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3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (1,286,159 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Herman Melville Narrator: Bob Sessions Publisher: Copyright Group Format: Abridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: February 2014 ISBN: 9781780001128
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Moby Dick is an epic work of the nineteenth century, not just in its length or geographical vastness, but also in the way the main characters, Ahab and Ishmael, are presented to the reader. Ahab is, in true classical tradition, a larger-than-life, almost mythical individual, beyond the reach of the reader’s experience. In contrast, Ishmael is a more ordinary character, one to whom the reader can relate. As such, he narrates the story and also interprets the thoughts and actions of the more grandiose and less accessible Ahab as they pursue the monstrous white whale, Moby Dick.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “The infinite novel. Page after page the text grows in immensity, until it encompasses the whole cosmos.”

    Jorge Luis Borges

  • “The greatest American novel.”

    William Faulkner

Listener Opinions

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Joe Librarian | 2/19/2014

    " A damnable perfect journey. Not a book, an elegy of drive and desire. A map of fate. We get sucked down with its sinking. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Nikki Wallis | 2/17/2014

    " Kept on with this but wasn't a labour of love. Now I understand why my sister found the edited down version long winded! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jennifer | 2/16/2014

    " Not for the light reader nor those who own lessor dictionaries. The tale of the white whale meanders and circles for well over 500 pages stalking the lesson we have all heard. A book that must be read in latter years and more than once. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Chri Collins | 2/14/2014

    " I didn't really think I'd like this when I started it, but I wanted to read it because it is a classic. I was really surprised how good it was (I guess that's why it is a classic). lol:-) "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Dilem | 2/11/2014

    " I read this during my last semester of undergrad and it could not have been a more perfect time to read this novel. Moby-Dick contains everything you need to know about life and is exquisitely written. Most have heard about the crazy Ahab but the gem of the story is Ishmael. Melville uses the whale to allegorize every facet of human experience from racism to spirituality. It's just a lovely lovely book. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Catherine | 2/9/2014

    " First few chapters were good. But as soon as the ship sailed every chaper was about whales, whaling, and life on a whaling ship. The story seemed to get lost in the the whaling descriptions and doesn't show up again until the last few chapters. Even then it didn't come back very strongly. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Conrad Andersen | 1/27/2014

    " Some people may not give this book an honest review because of the fact that it is a classic. The bluntly honest truth is that this book is DULL. If you talk to anyone who has read moby dick, they might give you an impression that the book is largely about Ishmael, a captain and a conflict with a whale. While the book IS about Ishmael, IT IS NOT MUCH ABOUT A WHALE OR CAPTAIN , not in the sense that everyone makes it out to be at least. In fact, neither the whale NOR the captain is even introduced for a very large portion of the book. Sure, as an english literary courses compulsory read, the book contains many elements that a good book should. The book has a very large amount of discription and you can imagine yourself in his position easily; however, the book moves at a snails pace and is virtually void of excitement for the first half or so at least. (besides the fact that Ishmaels friend is... interesting). All in all, this is not a book you want to read just to say you have read it. Honestly, some books you never want to put down... this book you never want to pick up. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Audrey | 1/24/2014

    " "the wild watery loneliness of his life" "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Joseph Norvell | 1/22/2014

    " I really liked it. It was written a long time ago, so it can be hard to read at times. It also reads like a non-fiction book. I learned a lot about life on a whale boat though, and became good friends with a couple of characters. I also grew dislike a couple of them. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Casey | 1/20/2014

    " Good book but a little hard to follow "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Sylvanna | 1/16/2014

    " Good book a little tough to chew through . But once you get started its good "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Adam Hegg | 1/14/2014

    " Some classics are classics because they are well remembered by academics but some are classics because they are just darned good. This book is of the latter's number. I loved this book all the way through. It has a tough reputation as being thinly veiled pop-science but I was thoroughly enchanted by the characters. Similarly I was surprised at the humor in the book which based on its reputation I thought was a humorless slog. I am very glad that I took the time to read this one. The one thing that keeps this book from being a "five star" for me (though I think it deserves that appellation as a piece of literature) is the grisly violence. I am afraid it marred my enjoyment of the novel. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Laura Roome | 1/13/2014

    " So much description about whaling... make it stop! Preferred "The Old Man and the Sea" by Hemingway when it comes to obsession. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Sara | 1/13/2014

    " I hated this book when we had to read it for class and I still hate it. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 John | 1/12/2014

    " Moby Dick is a relatively unknown book about Captain Ahab's quest for revenge against the white whale. If you've never heard of it, I highly recommend it. Epic. Strange. A perfect novel. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Kristin Rix | 1/8/2014

    " Despite what everyone says, I don't mind an extended discussion on scrimshaw as long as I only have to read it once. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Aaron Meyer | 1/7/2014

    " This book was a really hard slog at times. With that said it had its really fascinating moments. The story is more geared toward a natural historian and a history about whalers which most people at the time probably didn't know much or care much about. The story of Ahab for most of the book seems more of a backdrop and really doesn't come to the fore until the latter part of the book. The ending is intense and despite the the slogging it was well worth the read. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Pam Sawyer | 1/7/2014

    " This is a classic that can be read again and again in order to fully comprehend all of the nuances within. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Rob | 1/6/2014

    " Ended exactly how I anticipated. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Gina | 1/2/2014

    " just not my kind of book...totally uninterested in the subject matter. Made to read in hs "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Clint | 1/1/2014

    " OMG!! when Rowan has to read this in school I will either excuse her from that week or audit the class... "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Nina Morel | 12/31/2013

    " This was much better after I read Ahab's Wife...... "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Agatha Diaz | 12/29/2013

    " What lies beneath this literary classic is much more than a story of a madman (Captain Ahab) pursuing a white whale all in the name of vengeance. In fact, Moby Dick is Melville's commentary on the human condition. Each chapter, character, and whaling story is an allegory. I struggled with deciphering the symbolism, but I appreciated the complexity behind the stories and characters. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Scott Miller | 12/29/2013

    " Love this tale, re-read it again and still love it. I know many people couldn't get through it, but I loved the narration, story and symbolism of this rollicking sea adventure. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jade | 12/24/2013

    " 80% encyclopedia on whales and whaling, 20% of story, but the 20% was really good. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Graeme | 12/22/2013

    " One of the very few books i could not push through. Dry. Maybe I'll give it another go one day. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Karen Katz | 12/18/2013

    " Can't seem to finish this one entirely, even after it being a required reading for two different classes....oops. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Michael Miner | 12/11/2013

    " After slogging through this book years ago, I listened to the audiobook from Lit2Go. I enjoyed it much better when someone else traversed the odd language of the period. Part travel log, part biology text and a great story, Moby Dick or The Whale is very entertaining. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 James Vinton | 12/7/2013

    " metaphors give it mean but it sacrifices all sense of story. too dry too boring "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Pamela Sikorski | 12/3/2013

    " One of the very first books I ever read and is still in my mind and made a book reader out of me "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Susan | 12/3/2013

    " A killer. Read it on Mykonos in Greece in the winter. Perhaps one of the greatest books of all time, but it it wasn't for Ishmael and Quequog, I never would have made it through Ahab's unhealthy obsessions. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Carina | 11/28/2013

    " I found my desert island book. Finished today after three and a half months of steady reading, and I'm ready to start back at page one. Loved every page. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Sherrill Hall | 11/24/2013

    " sin travels freely while virtue is stopped at every port. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Louis Soran | 11/20/2013

    " It's a classic for a reason "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Jay | 11/19/2013

    " Ahab's quest is the picture perfect allegory for man's quest for meaning in a universe driven by blind forces of destruction. Ahab's destiny is sealed by the fates - he is incapable of anything but this mad pursuit. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Christopher Caplinger | 11/18/2013

    " took me awhile to finish, but wow... loved it. a bit meandering at times, but in a way that I actually found refreshing and enjoyable. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jack Pickering | 11/7/2013

    " pretty good, but he gets a bit aroused with whale innards porn in some places "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Micah Nathan | 11/4/2013

    " Some classics should be removed from life support and allowed to wither. Not this one. Required reading. Skip the middle parts. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Trevor Shane | 11/4/2013

    " I even liked the boring parts... :) "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Daphne Reed | 10/31/2013

    " I was unimpressed, to be frank, by Melville's Moby Dick. The chapters going on about the ship and the anatomy of a whale (as that this became a kind of authority in the study of whales when it become mainstream) may, of course, be a kind of character development device, but I did, overall, feel it took away from the urgency of the hunt. I understand using two opposite situations to highlight them, but I just did not think it work here. *don't shoot* "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Rusty | 10/30/2013

    " This book could serve as a textbook for a class on whaling. While many think it tedious, it is a must read. The book is too often referenced to ignore. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jim Johnson | 10/29/2013

    " The writing was good but there was just too much of it. It felt like the author was one of those people at a party who really drag their stories out; thinking they're been dramatic and entertaining but they're just being boring. This definitely wasn't a story that keeps you on the edge of your seat. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Alexander | 10/22/2013

    " All time favorite. A book literally as big as the world. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Lisa Cushman | 10/22/2013

    " I take great comfort that no less a writer than Ray Bradbury called MD "unreadable." There are moments of breath-taking, transcendent writing. And then there are all the chapters on whale body parts. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Hashim Alsughayer | 10/17/2013

    " Yes Melville's story is considered one of the American classics, but I just wasn't my cup of tea! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jeramy Hauck | 10/11/2013

    " Beautifully written, but a little disappointed with the ending. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Trevor Shane | 10/6/2013

    " I even liked the boring parts... :) "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Aditya | 10/4/2013

    " The English was rather extremely hard for when I had read it I was a child. But it was an enjoyable volume nonetheless, and look forward to enjoying each detail again in a relaxed fashion, some day. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Miriam Green | 10/4/2013

    " Moby Dick is a tedious textbook on all things whaling, but Melville's outstanding prose gives this book four stars. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Daniel | 10/3/2013

    " Great story once you get past the slow beginning. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Alan | 8/8/2013

    " A good read, with strong, vivid characters. Also an interesting insight into the whaling industry of the time. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 lyratheliar | 6/20/2013

    " i once read that moby dick was the most boring of all the great books. i agree with the 'boring' part, however, i still need convincing on the 'great' part. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Amy Rogacki-bjarke | 6/9/2013

    " Just couldn't do it. Maybe another time :/ "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Chas Bayfield | 4/28/2013

    " Well, everyone has a favourite book and this is mine. From the first 'call me Ishmael' it drags the reader into it and doesn't let go. I skimmed over some of the natural history but the scale and style was almost Biblical. properly awesome. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Kimberly | 4/14/2013

    " I really wanted to love this, but god was it boring! There were definitely some gems hidden among the seafaring ramble, so for that probably worth reading. But it was slow going for me. All narration, little action. By the time we got to the infamous Ahab, I just didn't care. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Annette Cass | 3/15/2013

    " Yes - it is a classic. I, like many others, couldn't get through it -- even though I tried to sweeten it by listening to an audio version. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Edelhart Kempeneers | 3/4/2013

    " Best een goed boek, maar het beste uit de Amerikaanse literatuur? I don't see it. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Ruth | 2/21/2013

    " Fabulous, takes a while to read but so worth it. You become an expert in whaling. Great human drama. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Stephen Murley | 2/21/2013

    " Didn't read this until I was an adult...probably appreciated it more...one of my all time favorites. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Keturah Barchers | 1/21/2013

    " I hated it while I read it. I slogged through, determined that the book would not beat me. But now that I have had the time to mull it over I may read it again because there were some truly beautiful parts. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Glenn Bruce | 12/26/2012

    " Just remember it was long. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Joel Jacobs | 11/8/2012

    " I don't know I expected but I really wanted the hero ending. Oh we'll at least I know a lot about whales and whaling in the 1800's! "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Sammmmmmi | 10/30/2012

    " Really, I hated this book. I truly don't know how anyone could find killing a bunch of whales and fighting whales is entertaining on any level. Sorry, I just didn't see the point, the reason for this book. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Sally Bullock | 9/14/2012

    " I kept waiting for the boring part...there wasn't one. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Kyle | 8/20/2012

    " The second time I've read it. The first time was over 30 years ago. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Pwoodsidjeffco.k12.co.us | 6/8/2012

    " Last book I read in college. Loved it. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Beth White higley | 6/4/2012

    " The only book I actually fell asleep in the middle if reading.....enough said. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Brett Shriver | 5/22/2012

    " I rarely read a classic and finish with "I don't get it". But I did with this one. Lots of facts about whaling though. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Amy Coats | 4/22/2012

    " Skip Skip Skip. I'm pretty sure he was payed by the word. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Justin Hall | 3/19/2012

    " Very great classic, but it does run long and I didn't think the climax was that climaxy. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Alissa | 2/22/2012

    " Definately a classic that everyone should read. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Morgan | 2/20/2012

    " The best part is when Stubb tells Starbuck that it's all in the game. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Martina | 2/19/2012

    " I would not wish this on my worst enemy. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Pinks2000 | 1/24/2012

    " A 5 star novella cleverly hidden within an 1 star encyclopedia of whaling. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 David Peak | 1/12/2012

    " This book is heavy metal. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Crystal O'Leary-Davidson | 1/4/2012

    " Ladies, don't make the mistake of thinking this is a "boy's book." Melville was postmodern before there was postmodernism. One of the most profound books I have ever read. Thanks goes out to my grad. school professor, Dr. Joseph Andriano for introducing this book to me. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Mesha'el Alturki | 12/22/2011

    " I want to give it another try.. I'll re-read it inshallah. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jack Goodstein | 11/14/2011

    " While I own this copy which I read ages ago, I just finished listing to the Moby Dick podcast readings which I found often uneven. Indeed I'm not really sure that it is a good choice for reading aloud. You need to have time to think about what is being written. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Rusty | 10/29/2011

    " This book could serve as a textbook for a class on whaling. While many think it tedious, it is a must read. The book is too often referenced to ignore. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Tyler Berrio | 10/11/2011

    " Never before have I so thoroughly enjoyed a book and yet wanted to strangle myself with my own entrails while doing so. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Shawn Camp | 10/10/2011

    " The audiobook is a great companion to listen to after reading this thoroughly. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Alexandra | 8/21/2011

    " Hardest book I've ever read. Apparently full of endless deep meaning. Mr. Orehotsky! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Sharon Neary | 8/10/2011

    " I read this novel in college. I loved it. I am reading it again for pleasure and I am still loving the characters and story. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Richard | 7/23/2011

    " For a book that has that deadly 'classic' air about it, Moby Dick really does draw you in. A great pick for deep winter. I'm a lot less surprised that I know more than a couple people who have read this book more than once. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Finn Pennekamp | 7/16/2011

    " Thanks MobyDickBigRead.com! I'm only 1 years old and I know Moby Dick cover to cover! It was awesome too! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Bernadette | 6/27/2011

    " One of the most beautifully written books I have ever read. Forget the symbolism, it's not even the story itself that I love. It's the exquisite language, the turn of phrase. I read the book with a highlighter in my hand so that I could easily go back, again and again, and re-read passages. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Marisa | 5/24/2011

    " Not only did I enjoy the story, but I learned a lot about whales. Whaling is such a big part of our history and this helped me to understand what exactly it all entailed and why it was such an important industry. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Guy | 5/23/2011

    " Not sure I can make it through this one . . . "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Rebecca | 5/22/2011

    " The "War & Peace" or "Les Misérables" of whaling; unfortunately I think his execution meandered and failed. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Sarah | 5/22/2011

    " Wow. Best book I've ever read, no shit and much to my surprise. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Shane | 5/21/2011

    " Frank Muller is a superb audio book reader. An epic reader for an epic story "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Erin | 5/20/2011

    " Best book. Of. All. Time. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 George | 5/19/2011

    " Few better in American literature. Everyone should read this book. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Danielle | 5/15/2011

    " one of those lovely books we had to read for English "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Tim | 5/13/2011

    " This is the second reading of Moby Dick and it was fantastic. The best American novel; beats Huckleberry Finn and The Great Gatsby by leaps and bounds. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Zoey | 5/12/2011

    " This book is so good, but it is so hard to read. Herman Melville could have summed the book up in about a 3 page story. It is still worth it to be able to say I have read it.
    "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Ren | 5/11/2011

    " Great prose and poetry in this unabridged version. I did find it at times hard to keep my mind in focus with all the details of cetology. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Anthony | 5/10/2011

    " *Consumed as an Audiobook

    Awesome! A bit dry perhaps, but it was very educational and the not-dry parts were CRAZY exciting! Near the end Ahab spends an entire chapter decrying a Sextant. "

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About the Author
Author Herman Melville

Herman Melville (1819–1891) was born in New York City. Family hardships forced him to leave school for various occupations, including shipping as a cabin boy to Liverpool in 1839—a voyage that sparked his love for the sea. A shrewd social critic and philosopher in his fiction, he is considered an outstanding writer of the sea and a great stylist who mastered both realistic narrative and a rich, rhythmical prose. He is best known for his novel Moby-Dick and the posthumously published novella Billy Budd.

About the Narrator

Bob Sessions is an actor who has appeared on several television shows, including The Tomorrow People, The Case-Book of Sherlock Holmes, Ruth Rendell Mysteries, and Rumpole of the Bailey. He has also worked extensively as a voice actor and audiobook narrator.