Sunday, January 8, 2017

Audible Books - First Impressions

I decided listening to a book while driving from Chicago to New Orleans would help pass the time, and I've never listened to one before, so I thought it would cool. I downloaded the Audible app and listened to THE ZODIAC first because it was free. A lot of detail, but enjoyable for my work commute leading to my trip.

But for the thousand mile trip to NOLA, I bought Amy Poehler's YES, PLEASE to listen to on the way down, and I bought Michael Connelly's THE BLACK ECHO for ride back.

YES, PLEASE was very entertaining, being narrated by cameos of several guest voices. Poehler doing most of the reading of her own book was a pleasant touch.

However, on the way back, the man who narrated THE BLACK ECHO did all the voices himself, including the female's voice. And, bless his heart, he tried to speak in a higher, more feminine tone, but all that did was make me imagine a man in drag every time he spoke for the female characters. A couple of times, Jeffrey Tambor popped into my head. In several instances, the dialog made me laugh, being read in that manner, but I let it go. It was a good book.

Not discouraged, and while waiting for my free monthly credit for subscribing, I listened to MAFIA PRINCE because it was offered for free. Once again, the narrator did his own voices for the mobsters. But, he did a great job and the book was enjoyable.

With my next credit, I bought David Baldacci's NO MAN'S LAND. The male narrator's voice is great, but then there isn't much variation between his two main male characters. Plus, the main character sounds like Milhouse's dad's voice on the Simpsons. Find some audio of Milhouse's father, Kirk Van Houten. It's irritating to listen to in a book. Then, the bad guy's voice is so close to it, it could be Milhouse's dad's brother's voice. There are several confrontations with young, college boys who want to fight and that's a bit comical to listen to with the cheesy dialog.

The female's voices are done by a lady, thankfully, but one of the voices sounds like it should be in some kind of Valley Girl - tween - SNL skit or maybe Jimmy Fallen's EW skits.

So, I know reading these books give me a different experience, and I tell myself the narrators can only do so much and it's not an easy job to separate characters. I will continue to buy the audio books, learning just how my own books might sound read out loud. Plus, there's the entertainment value of an unexpected laugh while someone's getting murdered.

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