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Get Six Free Audiobooks From Apple



iOS / MacOS: Apple is giving away six high-quality audiobooks of classic stories read by celebrities, free with no strings attached, playable on desktop and mobile. You can download and listen to Pride and Prejudice The Wonderful Wizard of Oz The Secret Garden The Time Machine ] Frankenstein and a small Disney collection of Winnie the Pooh stories. Most of these audiobooks are excellent, one is iffy and one is garbage.

Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen (11:43)

The narration of Pride and Prejudice enjoys some ironic distance from the characters, and actor Kate Beckinsale delivers it with a subtle archness. Her natural accent, the kind that makes Americans think all English people are intelligent and classy, ​​is a perfect fit for a novel of manners.

The Wonderful Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum (4:20) [1
9659003] Kimmy Schmidt actor Tituss Burgess sounds like he is reading to children at the foot of his rocking chair. He puts life and energy into the words, and he does the voices just a bit, but not enough to get distracting over the 25 chapters.

The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett (8:00) [19659003] This book is a real challenge for a narrator, as the characters' accents and voices are a running motif, and even a sign of little Mary Lennox's character development. Avengers and Doctor Who actor Karen Gillan does the voices beautifully — at least as a father as an American can tell. She narrates in her natural Scottish lilt, which, like the story, has a whiff or folktale fantasy.

The Time Machine by H.G. Wells (3:29)

Frasier 's Kelsey Grammer is another well-matched narrator. His mid-Atlantic accent tips over into full English to match the first-person narration of the Time Traveler, a Victorian English scientist. He projects and enunciates like Frasier Crane's monologue on the air, as the whole book is the Time Traveler's TED talk. This is a weird, lonely story, and probably the most pleasant while falling asleep.

Frankenstein by Mary Shelley (8:11)

On his podcast Lore Aaron Mahnke uses a halting delivery, if he's thrown five commas into every sentence. This clearly works for enough people to make Lore a success. On Frankenstein it's too much. Mahnke's pauses and his flat delivery make him sound as if he had practiced before reading. Frankenstein is three years later adaptations, and a dry narrator can make it a beating.

Open Culture's catalog of free audiobooks points to several other recordings of this public-domain novel, including a 3-hour reading by Christopher Lee on Spotify.

Winnie the Pooh by Disney Book Group (0 : 32)

Not even worth zero dollars. This is not A.A. Milne's original collection of stories about Pooh. It's only three uncredited stories, which seem to be pastiches of Milne's originals, written in the same style but with a new plot. The narrator is fully competent, but her anonymity adds to the feeling that this was fished out of Disney's junk carrier.

The company´s habit of raiding the classics, then copyrighting and trademarking its version, feels especially in this sloppy edition. The three chapters are placed out of order, and they seem to lead to an ending that is not included. As a promotion of Apple's audiobooks, this is a failure. Readers are better off dropping on a version of Milne's real, unneeded book narrated by Stephen Fry

It's great to see Apple handing out top-shelf books with top-shelf narration, even if they threw in a piece or Disney trash. Of course, instead of paying for more, you might just want more free readings. Open Culture has links to 900 free audiobooks, mostly classics.


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