Oscar winning actress Reese Witherspoon has committed herself to narrating the upcoming Harper Lee audiobook, Go Set a Watchman.
“As a Southerner, it is an honor and a privilege to give voice to the Southern characters who inspired by childhood love of reading, Scout and Atticus Finch,” said Witherspoon, who won the best actress Oscar for the role of June Carter in the Johnny Cash biopic Walk the Line. “I am eager for readers to be transported to a pivotal time in American history in the manner that only Harper Lee’s gorgeous prose can deliver,” she told USA Today.
Over the course of the last five years, audiobooks have become big business for publishers. World War Z hired 21 different voice actors, such as Simon Pegg, Common and Martin Scorsese. The title rode star power in order to be one of the bestselling audiobooks of all time.
Matthew Thornton explained a bit on how Audible embraces celebrities in order to sell more audiobooks.“One of the ways we’ve worked to improve the overall customer experience of listening to audiobooks is in elevating the quality of audiobook performance—embracing A-List celebrities (among those who’ve recorded for Audible are Colin Firth, Dustin Hoffman, Jake Gyllenhaal, Kate Winslet and Susan Sarandon) as well as up-and-coming young actors at Juilliard, Yale, Stella Adler and other acting schools where Audible offers narration workshops. We’ve had great success with celebrity-narrated projects like the Gyllenhaal-narrated The Great Gatsby, Ben Stiller performing The Secret Life of Walter Mitty. As importantly, high-profile narrators raise the visibility of these terrific listening experiences—something we liken to “theater in your ear”—and raise the visibility of this burgeoning art form.”
Michael Kozlowski is the Editor in Chief of Good e-Reader. He has been writing about audiobooks and e-readers for the past ten years. His articles have been picked up by major and local news sources and websites such as the CBC, CNET, Engadget, Huffington Post and the New York Times.