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Up next, Danny Dyer reads the complete works of Shakespeare

Colin Firth reads Graham Greene? Yes, please.

Top actors, including seven Oscar winners, have signed on to narrate a new series of audiobooks from Audible.com. I’m not so sure I could stomach Meg Ryan’s interpretation of Saroyan, but I do think Colin Firth might attract some new fans to Graham Greene’s The End Of The Affair. At first I misread the list and thought Jennifer Coolidge was reading The Sheltering Sky; it’s actually Jennifer Connelly which sounds like a better fit.

Kate Winslet sounds enriched by the experience. “You use a different part of your brain and it keeps your creative juices flowing,” said Winslet, whose performance of Therese Raquin was the first audiobook in the new series to be recorded. “It is challenging, and it’s a heck of a lot of fun as well. As a listener, being able to tune out and be taken into another world, an atmosphere, an environment that is being created entirely for you by somebody else’s voice is really a wonderful, magical thing.”

See the full list below, the productions will be out in early 2012. More will be announced in coming months.

  • Kim Basinger (The Awakening by Kate Chopin)
  • Annette Bening (Mrs. Dalloway by Virginia Woolf)
  • Jennifer Connelly (The Sheltering Sky by Paul Bowles)
  • Colin Firth (The End of the Affair by Graham Greene)
  • Anne Hathaway (The Wonderful Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum)
  • Dustin Hoffman (Being There by Jerzy Kosinski)
  • Samuel L. Jackson (A Rage in Harlem by Chester Himes)
  • Nicole Kidman (To the Lighthouse by Virginia Woolf)
  • Meg Ryan (The Human Comedy by William Saroyan)
  • Susan Sarandon (The Member of the Wedding by Carson McCullers)
  • Naomi Watts (Summer by Edith Wharton)
  • Kate Winslet (Therese Raquin by Emile Zola)

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