NPR logo Lights, Camera - Read!


Lights, Camera - Read!

Ever wonder who the voice is on the other end of that audiobook that kept you company during that long cross country drive? Or what it takes to put one of those things together? Do they do it in one take or do the narrators mess up a lot? Do they talk with their hands when they're recording these books? Do they ever get dry mouth? And who are these people anyway? BPP Producer Win Rosenfeld sought answers to these questions by going to witness the process. Recently we paid a visit to a Manhattan audio studio where famed audio book narrator Jim Dale (voice behind all the Harry Potter books) was recording a new book called The Bikeman by Tom Flynn. It's the story of how Flynn survived the Trade Tower attacks on 9/11 and it's told in the form of an epic poem. It was interesting to watch the process — you can check it out for yourselves here!



Please keep your community civil. All comments must follow the Community rules and terms of use, and will be moderated prior to posting. NPR reserves the right to use the comments we receive, in whole or in part, and to use the commenter's name and location, in any medium. See also the Terms of Use, Privacy Policy and Community FAQ.

Fascinating. Any ideas on how a person breaks into the audiobook narrating world? Not that we can all read Harry Potter as well as he has done, but there has to be something out there for my husband's great voice to read!

Sent by Libba Parsley | 3:06 PM | 3-31-2008

I love all things NPR & have subscribed to the Bryant Park Project podcast. Great idea.
Can't wait for the publication of Bikeman & am so pleased to hear a bit of Jim Dale's audio.

Sent by Ann Flynn | 4:12 PM | 3-31-2008

great story, guys! I listen to quite a few audio books so it was right up my alley.

I would only add that not all authors are bad readers. I rather like hearing the writers take on their own work. Sometimes you will get little inflections and pacing that the author intended.

Sent by jeff stiefer | 2:02 AM | 4-3-2008

Jeff: I agree that not all authors are bad readers, but sometimes it ends up like Lemony Snickett and is ruined when the author reads it. I think the audio books should be left to the pros like Tim Curry and Jim Dale.

Sent by Libba | 2:04 PM | 4-5-2008

I cannot wait for the book to be available. I will be the first to have, read and listen to it. Brilliant, as is
Tom Flynn.

Sent by Laney Johnson | 9:55 PM | 4-8-2008

Fabulous! Love the girl with the granny glasses!

Sent by Lisa | 1:44 PM | 4-9-2008

Thank you for the preview. What a moving
memoial tribute. Look forward to the
book's debut. Emily

Sent by Emily Bauer | 9:25 AM | 4-10-2008

Pretty neat. I'd love to see more of the process with different authors and books just to capture the various energies that reading an audiobook creates in the studio.

Sent by Sara Cahn | 1:21 PM | 4-12-2008