"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

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 with Big Finish Productions, together with The Black Library/Games Workshop, details of which can be found in the postings below.


There are also details listed here of the 165* 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, HarperCollins, RNIB, W.F. Howes, Little Brown Group, Penguin Random House, Games Workshop, Orion, Fantom Films & Ladbroke Audio.

(*figures at April 2019)

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...

Games Workshop

Games Workshop

Warcry: Death or Glory

The Moggotkin of Nurgle

Death's Mercy

Death's Mercy

Released January 2019...

Released January 2019...

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Sunday, 9 June 2019

Black Summer

Good afternoon, dear, patient reader!

Once again, I must apologise for the long delay since last posting here; May looks to have been a very slow and quiet month - but no indeed, far from it! May was a very busy month of audio work and if anything, June is even busier. There's so much I would like to be able to say here and now, but as regular readers will know, I'm obliged to remain silent on professional projects until details are made available by production companies or publishing houses. It's quite understandable; if a company is potentially spending significantly on advertising campaigns, they really don't want people like me 'jumping the gun'. There's some very exciting stuff in the pipeline, though I shall have to excercise a little restraint, curb my enthusiasm and hold fire until the appropriate time, before I can tell you all about it.

Sometimes of course, information becomes available way before any publicity campaigns are officially launched and details of M.W. Craven's latest novel, Black Summer, have been evident on the internet for some time. Publication in all formats is scheduled for 20th June, though I can now reveal details of the story, along with an audio trailer:


Black Summer by M.W. Craven: 

 

  

After The Puppet Show, a new storm is coming....





Jared Keaton, chef to the stars. Charming. Charismatic. Psychopath....

He's currently serving a life sentence for the brutal murder of his daughter, Elizabeth. Her body was never found, and Keaton was convicted largely on the testimony of Detective Sergeant Washington Poe.

So when a young woman staggers into a remote police station with irrefutable evidence that she is Elizabeth Keaton, Poe finds himself on the wrong end of an investigation, one that could cost him much more than his career.

Helped by the only person he trusts, the brilliant but socially awkward Tilly Bradshaw, Poe races to answer the only question that matters: how can someone be both dead and alive at the same time?

And then Elizabeth goes missing again - and all paths of investigation lead back to Poe.



 Unabridged audio book Narrated by John Banks and Produced by Neil Gardner 

Length: 9 hours - 47 minutes


©2019 M. W. Craven (P)2019 Hachette Audio UK


                                                                                                                               
                                                    
 * * * * *


Despite a good deal of confusion over the last couple of years, it appears that the unabridged NRSV Bible I narrated for SPCK and produced by Neil Gardner at Ladbroke Audio, is now, finally, available as an app; I downloaded it a few days ago and it seems to work fine. 

I may be more inclined to listen to the recording than you, though if you have a spare 74 hours or so, you could zip through it along with me!




* * * * *


Before signing off, I must express my sincere gratitude and appreciation to the more than a quarter of a million people who have visited this site; "thank you!" - it would all be pointless without you!


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

Friday, 26 April 2019

Dark Imperium: Plague War

Just over a year after the release of Dark Imperium, the story of the resurrected Ultramarines Primarch continues in Dark Imperium: Plague War.

Intent on rebuilding Ultramar, the returned primarch Roboute Guilliman wages war on the treacherous Death Guard - but as he battles his corrupted brother, the intervention of a greater power threatens all he works for.



In the void and upon the worlds of Greater Ultramar, the battle for the Imperium continues. Intent on rebuilding his home realm and using it as base to reconstruct the ravaged stellar empire of mankind, the returned primarch Roboute Guilliman proceeds with his war to drive Mortarion and his Death Guard Traitor Legion from the domain of the Ultramarines. 





 

But when Guilliman brings his brother to battle upon the diseased plains of Parmenio, the intervention of a greater power in their fraternal struggle threatens to upend the Imperial Regent’s understanding of the galaxy, and his place within it. 

Primarchs and ideologies clash in this second, thrilling part of the Dark Imperium trilogy. 




Written by Guy Haley, Produced by Kylia Whitehead & Narrated by John Banks

Audiobook running time: 12 hours and 35 minutes


©2019 Games Workshop Limited (P)2019 Games Workshop Limited


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

The Imprecations of Daemons


Imprecate: (to) utter (a curse) or invoke (evil) against someone or something. 


Good morning and following swiftly on from yesterday's posting, here's an audio drama I've been looking forward to listening to since we recorded it late last year. Here are details of the story and some fabulous artwork:

The Imprecations of Daemons

 

A Warhammer Age of Sigmar audio drama

A warrior of the Stormcast Eternals returns to the place of her birth, long before she was reforged as a celestial hero. Only by coming to terms with her past can she save her home for the future.




Summoned by grave tidings, the Stormcast Malleon returns home to the place of her birth, the Iron Fastness. Many years ago her father, Vaneth, a warrior priest of Sigmar, helped banish a cult of Chaos that had taken root in their lands. But devils do not rest easily and a perfidious evil has risen again. Malleon finds much changed since the days before her reforging and the tragic events that tore her family apart. Only by reconciling with her past can she hope to exorcise the daemons of the present and purge the darkness for good. 



John Banks, Beth Chalmers, Gesella Ohaka, Richard Reed & Fiona Skinner

Written by Nick Kyme & Produced by Matt Renshaw 


'My hand the hammer… my will the shield.'


Running time: 71 minutes


* * * * *


The Imprecations of Daemons was my last recording in the original Black Library studio; when I return next month to record an audio book, all will be new. I'm intrigued to see the results of the re-development and expansion that's been going on over the past few months. In the meantime, I hope my copy of the CD arrives soon; this is an excellent story performed by a fabulous bunch of actors - can't wait!


...all for now; more very, very soon!
 

Thursday, 25 April 2019

Outremer

The first of this week's featured new releases is the 'mighty' Outremer, recorded recently for Audible Studios, in collaboration with ace producer Neil Gardner. Rolling in at an impressive 39 hours & 38 minutes, this is without doubt, the most 'challenging' audio book (book!) I've so far encountered.

Researching myriad pronunciations, marking up and highlighting the text in preparation to record, took something like 80-90 hours and for some of the prep, unable to find answers even via the internet, I had to directly ask colleagues if they could help me out, as indeed did Neil. I am grateful indeed to Susan Omand, Graeme Lyon and David Monteath, who very generously offered suggestions as to how a number of Irish Gaelic personal names should be pronounced.




Of all the many and various audio books I've recorded since this particular aspect of my acting career began about six years ago, Outremer has been by far the most demanding, both to prepare and to record and in that assessment, I include recordings of the unabridged NRSV Bible and the 1400 + characters and 215 hours of The Niccolo Books.

To give you an idea of what my text looked like in the studio, here's a screen shot example of a not untypical page (left), alongside an unmarked up page producer Neil had on his side of the glass (right). Part of Neil's job as producer, is to exactly follow my narration in case I unknowingly fluff a word or otherwise somehow go 'off-piste'.

In this example, my marked-up page features two characters; the adolescent 'Paul', highlighted in green and the much older man, 'Theodoric' highlighted in purple. Other colours within the dialogue are to bring my attention to 'tricky' pronunciations/words and text left unmarked, tells me to use my neutral narrator voice.

Much of the text was italicised, as you can see from Neil's screen shot. The scenes written in italics convey the background story to the main narrative and take place at an Inn, where ultimately, 15 characters are in conversation with each other - the mark up for those scenes took quite a while and looked dazzling on the page - as I'm sure you can imagine!



























But enough of the technical stuff - on to the story! Here are some details:

"An epic love story must overcome religious divide and a plot to eradicate two blood lines as the Crusades and the search for the ancient mysteries of the Holy Grail gather momentum.

Raised by his father in La Rochelle, France, Paul Plantavalu is known for his artistic nature, inquisitive mind and Christian faith. He also has an unshakeable love for his Muslim childhood friend, Alisha al Komaty. Courageous and outspoken, she returns Paul’s love. But their path is paved with obstacles: religion, war, political chaos and a mysterious enemy determined to destroy their family lines.

Sometime between AD 1110 and AD 1120, in the aftermath of the first crusade, a small band of nine knights - the founding Knights Templar - recover ancient precious artefacts left by a former advanced civilisation beneath the City of Jerusalem. Ruthlessly guarded, the secrets revealed by this discovery are highly prized by powerful and dangerous forces far and wide; the repercussions of their capture are inextricably linked to Paul and Alisha. As Paul starts to experience dark and vivid dreams and the fragile balance of peace starts to crumble, it will fall to an enigmatic man known as Kratos and his female warrior protégée, Abi Shadana, to safeguard Paul and Alisha.

Paul and Alisha’s love story weaves between the threads of our reality and other realms - from the Druids to the Sufi mystics, the Magi of the East, the secret political arm of the Knights Templar and the Isma’ilis, the Assassins. Knights and pilgrims alike will witness some of the darkest battles ever fought. The discovery of a unique sword’s lethal power and whispered connections to King Arthur and the Holy Grail lead Paul and Alisha to question if their lives will ever be the same again.

The first of a four-part series, Outremer is an historical epic which sweeps across England, Scotland and France to Syria, Jerusalem and Egypt. Discover the truth - and crack the ancient code - behind the great mysteries of the High Middle Ages for yourself."


Written by D.N. Carter, Produced by Neil Gardner & Narrated by John Banks

Length: 39 hours - 38 minutes


©2017 D. N. Carter (P)2019 Audible, Ltd



 


I'm deeply grateful to Neil for his terrific support throughout the recording of Outremer and very proud of the fact that we completed recording in seven days, rather than the scheduled eight.

With any luck, we'll have been acceptably accurate in our pronunciations, engaging with our story-telling and hopefully, 'easy on the ear'.


...all for now, more very soon! 

Tuesday, 9 April 2019

In The Closet Of The Vatican

Well, I did say there was more coming soon, though perhaps I always do - mea culpa! And speaking of 'mea culpa' (what a segue!), here are details of a non-fiction audio book released today from Audible Studios:

"In the Closet of the Vatican is a fascinating description and evaluation of financial, sexual and political misconduct throughout the Catholic Church at a time when new revelations are being uncovered each and every week. This audiobook explores the underlying causes and includes interviews with numerous Cardinals and other individuals, some of whom cannot be named. 


Martel reveals financial scandals in the Vatican bank; political collusion with unsavoury regimes, including Castro’s Cuba and Pinochet’s Chile; sexual abuse and hypocrisy over homosexuality. In this explosive account, Martel goes to the heart of corruption in the Catholic Church and inside the Vatican itself."

Narrated by John Banks & Produced by Ben Carpenter

22 hours - 19 minutes


©2019 Frederic Martel (P)2019 Audible Studios

* * * * *


This was a tricky and challenging book to work on and I'm grateful indeed to producer Ben Carpenter for his considerable input and support throughout the seven day recording period.We had actually scheduled eight studio days, but wrapped it up a day and a half early - which was pleasing in the sense of knowing that we'd been efficient and that the oceans of prep this book required, had paid off. 

In saying that, we still took phenomenal care to ensure, as accurately as possible, that personal and place names were pronounced correctly. On occasion, we had to choose not to be absolutely accurate, which seems odd perhaps. As an example, General Augusto Pinochet, former President of Chile; here in the UK, 'Pinochet' is pronounced 'pin-oh-shay', whereas a Chilean friend of mine assures me it should be 'pin-oh-CHett'. Ben and I discussed this and numerous other, similar examples, throughout the recording and a lot of time was spent deciding which was the better option - go with what the majority of listeners would identify as being 'correct' or being strictly accurate and running the risk of actually sounding 'incorrect'. 

With a running length of over 22 hours, the book had hundreds of names and locations to research and the actual amount of (unpaid!) preparation soon racked up into the many tens of hours - hence being so pleased that after such a full on effort, we managed to complete ahead of schedule.

Non-fiction can be a strange genre to record as so many decisions have to be made, in addition to those alluded to above, with regard to characters who are directly quoted. Should the narrator attempt to sound like the person whose actual words are being used, always assuming that it's even possible to discover how a particular person might have sounded in real life? If I'm voicing quotations by Winston Churchill, should I attempt to mimic his vocal idiosyncrasies. In a non-fiction audio book I recorded on the Russian Revolution, should I have given Stalin a Russian accent, or even more specifically, a Georgian accent? Should personal and place names be 'Anglicised' or should we attempt to voice them in their respective 'native' tongues? In this book on The Vatican, and indeed, in the other non-fiction books I have recorded, the producer and I have always chosen to 'flavour' a character voice, but not to mimic, which I think makes sense. For this book, Ben and I also decided not to 'anglicise' and made a concerted effort to voice 'authentic' sounding names as far as we were able, though given the 'catholic' nature of Catholicism, we encountered people and place names from all over the world - and some of them were mighty tricky to pronounce!

Regular visitors to these pages may well have little interest in a non-fiction book on the politics of The Vatican, however, if it is of interest to you, I hope you enjoy listening - I'll be there with you! 

As is often the case, there's a short audio sample from the book on the Audible web site; just type my name into the search window and anything I've done, for audible.co.uk or other publishers, should be there. It's perhaps worth saying that many, perhaps all, (200 +) of my Big Finish audio drama recordings might also be available via the audible web site, though as the cast lists are often long, it may be that I don't always make the cut - I think they list a maximum of five actors per recording.

But enough; my ramblings are running almost as long as the book, so I'll end by saying - that's...


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

Monday, 8 April 2019

The Palace of Memory...

...and Other Stories! Guess which one I'm in? You got it, I'm in 'Other Stories', reprising the role of Prince Maesa in Hungerfiend by Guy Haley to be exact - and what fun it was to record.Here are some details:

The Palace of Memory and Other Stories

A Warhammer Age of Sigmar audio drama anthology

From the nightmarish labyrinth of the City of Mirrors to the wilds of Ghur and a rebellious town in the lands of Death, three full-cast audios explore dark corners of the Mortal Realms and the heroes and villains who battle within them.



The gods are at war. As the Mortal Realms plunge into darkness and despair, there are an ambitious few who seek to turn these fortunes in their favour. Within the nightmarish, labyrinthine halls of Shadespire, a famed Lord-Castellant must escape the Mirrored City to cement his legend forever.


While upon the desolate plains of Shyish, a vampire queen faces the fires of rebellion that threaten her dominion, and in Ghur, an aelven wanderer journeys to cheat the God of Death to resurrect his lost love.

The three audio dramas in this collection showcase the vast power and untold riches that await those who are brave enough to claim them, if only they dare.


The Palace of Memory by David Guymer
Black Atonement by David Annandale
Hungerfiend by Guy Haley







Three great heroes – Hamilcar Bear-eater, Neferata and Prince Maesa – each face very personal trials that could see them fall into darkness in these three tales that beautifully evoke bitter melancholy...

Performed by: John Banks, Steve Conlin, Andrew Fettes, Emma Gregory, Matthew Hunt, Toby Longworth, Carla Mendonca, Melvyn Rawlinson, Richard Reed, David Seddon, Genevieve Swallow & Jo Woodcock

Produced by Matt Renshaw

* * * * *

I noticed earlier today, that the audible web site had me listed as 'Joan Banks' in The Wicked and The Damned, released at the end of March. Thankfully, a few emails later, dear Joan is no more and the book is now properly 'cast'; thanks to Matt R, the BL team and the audible.co.uk crew for sorting things out so speedily - Joan and I are most grateful! 

Lots more to come soon; I'm back in the studio later this week to record a fabulous crime thriller book which I'm 'dying' to tell you all about. However, we'll all have to be patient for a little while longer as that's ...

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

Wednesday, 3 April 2019

The Wicked and The Damned

Horror upon Horror! At least, unlike the first release of this new series, Perdition's Flame, I'm properly and fully involved with this collection, as I'm narrating the linking story. Here are some details:

The Wicked and the Damned

A Warhammer Horror portmanteau

Drawn together by mysterious circumstances, three strangers meet in the mists of a desolate cemetery world. As they relate their stories, the threads of fate are drawn around them, and destiny awaits…


On a misty cemetery world, three strangers are drawn together through mysterious circumstances. Each of them has a tale to tell of a narrow escape from death. Amid the toll of funerary bells and the creep and click of mortuary-servitors, the truth is confessed.

But whose story can be trusted? Whose recollection is warped, even unto themselves? For these are strange stories of the uncanny, the irrational and the spine-chillingly frightening, where horrors abound and the dark depths of the human psyche are unearthed.


Narrated by John Banks, Doug Bradley, Emma Gregory & Richard Reed

Written by Josh Reynolds, David Annandale and Phil Kelly 

 Produced by Matt Renshaw

Running time 10hours - 42 minutes

* * * * *

And that's about it for this quick update; as I often say, I've been busy either preparing or recording or both over the last several weeks and having now completed work on two very difficult and challenging books (more details to follow!), I'm thoroughly enjoying the process of prepping next week's project, about which, there will be more to say once I've been given permission!

In the meantime, thanks as ever for stopping by!


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


Friday, 29 March 2019

Perdition's Flame

Dear patient reader, good afternoon!

Quite a gap since the last update alas, and not for the first time. I have been busy in a variety of recording studios, but the real reason for the general lack of activity here, is simply that the eight 'episodes' of The House of Niccolo, origininally scheduled for release in November 2018, were due to be released on 7th March and I looked forward to mentioning the stories in detail. For reasons unknown, the release has now been deferred to 5th September this year and may even be subject to further deferral. I shall of course update here as soon as their final release is confirmed.

In the meantime, The Black Library has issued the first of their new 'Horror' stories, Perdition's Flame and details appear below. I'm not actually credited in this drama, which is understandable, as my contribution was minimal and came as a result of being in the 'right place at the right time' - ie, standing behind a microphone in the Black Library studio! A script appeared under my gaze and I was asked to perform it - which I happily did!

Here are some details:

Perdition's Flame

A Warhammer Horror audio drama

A disgraced Vostroyan Imperial Guardsman huddles, alone and freezing, against a dark storm. Desperate for a chance to redeem himself, he grasps at any hope for peace. But in the Dark Millennium, the Gods offer nothing but horror…


The wind screams. The dark night is freezing. Vossk, a Vostroyan Firstborn, shrinks into a rock against a howl of memories. Having disgraced himself by deserting his post during a terrifying encounter, Vossk had resigned himself to penal servitude, though yearned for the chance to redeem himself.

But in the 41st Millennium, such dreams are hollow when a man’s reality has been shaken to his core. Found in the shadows of a pitiless cave, Vossk relives his tale to his rescuer. But trauma stalks the weary, and in the face of an even greater horror, it grins at those whose courage has failed them once before…

Grace Andrew, John Cameron Stewart, Andrew Wincott & Jo Woodcock - & me!

Written by Alec Worley & Produced by Matt Renshaw

Running time 79 minutes

* * * * *


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

 

Sunday, 24 February 2019

Kellanved's Reach

Random House presents the audiobook edition of Kellanved's Reach by Ian C. Esslemont, read by John Banks. 

Well, that's not a bad start to a new posting! It's how audible.co.uk announced the release of the third volume of Ian C. Esslemont's 'Path To Ascendancy' series, itself, part of the much longer Malazan Empire series, which I've been involved in recording since the release of Night of Knives in April 2016. A quick calculation reveals that the entire story arc comes to 189.23 hours of narration and has, getting on for 1,000 character voices, so if these stories are your kind of thing, there's certainly plenty to listen to!

And so, without further ado, here are some details of this latest edition:

Kellanved's Reach


Path to Ascendancy, Book 3


The incessant war between the bickering city states of Quon Tali rages. So engrossed are the warring lords and princes in their own petty feuds that few notice that an upstart mage from Dal Hon has gained control of the southern seas. But some powers are alarmed.



And in the meantime, as Purge and Tali indulge in what seems like a their never-ending game of war, a mercenary caught up in the fight between the two states suddenly refuses to play along and causes all sorts of chaos. Simultaneously, a pair of escapees from Castle Gris make their way across this ravaged landscape of flame and butchery. Their intention: to seek out the legendary Crimson Guard.

And then there's Kellanved, who could not care less about any of this petty politicking or strategy or war. Something other and altogether more mysterious has caught his attention and he - together with a reluctant and decidedly sceptical Dancer - traverse continents and journey through the Realms in pursuit....

But this ancient mystery that has so captivated Kellanved is neither esoteric nor ephemeral. No, it is of an altogether darker and more dangerous hue. It involves the Elder races themselves and more specifically - certainly more alarmingly - the semi-mythic and universally dreaded Army of Dust and Bone.

Surely no one in their right mind would be so foolish as to embark on a journey from which none have returned? Well, no one except Kellanved, that is...

Returning to the turbulent early history of what would become the Malazan Empire, here is the third awesome chapter in Ian C. Esslemont's new epic fantasy sequence.


Length: 13 hours - 7 minutes


©2019 Ian C Esslemont (P)2019 Random House Audiobooks
 




















Produced by Neil Gardner & Narrated by John Banks


* * * * *


Once again, I find myself caught up in a very busy period of activity, preparing for and recording a number of projects this month, including an audio drama, three audio books and four more dramas in the week to come - starting at the crack of dawn tomorrow!

Two of the books are 'ongoing' in order to fit around my crazy schedule and I'm immensely grateful to the companies and colleagues involved in this process, for being so accommodating. Alas, one audio book project hasn't worked out, as we just couldn't find mutually convenient recording dates, which is a great shame. I lost out on nine audio books last year for that same reason; not enough time to record them.

One book started recording the week before last and continued through to last Wednesday. That project has now been suspended until late March in order to accommodate the latest book, which started recording on Thursday. It too has now been suspended until Friday, so that I can record the four drama stories mentioned above. We resume on Friday and record throughout the following week. Confused? Me too - almost...

So that lot should keep me out of mischief till the end of March, at which point, I shall start to focus on the next audio book project, which I'm very excited about and very much looking forward to. Sadly of course, I can't talk in detail about any of these projects until the various companies I'm working with, give their permission. All I can say at the moment, is that there's lots to look forward to over the next few months and I'll tell all as soon as possible! 

Just to round off this posting; a couple of days ago, I discovered that one of the four Doctor Who Short Trips I recorded back in 2012, was given a 'proper' release by Big Finish, in September 2018.

Here are the details and for the first time in relation to this recording, some 'official', rather than 'fan' artwork:

This Doctor Who: Short Trips Rarities title was first released as an exclusive title free to anyone subscribing to the Doctor Who Main Range. It is now also presented here for the first time as a general release.


James Willaker has been working late. He's tired. It's been a long day. All that awaits now is a taxi home before bed.

Conversations with taxi drivers are a factor of London commutes, indeed of every city.
They can't have any importance. They can't change the world. They can't affect the future.

Can they?

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

Friday, 8 February 2019

In The Night Wood

Mwa-ha-ha-ha-haaa! And other such eeriness, which seems befitting of this latest audio book release, which is downloadable now from audible and amazon. Here are some details:

IN THE NIGHT WOOD

A forest. A book. A missing girl.


Charles Hayden has been fascinated by a strange Victorian fairy tale, In the Night Wood, since he was a child. When his wife, Erin – a descendant of the author – inherits her ancestor’s house, the couple decide to make it their home.

Still mourning the recent death of their daughter, they leave America behind, seeking a new beginning in the English countryside.


But Hollow House, filled with secrets and surrounded by an ancient oak forest, is a place where the past seems very much alive. Isolated among the trees, Charles and Erin begin to feel themselves haunted - by echoes of the stories in the house’s library, by sightings of their daughter, and by something else, as old and dark as the forest around them.
 
A compelling and atmospheric Gothic thriller, In the Night Wood reveals the chilling power of myth and memory.



Written by Dale Bailey, Produced by Neil Gardner & Narrated by John Banks

Length: 7 hours - 37 minutes


©2019 Dale Bailey (P)2019 HarperCollins Publishers Limited

* * * * *
Quite a brief update today I'm afraid, as once again, I'm into a very busy period of preparation and recording and over the next few weeks, things are set to become busier still. Already, 2019 is beginning to take on the craziness that was most of 2018, despite my quest for the 'Holy Grail' of a sensible work/life balance - ha! 

I'd better scamper now and get on with some work, before recording starts up again next week. So that's...

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

Friday, 25 January 2019

The Hod King

Hello and welcome! A short yet, hopefully, perfectly formed posting for this chilly Friday evening.

The Hod King, by Josiah Bancroft, was released on January 22nd in all formats. This is the third of Josiah's 'Books of Babel' series, which has had such an incredible reception since the first self-published volume, Senlin Ascends, became available and which was ultimately taken up and re-published by the Little,Brown Book Group.

Reviews for all three books have been remarkable, including this one, which appeared in my Twitter feed a few days ago:

“‘Books of Babel’ are something you hope to see perhaps once a decade - future classics, which may be remembered long after the series concludes. Only a few days into 2019, I think we’ve already found a contender for fantasy book of the year.”
                                                                                 
                                                                                     Ant Jones (the LA Times)

Here are some details:

The third novel in the highly acclaimed Books of Babel series, set in a labyrinthine world of menace and wonder. 



On the orders of the mysterious Sphinx, Thomas Senlin and his crew are dragged ever further into the Tower's conspiracies.

Meanwhile, the hods climb the Black Trail in darkness and whisper of their king.




"One of my favourite books of all time." (Mark Lawrence, author of Prince of Thorns)
"These books are absolutely incredible." (The Quill to Live)
"An engrossing, intoxicating delight." (Forbidden Planet)



 Written by Josiah Bancroft, Produced by Neil Gardner & Narrated by John Banks
 

Audio book length: 20 hours - 16 minutes


©2019 Josiah Bancroft (P)2019 Hachette Audio UK


By the way, an audio sample of The Hod King appears above in this blog.
 
* * * * * 

A short selection of Audible.co.uk reviews:

Senlin Ascends


"imaginative and exciting" 

beautifully written, fantastic narration.
                                                            Joe Arnold 23.3.18

"Outstanding audiobook" 

Absolutely loved this book! It is well deserving of the praise it receives, and the narration brought it to exceptional levels. Wonderful pacing and voices and so often I forgot I was listening to a book - everything played out in my mind like a film. 

                           Lauren 1.2.18 


Arm of The Sphinx

 


"Read this book!" 

 Loved every second of it and the Narrator is phenomenal! 

                      Richard Woodrow 29.3.18 





 * * * * *


January has been a very busy month so far: I completed the second of this month's audio books earlier this afternoon and I'm looking forward to recording a couple of audio dramas next week.

February is now also looking busy, with some very interesting stuff coming in the pipeline. But more of that later, because that's...

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


Saturday, 19 January 2019

The Gutter Prayer

Good afternoon and thanks once again for stopping by!



After a hugely enjoyable week of recording the first audio book of the new year, my task for the coming few days, is to continue preparation for the second book of 2019, which is scheduled to be recorded from the middle of next week. These first two books are, respectively, parts 2 & 3 of different series and, as mentioned previously, it's paticularly tricky to remember and re-create character voices last used many months ago and indeed, several thousand other voices ago!

In saying that, I'm now wondering just how many character voices I actually had to come up with in last year's recordings; at a very rough guess, I think it must be somewhere between two and three thousand. The character count for the soon to be released House of Niccolo books alone, came close to fifteen hundred...

But more on that in a couple of month's time. For today, here are some details of my narrated audio edition of Gareth Hanrahan's debut novel, The Gutter Prayer, which I had great fun recording with producer Neil Gardner.


"In the ancient city of Guerdon, three thieves - an orphan, a ghoul and a cursed man - are accused of a crime they didn't commit. Their quest for revenge exposes a perilous conspiracy, the seeds of which were sown long before they were born.


A centuries-old magical war is on the verge of reigniting, and in the tunnels deep below the city, a malevolent power stirs. Only by standing together can the three friends prevent a conflict that would bring total devastation to their city - and the world beyond."

 Produced by Neil Gardner & Narrated by John Banks


Running Time: 16 hours - 57 minutes


©2018 Gareth Hanrahan (P)2018 Hachette Audio UK


There's a short clip taken from the audio book posted above on this web site, should you wish to hear it. 

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I feel fortunate to have some enjoyable and interesting projects coming up over the next several weeks; I'm looking forward to working on them and indeed, to telling you all about them at the earliest opportunity.
In the meantime, that's...

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

Saturday, 12 January 2019

The Horus Heresy: Nightfane

Good afternoon and all good wishes for a Happy New Year!

The hugely demanding pace of recording last year, calmed as December progressed. Purely for my own interest, I really ought to make an accurate tally of how much I recorded in 2018; off the top of my head, I think it was something like 23 audiobooks, 42 short stories and 22 audio dramas, though I'll have to check.

Having had some free time over the holidays, January began with preparation for two quite challenging audiobooks, the first of which is scheduled to be recorded next week. My extended vocal warm up has been underway for several days, as I don't fancy the idea of performing a couple of hundred extreme creature character voices without 'tuning up' first!

In the meantime, the first Black Library release of mine for 2019 will be available to download from 19th January and here are some details:

The Horus Heresy: Nightfane

A Horus Heresy audio drama

Arriving at a seemingly abandoned underwater rigging station on the moon of Bael, Aeonid Thiel and the Red-Marked discover a plot to devastate the 500 Worlds… Can they stop it in time?


After the war to save Ultramar from the traitor hosts of Horus ended, formerly disgraced Ultramarines Sergeant Aenoid Thiel believes that enemies still linger within the borders of the empire. Finding other men of purpose, fellow Space Marines known as the ‘Red-Marked’, Thiel wages a guerrilla war to root out these enemies and vanquish them for good.

Following the threads of a previous mission, the Red-Marked arrive on the moon of Bael. There they find an underwater rigging station that has seemingly been abandoned. But this place and its secrets could hold the key to the so-called ‘Nightfane’, a mysterious plot intended to bring about the destruction of Ultramar and only Thiel and his men can stop it.




Annie Aldington, Tom Alexander, Gareth Armstrong, John Banks, Steve Conlin, Andrew Fettes, Matthew Hunt,
Jonathan Keeble, Gesella Ohaka & Richard Reed

Written by Nick Kyme & Produced by Matt Renshaw

Running time: 1 hour and 13 minutes

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And that's about it for the first posting of 2019. There's lots of varied and hopefully interesting stuff in the pipeline and I hope you'll stop by the web site again soon.


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

Warhammer 40,000

Flight. Redefined.

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