I was shocked and deeply saddened to hear of prolific audiobook narrator, Katherine Kellgren’s, recent death. No one has had as great of an impact on my reading life as Katherine Kellgren. I had been an audiobook listener for several years before I listened to my first book narrated by Ms. Kellgren in 2010, but that’s all I was - a listener. When I listened to Bloody Jack, the first book in the Jacky Faber (or Bloody Jack) series, I was blown away by the narration. She brought the book to life, giving all of the many characters their own distinct voices, making the performance seem like a full-cast recording. If a character was singing a song, she sang a song. If a character was really angry, she growled and spat the words so fiercely I could practically see the spittle flying. Luckily for me, I started listening to this series eight years after book one was published, which meant that I could listen to one book after another, all the way through book eight. After that, I had to experience the same agony as every other Jacky Faber fan - waiting for the next audiobook to be released. In the meantime, I was hungry for more audiobooks so I learned to seek them out and discover new narrators. Over the years, I have found many fantastic narrators - Jayne Entwistle, Emma Galvin, Dan Bittner, and Kirby Heybourne, just to name a few. But none will ever come close to the perfection of Ms. Kellgren. When I finished the Jacky Faber series in 2014, I started listening to other books narrated by Ms. Kellgren. I was thrilled to discover there were many - My Lady Jane and Monstrous Beauty are two of my non-Jacky Faber favorites.
Since discovering Ms. Kellgren, I am no longer just an audiobook listener, I am an avid, passionate, devourer of audiobooks (I listened to over 80 last year alone). Recommending audiobooks to friends and family, coworkers, students, and followers is my absolute passion. I am certain this would not be the case if it were not for Ms. Kellgren. Although I am heartbroken that I will never hear a new story narrated by her, I am consoled by the fact that there are still many of her narrated works which I have not yet heard. I am also consoled by the fact that I can go back and enjoy my favorite works of hers again and again. Rest in peace, Ms. Kellgren. You will be missed. My deepest condolences to her family and friends.