Producer Orli Moscowitz interviews Allan Corduner about why he loves narrating audiobooks, how he prepares to record, and why ANNA AND THE SWALLOW MAN personally resonates with him.
Orli Moscowitz: You’ve done so many types of acting, from stage to screen to audio. What is it about audiobook acting, in particular, that moves you?
Allan Corduner: I love the human voice and I love the fact that the human voice can express so much…It’s like being a kid. It’s wonderful to get to play all these different parts…It’s something you don’t get to do if you’re in a play, you only get to play one part…It’s just a release of the imagination for me, as a reader.
AC: “ANNA AND THE SWALLOW MAN, particularly, because it’s set in the Second World War and it’s a specific story about existing and surviving in the face of terrible horror. I relate to that very strongly because my mother was from Berlin and she had to leave Germany because of Hitler. She came to England and her real father perished. I have a sort of…cultural and psychological hotline to that kind of story. So it speaks to me, it resonates with me. Even though it’s something I didn’t personally go through myself, it’s in my genes and it’s in my blood and it’s in my being…Gavriel Savit has deftly woven that story together…It’s a wonderfully authentic…and moving story…To be allowed to read that book was in itself a joy and privilege. I think when you’re entrusted with that kind of privilege, you have a duty not to abuse it.” OM: Can you talk about some audiobooks you most enjoyed narrating and why?
AC: One of the audiobooks I most enjoyed reading was ANNA AND THE SWALLOW MAN. It deals with a horrific time and situation in a very human, unsentimental, and not self-righteous way. I think it’s a beautiful book and consequently I was very drawn to it and, in a way, that makes it very easy to read! Another book that I absolutely loved was The Book Thief…I got the most amazing email from author Markus Zusak after I read the book, which was extremely touching…He said, “I have a bone to pick with you, Allan. You made my whole family cry.”
OM: What do you love most about audiobooks?
AC: “Audiobooks unleash the imagination…Listeners have to use their imagination in a very different way from when they’re seeing something. I think that’s a wonderful thing and I think that’s why it’s increasingly popular…People can get lost in a world that they can put on whenever they want to, without having to go to a theater…They can do it while they’re driving…It means that they can find some escape from this increasingly difficult world that we all have to deal with.”