Posts Tagged audio books

Jun 9 2013

Something You Have Heard

Ok. I’m aware that I’m a little behind with my posts here, but I’ll try to do a couple a day to catch up, and fudge the dates so it looks like it was all fine. So ignore this bit 😉

When it comes to what I’ve heard, I suppose I immediately think of music, but I’ve done a music post already, so I think I’ll think a bit more and mention audio books.

I have spoken to other people who like audio books, but I also know people who don’t like them, or haven’t tried them. Like any medium, there are good examples and bad examples. In my experience it very much depends on the reader – quite logically, a good reader can really make the whole thing work, and a bad reader can make it unbearable.

Audio books are very good for when you are walking, driving, ironing, working in then garden – pretty much any time you would normally listen to music or the radio. You do have to pay attention to a certain degree, but not as much as you might expect.

I have listened to quite a few different readers and authors. I’m not going to do an exhaustive list, but here are a couple of examples of some I have very much enjoyed:

  • The Aubrey/Maturin novels of Patrick O’Brian – read by Patrick Tull
    Patrick Tull has as amazing voice, very expressive without being over the top, and he has an ability to bring to life different characters, with different voices, without it ever sounding forced or ‘theatrical’. he has read books by many authors, but these are a very fine example.
  • The Inspector Morse novels of Colin Dexter – read by Kevin Whately
    Kevin Whately (who played Lewis in the TV adaptations) does a straightforward but solid job, never trying too hard, but capturing the tone of Colin Dexter’s books very well.
  • The Discworld novels of Terry Pratchett – read by Nigel Planer
    At first I thought that Nigel Planer was an odd choice, but that just goes to show how much I know because he does a really good job, and does the best version of Vimes that I have heard.
  • The Harry Potter novels of J.K. Rowling – read by Stephen Fry
    Stephen Fry has a wonderful tone, a rich and rangy voice that does great credit to the source material, but as with Patrick Tull, he manages to bring to life a whole range of characters without ‘doing voices’ and relying much more on tone and delivery to do the job.
  • So, if you’ve never used an audio book, I thoroughly recommend that you do so. They can be expensive to buy, but many libraries will loan them out, and there are places on the internet where you can get out-of-copyright books for nothing.