I can honestly say my life has been enriched by listening to the late Frank Muller’s voice on audiobooks he has narrated. If you have never heard him, you really should try giving him a listen. Some of my favorites that he recorded are Cormac McCarthy’s All the Pretty Horses, Somerset Maugham’s The Razor’s Edge and maybe best of all for this time of year, Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol.
They’re not just for the car. I like to take audiobooks on beach vacations so that I can “read” without even having to sit up, and I always pick books based on Muller’s narration, not by the author. I’ve been doing this since the olden days of audiocassettes. I even bought some (instead of renting) when my local public library was selling them.
You may still be able to get the CD versions from the library; they’re a little hard to find but they are all still available for download on Audible. Tragically, there will never be any more – Frank Muller passed away in 2008 from complications from injuries sustained in a motorcycle accident.
He was Stephen King’s favorite narrator. A good way to get started would be to listen to any or all of the four short novels from King’s brilliant Different Seasons – all but one of them were later made into successful movies: Apt Pupil, The Breathing Method, The Body (Stand By Me) and Rita Hayworth and the Shawshank Redemption (The Shawshank Redemption).
What made him so good? That’s the hard question. It was his actor’s skill at creating the characters, his sense of drama and the pure sound of his voice telling the story. Stephen King, who can describe anything, had this to say: “(When Frank reads) the blind will see, the lame will walk, and the deaf will hear.” Somehow, I know exactly what he meant, but you have to hear it for yourself. Check out some of the samples on the Audible Web site, or better yet, immerse yourself in one of his audiobooks for a few hours. Even now, I occasionally try to imagine the sound of his voice as I read dramatic dialogue in books.