We’re having an audiobooks thread. As perhaps one of the bigger car-bound people of this site, I get through quite a few of them, enough to start considering them an artform in their own right.
In that spirit, my first recommendation would be La Belle Sauvage. It’s Phillip Pullman’s book married up with a masterful Michael Sheen performance.
Pullman has stridently moved into adult fiction with this trilogy. You couldn’t print all the content on SaintsWeb without looking like a fucking_clown, let me tell you. His contempt for poorly justified and ruthlessly enforced authority seeps through once more. All our heroes are outlaws of some kind, all the villains are figures of authority and oppression.
The central two characters of the book are working class kids. In Malcolm, “not noticed much but liked when he was”, Pullman spends much of the book making you notice him, and you can’t help like him. In Alice, initially presented as Malcolm’s only real source of anguish, we’ve a girl who doesn’t know how to trust getting to do that from noticing him too.
Tha alternate England that literally gushes into existence is dark, foreboding and alien. The supernatural stuff is nicely done, and anyone that has read (or heard) His Dark Materials is going to be fully onboard with the daemon concept by now. For anyone who isn’t, it is such a neat conceit. As far as I can make out, it’s your inner conflict externalised as a lifelong pet you can talk to. And pretty handy for a writer, because it means you can put dialogue anywhere
The original HDM audiobooks have got very decent reviews. I’ll be getting them too, but Sheen really is magnificent in this, elevating Pullman’s already excellent material. He’s subtle when required, a master of slipping between voices, and is fucking intense during the more stirring scenes.
I know some sneer at this audiobook lark, but you can’t read a Kindle on the M6 on the roadworks section. Unless @bearsy , init.