Audio Books – The New Hollywood Hit!

August 20, 2010

Famous Voices In Your Head

Paris Hilton reading an audio book version of Stephen Hawking’s A Brief History of Time? Tiger Woods reading aloud from The Seven Year Itch? Mike Tyson giving us his take on Cinderella? Don’t snicker. It could happen. More and more celebrities are lending their voices – and undoubted star power – to audio books. Chances are the next audio book you buy will be narrated by a person whose name is just as recognisable as their voice.

Why do they do it?

Celebrities don’t read audio books for the money, which is probably just as well. Audio books remain affordable because we’re not paying Hollywood rates for our star voice. Many celebrities lend their voices because they are a fan of the author, such as Oprah Winfrey reading Janet Fitch’s White Oleander. Or they may have a long association with the subject like Tim Robbins’s contribution to the oral biography of the late Robert Altman, who directed Robbins in The Player, Short Cuts and Pret-A-Porter.

A question of talent

A little star power goes a long way when it comes to enhancing an audio book. James Earl Jones brings considerably more gravitas than most when reading The Bible. Walter Cronkite delivers just the right degree of authority when reciting the text of the United States Constitution. And Robin Williams throws in a little bit of everything to create an unforgettable Pecos Bill. Just as a great writer can make words jump from a page, a talented actor, or a distinctive voice, can make words come to life in an audio book.

In their own words

When the narrator is also the author, the celebrity-voiced audio book comes into its own. To hear Barack Obama reading his own words makes Dreams From My Father an even more compelling memoir. Bill Clinton’s story is all the more riveting when you hear the man himself read My Life. And to hear Steve Martin tell his life story in Born Standing Up proves once and for all that there’s more to being funny than just being funny.

Expect the unexpected

Check out Burt Reynolds reading the poetry of Walt Whitman. Or Johnny Cash voicing the complete New Testament. Or even Seinfeld’s Jason Alexander and his rendition of Green Eggs and Ham. Audio books are nothing if not surprising. Even the most well known material is given a new lease on life thanks to some out of left-field voices. On second thoughts, though, the idea of Paris Hilton reading A Brief History of Time is perhaps a little too far out of left-field!
Audio Books – The New Hollywood Hit!

About the Author: Susan Long is a freelance marketing consultant who loves a clever marketing idea! Her current project is about clever business ideas at this Quick House Sale site.

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