Audible, Inc., the world’s largest seller and producer of downloadable audiobooks and other spoken-word content, today announced the release of James Thurber’s classic story “The Secret Life of Walter Mitty,” narrated by Ben Stiller. The audio edition, which is part of a partnership between Audible and 20 th Century Fox in support of Fox’s forthcoming theatrical release, includes commentary by Stiller at the end of the recording and is available free at www.audible.com/Mitty.
“We’re delighted to offer our listeners, as well as anyone who loves a good story well told, this whimsical tale performed with great panache by Ben Stiller,” said Audible EVP and Publisher Beth Anderson. “Walter Mitty’s imagination famously transports him away from the quotidian details of life, and we like to think that’s exactly what Audible helps our customers to do every day.”
Anderson added, “Everyone who’s excited to see the new film version of The Secret Life of Walter Mitty will first want to revisit Thurber’s classic, reinvigorated by Stiller’s interpretation of the text.”
“When we had the opportunity to collaborate with Audible on this exciting program, we knew it was a perfect way to introduce the rapidly growing number of Audible customers to the original short story as well as the amazing film that Ben has created,” said Zachary Eller, Senior Vice President, Marketing Partnerships, 20th Century Fox. “Ben’s recording of the short story is fantastic and demonstrates his passion for the brilliant source material.”Stiller’s much-anticipated film version of The Secret Life of Walter Mitty, co-starring Kristen Wiig, opens in theaters nationwide on December 25. “We all have our own secret life, and that’s what’s made the story so classic,” said Stiller. The most famous of humorist Thurber’s stories, “The Secret Life of Walter Mitty” was first published in The New Yorker in 1939. The story is among the most widely anthologized in American literature. Among the acclaimed actors who have performed works of literature for Audible are Anne Hathaway, Bryan Cranston, Claire Danes, Colin Firth, Diane Keaton, Dustin Hoffman, Jake Gyllenhaal, Kate Winslet and Samuel L. Jackson. In 2013, Audible Studios won its first Grammy Award, for its production of Janis Ian’s memoir Society’s Child, and also won the Audie Award for Audiobook of the Year, for Firth’s performance of Graham Greene’s The End of the Affair. Audible invented and commercialized the first digital audio player in 1997, and has since been at the forefront of the explosively growing audiobook download segment. In 2012, Audible members downloaded an average of 18 books over the course of a year.