Dominic is a four-time winner of the Audiophile Earphones Award for his readings of “The Port Chicago 50” (2104 National Book Award Finalist), “An Ordinary Man,” “The Last Days of Ptolemy Gray,” and “In Search of Our Roots.” His reading of “The Door of No Return” was selected by the School Library Journal as an Audio Hot Pick.
The human voice lends life to words on a page. The tonal subtleties of a skilled narrator can captivate listeners with a commitment that readers of the written word must bring to a text on their own. Steve Sheinkin’s “The Port Chicago 50: Disaster, Mutiny, and the Fight for Civil Rights” and Candace Fleming’s “The Family Romanov: Murder, Rebellion and the Fall of Imperial Russia” are excellent works in their own right, but both books gain a layer of engagement through vibrant spoken narrations.
There is warmth and urgency in the actor Dominic Hoffman’s reading of “The Port Chicago 50,” the story of a group of African-American sailors who had enlisted in the United States Navy and were court-martialed for mutiny in September 1944.
…Hoffman’s narration of this important and forgotten step forward in the battle for civil rights is superb; never melodramatic or disrespectful, he conveys a range of voices, including an imitation of Franklin Roosevelt that even my British-born daughter recognized.
Narrator Dominic Hoffman does a masterful job with this book. In a slightly hoarse voice and an understated tone, Hoffman connects with the author’s words, pauses at the right moments, and allows us to follow every word clearly. When he reads Hughes’s poetry, we can imagine the author speaking directly to us. It’s marvelous. Grab this audiobook any way you can. (“An Ordinary Man”) –Winner of AudioFile Earphones Award
Narrator Hoffman delivers those words in a stirring audio performance. With a crisp African accent, Hoffman renders each sentence with heartfelt conviction and flat-out becomes Rusesabagina. The humble hotel manager not only illuminates the machinery behind the genocide but delves into Rwanda’s complex and colorful cultural history as well as his own childhood, the son of a Hutu father and Tutsi mother. Hoffman successfully draws out the understated elegance of Rusesabagina’s simple and straightforward prose, lending the story added vividness. (“An Ordinary Man”)
The painful anecdotes Hoffman portrays with such equanimity contain lessons of universal value about ethnicity. His facility with the pronunciation of the local names and language adds a dimension of realism and personal involvement rarely encountered in an audiobook. (“The Port Chicago 50″) –Winner of Audiophile Earphones award, 2014 National Book Award Finalist
“[Dominic Hoffman’s] delivery and timing is spot-on as the tale of discrimination and segregation unfolds. The story and the reading are so well done that this work of nonfiction reads just like fiction and will hold the interest of younger listeners as they learn about this chapter in the struggle for civil rights.” (“The Port Chicago 50”)
Dominic Hoffman is nothing short of brilliant in bringing Ptolemy’s story to life. With a combination of standard English and ghetto slang, he creates memorable characters—good, evil, and just plain selfish—and allows the listener to glimpse into their souls. (“The Last Days of Ptolemy Gray”)
Hoffman employs both subtle and vivid characterizations for the many individuals whose words he expresses. He can pronounce the names of the ancient and modern regions of Africa like a native speaker. Hoffman’s style seems so natural that listeners may never be aware of his polished technique. (“In Search of Our Roots”)
School Library Journal
Narrator Dominic Hoffman breathes life into Sarah Mussi’s 2007 International Children’s Book of the Year Award winner (S & S/Margaret K. McElderry, 2008). American listeners may have trouble understanding some of the Briticisms, but Hoffman’s intriguing accent and excellent characterizations help put it all in context. Fans of Alex Rider and other action/adventure thrillers will enjoy this engaging audiobook. (“In Search of Our Roots”)
Mid-Continent Public Library
Have you heard of Dominic Hoffman? He is hardly a household name. I had not heard of him until I heard him narrate the audiobook, “The Last Days of Ptolemy Grey”, by Walter Mosley. Dominic Hoffman is a graduate of UC Santa Cruz, where he received his BA in English Literature. He received his formal training at American Conservatory Theatre, The London Academy of Music and Dramatic Arts, and NYU Film School. He is an actor working in television, movies, and live theater. He is also a writer and producer… an extremely talented and versatile man.
Although I’ve never been a fan of Walter Mosley, this book, in my opinion, is sheer genius and one of the best I’ve read in a long time. The characters resonate and touch the heart. The book is full of sly humor, greed, suspense, love, and human-ness.
Ptolemy grew up in Mississippi and as a poor black child during the age of Jim Crow laws, saw some pretty horrible things. At the very old age of ninety-one, it seems all he has are memories. He knows there is something important he must do, a promise he had made decades ago but he has trouble remembering what it is. When a seventeen year old girl comes to help him and refuses to tolerate the way he has been living, Ptolemy moves out of isolation and back into friendship and desire.
Dominic Hoffman makes it all come alive. His dialect and inflections are outstanding. This is one book I’d recommend listening to first. The story, along with the narration, makes this a great experience.
Click here for books read by Dominic Hoffman for Penguin Random Audio