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2010 has seen over 70 new recordings released. Awards so far include three titles in The Times and The Sunday Times Best Audiobooks of the year list, and three more winning AudioFile’s prestigious Earphones Award.

The Cellist of Sarajevo (Unabridged)
By Steven Galloway
ISBN: 978-962-634-333-3
Release date: January 2010

The audio version of Steven Galloway’s The Cellist of Sarajevo, one of the year’s outstanding titles, has one unassailable advantage over the book: its inclusion of the work that the eponymous hero plays daily at the spot where enemy snipers wiped out a bread queue during the hellish siege years of the 1990s. The cellist Sarah Butcher recorded Albinoni’s Adagio for this production, and its haunting sound weaves itself into the story in this harrowing novel, read by Gareth Armstrong.

Best audiobooks of 2010 - Karen Armstrong, The Sunday Times
Flanagan's Run (Unabridged)
By Tom McNab
ISBN: 978-184-379-364-9
Release date: February 2010

Sports fans will relish Flanagan’s Run (available abridged and unabridged). Set in 1931 in the depths of the Depression, it characterizes the leading runners in a foot race from Los Angeles to New York for which the glittering prizes are vast. But weather, Chicago chicanery and the perfidious 1932 Olympics organizers combine to imperil the great adventure. Sprinters can go for the abridged version, but I recommend the long haul for full development of characters and painful suspense. Both are read by the versatile and always compelling Rupert Degas.

Best audiobooks of 2010 - Christina Hardyment, The Times
The Red and the Black (Unabridged)
By Stendhal
ISBN: 978-184-379-398-4
Release date: October 2010

The Red and the Black, Stendhal’s story of an ambitious young peasant’s progress through post-Napoleonic France, comes in at just over 22 hours in Bill Homewood’s reading for Naxos. Although his hero is the deposed emperor (the symbolic military “red” of the title), Julien Sorel takes the clerical route (the “black”) up the greasy pole to “those circles which arrogance of the rich calls society”. Homewood’s delicate, thoughtful delivery is well suited to a novel in which the sharp-eyed analysis of everyone’s words and deeds provides watchful commentary on an epic sweep through French society. The novel’s author actually gave his name to an aesthetic condition: “Stendhal syndrome”, a state of ecstasy brought on by the beauty of Italian art.

Best audiobooks of 2010 - Karen Armstrong, The Sunday Times
Tender is the Night (Unabridged)
By F. Scott Fitzgerald
ISBN: 978-962-634-457-6
Release date: February 2010

Fitzgerald’s classic depicts the Jazz Age and the beautiful people who congregate on the French Riviera between the wars. In this evocative setting, amid a glamorous and harsh world of film stars, aristocrats, and socialites, Fitzgerald recounts the infatuations of American expatriates Richard Diver, a psychiatrist, and his wife, Nicole, his former patient. In a complex and versatile performance Trevor White skillfully portrays females voices without changing timbre and delivers nonverbal emotional utterances with verisimilitude. His youthful voice, expert pacing, and tone of empathy complement Fitzgerald's poetic chronicle of moral decline and the vagaries of fortune. One cannot overlook the parallels between Fitzgerald’s own life and his account of the Divers, particularly his depiction of a gifted man who is enmeshed with a wealthy and unstable woman.

- A.W.   AudioFile Earphones Award Winner
Never Cry Wolf (Unabridged)
By Farley Mowat
ISBN: 978-184-379-393-9
Release date: July 2010

The Canadian wolves ignored Mowat when he first arrived in the Arctic to study them. Their indifference allowed him to observe every part of the predators’ lives: monogamous reproduction, a nuclear family, and a surprising diet. Sentimentalists’ complaints to the government that “the wolves were killing all the deer” caused Canada to send Mowat to investigate the claim. Narrator Adam Sims makes listeners feel welcome. His soft, youthful voice becomes plausible as the author’s; he recounts the expedition as if from memory yet makes the scientific discoveries unfold with the drama of a novel. He also creates a cast of wolf pack members and the shy Eskimos who become the conservationist’s close friends and teachers. This 1963 book became a classic that shifted the public’s perception of wolves.

- J.A.H.   AudioFile Earphones Award Winner
The Golden Notebook (Unabridged)
By Doris Lessing
Read by Juliet Stevenson
ISBN: 9789626341582
Release date: June 2010

First published in 1962, Doris Lessing’s brilliant work defined a generation of women disillusioned by a world that relegated them to second-class citizenship. Lessing’s book became a “feminist bible” for women of the ‘60s, taking on the ideas of female sexuality, professional responsibility, friendship, political disenchantment, and personal betrayal. Juliet Stevenson gives a no-nonsense yet deeply sensitive portrayal of writer Anna Wulf, who is trying to keep herself from falling apart by keeping four notebooks—black for her writing experiences, red for her politics, yellow for her relationships and emotions, and blue for daily accounts. As Anna explores her life, Stevenson’s sharp, intelligent narration clarifies each thoughtful comment, each personal failure, and each triumph. Stevenson’s impeccable performance makes Lessing’s literary classic a timeless treasure.

- S.J.H   AudioFile Earphones Award Winner
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