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National Book Awards: Audiobook Shortlist

For an unabridged audiobook released for the first time and made available to download between our guideline dates. It must be: fiction, children’s, a non-fiction work or poetry by a UK author of longer than 1 hour. Judging is based upon the quality of the content, the reading and the production and, not, simply an audio version of a bestseller.

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  • One Summer: America 1927

    • UNABRIDGED (17 hrs and 2 mins)
    • By Bill Bryson
    • Narrated By Bill Bryson
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (450)
    Performance
    (407)
    Story
    (408)

    One Summer: America, 1927, is the new book by Britain's favourite writer of narrative nonfiction, Bill Bryson. Narrated by the man himself, One Summer takes you to the summer when America came of age, took centre stage, and changed the world forever. In the summer of 1927, America had a booming stock market, a president who worked just four hours a day, a semi-crazed sculptor with a plan to carve four giant heads into a mountain called Rushmore, a devastating flood of the Mississippi, a sensational murder trial, and a youthful aviator named Charles Lindbergh who started the summer wholly unknown, and finished it as the most famous man on Earth.

    Colin says: "Bryson hits another Home Run"
  • Life After Life

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 33 mins)
    • By Kate Atkinson
    • Narrated By Fenella Woolgar
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (554)
    Performance
    (472)
    Story
    (461)

    What if you had the chance to live your life again and again, until you finally got it right? During a snowstorm in England in 1910, a baby is born and dies before she can take her first breath. During a snowstorm in England in 1910, the same baby is born and lives to tell the tale. What if there were second chances? And third chances? In fact an infinite number of chances to live your life? Would you eventually be able to save the world from its own inevitable destiny? And would you even want to?

    T says: "A satisfying trip through sliding doors"
  • Solo

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 39 mins)
    • By William Boyd
    • Narrated By Dominic West
    Overall
    (129)
    Performance
    (115)
    Story
    (117)

    A James Bond novel written by William Boyd. It is 1969 and James Bond is about to go solo, recklessly motivated by revenge. A seasoned veteran of the service, 007 is sent to single-handedly stop a civil war in the small West African nation of Zanzarim. Aided by a beautiful accomplice and hindered by the local militia, he undergoes a scarring experience which compels him to ignore M's orders in pursuit of his own brand of justice.

    Oliver says: "I love Bond, but I didn't love this"
  • An Officer and a Spy

    • UNABRIDGED (16 hrs and 3 mins)
    • By Robert Harris
    • Narrated By David Rintoul
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (360)
    Performance
    (329)
    Story
    (324)

    January 1895: On a freezing morning in the heart of Paris, an army officer, Georges Picquart, witnesses a convicted spy, Captain Alfred Dreyfus, being publicly humiliated in front of 20,000 spectators baying 'Death to the Jew!' The officer is rewarded with promotion: Picquart is made the French army's youngest colonel and put in command of 'the Statistical Section' - the shadowy intelligence unit that tracked down Dreyfus.

    Anne says: "Absorbing, thrilling and authentic"
  • The Ocean at the End of the Lane

    • UNABRIDGED (5 hrs and 47 mins)
    • By Neil Gaiman
    • Narrated By Neil Gaiman
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (526)
    Performance
    (482)
    Story
    (488)

    The Ocean at the End of the Lane is a fable that reshapes modern fantasy: moving, terrifying and elegiac - as pure as a dream, as delicate as a butterfly's wing, as dangerous as a knife in the dark - from storytelling genius Neil Gaiman. It's about memory and magic and survival, about the power of stories and the darkness inside each of us. It began for our narrator forty years ago when the family lodger stole their car and committed suicide in it, stirring up ancient powers best left undisturbed.

    Ben says: "Deceptively deep"
  • Demon Dentist

    • UNABRIDGED (4 hrs and 49 mins)
    • By David Walliams
    • Narrated By David Walliams
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (54)
    Performance
    (50)
    Story
    (47)

    The new jaw-achingly funny novel from David Walliams, the number-one best-selling author! Make your appointment if you dare.... Darkness had come to the town. Strange things were happening in the dead of night. Children would put a tooth under their pillow for the tooth fairy, but in the morning they would wake up to find... a dead slug; a live spider; hundreds of earwigs creeping and crawling beneath their pillow. Evil was at work. But who or what was behind it...? Listen to this book and find out!

    Morag says: "A few cautions for parents of younger listeners"
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