Narrator Spotlight: Full Cast Family

by Marina M.

It’s a well-known fact that the members of the Readers’ Services Team are pro-audiobook. Therefore, we have a lot of opinions on the narration of those audiobooks. And it’s usually just one narrator, right? How about listening to an audiobook with the feeling of being at the theater? I’m talking about books narrated by the Full Cast Family.

It takes a village . . . or something like that.

The first multi-narrator audiobook I ever listened to was Graceling by Kristin Cashore. In the Seven Kingdoms there are people that have a Grace. They have special powers. Some of those powers are inconsequential. Some, like those of Katsa’s, can be deadly. Katsa’s uncle, King Randa of the Middluns, forces her to use her grace for his benefit. Using her strong core of courage and the friendship of her cousin, Katsa tries to be better than what her Grace makes her. During one of her missions, she encounters a person who is willing to support her, fight alongside her, and share secret truths with her–Prince Po of Leinid. Brought to life by the fantastic narration of the Full Cast Family, the listener experiences the individuality of Katsa, Po, and the rest of the characters from the Seven Kingdoms.

I was entranced by the theatricality of it all. I went back to my notes from the first time I listened to it–in 2009–and I am literally gushing about the experience as well as announcing my intent to listen to all Full Cast audio that is available. Founded by author Bruce Coville, the production company started out small and released a limited number of titles each year. Hence, frustration ensued and I’ve only listened to a small handful since then.

Have you listened to any Full Cast Audio performances? What did you think? How about any other multiple narrator books? Share in the comments below.

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6 responses to “Narrator Spotlight: Full Cast Family”

  1. Patricia Bloom says:

    A narrator, or in this case narrators, can make or break the quality of a story. One of the best multi-narrator books I’ve listened to in recent years was The Help.

  2. Kathy S says:

    I can’t remember the title now, but the story had a strong musical element. Full cast with actual music? That was the way to enhance a reading experience!

  3. Linda HG says:

    One of my favorites is the Full Cast Audio rendition of ‘Fairest’ by Gail Carson Levine. “In a land where beauty and singing are valued above all else, Aza eventually comes to reconcile her unconventional appearance and her magical voice, and learns to accept herself for who she truly is.” The audiobook producers actually hired a composer to create a music score for the poetic stanzas written by the author!

    • Marina M. says:

      Linda, that’s another good one. I have listened to it. Fairy tale retellings are great AND it’s with a Full Cast Audio. Thanks for sharing!

  4. Geoff Jensen says:

    One of my absolute favorites: American Gods by Neil Gaiman

    • Marina M. says:

      I’ve listened to a couple of Neil Gaiman’s books but they were all a single narrator. I’ll have to check American Gods out when I have room in my audio queue. Thanks for sharing, Geoff.

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