cover image The Sleeper and the Spindle

The Sleeper and the Spindle

Neil Gaiman, read by a full cast. HarperAudio, unabridged, 1 CD, 1 hr., $13.99 ISBN 978-0-06-243513-2

In this twist on a fairy tale, the audiobook uses a full cast to great effect. A tough, no-nonsense queen, who may or may not be Snow White, hears about a princess who was placed under a sleeping spell. The magic appears to be spreading, plunging citizens of nearby villages into sleep, so the queen sets out with three dwarf friends to awaken the princess and break the spell before it reaches her kingdom. Having many different voices greatly helps listeners suspend disbelief. Julian Rhind-Tutt has a wry tone with a smart English accent for the narrator. The royal characters sound upper-class British, workers in the pub sound vaguely Cockney, but the dwarves (played by Peter Forbes, John Sessions, and Michael Maloney) are all voiced in glorious Scottish accents. Music and intricate sound effects (such as the faint sounds of maggots chomping nearby) immerse listeners in the realm of the cursed kingdom. This twisted take on a classic fairy tale is brought to life with sound. Ages 13–up. A Harper hardcover. (Sept.)