Year of Great Books

What’s It Like to Be an Audiobook Narrator?

Simon Vance talks to Year of Great Books about narrating female characters, why he uses accents, and the many voices of Barchester Towers.

This article is part of a Year of Great Books, a Slate Academy. To learn more, visit

Simon Vance has narrated more than 800 audiobooks, including the current selection in Slate’s Year of Great Books, Anthony Trollope’s Barchester Towers. We talked about Simon’s dynamic reading of Trollope’s intensely enjoyable workplace comedy, how he got his start in audiobooks, and how he imagines a character’s voice.

If you’re a Year of Great Books reader, don’t forget to claim your complimentary audiobook of Barchester Towers, a free gift from Audible that’s just for Slate Plus members.

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