Literary Fiction 2013 Audie Nominees


The Audie Awards for excellence in recorded books will be announced on May 23rd.  I’ve read all of the entries in the Literary Fiction Category and offer a brief opinion here of each.

Bring Up the Bodies, by Hilary Mantel, Narrated by Simon Vance, Macmillan Audio.  This is my favorite of the group and my choice for the Audie award in Literary fiction.  Set in the court of Henry VIII and Ann Boleyn, the book focuses on the Thomas Cromwell and his involvement in the intrigue.  Simon Vance is a favorite narrator of mine, and he certainly does not disappoint in this reading.

The End of the Affair, by Graham Greene, Narrated by Colin Firth, Audible, Inc.  This is an interesting tale of a love/hate relationship between a wife, husband, and lover, with more complexity than appears on the surface.  Colin Firth did a lovely job in his narration. 

Heft, by Liz Moore, Narrated by Kirby Heyborne and Keith Szarabajka, Blackstone Audio.  Were it not for this audibooks’ inclusion in this list, I probably would never have chosen to listen to it, but I am really glad I did.  The themes of morbid obesity and parental suicide are too close to home, and I was relieved to see that handled so well in this story.  The two narrators were well suited to their parts as well.  Some reviewers didn’t care for the ending, but I think it was perfect.

The Remains of the Day, by Kazuo Ishiguro, Narrated by Simon Prebble, Tantor Media.  This was a good story, though at times it was a bit slow.  Simon Prebble’s narration was wonderful.  I think the thing that bothered me was the thread on the butler wanting to learn the art of bantering, which he believed would help in his relationship to his American employer.  It was introduced early in the book and reminded me of Data, the android in Star Trek Next Generation, trying to learn the art of humor that would let him appear more human.  The association stuck with me as I listened. (My husband watches everything Star Trek, so I can’t help but watch some of it while I’m stitching and the TV is on.)

Remember Ben Clayton, by Stephen Harrigan, Narrated by George Guidall, Recorded Books, LLC.  I will be honest and say that I really didn’t care for this one.  I’m not much for Westerns and the whole concept of the story was a bit far-fetched for me.  Guidall’s narration was appropriate for the material, but here, too, it was kind of older man Western…not my favorite style.  On the positive side, I live in San Antonio and recognized many of the locations mentioned, and they also mentioned New Paltz, New York where I had lived for a while and my in-laws still do.

1 comment:

  1. This is a really nice wrap up post. I'm so glad to be a Literary Fiction judge with you this year.

    Your association of the butler in The Remains of the Day with Data is awesome!