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Tom Hanks and Ken Burns enlist celebrities to record classic American novels as audiobooks

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Hanks' production company releases nine American history novels on Audible

bryan cranston audible
bryan cranston audible

Tom Hanks' production company Playtone has combined with Audible to release a number of classic novels as audiobooks. Produced in collaboration with director Ken Burns, the Playtone collection currently consists of eleven audiobooks covering nine novels, focusing on the past 150 years of American history.

Titles include Tim O'Brien's The Things They Carried (read by Breaking Bad actor Bryan Cranston), Robert Leckie's Helmet for My Pillow, and E. B. Sledge's With the Old Breed. The latter two served as inspiration for the Playtone-and-Hanks-produced HBO miniseries The Pacific, and are narrated by two of the shows' stars.

The majority of the titles include introductions from Ken Burns, while Tom Hanks introduces Helmet for My Pillow and With the Old Breed. Speaking about the releases, Hanks notes that "our common American story is complex, inspiring, occasionally infuriating, and always fascinating," adding that the series will "give voice to the best fiction and non-fiction ever written about America." One-off pricing for the audiobooks ranges from $10.49 up to $48.95, but all are available as part of an Audible subscription.