Audiobook Narrator Spotlight: Simon Vance

Audiobooks are a wonderful way to get more “reading” into your daily routine. Oftentimes it can be hard to immerse yourself in a story being read to you, so narration plays a huge part. A skillful narrator is so important that AudioFile has gone so far as to create a Golden Voice category to highlight some of those narrators who are the “best of the best,” many having won multiple Audie awards and Earphone Awards—high praise in the world of audiobooks.

Simon Vance is one such narrator. His range is impressive, narrating works of both popular fiction and classics, as well as some nonfiction. Below we highlight some of his most noteworthy performances, but check our catalog to find many more titles featuring Simon Vance's Golden Voice, including children’s books. You can also find much of his work available on downloadable audio via hoopla.

Arguably the most popular series that Vance has brought to life is Stieg Larsson’s Millennium Series, which starts with The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo. AudioFile had this to say about the narration of this bestselling crime novel, “Simon Vance is outstanding, as is his narration. His voices are so natural and fit so well with their characters that the listener is completely transported into the story… This production exemplifies an extraordinary match between book and narrator.”

Make sure to continue the series, as Booklist raved about all three and bestowed its Editors’ Choice: Media award on the third installment, The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest in 2010, noting, “This is a dark story of abuse and violence, and Vance’s reading enhances its relentlessly gritty, noir edge. Don’t start with this audio; begin with The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo to appreciate the full impact of this amazing story and Vance’s narrating achievements.”

And if that is not enough, you can follow Vance to David Lagercrantz’s fourth entry in the series, The Girl in the Spider's Web.

If you’ve always wanted to tackle Dickens, but are daunted by the many pages, let Vance immerse you in the world of David Copperfield. Vance snagged an Earphones Award for his telling of this classic. “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…Most enjoyable is his voicing of the myriad characters who appear in the narrative—and characters they certainly are… Three cheers for Vance—and not the least for his stamina!” extols AudioFile.

And to give you an idea of Vance’s range, I’ll leave you with his award-winning narration of The King's Speech. AudioFile magazine raves, “This stellar audio production of the book that preceded the Oscar-winning film The King's Speech is a must-listen for historians, gossips, royalists, colonialists and everyone else... the story of two different men who become essential to each other and to Britain. An extrovert Australian vocal coach who helped create modern speech therapy and a shy, stammering Duke transformed into a fine and fluent monarch—Simon Vance inhabits them subtly, shading character with accent, tone and pace. He also propels the plot by reading with the verve of fiction while keeping his narration behind the words. A captivating and exemplary performance.” Wow!

We’d love to connect audiobook lovers with more great voices! Who are your favorite narrators?

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