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Dune by Frank Herbert

dune_95x95From AudioFile magazine:
This full-cast performance, augmented by sound effects and music, does justice to a classic of the science fiction genre. Dune, a complex tale of greed, the quest for power, and the indomitable human spirit, follows the development of young Paul Atreides into the messianic Muad’Dib. Euan Morton imbues Paul with an effective mix of vulnerability and conviction in his destiny. Simon Vance is a stalwart anchor narrator. Scott Brick, Orlagh Cassidy, and others contribute to an engrossing presentation. This prose is well suited to being read aloud, and this production makes the book easily accessible to newcomers and Dune fanatics. The only thing missing is a complete list of the cast members and the parts they narrate. J.E.M. Winner of AudioFile Earphones Award © AudioFile 2007

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The Quest by Wilbur Smith

quest_291x500From AudioFile Magazine:
Wilber Smith’s saga of ancient Egypt continues. Taita, beloved advisor of the pharaoh, sets out on a quest to rid Egypt of the plagues that threaten the kingdom. Taita knows that the witch Eos is behind the troubles and that he must travel to the source of the Nile to confront her. Simon Vance is an indefatigable narrator. Long narrative passages move swiftly, and dialogue is sharp. Vance keeps the rhythm of the story moving as Taita and his comrades face difficult odds in the conflict with Eos. Their struggles and the accompanying suspense are intense. While Vance’s portrayals of the main characters are strong and forceful, he also depicts the tenderness between Taita and Fenn, and their friendship with Meren. J.E.M. Winner of AudioFile Earphones Award © AudioFile 2007

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China Road by Rob Gifford

china_road_160x252From AudioFile Magazine:
Want to learn more about a country that will increasingly impact our lives for years to come? Ride along with Gifford as he travels from Shanghai to Kazakhstan on China’s longest road. You’ll think it’s the writer himself talking–so closely does Simon Vance approximate his age, British nationality, and dexterity with the Chinese language. He helps make you see the vibrant modernity of Shanghai and the beauty of the Gobi Desert, the pollution, cookie-cutter factories, and ubiquitous karaoke bars and enlivens conversations with construction workers, bus passengers, and population control personnel. At the end of this valuable listening experience, Gifford predicts China’s chances of making it as a major power. J.B.G. Winner of AudioFile Earphones Award, AudioFile Best Audiobook of 2007 © AudioFile 2007

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The Prestige by Christopher Priest

From AudioFile Magazine:
Priest’s remarkable novel won the World Fantasy Award in 1996. Now it’s been produced as an audiobook every bit as remarkable. Simon Vance provides the voices of two late-nineteenth-century warring professional stage magicians: Alfred Borden and Rupert Angier. The entire novel is told through journal entries by these two prestidigitators. Hearing Vance mellifluously pronounce words like “prestidigitator” as if they were part of his normal speech makes the book worth the time, but there is so much more. These characters are shrouded in mystery from the very first minutes, and Vance expertly portrays these two men as their lives (and their tricks) are slowly revealed. S.D.D. Winner of AudioFile Earphones Award, 2007 Audies Award Finalist © AudioFile 2007

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The Book of Samson by David Maine

book_of_samson_240x317From AudioFile Magazine:
This is a fleshed-out story of Samson that you won’t find in the Bible. Believing that he is a messenger of God, Samson slaughters and maims hundreds of the enemies of his people and sleeps with countless women as the body count rises. Delilah’s persistent attempts to get Samson to reveal the secret of his strength give an appreciation for why he eventually gives in to her wheedling. It is clear that Simon Vance becomes the character of Samson, with all his frailties, naïveté, and sharp observations of the world around him. This great performance has everything a listener could wish for–excellent tempo, believable voices, and a tone of conviction that makes one believe that the events and dialogue in the book are truly what took place. S.S.R. Winner of AudioFile Earphones Award © AudioFile 2007

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The Warden by Anthony Trollope

warden_180x252From AudioFile Magazine:
The incomparable Simon Vance parses Anthony Trollope’s famously circumlocutory, phrase-filled style with aplomb in this first of the Barsetshire novels. In it, we follow Mr. Harding, the kindhearted warden of an old men’s poorhouse, who is caught between his ambitious, conservative son-in-law and a reform-minded young man who wants to become his second son-in-law. Trouble ensues when the hapless Mr. Harding tries to avoid unpleasantness by agreeing with everyone. Vance’s narrative skills help modern listeners hear the elegance of Trollope’s writing and understand the writer’s skewering wit. And his ability to create character-revealing accents, from the illiterate grumble of a local farmer to the nasal bray of a highborn clergyman, makes the nineteenth century live in our ears. A.C.S. Winner of AudioFile Earphones Award, 2007 Audies Award Finalist © AudioFile 2007

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