Saturday, October 01, 2011

Audible Lines Up Film Stars for Audiobooks


Audible is going Hollywood, enlisting a number of accomplished actors--including Annette Bening, Colin Firth, Dustin Hoffman and Kate Winslet--to narrate a new line of audiobooks, featuring many classic works selected by the performers. Scheduled for release beginning in early 2012, the offerings include these pairings:

Kim Basinger (The Awakening by Kate Chopin)
Annette Bening (Mrs. Dalloway by Virginia Wolfe)
Jennifer Connelly (The Sheltering Sky by Paul Bowles)
Colin Firth (The End of the Affair by Graham Greene)
Anne Hathaway (The Wonderful Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum)
Dustin Hoffman (Being There by Jerzy Kosinski)
Samuel L. Jackson (A Rage in Harlem by Chester Himes)
Nicole Kidman (To the Lighthouse by Virginia Woolf)
Meg Ryan (The Human Comedy by William Saroyan)
Susan Sarandon (The Member of the Wedding by Carson McCullers)
Naomi Watts (Summer by Edith Wharton)
Kate Winslet (Thérèse Raquin by Émile Zola)
Audible CEO Don Katz tells us he believes "some of the best 'scripts' of all time – truly great works of fiction – deserve to interpreted and performed by the culture's finest actors" and predicts the new audibooks "will not only delight our current audience, but will also draw huge new audiences to this powerful art form." He tells the LAT, "Like HBO, we've created a service that people want to have as a regular part of their entertainment experience. Having these great actors join up with us is just an extension of that." The company says over half of their members are first-time audiobook buyers, and says member downloads have risen more than 40 percent year-over-year.
Kate Winslet notes: "It is challenging, and it's a heck of a lot of fun as well. As a listener, being able to tune out and be taken into another world, an atmosphere, an environment that is being created entirely for you by somebody else's voice is really a wonderful, magical thing."

No comments: