HarperCollins Publishers
Neil Gaiman

The Gaiman List

from Neil Gaiman, author of The Sleeper and the Spindle

Audiobook Recommendations

Bleak House

by Charles Dickens; read by Hugh Dickson

My first audiobook addiction. I lost weight, and got fit, because I only allowed myself to listen to this while exercising. It's Dickens's best book (I think so anyway. Or strangest, perhaps, his strangest book.) and I got to imagine myself sitting by a fire while someone read me this week's episode. Hugh Dickson narrates it with skill and deftness, managing the varying voices of the enormous cast with ease and accuracy, coping with the two narrators (Miss Esther Summerson and a mysterious, all-seeing present tense narrative voice) into the bargain. A landscape I could get lost in. It has fog and spontaneous human combustion and death and mysteries, and one carefully slipped-in joke about breasts.

Midnight Robber

by Nalo Hopkinson; read by Robin Miles

I love Robin Miles's beautiful future-Caribbean accents. This is a gorgeous reading of a wonderful book, a science-fictional melange that feels like fantasy, set on a far planet colonized by Caribbean-descended people. Magic, monsters, and carnival in a beautifully textured coming-of-age story.

Bag of Bones

by Stephen King

I once drove across America and listened to this, read by King himself. It's a ghost story, but what I responded to most was the character, King, telling us about a writer's life, in an easy, comfortable way that meant that I've never loved anyone else reading King's work as much since. It comes with a Q&A with King afterward. (It came as a huge box of 20 plus CDs, and finding your place on a CD in a car was hard, so I'd just keep driving and get there quicker. You young people with your phones and your Audible don't know how lucky you are.)

The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn

by Mark Twain; read by Tom Parker

When I listened to this, back in prehistoric times, it was a rental from Blackstone Audio, who sent it in a box filled with cassettes. This was long ago. The style in which Huckleberry Finn is written means that, like Dickens, I find it harder to pull the characters from the page: Phonetic speech doesn't always translate across the miles and the years. But listening to the characters made them come alive: Jim's nobility, Huck's aspirations, all the way to the strange, uncomfortable, ill-fitting happy ending.

Just William

by Richmal Crompton; read by Martin Jarvis

The BBC did these on cassette, and I bought them for my children to listen to when we drove anywhere, because it was also the best excuse to listen to them myself. There is something quite perfect about Martin Jarvis's narration: it sounds like the characters sounded in my head when I first read the William books, when an 11-year-old hero was practically a grown-up. When we needed a narrator to do Good Omens in the U.S., Jarvis was our first choice.


by Ellen Kushner

A full cast complements Ellen Kushner's amazing narrative skills in this tale of love and swords in an imaginary city. A fantasy without magic, except the kind you get from an amazing story perfectly told....

The Third Policeman

by Flann O'Brien; read by Jim Norton

I have loved this book for a long time, but the reading of it made it come alive again: a robbery that might have been a murder, a journey into the surreal, in which eternity is a short walk and people may or may not become bicycles, in which three policemen reveal the inner workings of the world, and life and death are a dry cough away. Norton's reading is wonderful.

The Pickwick Papers

by Charles Dickens; read by Patrick Tull

Tull takes us from the knockabout (and truth to tell, slightly wearisome) comic cuts of the opening of Pickwick to something much deeper and more human, taking us into the Fleet Debtor's Prison and out again. His Sam Weller (and Sam's father), his Mr. Jingle, are delights, as are the rest of Dickens's first outing as a novelist.

The Art of Asking

by Amanda Palmer

Am I including this because it is written and beautifully narrated by my wife? Am I including it because she includes songs and music, because it will tug at your heart, or because it is a memoir and manifesto all rolled into one, explaining how Amanda went from street performer to being a musician doing the most successful ever music Kickstarter (and giving a famed TED talk)? No, I am putting it in because she does her devastating impression of me on it. I'm now a character in someone else's audiobook. How strange.

Neil Gaiman

About Neil Gaiman

Neil Gaiman is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of more than twenty books, and is the recipient of numerous literary honors. Originally from England, he now lives in America.

Latest Audiobook Recommendations from the author

The Sleeper and the Spindle

by Neil Gaiman

In this captivating and darkly funny tale, New York Times bestselling and Newbery and Carnegie Medal-winning author Neil Gaiman and Kate Greenaway-winning illustrator Chris Riddell have twisted together the familiar and the new as well as the beautiful and the wicked to tell a brilliant version of Snow White's (sort of) and Sleeping Beauty's (almost) stories.

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