15 August 2017
Michael Sheen

#BookOfDust

Award-winning Welsh actor Michael Sheen (PassengersFrost/NixonThe Twilight Saga) is to narrate the audiobook edition of Philip Pullman’s La Belle Sauvage: The Book of Dust Volume One to be released by Penguin Random House UK Audio in association with David Fickling Books.

Sheen, a self-confessed His Dark Materials fan, will bring Pullman’s legendary world to life almost 20 years after readers left it in The Amber Spyglass in 2000. The result is a unique and unforgettable experience that will delight listeners both old and new.

Michael Sheen commented: “The His Dark Materials trilogy had a profound effect on me. Rarely have I felt such loss on coming to the end of a story. So, as a reader and a fan, I was hugely excited on hearing that Phillip was returning to the story of Lyra and Dust and challenging the Authority. And, as an actor, it was a true privilege to be asked to record La Belle Sauvage, the first book of this new work. It was genuinely one of the most thrilling and enjoyable experiences I've had as a performer to sit in that darkened recording studio for three magical days and live inside the story of Malcolm and Lyra and their extraordinary journey.”

Video courtesy of The Guardian

Phillip Pullman

Phillip Pullman - image credit Michael Leckie

Philip Pullman added: “I’ve long admired Michael Sheen not only for his astonishing versatility but also for the passion and energy he brings to all his roles. I was delighted to learn that he’d be willing to read the audiobook of La Belle Sauvage, and I’m sure that listeners will be very excited by the result.”

Richard Lennon, Editorial Director, Penguin Random House UK Audio also comented: “At Penguin Random House UK we are proud to bring together the world’s finest authors and some exceptional narrators. In this very special recording Michael Sheen’s passion for Philip Pullman’s writing is evident in every moment, and his magnificent reading brings La Belle Sauvage brilliantly to life.

The long-awaited publication of the first volume of The Book of Dust is a hugely exciting publishing moment this Autumn, and I hope that many readers will disc over the magical world of Philip Pullman through this brand new recording.”

La Belle Sauvage: The Book of Dust Volume One will be published simultaneously on 19 October 2017 by David Fickling Books in association with Penguin Random House Children’s in the UK, and Random House Children’s Books in the US.

One of the most highly-anticipated publications of 2017, it return readers to world of His Dark Materials. It opens ten years before Northern Lights and introduces a new hero: eleven-year-old Malcolm Polstead and his dæmon, Asta, who live across the river from Godstow Priory, where the nuns are sheltering a special guest – a baby by the name of Lyra Belacqua.

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  • La Belle Sauvage: The Book of Dust Volume One

    Book of Dust Series

  • The British Book Awards Audiobook of the Year 2018
    2019 CAMEO Book to Audio
    Best Solo Narration - New York Festival Radio Awards
    Shortlisted Best Audiobook Narrator - Audio Production Awards

    Penguin presents the audio download edition of La Belle Sauvage by Philip Pullman, read by Michael Sheen.

    Eleven-year-old Malcolm Polstead and his dæmon, Asta, live with his parents at the Trout Inn near Oxford. Across the River Thames (which Malcolm navigates often using his beloved canoe, a boat by the name of La Belle Sauvage) is the Godstow Priory where the nuns live. Malcolm learns they have a guest with them; a baby by the name of Lyra Belacqua . . .

    “As a reader and a fan, I was hugely excited on hearing that Phillip was returning to the story of Lyra and Dust and challenging the Authority. And, as an actor, it was a true privilege to be asked to record La Belle Sauvage, the first book of this new work.” Michael Sheen

    "The best piece of narration I've ever heard" - The Bookseller

    “Michael Sheen’s narration of Philip Pullman’s new novel is better than an army of voice actors his voice is impressive, from the crisp, definitive consonants of its higher registers to the rumbly bass notes Sheen summons when some menace enters the scene, to the vast, buttery expanse of his middle range.” Slate

  • Buy the book

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