Pan Macmillan is releasing new audio editions of 12 classic Ken Follett thrillers, read by well-known actors including Richard Armitage and Emilia Fox.
Rebecca Lloyd, Audio publishing director, bought audio rights for world English language excluding USA and Canada for 12 backlist Ken Follett thrillers, including first novel Eye of the Needle.
The 12 audiobooks will each be read by a different well-known actor, with Armitage, best known for his role as dwarf prince Thorin in "The Hobbit", taking on The Man from St Petersburg and Fox, long-running star in "Silent Witness", reading Jackdaws. Other actors involved on the audio project include Samuel West ("The Darkest Hour"), Raza Jaffrey ("Homeland") and Tim Downie ("Paddington").
The first four audiobooks will be released on Thursday (16th August) and the remaining eight will be available by the end of the month.
Follett said: "I listen to audiobooks, so I know how much a good actor can add to the experience. I’m thrilled to have such a great group of stars to voice my stories—and the listeners will also be delighted."
Armitage and Fox said of reading The Man from St Petersburg and Jackdaws that the "compelling" page-turners had been "a joy to read". Fox hailed Jackdaws a "thrilling, romantic and a celebration of brave women" while Armitage said further of The Man from St Petersburg: "I wanted to know everything about these people and the privileged yet dangerous world they inhabit.".
West (pictured left), narrator for Eye of the Needle, added he was delighted to be involved, enthusing: "It is the first Ken Follett book I have read, and although it is 40 years old it still seems extraordinarily up-to-date, and a remarkable book for a man of 27, which is what he was when he wrote it. It made his name, and I have to say I’m not surprised. It is beautifully written and thrillingly exciting."
The audiobooks' launch coincides with the release of Follett’s A Column of Fire in paperback on 23rd August.