Maybe because I was so involved in theater, or because I grew up in a musical family, or because my parents (who are both awesome readers) read aloud to me so much when I was little, I’ve always been fascinated by voices and the way people speak. Not just the actual timbre of their voice, but their style and accent and pacing.
There are a handful of actors, for instance, who we think of when we think of voice – James Earl Jones, Christopher Walken, William Shatner, Kathleen Turner. (By the way, if you want to make me happy, tell me I sound like Kathleen Turner – that’s my favorite compliment!) And they don’t have to be pretty voices, either; think of how memorable Fran Drescher and Victoria Jackson and Gilbert Gottfried and Nicolas Cage’s voices are.
It’s the same with music – Josh Groban’s voice is gorgeous, but Bruce Springsteen’s is not, and yet there’s something to the rough power of his voice that’s enjoyable to listen to.
I was really lucky to have Kirsten Potter read the audiobook version of The Weird Sisters, because I have listened to audiobooks where the narrator’s annoying voice (both sound and delivery) have really ruined it for me, and others where the reader absolutely made it wonderful. In fact, I didn’t really understand or fall in love with Jane Austen until I got Pride and Prejudice in audiobook form and the reader did such a wonderful job of bringing the humor out.
Whose (or what kind of) voices are your favorite and least favorite?
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