Audiobooks / Audiobooks

Billy Liar: Audiobooks round-up December 2010

Time Out London
Bella Todd
20 Dec 2010

Books & Poetry: A word in your ear

You don’t often read of actors giving ‘the performance of their lives’ for an audiobook. But this can be said of John Simm’s astonishing reading of ‘Billy Liar’ (CSA Word, 7hr unabridged, £17), Keith Waterhouse’s tale of a budding comedy writer indulging his big-city fantasies while bound by the turgid rhythms and native nosiness of ’50s Yorkshire.

A Lancashire-raised Londoner with a fish-out-of-water acidity of his own, Simm nails Billy’s imaginative liveliness and studied insouciance, while the dialect flows like a draught down a ginnel. Conveying the compulsive mimic’s ‘vocal doodling’ must be the voice actor’s equivalent of rubbing your tummy, patting your head and eating an Eccles cake at the same time. Like the novel, Simm sparkles in surprising ways.

Listen and enjoy now! Sample clips of John Simm reading Billy Liar:

A Yorkshire Breakfast Scene (0:01:01)

Funeral Shop Customer (0:00:28)

Billy Liar read by John Simm - Available at

Billy Liar read by John Simm - Available at

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.