her–horrors!–working-class fiancé. This is an audiobook to savor. A.C.S. Winner of AudioFile Earphones Award © AudioFile 2006

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Theft by Peter Carey

theft_240x317From AudioFile Magazine:
Peter Carey’s characters are always dodgy and unreliable. In Theft, Michael Boone is a once-famous Australian painter now out of fashion and fresh out of prison. He lives in a backwater, taking care of a former collector’s property and his autistic savant brother, Hugh. Beautiful, manipulative Marlene wants to resurrect Michael’s career. But is it all a cover for getting a missing painting out of the country? Simon Vance develops a hardscrabble Australian accent for Michael that is completely authentic, with his belligerence, arrogance, and obsession perfectly rendered; we understand Michael, but we don’t like him much. Vance deals with the significant challenge of making Hugh believable–both “slow-witted” and linguistically playful–by developing a booming voice that expresses both independence and impairment. A.B. Winner of AudioFile Earphones Award © AudioFile 2006

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The Death of Ivan Illych & Master and Man by Leo Tolstoy

tolstoy_360x425From AudioFile Magazine:
Some of history’s finest fiction is brought to riveting life by reader Simon Vance. Brilliantly performed, saturated with real emotional depth, this is an unforgettable listen. Tolstoy on death is a vital addition to any audiobook collection, and these classic tales work both as entertainment and inspiration. Only the hardest heart would fail to be moved by these incisive stories of human dignity and death. Few writers reveal the human soul as well as Tolstoy, and few readers could provide such a worthy voicing of this work. Vance manages to transcend translation and ear to make Tolstoy very current indeed. Worthy of not only listening, but relistening over the years, this refined recording is full of nuance and wisdom, wit and sorrow. D.J.B. Winner of AudioFile Earphones Award © AudioFile 2006

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The Devil of Nanking by Mo Hayder

devil_of_nanking_240x317Narrated with Josephine Bailey
From AudioFile Magazine:
This novel of wartime atrocities by the Japanese in China benefits from the narration of two accomplished narrators. Josephine Bailey is haunting as Grey, a young English woman who is obsessed with something she read as a young child about the 1937 massacre in Nanking. Grey is determined to track down the truth of what happened and goes in search of a survivor who is now a visiting professor in Japan. Simon Vance is the calm, introspective, but equally obsessed, professor, who reads from his journal of the days leading up to and subsequent to the massacre. The two threads of the plot are kept appropriately disconnected by Bailey’s narrating both sides of the dialogue between Grey and the professor. J.E.M. Winner of AudioFile Earphones Award © AudioFile 2006

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