George Guidall (born June 7, 1938) is a prolific audiobook narrator and theatre actor. As of November 2014, he had recorded over 1,270 audiobooks that is believed to be the record at the time.
George Guidall narrates
Guidall is from New Jersey. His family name is Shapiro, his stage name is Guidall a permutation of Gedalyah, his Hebrew name. Guidall's father was a pharmacist, and his four brothers also went into the medical profession. Guidall bucked the trend and went into theater. He received a Masters degree in social work in his 50s going on to provide counseling during the day while acting at night. He heard about audiobook narration through a fellow actor.
His narrations include Thomas Pynchon's Gravity's Rainbow in 1986, and then again in 2014 as a new recording. Guidall said the book took about 1 month working full-time daily and was one of his most difficult works.
Guidall says he reads all his books beforehand and seeks to understand the book, not to just impart information but emotion and performance. Guidall says many narrators are "just reading out loud. They don't have an emotional underpinning. There’s a rhythm to speech in terms of what's implied. If it's raining in the book, there’s got to be something about the voice that evokes the rain." Guidall says audiobook narration "expands the author's intent, brings it into an immediacy. I am the author when I'm doing it. I'm a literary hermit crab finding a home in someone else's imagined truth."
Guidall provides occasional presentations at libraries called "The Art and Artifice of Audiobook Narration".
Awards and honors
- Off-Broadway Theater Award (Obie) for his performance in the Off Broadway play Cinders
- Audie Award for John Irving's A Widow For One Year
- Audie Award for Wally Lamb's I Know This Much Is True
- Audio Publishers Association Special Achievement Award (lifetime achievement).
- Aimee Lee Ball (17 August 2017). "Why George Guidall Is the Undisputed King of Audiobooks". The New York Times. Retrieved 18 April 2018.
- "George Guidall". AudioFile. Retrieved November 26, 2014.
- Shannon Maughan (May 9, 2014). "Talking with George Guidall". Publishers Weekly. Retrieved November 26, 2014.
- Joyce Saricks (June 1, 2013). "Voice of Choice: George Guidall". Booklist. Retrieved November 26, 2014.
- John Williams (November 21, 2014). "Book Review Podcast: 'Deep Down Dark'". New York Times. Retrieved November 26, 2014.
- George Guidall (December 1, 2000). "Tides of War: Recording the Audio Version". Book TV. Retrieved October 17, 2018.
- Tom McCarthy (November 21, 2014). "'Gravity's Rainbow,' Read by George Guidall". New York Times. Retrieved November 26, 2014.
- Ron Charles (May 29, 2014). "Billy Crystal's memoir named Audiobook of the Year". Washington Post. Retrieved November 26, 2014.
- George Guidall, official website.