Audiobook Reviews

$2.00 a Day: Living on Almost Nothing in America

by Kathryn J. Edin and Luke Shaefer

With a soft but clear delivery, Johnson captures listeners’ attention and maintains it throughout, always projecting strong conviction in the words she is narrating. She has a steady voice that provides the right amount of emphasis when needed and can smoothly transition into distinct character voices when required. She captures the sincerity and the seriousness of the authors’ words, which makes listening all the more powerful than reading.

– Publishers Weekly


by Claudia Rankine

Narrating this montage of reportage and poetic essays, Allyson Johnson captures every ounce of the pathos and shock contained in the stories of the racial injustice suffered by black athletes such as Serena Williams and others. Johnson’s measured drama and impassioned dialogue interpretations rivet the listener’s attention and awaken sensitivity to the racism that still exists in both public and private arenas. Her memorable performance provides auditory texture and impact for the audiobook. Many of the vignettes describe shocking injustices—malicious oversights and blatantly wrong athletic officiating that can only be described as crimes of fear and hate. The achievement of this audio is how it allows these stories and the author’s powerful perspective to compel more empathy and vigilance about this lingering problem in America.

– AudioFile Magazine
**AudioFile Earphones Award Winner

Lady Astronaut of Mars

by Mary Robinette Kowal

There are all sorts of cues that we generate vocally when we’re talking in daily life. A skilled narrator uses those cues to deliver the story in the way the author intended…

I was really happy with the narrator for ”Lady Astronaut of Mars.” Allyson Johnson does a wonderful job conveying the characters and, to me, really nailed the heart of the story. Did she give a dramatic reading? I hope so. That’s the way I wrote it.

– Mary Robinette Kowal

Lost in Language & Sound

by Ntozake Shange

Johnson’s narration goes well with the text. Not a reading, but rather a poetry performance, Johnson carries the script like an acted monologue, performing at a level that entrances listeners. This excellent pairing couldn’t be beat, and is the true time capsule of Shange’s poetic and dramatic art.

– Scripted Genius

May the Road Rise Up to Meet You

by Peter Troy

All four narrators meld seamlessly into their characters and provide stellar performances, providing the listener an engrossing listening experience. Particularly impressive is the ability of all four narrators to mimic the accents and voices of other characters when they interact… This continuity between sections unifies a group of strong individual performances and makes them into a wonderful and cohesive audiobook.

– AudioFile Magazine
** AudioFile Magazine’s Best Audiobooks of the Year, 2012
**AudioFile Earphones Award Winner

Phillis Wheatley:  A Revolutionary Poet

by Jacquelyn McLendon

Allyson Johnson’s performance matches McLendon’s text in neither embellishing nor diminishing Wheatley’s triumphs and sorrows. Johnson’s voice is smooth and easy to listen to, and her straight delivery of this compelling narrative is well paced for the assimilation of its bountiful information.

– AudioFile Magazine

A Rising Thunder

by David Weber

What really impresses me is how she manages to keep the pace of the novel moving briskly, even with large moments of exposition, as well as multiple side tracks and sub plots. Johnson does what good narrators should, keeps the book moving, and the characters interesting.

– The Guilded Earlobe

Sex At Dawn:  The Prehistoric Origins of Modern Sexuality

by Christopher Ryan and Cacilda Jetha

A surprisingly non-titillating book about sex among prehistoric people makes for a terrific audio adaptation. The authors have done their research, the science is interesting, thorough, and completely professional, but the writing is not without playfulness. Narrator Allyson Johnson especially brings this quality across with her youthful, slightly husky voice.

– AudioFile Magazine
**AudioFile Earphones Award Winner

The South Side

by Natalie Y. Moore

As far as racial politics go, the past few years haven’t been good for Chicago, and this audiobook explains why. Allyson Johnson narrates with the pathos, authority, and seriousness the book deserves. In a series of reports, the author, a city resident, analyzes why a neighborhood that is vibrant and multicultural is rife with crime and violence. Johnson’s low, clear voice and reportorial tone perfectly match the book’s bleak but hopeful outlook, helping to make the book accessible for every listener. She also emphasizes Moore’s point that these are people who deserve much better than what they are getting.

– AudioFile Magazine

The Storycatcher

by Ann Hite

Listeners will find themselves double-checking the narrating credit of this audiobook, as it’s difficult to believe that Allyson Johnson is the sole reader. She wows with her vocal characterizations of the living and dead who populate this story… This gothic novel, spun from several viewpoints, is a good example of why excellent narration trumps all in audiobook production.

– AudioFile Magazine