Self-published in 2011 by its author, Andy Weir, THE MARTIAN is a bestselling and critically acclaimed first novel that puts readers inside the mind of an astronaut stranded on Mars. The book was bought by a publisher and reissued last year. A movie adaptation, starring Matt Damon, is scheduled for release this fall.
Narrator R.C. Bray recorded the audiobook, and he’s glad he did. “I’ve been getting lots of compliments on it, and I really do appreciate it, but at the same time, all I had to do was read it. I had no question about who the characters are. Weir wrote them out so beautifully, starting with Mark Watney [the protagonist]. This guy is sarcastic.” Bray says Watney is relatable and not a superhero with gifts other humans don’t have. “These are real people. That’s what makes this book work so well.”
Bray revealed a secret about an earlier narration he did, his recording of the hit thriller THE FORGERS. In this book, novelist Bradford Morrow spins an enthralling tale, pulling back the curtain on a little-known crime, the forging of collections of letters and signed books by classic authors like Arthur Conan Doyle, Charles Dickens, and others. Bray says he loved that book and decided he’d like to make his narration a tribute to a renowned narrator who influenced him--the late Frank Muller. “The main reason I’m an audiobook narrator is because of Frank.” Bray says what he first heard Muller read was THE DRAWING OF THE THREE, Book 2 of Stephen King’s Dark Tower series. “I had no idea how amazing an audiobook narration could be! ‘You can do this with a book?’ I thought someone just sat in front of a microphone and read the book. He was doing voices, and I said: ‘That’s what I want to do.’”
When Bray read the synopsis of THE FORGERS, he realized Muller would have been perfect for the assignment. “I decided to read it as an homage to him. There are points in the book where I tried to use his phrasing and his delivery, and I emulate his voice just slightly here and there to have him in there. There was a bit of ‘regal’ to his voice when he read these types of books, so I tried to put that in there. Frank would have nailed that.”
Bray says because of Muller and others, he’s become a huge fan of audiobooks and listens constantly. “I love them. I can’t think of anything I’d rather do in the car-- or anywhere else. They are so friggin’ entertaining.”--Randy O’Brien[AUGUST/SEPTEMBER 2015]
© AudioFile 2015, Portland, Maine
Photo courtesy of the narrator
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