Southern Literary Classics With Great Audiobook Versions
Many book lovers are traditionalists. They love the feel of a book in their hands, the smell of its pages and its pride of place on the bookshelf. Reading on a Kindle can be much more practical, but it’s not for everyone.
The idea of listening to books instead of reading has more appeal sometimes, but can you actually get all the meaning out of a book with someone else reading it for you?
Not all audiobooks live up to expectations. Some readers are just not up for the job, but those that get it right give you a whole new depth of experience.
If you’re looking to read or reread some Southern literary classics, audiobooks may be the perfect avenue. Let’s take a look at where you can get audiobooks and which ones to look out for.
Where to Find Audiobooks
If you want to buy individual audiobooks, you are going to have to pay. On Audible, most audiobooks cost upwards of $20 each. However, if you sign up for a monthly subscription at $15 a month, you get an audiobook of your choice each month. Recently, Audible added quite an extensive collection of audiobooks that come free with the subscription, including quite a few classics.
Alternatively, you can look at Librivox for free classics read by volunteers. These are, of course, hit and miss.
You can also find some audiobooks to torrent. Get more info about how to torrent safely in 2020 before trying it.
Here are some Southern classics with great audiobook renditions:
The Adventures of Tom Sawyer (Mark Twain)
Mark Twain’s classic now has an incredible audiobook version read by none other than Nick Offerman. Offerman brings his charm and wit to his reading, and even if you’ve read this book many times before, you will appreciate hearing it again in his voice.
Nick Offerman also reads the Audible version of Twain’s A Yankee in King Arthur’s Court with similar aplomb. If you want to experience Huckleberry Finn again, you can hear it read by Elijah Wood.
Suttree (Cormac McCarthy)
Cormac McCarthy is best known for his novels set in the West, like No Country For Old Men. But Suttree is set in his hometown in Tennessee, and his love for the South is reflected throughout.
As with all McCarthy books, Suttree is challenging. McCarthy is unafraid of the abject and will take you down into the depths of darkness with him. However, the audiobook reading by Richard Poe makes the 20 hours go by in no time. It’s worth a listen, especially if you struggle to get through McCarthy books on the page.
The Color Purple (Alice Walker)
Sometimes, an author reading their own novel is a terrible idea. Just ask listeners of Toni Morrison’s reading of Beloved. However, the audiobook version of The Color Purple, read by Alice Walker herself, is gorgeous. The Color Purple is not a long book but packs a huge punch, and you hear every nuance in Walker’s storytelling.
Apparently, Samira Wiley (“Orange Is The New Black”) does an incredible job as well in another version. Readers seem to love her rendition, so it will be a toss-up in choosing which one you’ll like most. Listen to both if you have the time.