Audio Books and Fiction on Spotify

Spotify is more than just about music. We’ve already covered some of the stand-up comedy (here and here) and excellent Blake’s 7 audio dramas, but did you know that there’s also a whole feast of classic audiobooks, audio drama and plays on Spotify too?

 

Audio Books on Spotify

While there aren’t any modern audiobooks on Spotify yet (Amazon’s audible.co.uk has seen to that), there are still quite a few classics recorded in the mid 90s and read by many famous names: Hugh Laurie, Joanna Lumley and Nigel Davenport for example. Here’s a small selection (more here):

You’ll also find a whole series of Sherlock Holmes stories, read and acted by Sir John Gielgud and Sir Ralph Richardson. Here’s Volume 1 with the first four stories.

One word of advice when searching for more audiobooks: avoid the Eternal Classic Audio Books series. While unabridged, they’re read by a computer-generated voice and sound absolutely awful!

 

Classic Plays on Spotify

EMI UK has made a series of classic plays available on Spotify, starring some the finest actors and thesps of the 20th century. These include:

  • Harold Pinter’s “The Caretaker
    (with Alan Bates, Donald Pleasence, Peter Woodthorpe)

 

Shakespeare on Spotify

Argo Records have lots of classical content on Spotify, including many of their recordings of the complete works of William Shakespeare. Cambridge University’s Marlowe Players performed the plays, which by the mid-60s grew to include many professional actors. Here’s a few:

You’ll also find Romeo & Juliet, Measure For Measure, Two Gentlemen Of Verona and many more. Unfortunately the label search is a bit wonky here, so you’ll just need to search for each Shakespeare play by name.

 

Special thanks to Stuart Ian Burns (writer of the excellent blog Feeling Listless) for pointing out all these audio books and plays. Please let us know in the comments if you find any more drama or fiction on Spotify! 

  • http://www.droid-den.com Rachid

    Thanks for this!!

  • http://www.flavors.me/fludlyt Fludlyt

    Great list, I had no idea audio books where available on Spotify.

  • Anonymous

    Think audiobooks is the next logical thing for spotify although the core always will be music.
    In sweden we have streaming audiobooks available online at the e-library (paid by taxes) but sadly only for computer. For every listener the copyrightholder gets somewhere  round 5-6 euros and that is kind of far from what I think spotify would agree on….
    Anyway, they made an “impossible deal” with the music industry so who knows?

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_4K62HFOGK73W25SAT6QEEK4RVA Andy

    Most of Bill Brysons are on it at the moment

  • Aacabaxi

    They have “the girl with the dragon tattoo” i found out by accident

  • http://pansentient.com/ Jer White

    Don’t see that here in the UK – just the soundtrack album and an “inspired by the film” album

  • Sarah

    how do I search for audio books? I’m soooo confused. (Loser)

  • http://pansentient.com/ Jer White

    It’s not that easy to search for audio books on Spotify Sarah, so I appreciate your confusion! There’s no specific section or area, probably because the total number of audiobooks (inc. dramas and plays) on Spotify is a tiny fraction of Spotify’s total content.  In fact, it’s easier to just think of Spotify as not having any audiobooks at all: any you do come across will be rare anomalies (such as the few I listed in this post).

    So, the best option is to just search for terms like “audio book”, “audiobook”, “read by”, “audiodrama” or search for actor’s names and see what that gives you.

  • Pytr

    von Sacher-Masoch’s Venus in Furs is also on there.

  • anne

    henry miller Tropic of Capricorn, and Sexus is on there too and Tolstoy stuff!

  • maclovesmusic

    The Bible is on Spotify now, search for Old Testament and New Testament. There are a few different versions available. By a group called “Faith Comes by Hearing”

  • Jo

    Just found (on Spotify UK) Just So Stories by Rudyard Kipling, read by Ghizela Rowe & Tim Graham.
    Search using: The Just So Stories
    or by author: Rudyard Kipling.

  • Jo

    The Tale of Two Bad Mice by Beatrix Potter.

    Search using artist Mother’s Little Helper

    Not many Children’s audio books but there are a few. Peter and The Wolf is there of course.

  • http://pansentient.com/ Jer White

    Good spots, thanks!

  • Jo

    Just found some more, search using Vivien Leigh and you get audio dramas of several Beatrix Potter stories, which have several voices used and incorporate songs.

  • Jo

    The Vivien Leigh versions are much better than Mother’s Little Helper.

    Wind In The Willows is available. It is read by Richard Goolden. Comes in two parts, so two CDs I guess.

    Another book by Kenneth Grahame is The Reluctant Dragon read by Boris Karloff.

    Then search using Boris Karloff to get a few more titles, some for children and some like Tales of the Frightened which are not for children.

    The secret to finding audiobooks/audiodramas it seems is to find the names of voice artists/narrators who read the books, as once they have done one they may have done a few more.

  • Rob S.

    Great list – The Hitchhiker’s guide to the galaxy (at least the first disk) is also available.

  • t

    Moby Dick is availabel

  • http://twitter.com/DuncanFaber Duncan Faber

    We found some great audiobooks that are FREE. And they’re original. Here’s the link, if anyone wants to check them out. http://www.twirlygirlshop.com/moral-stories-for-kids

  • Katie

    The Great Gatsby is available!

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/David-Cohen/655306000 David Cohen

    TS Eliot reads the Wasteland.

    There’s also other poetry – search (as suggested above) “read by”

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