The seven reimagined fairy tales in Kelly Link’s White Cat, Black Dog (8 hours) are so convincing that we don’t merely suspend our sense of disbelief; rather, we drop it like a hot potato. We accept without question, for example, the enchanted prince and the extraordinarily resourceful cat because Link makes the implausible seem utterly natural.
The audiobook’s seven narrators (Rebecca Lowman, Dan Stevens, Dominic Hoffman, Kristen Sieh, Ish Klein, Tanya Cubric and Patton Oswalt) understand how important this plausibility is to making Link’s fairy tales work. In these performances, the fact that a bear might be telling a story matters far less than the story being told, and therein lies the wonder of a fairy tale. All of the actors do an excellent job, but Lowman, Stevens and Oswalt stand out for their ability to convince the listener that the magic is real—and the real, magical.