Audible — arguably the most popular source for audio books today — is getting Hollywood’s stars to contribute their voices to help re-create a slew of modern classics as audio books. This is a wedding of talents that I am absolutely in favor of!
I’ve always considered audio books something to listen to before I fell asleep. But with this news about Audible and Hollywood teaming up, I am seeing audio books in a whole new light.
Audible is working with some of the biggest and best names in Hollywood to bring back some classic tales. The dreamy Colin Firth will read The End of the Affair by Graham Greene, as Dustin Hoffman and Samuel L. Jackson take on novels by Jerzy Kosinski and Colin Himes, respectively.
And the men of the silver screen aren’t the only ones getting in on the action. Nicole Kidman and Kate Winslet are just two of the nine actresses who will be contributing their dulcet tones to these projects. (I have to say, I’m particularly intrigued by the news that Anne Hathaway will be recording The Wonderful Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum.)
These days Audible seems almost as much of a household name as the actors who will be working these new e-books. The company has made a large push to make their name familiar — advertising everywhere from NYC subways to NPR podcasts. And according to the company, the amount that their members download is already up over 40% from last year.
Don Katz, Audible’s CEO, told Los Angeles Times that he believes that people are now excited to incorporate Audible as “a regular part of their entertainment experience. Having these great actions join up with us is just an extension of that.”
And with a line-up like the one below, I’m not surprised that the company continues to gain more followers.
In addition to Colin Firth’s and Anne Hathaway’s projects, Kim Basinger will take on The Awakening by Kate Chopin, Naomi Watts will be recreating Summer by Edith Wharton and Jennifer Connelly is working on The Sheltering Sky by Paul Bowles. Dustin Hoffman is on board for Being There by Jerzy Kosinski, while Samuel L. Jackson tackles A Rage in Harlem by Chester Himes. Two of Virginia Wolfe’s works are getting the star treatment. Annette Bening is set to voice Mrs. Dalloway and Nicole Kidman is contributing her voice for To the Lighthouse. Meg Ryan will voice The Human Comedy by William Saroyan, while Susan Sarandon re-creates The Member of the Wedding by Carson McCullers. And last but not least, the incomparable Kate Winslet will breathe life into Thérèse Raquin by Émile Zola.
These star-studded audio books are scheduled to be released in 2012, and although there’s no word yet on when exactly which project will be available, you can get more information at www.Audible.com or check back on the RT Daily Blog as we keep you updated about what's next in the industry.