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David Copperfield by Charles Dickens

From AudioFile magazine:
At 34 hours in length, this is quite a tome, but there’s no one better qualified than Simon Vance to lead us through this audio journey. He parses the author’s long sentences well, pausing sufficiently to make the details easy to follow while still maintaining a quick enough pace to keep the story going. Most enjoyable is his voicing of the myriad characters who appear in the narrative—and characters they certainly are. Vance times their occasionally hilarious exchanges especially well. All of this is delivered in a manner that suggests that Vance revels in Dickens’s prose and sly humor, and the listener cannot help but revel along with him. Three cheers for Vance—and not the least for his stamina! A.E.B. Winner of AudioFile Earphones Award © AudioFile 2009

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Kushiel’s Scion by Jacqueline Carey

kushiel's_scion_240x317From AudioFile Magazine:
Imriel was once a pirates’ slave. It’s no wonder that he’s sometimes unpredictable and seemingly lost in a dark place—but he’s always loyal to the few he calls friends. During his sojourns, he studies at university and then travels to a friend’s wedding, ending up in a city under siege. There he fights for his life in an army led by a friend who has been possessed by the spirit of a dead general. In the hands of Simon Vance, this long book never lags. He’s adept at creating characters that quickly become familiar. His narrative voice is intimate and confiding. During the long preparation for the sustained siege, Vance keeps the action fresh and steady. J.E.M. Winner of AudioFile Earphones Award © AudioFile 2009

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Narcissus and Goldmund by Hermann Hesse

narcissus_goldmund_175x175From AudioFile Magazine:
Set in medieval Germany, this much-lauded 1930 novel contrasts its hero, the mercurial wandering artist Goldmund, with his great friend, Narcissus, an Apollonian intellectual and priest. The former meanders through medieval Germany, womanizing and striving to discover the meaning of his wayward life, while the latter dedicates his life to science and contemplation. Despite the many violent and emotional occurrences limned herein, narrator Simon Vance adopts a gentle tone, beautifully suggesting the mystical, poetic, and arcane nature of the parable-like story. This he retains throughout while still doing ample justice to the passages of drama, pathos, and humor. A neat trick and one that enhances every passage of this excellent translation. Y.R. Winner of AudioFile Earphones Award © AudioFile 2009

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The Girl Who Played With Fire by Stieg Larsson

From AudioFile magazine:
Fair warning: Once begun, you will not be able to stop listening to this audiobook. So prepare to spend a lot of sleepless time with fabulous narrator Simon Vance and amazing Swedish writer Stieg Larsson. This sequel to Larsson’s critically acclaimed bestseller, THE GIRL WITH THE DRAGON TATTOO, which Vance also narrated, reunites us with Lisbeth Salander—asocial genius and hacker—and Mikael Blomkvist—publisher of a national newsmagazine. Just as the magazine is about to publish a name-dropping exposé on sex trafficking, its authors are murdered. Lisbeth’s fingerprints are on the murder weapon. Vance’s reading of the breathless plot is faultless. The narrative is warm and enticing; the violence quick and crisp; the characters informatively voiced and unmistakable. Go ahead: listen. Who needs sleep? A.C.S. Winner of AudioFile Earphones Award © AudioFile 2009

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The Suspicions of Mr. Whicher by Kate Summerscale

suspicions_mr_whicher_510x680From AudioFile Magazine:
The art of detection was in its infancy when the murder of 3-year-old Saville Kent rocked Britain’s sensibilities. The child’s body was found on the family’s estate, stuffed down the servants’ outdoor privy. It was a week before DI Jack Whicher of Scotland Yard was called in to investigate. Summerscale uses excerpts from popular Victorian detective fiction as examples of the period, and Simon Vance inhabits each new voice with gusto and originality. He expertly conveys British attitudes toward criminality and class distinction, and when Whicher names his prime suspect, Vance makes listeners feel Whicher’s disappointment and subsequent disgrace as the media and the courts turn against him. The audiobook includes a house plan a family tree, and a chart listing the large cast of characters. Artful, suspenseful, and worthwhile listening. S.J.H. Winner of AudioFile Earphones Award © AudioFile 2009

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Stone’s Fall by Iain Pears

From AudioFile Magazine:
Iain Pears unravels the story of an English arms supplier whose mysterious death (and mysterious wife) intersect with twentieth-century history. This lengthy story proceeds in a backwards chronology, starting in England in 1909 (after a prologue set in the 1950s), moving to Paris in the 1890s, and then to Venice in 1867. Like an audio tag team, John Lee, Simon Vance, and Roy Dotrice share the microphone, each doing an impeccable job with accents and narrative turns. Lee starts in London, Dotrice performs the Paris segment, and Vance completes the final hours in Venice. Each segment can stand alone as solid storytelling, but combined they create a trifecta that’s mesmerizing, carefully plotted, and packed with fascinating historic details. R.W.S. Winner of AudioFile Earphones Award © AudioFile 2009, Portland, Maine [Published: JUNE 2009]

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