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The 25 Best Audiobooks Narrated by Celebrities

These big names breathed new life into classic novels and memoirs.

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You always hear the phrase "The book is better than the movie." That tends to be the case, at least most of the time, but is there a way to make books' dominance over the big screen even more complete? What if books… also had movie stars? With audiobooks, it's possible. Many big-name celebrities have lent their talent to narration, making great books better.

While it's not uncommon for celebrities to read the audio versions of their own memoirs, those aren't the only books that have gotten the A-list treatment. Works of fiction, both established classics and bestselling new releases, have audiobook versions with famous talent doing the reading. Below are 25 of the best audiobooks narrated by celebrities.

RELATED: I Read 365 Books This Year and These Were My 10 Favorites.

The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, Narrated by Nick Offerman

Nick Offerman

Parks and Recreation star Nick Offerman has a dry sense of humor and an appreciation for work. Mark Twain had the former but Tom Sawyer definitely does not have the latter. That makes Offerman, a real salt-of-the-earth guy who probably actually does think painting a fence would be fun, a charming choice to narrate this American classic.

Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, Narrated by Scarlett Johansson

Scarlett Johansson
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There's a natural pensiveness in Scarlett Johansson's voice that lends itself well to going down the rabbit hole in Lewis Carroll's trippy classic. With as many strange goings-on in Wonderland as there are in this book, you need a good guide to get through them all, and Johansson obliges.

Autobiography of Malcolm X, Narrated by Lawrence Fishburne

Laurence Fishburne at the ABC Winter TCA Party in 2020

Lawrence Fishburne was perfectly cast as Morpheus in The Matrix, a role that required him to be a bold, risk-taking leader who made you want to follow him when you listened to his voice. He lends that powerful voice to that of a real-life leader, civil rights icon Malcolm X, in this reading of his autobiography.

The Brief and Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao, Narrated by Lin-Manuel Miranda

Lin-Manuel Miranda
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The creator and star of Hamilton reads Junot Díaz's Pulitzer Prize-winning 2007 novel about a Dominican boy growing up in New Jersey. The Brief and Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao drew praise for its magical realism, and Lin-Manuel Miranda's quirky enthusiasm adds the proper amount of lift and whimsy to the narration.

Carrie, Narrated by Sissy Spacek

Sissy Spacek at International Palm Springs Film Festival Gala Awards n 2007

Sissy Spacek famously played the title character in Brian De Palma's acclaimed 1976 adaptation of Stephen King's debut novel. How fitting for her to return years later to narrate the book. (Presumably, no blood was dumped on her head while in the recording booth.)

RELATED: 16 Ways to Create a Cozy Reading Nook.

Casino Royale, Narrated by Dan Stevens

Dan Stevens

Dan Stevens has never played James Bond on the big screen, but the English actor known for roles in Downton Abbey, the live-action Beauty and the Beast, and plenty of genre movies, certainly has the charm required to play 007. He reads Casino Royale, the first Bond novel author Ian Fleming ever wrote.

A Christmas Carol, Narrated by Patrick Stewart

Patrick Stewart in 2020

Patrick Stewart is no stranger to voice acting (he's been voicing a frequently recurring character on American Dad for more than a decade now). He projects timeless gravitas, and he has a playful side, making him a fitting choice to read Charles Dickens' holiday classic, which is both timelessly earnest and a lot funnier than you might remember it being. The Star Trek actor also has considerable familiarity with the material, having written and starred in a stage adaptation and played Ebenezer Scrooge again in a 1999 TV movie.

The Dutch House, Narrated by Tom Hanks

Tom Hanks at the premiere of "Asteroid City" in June 2023
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Everybody loves Tom Hanks, so having his charming voice in your ears for a few hours is a treat regardless of what he's saying. Luckily The Dutch House, Ann Patchett's Pulitzer Prize-winning 2019 novel about two siblings and the house they live in across five decades, is a great book that's worthy of Hanks' narration.

The Great Gatsby, Narrated by Jake Gyllenhaal

Jake Gyllenhaal at the premiere of "Strange World" in 2022
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Let Jake Gyllenhaal take you back to the Jazz Age as he reads F. Scott Fitzgerald's masterpiece, The Great Gatsby. An actor of Gyllenhaal's caliber and charisma really makes you understand Nick Carraway and why he would become so enamored with the mysterious title character.

The Handmaid's Tale, Narrated by Claire Danes

Claire Danes in 2022
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Claire Danes is a world-class crier, as anybody who watched Homeland can attest, but she also can convey strength and steely reserve (as anybody who watched Homeland can also attest). That combination of vulnerability and fortitude is necessary for anybody narrating Margaret Atwood's iconic work of dystopian feminist fiction.

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Heartburn, Narrated by Meryl Streep

Meryl Streep at the Venice Film Festival in 2019
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Nora Ephron was a legend, and her autobiographical novel about her marriage and divorce to Carl Bernstein requires a legend to read it. Who better than Meryl Streep, a friend of Ephron's who starred in the 1986 movie adaptation? It's a perfect match of book and narrator.

The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, Narrated by Stephen Fry

Stephen Fry
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Stephen Fry is a renowned comic actor, but he also happens to be one of the most famous narrators around, so there are countless audiobooks that he's read that could appear on this list. His take on The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, Douglas Adams' beloved absurd sci-fi comedy, is an ideal showcase for his talents. He's got the perfect amount of wry British-ness the book calls for.

The Hunger Games, Narrated by Tatiana Maslany

Tatiana Maslany
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Tatiana Maslany is used to playing multiple characters aftering starring in Orphan Black, where she played a string of different clones. That experience serves her well reading The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins, as she brings Katniss Everdeen and all the other contestants in this dystopian fight to the death to life.

Jane Eyre, Narrated by Thandiwe Newton

Thandiwe Newton

Jane Eyre is one of the most iconic characters in all of literature, and it takes a smart, confident narrator to really get inside her head for the Charlotte Brontë-penned first-person narration. Thandiwe Newton has the poise, posh, and quick personality needed.

The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring, Narrated by Andy Serkis

Andy Serkis
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Gollum himself narrates J.R.R. Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings—and he's also narrated other books set in Middle-earth, including The Silmarillion. Andy Serkis famously played the ring-obsessed Smeagol in Peter Jackson's Lord of the Rings films and is famous for playing other motion-capture creatures, but he can also be quite charming and has a lovely English accent, making him a great choice for hours of fantasy entertainment.

RELATED: The 25 Best Animated Movies Ever Made.

The Odyssey, Narrated by Ian McKellen

Ian McKellen

The Odyssey, Homer's epic poem from antiquity, was originally part of a long oral tradition, so having it read to you as an audiobook is kind of a full-circle moment. Ian McKellen, a beloved actor who knows something about long epic journeys from his time traversing Middle-earth in the Lord of the Rings films, gives Odysseus' centuries-old voyage new life.

Oliver Twist, Narrated by Jonathan Pryce

Jonathan Pryce

Charles Dickens' Oliver Twist is, among other things, incredibly British. Jonathan Pryce is one of the most classically British actors out there today. He's got a voice that was made for reading stories, especially Oliver Twist.

One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, Narrated by John C. Riley

John C. Reilly
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In addition to being a very, very funny comedic actor, John C. Reilly also brings a surprising amount of pathos to his work. (He has a supporting role in Kong: Skull Island, for example, that has no business being as emotionally effective and affecting as it is.) One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, Ken Kesey's seminal novel about patients inside a mental institution, is a perfect book for him to narrate.

The Phantom Tollbooth, Narrated by Rainn Wilson

Rainn Wilson

The Office's Rainn Wilson narrates this children's classic, bringing bemused whimsy to the fantastical happenings in Norton Juster's novel. The Phantom Tollbooth is an especially quirky book, and Wilson excels on that front.

Pride and Prejudice, Narrated by Rosamund Pike

Rosamund Pike
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Rosamund Pike played kind eldest sister Jane Bennet in the 2005 movie adaptation of Pride and Prejudice, but for this audiobook of the Jane Austen classic, she gets to voice every character, including headstrong heroine Lizzie.

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Ready Player One, Narrated by Wil Wheaton

Wil Wheaton
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Love it or hate it, Ernest Cline's Ready Player One is a feast for geeks, full of references to '80s pop culture and plenty of other nerdy Easter eggs. Who better to read it than Wil Wheaton, who is geek royalty himself? The book's protagonist isn't that unlike Star Trek: The Next Generation's Wesley Crusher, to boot.

Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark, Narrated by Patton Oswalt

Patton Oswalt

The truth is that the scariest part of Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark by Alvin Schwartz is the horrifying cover art. A lot of the stories are actually quite silly in a spooky kind of way. Patton Oswalt, a comedian with plenty of enthusiasm, is the right call to narrate the audiobook, rather than somebody trying to do their best Vincent Price impression.

The Turn of the Screw, Narrated by Emma Thompson

Emma Thompson at the 'Dolittle' Special Screening in 2020

Henry James' novella The Turn of the Screw is a horror masterpiece, following a governess at a country estate who is either seeing ghosts or is going crazy. Emma Thompson effortlessly conveys the poise needed to be a governess in the Victorian era but also captures the sense of unraveling needed to make this Gothic fiction as chilling as it is.

The Woman in Me, Narrated by Michelle Williams

Michelle Williams

Britney Spears didn't narrate her 2023 memoir, but she got a very, very talented actor to do it for her. Five-time Oscar nominee Michelle Williams stepped in to tell the "Toxic" singer's life story.

The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, Narrated by Anne Hathaway

Anne Hathaway
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Anne Hathaway's theater-kid enthusiasm is a perfect match for L. Frank Baum's The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, a beloved fantasy book that offers the Oscar-winning actor a chance to go big—and, when it comes to the Munchkins, small, too.

James Grebey
James has been an entertainment journalist for more than a decade, writing and editing for outlets like Vulture, Inverse, Polygon, TIME, The Daily Beast, SPIN Magazine, Fatherly, and more. Read more
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