Jump to content
Colinj

Audiobooks

Recommended Posts

I've had The Warden on order at the library for a fortnight, so was a bit surprised when I got a notification this morning that Wolf Hall, which I ordered yesterday, was available for collection :eek:

I guess they must already have had it on the shelf in my local branch.

21 CDs - That'll see me through a good few baking sessions :rolleyes:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hey Meg,

 

I picked up the affair of the 39 cufflinks but James Anderson which was Cornelius Garrett to - I really enjoyed it, especially the voice for Wilkins - however I'd have liked it even more as a dramatisation. I acutally preferred this comedic agatha christie-esque story more read out that I did reading his story about the Mutilated Mink.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Just finished listening to In the Company of the Courtesan by Sarah Dunant read by Tom Hollander. Thoroughly enjoyed this even though it was abridged but still on 5 CDs.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I'm currently listening to The Snowman by Jo Nesbo, read by Sean Barrett. Am enjoying it, Barrett is very good.
He is, isn't he? He seems to have cornered the market in Swedish 'tecs. I mainly associate him with Wallander; I've listened to him read a couple of those and he did a very good job, IMHO.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
He is, isn't he? He seems to have cornered the market in Swedish 'tecs. I mainly associate him with Wallander; I've listened to him read a couple of those and he did a very good job, IMHO.
Ooh! I will have to try him with other audiobooks - not tried Wallander yet but now I know it's him reading it I'm more tempted to.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have recently listened to The Sun Also Rises AKA Fiesta by Ernest Hemingway, read by William Hurt.

I found the American accent a bit irritating as in my head I read all books with my own, English, accent. I do read dialogue with an accent if it is one I am familiar with but American accents I don't/can't do.

It was also sort of drawling, which did seem to fit the characters - but on the whole I found them annoying too.

 

One big problem was his attempt at a Scots accent. In one longish piece the Scot had an accent that veered between a drawling Scottish (he was drunk - they were nearly all drunk, or at least tipsy, most of the time) and Welsh, with a bit of Irish thrown in for variety.

A good reader is so important for my enjoyment of an audiobook. Fortunately Barchester Towers, my current one, is beautifully read by Timothy West :)

 

I was interested by the praise for Sean Barrett, earlier in the thread, as I heard a clip from a book read by him on Open Book (Radio4) this afternoon, and didn't like it. He sounded as though he had very wet lips, and I kept trying to wipe mine as I listened :rolleyes:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Just finished The sweetness at the bottom of the pie with Emilia Fox reading. I quite like her style, simple, slight changes in voice inflections.

 

I've got an Anne Perry with the guy who played the Demon Headmaster on the BBC - name totally escapes me... Terrance something I think. Anyway - I'm looking forward to it, although I sort of hope he's not as scary as he was on TV.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I have recently listened to The Sun Also Rises AKA Fiesta by Ernest Hemingway, read by William Hurt.

I found the American accent a bit irritating as in my head I read all books with my own, English, accent. I do read dialogue with an accent if it is one I am familiar with but American accents I don't/can't do.

Interesting, meg, as I'm the exact opposite. I expect books by American writers or with American characters to be read with an American accent. Seems less authentic otherwise, at least to me.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I don't think I've had an audiobook by an American author before, so was startled to hear the accent, although obviously it makes sense.

I did download a book of Sherlock Holmes stories from Librivox last summer which were read by an American reader - that seemed so wrong! (Presumably that is an American site?). I haven't managed to listen to more than the one story yet.

I do not find an American accent euphonious, but I guess my Birmingham accent (although now much diluted) grates on many ears

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I did download a book of Sherlock Holmes stories from Librivox last summer which were read by an American reader - that seemed so wrong! (Presumably that is an American site?). I haven't managed to listen to more than the one story yet.
Ooh, no, American Holmes is bang out of order!

 

LibriVox is American. It is a sort of audio Project Gutenberg, out of copyright books read by volunteers. I'm told the results can consequently be of very variable quality.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm currently listening to To kill A Mockingbird, narrated by Sissy Spacek. It's fantastic, almost too good to listen to in the car when my attention is often elsewhere. I might promote it to the iPod dock at home!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I usually listen to audio books when I write as it helps me with inspiration . Well audio books or rock music. :)

 

Surely you don't mean you listen to an audio book when you're writing your fiction?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

In recent years I have found that my mind frequently wanders when I am reading, that I am easily distracted by extraneous noise or activity, and I retain very little after a few days.

 

I like to listen to audiobooks when I am doing something that requires minimum mental effort - gardening, cooking, washing up and some knitting. I have to be doing something, as my mind will wander if I just sit and listen, and then I go to sleep. There's usually nothing to distract me in my usual book- listening situation (apart from Mr meg, and I switch the audiobook off until he goes away again), and my retention couldn't be much worse than it is when reading actual 'proper' books.

 

I would read next to nothing if I didn't have access to audiobooks, and I don't care who considers them 'worse' than 'real' books.

 

Of course, I only read for leisure, I haven't tried audiobooks for study, and I imagine that they'd not be much good as reference books

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

What is your favorite audiobook genre and do you prefer a male or female narrator?

 

A few friends of mine narrate audiobooks for a living and 8 thought that was pretty cool. They work out of a little studio up in their loft, performing dual narration together and becoming different characters all the time. I just wanted to know what you guys think of audiobooks?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I love audiobooks.

I find actual reading physically uncomfortable much of the time, especially if I want to read more than just a few pages, and reading long books in short snatches is very unsatisfactory.

I enjoy C19 classics, so listening to them on audiobooks is ideal  as I can keep moving  - walking, gardening cooking etc at the same time. Other long, and therefore heavy or cumbersome, books such as Wolf Hall & Bring Up The Bodies are more enjoyable as audiobooks - but I only like unabridged versions

 

 I do listen to abridged recordings of books I know well - as a cure for insomnia.

I get the story in completely the wrong order, depending where I fall asleep, and hear some bits (especially the first chapters) rather too often as I rewind to pick up bits I slept through, but as I know the story well that doesn't seem to matter.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have merged Immortal pigeon's thread into one on audiobooks already existing in Central Library

 

I don't have a particular preference for either gender as readers, although I really enjoy listening to some readers (Timothy West, & Carole Boyd spring to mind) and some I find very irritating.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I love a good audiobook but I do every now and then hit one that doesn't work somehow.  I love the fact if I don't like it I can return it to and get my credit back.

 

I love them when I go for a run, they suck me in and all of a sudden my training run is over.  I really enjoy listening to John Lee reading and actively look for his recordings - I especially enjoyed the Ken Follet books and The Count of Monte Cristo.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I love audiobooks. I actually wouldn't read if they didn't exist. Having low vision, I just can't listen to my mechanical screen reading program read a book. it's distracting as hell. I used to read braille, but it's bulky and going out of fashion now, and my braille display is too small to cope.

 

Among my favourites are my complete Discworld series by Terry Pratchett read by Nigel Planer and Stephen Briggs. I don't count the two books read by Celia Imrie, because they are terrible, and it means I have only read them once, and never reread them to death like I have the others. I just can't listen to her. I prefer a male reader. Male readers don't generally try to overaccentuate a feminine voice, because they can't. whereas some female readers try to go all deep and booming, and it just doesn't work.

 

My Harry Potter books read by Stephen Fry get a reread every few years when I need something light. It's just a pleasure to hear him read these. I feel sorry for the Americans who don't get to listen to him because they have their own special version or something.

 

The Song of Ice and Fire books read by Roy Dotrice were magical to listen to as well. I know with him you either love or hate him. People have legit complaints, but I am not one of them. High works of fantasy call for a voice like his, and when the second last book was done by someone else I was very sad.

 

The first two Red Dwarf novels were read by Chris Barrie, who played Rimmer in the series, and thus were just done perfectly. I sometimes reread them when I need a good laugh. I actually enjoy them more than watching the show.

 

Seán Barrett however is by far the best narrator I have come across. It's gotten to the point where if his name is beside a book I'm not sure I want, I just buy it from audible anyway, because I am pretty sure he will bring it to life somehow. I first heard him as Lord Asriel in His Dark Materials many years ago, which he seemed to have been born to play.

He narrated Umberto Eco's The Name of the Rose and Patrick Suskind's Perfume, both books I couldn't stop listening to at the time, as well as quite a few wonderful historical fiction novels and Paul Hoffman's Left Hand of God trilagy. I still can't decide if that last was so good because Hoffman is such a good writer, or if Seán simply made it better with his reading style.

 

Then I was surprised to see his name in the Naxos Audiobooks version of Waiting for Godot, which I bought just recently. Even more surprising for me was his incredible performance as Vladimir along with David Burke as Estragon. The dynamic between those two is beyond belief. Amusing and sorrowful at the same time.

 

It was another pleasant surprise to find him involved with the recording of Beckett's trilagy, which I have just begun to read and his voice acting brings the experience to a whole new level.

 

A lot of his tallent seems subtle, a masterful grasp of the English language, a gift with all kinds of accents and the ability to evoke emotion with the inflection of tone, while not overdoing it (which so many narrators do). I've probably listened to hundreds of different narrators, but he is so far the only one I know of who is this gifted. When I listen to some of his reading, especially his poetry reading too, It's almost like I can see it in my minds eye.

I imagine this is the closest to the experience of actual sight I could ever get.

 

He's the only reasonably well-known person I'd actually love to meet or write to. Mostly just to tell him this and thank him. Sadly not findable on the internet...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hello and welcome Gryfynn, glad you are able to enjoy audiobooks, I think there are one or two people on the forum who do use audiobooks, don't know if it's to do with eyesight or for convenience.  How do you manage with the posts on the forum?  Is you vision strong enough to read the print, I guess it must be as you can pick out books etc.  I hope you find lots of things to interest you here.  :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hello and welcome Gryfynn, glad you are able to enjoy audiobooks, I think there are one or two people on the forum who do use audiobooks, don't know if it's to do with eyesight or for convenience.  How do you manage with the posts on the forum?  Is you vision strong enough to read the print, I guess it must be as you can pick out books etc.  I hope you find lots of things to interest you here.   :)

 

I'm using a screen reader. I don't see the words at all. in fact my screen is switched off at the minute, as it is most of the time. Blind people don't need any vision to access the internet. I think if i had any useable sight I wouldn't perhaps enjoy audio format as much as I do. but it's the only option open for me to access anything to read.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...

×
×
  • Create New...