ASSASSIN'S CREED

ASSASSIN'S CREED
January 2017
"John Banks is one of the UK's most prolific audiobook narrators, working for the likes of Big Finish, Audible, Random House and Games Workshop.

He is a true multi-voice, creating everything from monsters to marauding aliens.

He is also an accomplished stage and TV actor."

audible.co.uk 2018

Coming in November...

Coming in November...

Hello...

...I'm John Banks - welcome to my website.

The majority of my working life has been spent in the theatre with companies including
York Theatre Royal, Cheltenham Everyman, Sheffield Crucible, Bristol Old Vic, Manchester Royal Exchange and the National Theatre in London.

Television work includes Emmerdale, Coronation Street, and 'Allo, Allo!'. I have also worked on a number of radio drama and comedy productions with the BBC.

Since March 2009, I have enjoyed playing a huge variety of characters in more than 250* audio-drama stories for Big Finish Productions and The Black Library/Games Workshop, details of which can be found in the postings below.


There are also details listed here of the 150* audio books I've recorded since March 2013,
including the unabridged New Revised Standard Version of The Bible, for companies including audible.co.uk, Hachette, RNIB, W.F. Howes, Little Brown Group, Penguin Random House, Games Workshop, Orion, Fantom Films & Ladbroke Audio.

(*figures at October 2018)

I hope you find something of interest here and come back soon for further updates.


For all posts, reviews and audio samples, please scroll down...

November release:

November release:

Flight. Redefined.

Games Workshop

Games Workshop

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Thursday, 30 November 2017

The Bible: New Revised Standard Version

Following on from my last posting here earlier today (two posts in a single day shock???), 2015 certainly was busy! In August 2015, after almost a year of various deliberations, producer Neil Gardner and me, started to record the New Revised Standard Version of The Bible, in all it's unabridged glory. After a further two years of transforming our recorded text into a downloadable 'app', complete with optional commentaries, publisher SPCK has just released the finished 'product'.

Here are some details:




The NRSV: The Bible for Everyone app contains a superb new audio version by John Banks, specially commissioned by SPCK from Ladbroke Audio, bringing the NRSV to life as never before.



The New Revised Standard Version (NRSV) of the Bible is one of the most widely loved English versions of the Bible. Descended from the King James Version, it combines academic rigour with a flowing style.


The NRSV: The Bible for Everyone app features:

- Complete NRSV Bible text
- Add your own notes to Bible verses
- Bookmark your favourite verses
- Powerful search and browse functionality
- Share verses as images on social media

This new app, offering fantastic value, seamlessly integrates the audio with the text, and includes the option to add access to the For Everyone series of commentaries and Bible studies written by Tom Wright and John Goldingay, via in-app subscription.

New and : NRSV Audio Bible for Everyone. Complete text and audio:

iTunes:             Google Play:  

* * * * *

The notion of sitting down in front of a microphone and recording the Bible from beginning to end, was both daunting and slightly surreal. I'd never read The Bible in it's entirety before, although I did know particular sections quite well. Some of it came as a surprise, some of it made me think about things in quite a new light and some of it taught me how to build a temple!

As a school-child, we would listen to radio broadcasts of David Kossoff, a wonderful actor, (right), reading Bible stories; he was so good at being able to bring the Bible and it's huge cast of characters to life and of course, to my young ears, he was the definitive voice of God!

I certainly haven't aimed to 'compete' with anyone for similar 'deification'; instead, I wanted to articulate the text in a clear and direct manner, with a little verve perhaps and a desire to allow the stories to tell themselves, without too much of a 'helping hand' from me. Maybe I got it right, maybe not - or maybe I got it right in part. Whatever the outcome, I feel truly honoured to have been entrusted with such a challenging narration and should you decide to give this recording a try, I do hope you will forgive my errors and enjoy listening to The Bible.



...all for now, more just as soon as it happens! 
 

Deadhouse Landing

Two years ago, in December 2015, I recorded Dancer's Lament: Path to Ascendancy Book 1 by Ian C. Esslemont, a prequel to his epic series of novels set in the Malazan Empire, which I also subsequently recorded. A couple of months ago, I was delighted to record the second book of the Path to Ascendancy, Deadhouse Landing. The audio book is now available from audible.co.uk and various other outlets and here are some details:

Random House presents the audiobook edition of Deadhouse Landing by Ian C. Esslemont, read by John Banks.

"Returning fans to the turbulent early history of what would become the Malazan Empire, the second chapter in Ian C. Esslemont's thrilling new epic fantasy sequence....


After the disappointments of Li Heng, Dancer and Kellanved wash up on a small insignificant island named Malaz. Immediately, of course, Kellanved plans to take it over. To do so they join forces with a small band of Napans who have fled a civil war on their own home island. The plan, however, soon goes awry as Kellanved develops a strange and dangerous fascination for a mysterious ancient structure found on the island.

The chaos in the region extends to the metaphysical planes also as a young priest of D'rek starts to question the rot at the heart of the worship of the god of decay. And back in Li Heng, Dassem, now the proclaimed Sword of Hood, finds himself being blamed for a plague which leads him to a crisis of faith - and searching for answers.

During all this, war with the neighbouring island of Nap threatens, recruited allies wonder at Kellanved's sanity, and powerful entities take more of an interest in the little mage from Dal Hon. Dancer faces a hard choice: should he give up on his partnership? Especially when the fellow's obsession with shadows and ancient artefacts brings the both of them alarmingly close to death and destruction.

After all, who in his right mind would actually wish to enter an Elder mystery known to everyone as the 'Deadhouse'?"

Unabridged Audiobook
Length: 16hrs 49 mins


©2017 Ian C. Esslemont (P)2017 Random House Audiobooks


...all for now, more just as soon as it happens!

Wednesday, 29 November 2017

Assassin's Creed: Desert Oath

"Before Assassin's Creed Origins, there was an Oath."



So, apparently, there's a new Assassin's Creed game, 'Origins' and some amazing artwork and CGI to go with it. I haven't played the game, but I have read the book and here are some details:

Penguin presents the audiobook edition of Desert Oath by Oliver Bowden, read by John Banks.

"Travel further back in time than ever before . . . Discover an ancient Egypt on the brink of collapse, and meet the characters in the official prequel to the latest instalment of the bestselling Assassin's Creed video game series."


Egypt, 70BC, a merciless killer stalks the land. His mission: to find and destroy the last members of an ancient order, the Medjay - to eradicate the bloodline.


In peaceful Siwa, the town's protector abruptly departs, leaving his teenage son, Bayek, with questions about his own future and a sense of purpose he knows he must fulfill. Bayek sets off in search of answers, his journey taking him along the Nile and through an Egypt in turmoil, facing the dangers and the mysteries of the Medjay's path.


Written by Oliver Bowden
Narrated by John Banks

Produced by Neil Gardner

Unabridged audio book: 9hrs 11 mins


©2017 Oliver Bowden (P)2017 Penguin Audiobooks



I'm actually quite delighted to have narrated this audio book; it's a great story and I had a lot of fun voicing such a broad range of characters, from 10 year old Tuta to some much older and grizzlier men - and women! Voicing the lead character, Bayek, was also an interesting challenge, as he ages through the story from adolescence to manhood. I'm listening to it at the moment and fingers crossed, so far, it all seems to be hanging together - phew!

It's an honour to have been asked to record this second Assassin's Creed book after last year's film tie-in adaptation and hopefully, there'll be more to come - they are great fun!


...all for now, more just as soon as it happens! 
 

Tuesday, 14 November 2017

The Geld

Good afternoon! A quick update on the latest release for November, an audio drama from The Black Library by George Man: The Geld. Here are some details:

The Geld: A Raven Guard audio drama


Tasked with an important and treacherous mission by Chapter Master Shrike, Shadow Captain Qeld must use every bit of his cunning – as well as his unique skills – if he is to survive and claim victory.


Long ago the Mor Deythan were the most feared of all Raven Guard – elite warriors who could cloud the minds of the unwary, dubbed the ‘Shadowmasters’.

When Shadow Captain Qeld is summoned to the Ravenspire for an audience with Chapter Master Shrike, little does he anticipate the treacherous mission he's about to undertake. Thrown together with others who share his innate abilities – including Mordren, of the Knights of the Raven Chapter – he must journey into an insane labyrinth inhabited by a traitorous warlord Mazik the Unfixed, and help to break a brutal siege.

But what does Mazik know of Qeld and his brothers? And can Qeld and Mordren overcome their differences long enough to survive?

Toby Longworth as Qeld, Matthew Hunt as Illith, John Banks as Mordren,
 Steve Conlin as Shrike & Mazik, Adrian Wheeler as Koryn and Jonathan Keeble as Cordae & Corson.

Written By George Mann & Produced by Matt Renshaw

Running Time: 1 hour 13 minutes

* * * * *
  
Since the last posting here, I've been back in the studio and there are several further releases to come before the end of the year, (some not yet recorded!) and there's lots for me to look forward to over the next few weeks and months and hopefully, a few things that might be of interest to anyone who actually listens to any of the stuff I do - otherwise, I suppose it's all just shouting into the void!

Details of these new releases to come just as soon as they become available, but in the meantime that's...

...all for now, more just as soon as it happens!

Wednesday, 1 November 2017

The Hunt for 'Read' October...

Dear patient reader, many thanks for keeping the faith and coming back to check out the blog after such a long period of posting inactivity; you are most welcome.

As ever, posting activity is usually a good indicator of how busy, or otherwise, I am. Since the last posting on 18th September, which is an absurdly long time to wait for an update, I've been busy indeed; so busy in fact, that I've had to look at my diary and note book to remind myself of what's been going on. So, here's what's been going on...

October audio releases include the following:

Gold: My Autobiography by Nick Skelton 

 

"With a show-jumping career spanning over 40 years, Nick Skelton is a legend in the equestrian world. No other rider has won so many major competitions on so many different horses, and he is as popular at Olympia and Hickstead as he is at Aachen, Geneva, Paris and Spruce Meadows.

Skelton has competed in eight Olympic Games. He was part of the gold medal-winning Great Britain team at London 2012 and made history by winning the individual Olympic gold medal at Rio 2016, riding at the age of 58 his beloved horse Big Star.

He began riding at the age of 18 months on a Welsh pony called Oxo. At the age of 17 in 1975, Skelton took team silver and individual gold at the Junior European Championships. He has competed many times at the European Show Jumping Championships, winning numerous medals, both individually and with the British team.

In 1980 he competed in the Alternative Olympics, where he helped the British team to a silver medal. He still holds the British Show Jumping High Jump record that he set in 1978. In 2000 Skelton was forced into an early retirement after he broke his neck from a serious fall. But following an amazing recovery, he came out of retirement in 2002 to compete again.

Now he tells the full story of his eventful life and matchless achievements."


Length: 7 hrs and 25 mins 

 ©2017 Nick Skelton (P)2017 Orion Publishing Group

* * * * *

Hammerhal & Other Stories

 

A hand-picked selection of stories and novel extracts designed to introduce you to both Warhammer Age of Sigmar and Black Library fiction.

 

 Hammerhal by Josh Reynolds *
Vengeance Eternal by Matt Westbrook *
The Prisoner of The Black Sun by Josh Reynolds *
Beneath The Black Thumb by David Guymer
Assault on the Mandrake Bastion by Josh Reynolds *
Skaven Pestilens - an excerpt by Josh Reynolds *
Great Red by David Guymer *
Heartwood by Robbie MacNiven *
Overlords of the Iron Dragon - an excerpt by C L Werner *
City of Secrets - an excerpt by Nick Horth *

  Narrated by John Banks* and Jonathan Keeble

From the desperate defence of a city of Order against rampaging hordes of Chaos-tainted foes, to tales of Sigmar's Stormcast Eternals, their trusted allies and their many hideous enemies, this anthology brings together a collection of stories perfect for learning about the various factions of the Mortal Realms, the setting of Warhammer Age of Sigmar – it's your ideal first step into the adrenaline-fulled fiction of Black Library's stories. 


Running time is 14 hours 47 minutes

 

Crusade & Other Stories 

 

A hand-picked selection of stories designed to introduce you to both Warhammer 40,000 and Black Library fiction.


Crusade by Andy Clark *
The Lost King by Robbie MacNiven *
Honour of the Third by Gav Thorpe *
The Word of the Silent King by L J Goulding *
Extinction by Aaron Dembski-Bowden *
Sarcophagus by David Annandale *
The Purity of Ignorance by John French *
Red & Black by James Swallow
The Zheng Cipher by Josh Reynolds *
A Sanctuary of Wyrms by Peter Fehervari
Howl of the Banshee by Gav Thorpe 
Culling the Horde by Steve Parker *
The Lightning Tower by Dan Abnett *

 Narrated by John Banks* and Penelope Rawlins.

From a battle between the valiant Ultramarines and their plague-ridden Death Guard foes, to tales of alien enemies and the Imperium's many brave defenders, this anthology brings together a collection of stories perfect for learning about the various factions of the Warhammer 40,000 universe – it's your ideal first step into the adrenaline-fulled fiction of the 41st Millennium.


Running time is 13 hours 1 minute

* * * * *

OK; so, those are the three releases for October and as we're now already into the first day of November, a whole new tranche of releases are scheduled for... well, 'release'. Quite a few of the Black Library audio books I've recorded are now to be found here, on the audible web site, (click the link to go to the page) along with a couple of 'coming soon' audio books, which I shall of course mention on these pages at the appropriate time.

Having then, checked my note book and diary, I'm reminded as to why I've had no time to post. Since September 18th, I've acted in 6 audio dramas, narrated 5 audio dramas, narrated 3 full length audio books and I'm currently recording a 4th - and here's a photo of me in studio, doing it!  



 













And as a final image for this posting, the 2017 APA Audie Finalist Medallion, which arrived from New York a few weeks ago - which was nice.

It actually goes quite well with most of the clothes I wear; the yellow silk ribbon looks particularly good with jeans, although I do sometimes feel a little self conscious wearing it in local shops etc - in London, no one really pays too much attention...
 
And so, on that note of fabricated whimsy, I have two more days in the recording studio this week, so I'd better get back to my homework and wrap up this update in the usual manner by saying...



...all for now, more just as soon as it happens!

Fabius Bile

Fabius Bile
WARHAMMER 40,000

Reviews & comments:

The Malazan Empire

Over the course of this 8 book series, the amazing John Banks has had to create and voice 648 distinct characters!

Neil Gardner - producer

The Door In The Wall & War of The Worlds

Not often I buy another version of an audiobook I own, but after hearing John Banks' narration of The Door in the Wall by Ladbroke Audio, I had to buy their version of The War of the Worlds. Banks has a great reading voice.

Andy Frankham-Allen - writer

The Books of Babel: Senlin Ascends, Arm of The Sphinx & The Hod King

Mr. Banks does superb work, and I recommend the audiobooks wholeheartedly!

Josiah Bancroft - writer

Mervyn Stone: The Axeman Cometh

John Banks is a voice genius...

Nev Fountain - writer

Mervyn Stone... played by the note-perfect John Banks.

Matt Hills - Reviews in Time and Space

Dr. Who: The Sleeping City

I also must draw attention to John Banks who is an exceptional voice artist and in this one story performs more characters that I can count. ... it is listening to episodes like this one that really do let his talents shine through.

Tony Jones - Red Rocket Rising

Highlander:

...playing several parts, was the brilliant Big Finish regular John Banks - it was as if there were about 40 different actors in the other booth.

James Moran - writer

I went for the best of the best and brought in voice artiste extraordinaire John Banks.

Paul Spragg - producer

Vienna:

...also features the mind - bogglingly versatile and reliable John Banks

Jonathan Morris - writer

Dead Funny:

The acting is first rate… wonderfully played by John Banks as Richard – his impersonation of Eric Morecambe is worth the admission money alone.

Beverly Greenberg: Bolton Evening News

Mr. Happiness:

This early and unfamiliar play by David Mamet is a character study of a 1930s radio counsellor, dispensing suave advice to his devoted listeners. John Banks brings out the wry comedy of this – comedy quite unappreciated by the character – with a clever range of gesture and vocal tone.

Jeremy Kingston: The Times


All My Sons:

This is a beautifully crafted piece ...and it affords a wonderful opportunity for John Readman* to do his All-American Boy act as Chris Keller. This most polished and well observed performance as the blighted son of a blighted father must rank as one of his finest accomplishments yet. ( * see Profile)

The Stage

The Ordeals of Sherlock Holmes

Kudos should also go to John Banks. Lestrade can be a thankless part, but Banks rose to the challenge, playing a pivotal role in this decades long arc.

Raissa Devereux - SciFiPulse

The Judgement of Sherlock Holmes

John Banks is multi-tasking, both as the superb Lestrade and also the villainous and no doubt moustache twirling Sebastian Moran. They sound completely different and I bow to his talent.

Sue Davies - SFcrowsnest


Further reviews and comments are included with specific postings throughout the site.

The War Doctor

The War Doctor
December 2015