February 26, 2010

Richard Armitage: Lords of the North Narration

Is it Lord Uhtred of Bebbanburg?

Where's Serpentbreath?  That's his fav possession - a sword.  Would he be happy to hear our sword-themed RA parfum vial is ahead in the poll?
Above is my absolutely favorite Richard Armitage narration - Lords of the North by Bernard Cornwell.  If you've not already heard Richard's golden throat delivering his creation of at least a dozen different voices during this tale of the early history of Northern England, it is well worth the quest.  Here's a review from the US amazon.com website...

>Customer Reviews
The Lords of the North (The Saxon Chronicles, Volume 3)

Excellent performance! This is the version to have., June 28, 2008 By C. Wooden - Arlington, VA

I've listened to all of Bernard Cornwell's Saxon series in audiobook format (and read them in hardcover, too) and this is the best of them all. Richard Armitage's reading is vastly superior to the other narrators (Tom Sellwood, Jamie Glover, and Gerard Doyle). Mr. Armitage is a master storyteller. His narration does not sound like the book is being read (as it sometimes does in the other versions) -- it's being performed -- no, it's lived. The pacing is impressive -- calm and contemplative when required, intense and passionate for the action sequences. He adds just the right level of humor (sometimes wry but without too much sarcasm) which is sorely lacking in the other audiobooks.

Mr. Armitage's range of voices and accents is astonishing. He's lucky to have such flexible vocal chords to be able to go high enough yet gentle for the women and children and never sounds false or forced. Hild, Gisela and Thyra are particularly wonderful, exuding patience, passion and rage. I lost count of the number of male voices he created but the range is stunning -- some very bass, some very tenor -- age, class and region all incorporated so smoothly that at times I forgot that one person was creating them all. Every voice, even the least incidental ones, has a distinct character.

It's a shame that Amazon doesn't sell this version but you can get it through audiobookcollection{.com}. This company is in the UK but they do ship overseas. I truly hope that Mr. Armitage will be available to record an unabridged version of Sword Song, the next book in the series. <

Full info re ordering the audiobook, and a mesmerizing example of Richard's narration are available at..

1 comment:

Musa said...

I'm on disk 8 on LOTN. I've been listening in my car mostly, a danger to others on the road I can tell you. He's amazing, words cannot describe his performance. Not only is his black velvet voice perfect for Uhtred but all the voices and characters he does in performing the text is fantastic. Some of the voices it's hard to imagine it's one great actor doing all of this. Easy to fall madly in love with Uhtred! I'm familiar with Bernard Cornwell's books, both as audiobooks and reading the books, but have not read rest of the Saxon Chronicles, but will now. I'm sorry Richard hasn't recorded the rest of the books - but I'm sure his busy career these days may have kept him from doing so. A loss to all of us in the audience.