Anthony Heald does a wonderful job reading the story. I teach sixth grade students and they have no problem understanding the audio. They love his voices. The book is a long read. If he read any slower it would take forever to finish the story! Billy, after all, is a young boy. Mama, obviously, is a woman. Those voices are not the easiest for a man to pull off! However, Heald does a terrific job. He reads the story like someone truly speaking it.