Who are your favorite narrators and why? What do you look for in a narrator? Have a preference between male or female narrators?
Really good audiobook narration takes great talent. I've highlighted a few narrators that I really enjoy in Narration Creation, a series of interviews with audiobook narrators.
One of the things I look for most in an audiobook narrator is an ability to create distinct character voices. In many books, the types of characters are diverse, some having different accents, ages, genders, etc. There is so much that can be captured in a character's voice that really makes listening to an audiobook fun.
I also look for tone and pacing. If there is a particularly tense or action-packed scene, I like narrators to reflect that with their voice. The really difficult part is that I don't want to have to turn up or down the volume on my car stereo either. So, creating tension is more than just raising your voice. It's building intensity, and maybe slowing down or speeding up just a little without losing the enunciation of words. Sounds tough, huh?
I can tell when a narrator just isn't digging the story. And it's usually about the time that I start tuning out. This has really only ever happened to me once or twice. But, when a narrator is in the moment, I will sit in a sweltering hot car just to get to a good stopping place.
Here are the narrators that I'm currently loving: