Talk to Me, Mr. Prebble

Those of us who listen to audio books know that the reader is at least as important as the story. After a few unpleasant voices the great ones become precious, their names as treasured as those of favorite authors.

My three favorite audio book readers are, in order of discovery, Davina Porter, Patrick Tull, and Simon Prebble.

Davina Porter made Tess of the d’Ubervilles a riveting soap opera, the action of which I would breathlessly summarize for my husband every day. And her Scottish accent was the perfect match for the Sunday Philosophy Club series.

I had made two attempts at reading (with my eyes) Patrick O'Brian’s Master and Commander before trying Patrick Tull’s rendition -- Tull’s voice was what I needed in order to understand and love the characters and their friendship, and he made the lists of ship minutiae in the Aubrey/Maturian series into something lovely and lilting.

And my latest discovery, Prebble, has the wonderful trait of embodying various characters without seeming ‘thespian-y’. My favorite of his so far is Don't Point that Thing at Me, which the library owns as an MP3. He so perfectly transmitted the author's humor that he had me chortling goofily as I rode the bus. Talk to me, Mr. Prebble.