I need help.

We’ve sold rights to the audio book of There Is No Dog and the actor they’ve suggested to read it is all wrong:  Too old, too ordinary, too middle-of-the-road.

This blog is really only for people who’ve read the book, because you need to be aware of the challenges of reading 250 pages of a third person omniscient narrator — one who leaps from brain to brain of a variety of mortal, immortal, old and young characters. Sometimes all in the same paragraph.

I started thinking….comedian. But quite a lot of the book is intense and serious. Eddie Izzard would make a brilliant Eck. But what about the first chapter? And the last line? And anyway, doesn’t he live in American now?  

Rob Brydon? Not warm enough. David Mitchell? Too posh.

What about Bill Bailey? I adore Bill Bailey.

The reader needs to be able to do warmth, irony, peevish teen, furry Eck, Bob’s mad mother Mona, and Mr B.  Lucy needs to be sweet. Bob needs to be a just…sympathetic…enough.

Someone suggested Benedict Cumberbatch. I would very much like to hang around in his magnificent aura and stare at his strangely compelling face. Though obviously I wouldn’t be doing that.

Bill Bailey? Gorgeous, wonderful Bill Bailey? Is he too famous now? Too busy? Too expensive?

Ideas, please? PLEASE??

p.s. Bill Bailey?


35 thoughts on “HELP!

  1. erica 8 years ago

    euan morton.

    1. Meg Rosoff 8 years ago

      Don’t know him but just looked him up. He looks really interesting. Will investigate further.

  2. Francesca Simon 8 years ago

    Ninny! SRB

    1. Meg Rosoff 8 years ago

      SRB would be brilliant but a bit grand for the book, I think.

  3. bookwitch 8 years ago

    David Tennant. He did the Mantelpiece book.

  4. Kathryn Evans 8 years ago

    He’s on twitter Meg – I’ll send him the link – hopefully it’s the right Bill Bailey!

  5. Lauren 8 years ago

    How about Jim Dale, if you can get him? He’s most famous for doing the Harry Potter audiobooks, but he’s done lots of others, too.

    This might sound random, but maybe you could look up some audiobook versions of books with a similar tone, and listen to the previews to see if any narrators sound good? You can do this for free on itunes or audible.com.

    Good luck, I hope you find the right narrator! I mostly listen to audiobooks so I am sooo happy another book of yours will be coming out on audio! How I Live Now is one of my favorite books. (and the audiobook was fantastic.)

  6. Malaika 8 years ago

    I tweeted him the link and told him he’d pulled! Fingers crossed.

  7. Peter Bryenton 8 years ago

    Thanks for your blog, Meg.
    I am working with a person who knows you and who is a budding author. I am not allowed to mention any names because of some very sensible school rules, but we will work together this year on developing computer skills. Your blog will be one of our happy places to visit.
    Peter Bryenton
    IT Teacher
    New College Worcester

    1. Meg Rosoff 8 years ago

      Thanks for that, Peter. No names necessary :o)

  8. Anne Joseph 8 years ago

    Mmm, I get the Bill Bailey thing but is he enough of an all rounder?How about Jack Davenport, Jude Law?

    1. Meg Rosoff 8 years ago

      I spent 15 years of my life casting radio commercials — in the US we’d get people in for proper casting sessions, 20, 30, 40 people. In the UK it’s all done by who you’ve heard before. I could be wrong about Bill Bailey but he’s got the warmth, the intelligence and the humour and that’s a rare combination. Not seeing Jude Law with that combination!

  9. Preena 8 years ago

    Bill Bailey rocks!

  10. Sara O'Leary 8 years ago

    Lenny Henry narrated Roald Dahl’s Matilda for BBC and really did quite a wonderful job. There was a quality to his voice that could perhaps be best described as fondness (for both the characters and the material) and it made for lovely listening.

  11. sharon creech 8 years ago

    You. You hear all the voices best in your head. Could YOU do it?

    1. Meg Rosoff 8 years ago

      I want better than me. Of course!

  12. Kirsten Baron 8 years ago

    I love Bill Bailey, but don’t think he’d be right. He’s too – Bill Bailey. Always. I feel that the voice needs to be more neutral somehow, so that the story is more important than the person reading it…
    I don’t have any better suggestions though.

  13. Kirsten Baron 8 years ago

    Simon Jones. Or someone with a voice like his Arthur Dent.
    Although I’m not sure he could do Lucy.

  14. sophia bennett 8 years ago

    Does it have to be a man, Meg? She’s probably too busy, but I think Miranda Hart would do an interesting job. Or Sally Phillips. Or even … Catherine Tate? She was so good in Much Ado. Or Laura Solon. I’m sure she could be a whingey teenage boy, no problem.

    1. Meg Rosoff 8 years ago

      My daughter wants Miranda Hart. But no. And no to Sally Philips, much as I love her. Has to be a man I think.

  15. Stella 8 years ago

    And now my interest is piqued. I haven’t yet read the book and I am now going to have to buy a copy….

  16. Martine 8 years ago

    Tony Robinson, he does the Terry Pratchett disc world books on audio and is brilliant at a huge variety of voices, you always know who’s talking because he makes them so distinctive.
    much love

  17. Jane Houng 8 years ago

    Stephen Fry.

  18. C 8 years ago

    Easy. Hugh Laurie or Stephen Fry. Admittedly, Hugh Laurie is probably too busy being Dog already…

    1. Meg Rosoff 8 years ago

      Hugh L or Stephen Fry would be brilliant. But there is the pre-existing God factor to consider. Not sure Hugh would fly home from LA.

  19. Steven Watson 8 years ago

    Hi Meg, having just read the book I can recommend Scott Brick. I know him because he read Sean Wilsey’s memoir, Oh The Glory Of It All. Sean goes from happy child to petulant teen to mature family man over 400+pages.

    There is also a huge cast of characters- Sean’s parents, stepmother, various reporters and society types, priests, teachers, and even (gasp) Danielle Steele.

    Seriously, you haven’t lived until you’ve heard Scott Brick say “motherfucker.”

  20. Kathleen 7 years ago

    bill bailey would be brilliant. if you can’t get him, then perhaps – crazy idea here – don’t go for a famous person? i remember my uncle being a fantastic bedtime-story-reader (both picture books and novels); maybe you know a parent who has hidden talent?

  21. Ayse (Aisha) 7 years ago

    ….erm….Eddie Izzard – have you tried asking him?? I would, atleast give it a go and see, he would be brilliant!!!

    1. ayse 7 years ago

      ……or perhaps just the voice of an unknown teenager?

  22. Jake Elliott 7 years ago

    I’ll do it. Seriously. I know how to act verbally.

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