Humour Background.png

Best Contemporary
Audiobooks

Contemporary Audiobooks


Contemporary audiobooks wear hats of all shapes and sizes. Visit Audible or Amazon and you'll find everything from Nick Hornby’s satire to the saucy works of Jilly Cooper to Anne Rice's darker Interview with a Vampire in the contemporary audiobooks section. 


​What is Contemporary Fiction?

 

​This is not to say that the literary world has abandoned the task of defining contemporary fiction. The general consensus is that contemporary audio books must be set after World War II, Beyond that, criteria are less clear, but usually include character based stories based in reality. They tend to examine aspects of society, politics and social interactions. 

 

​Phew. That narrows it down a bit. And does start to bring certain authors to mind. That done, I think it's time to meet some of our lovely contestants. Book 1: What's your name and where'd you come from? (Apologies all non-UK readers. This reference will elude you. And those who do understand, I'm sorry for the song now stuck in your head).


Contemporary Audiobooks 2021
 

In 2021, contemporary means murder, with audiobooks such as How To Kill Your Family and The Thursday Murder Club at the top of bestseller lists. 

Top 10 Contemporary Audiobooks

BY
Nick Spalding
Contemporary

Nick Hornby is the king of contemporary fiction, applying his wry satirical charm to a variety of modern scenarios. A Long Way Down is an unlikely, but brilliant comedy about a group of misfits who meet at the top of a tower block while contemplating suicide.

1

BY
Nick Hornby
READ BY

Scott Brick, Simon Vance, Kate Reading

BY
Nick Spalding
Contemporary

Contrary to what the title would have you believe, Eleanor Oliphant Is not even remotely okay. Things get extremely dark at times, but this is nonetheless an inspiring novel built on the small things that make a big difference.

2

BY
Gail Honeyman
READ BY

Cathleen McCarron

BY
Nick Spalding
Contemporary

When a civil servant is tasked to go beyond his usual stilted world to do the impossible, understated British hilarity ensues. Paul Torday at his best.

3

BY
Paul Torday
READ BY

John Sessions, Samantha Bond, Fenella Woolgar

BY
Nick Spalding
Contemporary

A despicable family kindly demonstrates the worst aspects of modern existence and social media in a story that shuffles inevitably towards disaster.

4

BY
John Boyne
READ BY

Richard E. Grant

BY
Nick Spalding
Contemporary

Marian Keyes is both writer and narrator of this endearing comedy about family, money and what it really means to grow up.

5

BY
Marian Keyes
READ BY

Marian Keyes

BY
Nick Spalding
Contemporary

Weight loss, reality radio and middle age are all under the microscope when married couple Zoe and Greg Milton compete together to win £50,000.

6

BY
Nick Spalding
READ BY

Heather Wilds, Napoleon Ryan

BY
Nick Spalding
Contemporary

This unusual romantic comedy centres on the inimitable Don Tilman. A genetics professor, Don overcomes his social difficulties in order to undertake a search for love, The Wife Project.

7

BY
Graeme Simsion
READ BY

Dan O'Grady

BY
Nick Spalding
Contemporary

Motherhood is hard, but in Gill Sims' hands it is also hilarious. Meet Ellen, a harried mum who grabs life by the glass stem and downs a giant glug.

8

BY
Gill Sims
READ BY

Gabrielle Glaister

BY
Nick Spalding
Contemporary

Alice is 29. She is also 39. She wakes from a coma missing her memories of the past ten years. Years in which her life has changed dramatically. In the charming, captivating style unique to Liane Moriarty, we watch as Alice pieces her world back together.

9

BY
Liane Moriarty
READ BY

Caroline Lee

BY
Nick Spalding
Contemporary

Prepare to fall in love with a grumpy 58 year-old man called Ove. Heartbreaking, uplifting, inspiring and funny in equal measure, this unique tale is one that will stick with you.

10

BY
Fredrik Backman
READ BY

Joan Walker

Best of the Rest Contemporary Audiobooks

Phew. That was difficult. Selecting just ten top contemporary audiobooks was a wrench. So here are yet more brilliant examples of this genre, listed A-Z.

Bricking It

Bricking It

Loving it

Nick Spalding

BY

Quite Ugly One Morning

Quite Ugly One Morning

Witty, gritty, dark and entertaining.

Christopher Brookmyre

BY

The Devil Wears Prada (The Devil Wears Prada, #1)

The Devil Wears Prada (The Devil Wears Prada, #1)

A classic. The audiobook that started it all.

Lauren Weisberger

BY

The Last Anniversary

The Last Anniversary

Tangled webs as only Moriarty knows how.

Liane Moriarty

BY

The Time Traveler's Wife

The Time Traveler's Wife

Staggeringly Beautiful. Incomparable

Audrey Niffenegger

BY

Why Mummy Swears  (Why Mummy #2)

Why Mummy Swears (Why Mummy #2)

More Marvellous Mummy Madness

Gill Sims

BY

William Walker's First Year Of Marriage: A Horror Story (William Walker #1)

William Walker's First Year Of Marriage: A Horror Story (William Walker #1)

An Underrated Comic Gem.

Matt Rudd

BY

Young Wives' Tales

Young Wives' Tales

Snarky, brilliant, fun

Adele Parks

BY

New Teeth

New Teeth

Braces yourself for a wild ride

Simon Rich

BY

Sushi for Beginners

Sushi for Beginners

Quirky and Hilarious

Marian Keyes

BY

The Diary of a Bookseller

The Diary of a Bookseller

Charming and funny, sardonic and quirky.

Shaun Bythell

BY

The Lost Causes of Bleak Creek

The Lost Causes of Bleak Creek

A layer cake of secrets, lies and divisive characters, addictive to the last bite.

Rhett McLaughlin

BY

The Trouble with Goats and Sheep

The Trouble with Goats and Sheep

Quirky and Endearing. Plot takes Second Place].

Joanna Cannon

BY

Why Mummy’s Sloshed (Why Mummy, #4)

Why Mummy’s Sloshed (Why Mummy, #4)

A Fond Farewell

Gill Sims

BY

William's Progress: Another (sleepless) Horror Story (William Walker #2)

William's Progress: Another (sleepless) Horror Story (William Walker #2)

A Chip Off The Old Book

Matt Rudd

BY

Nightbitch

Nightbitch

I Am House Cat

Rachel Yoder

BY

The Babymoon

The Babymoon

Snort out loud funny

Melanie La'Brooy

BY

The Irresistible Inheritance of Wilberforce

The Irresistible Inheritance of Wilberforce

A full-bodied, fruity satire that hits all the right notes.

Paul Torday

BY

The Sellout

The Sellout

Interesting Concept, Unique Execution

Paul Beatty

BY

Vernon God Little

Vernon God Little

Where Love and Hate Collide

D.B.C. Pierre

BY

Wife Support System

Wife Support System

A fun, playful, witty listen with plenty of personality.

Kathleen Whyman

BY

You Again?

You Again?

Pure Fun

Nick Spalding

BY