Audiobooks - Making Driving Bearable


#1

A good book does not guarantee a good audiobook.
A lot comes down to the narrator.

Just finished The Dry by Jane Harper - was a good listen.


#2

I’m heading to Adelaide to do a wedding this weekend. Downloaded “The Wind in the Willows” to listen to - was a fave as a kid, will be interesting to see how it is as an adult!


#3

I did that one the old-fashioned way…on paper, not even on e-books, which is 80% of my reading these days. It was good.


#4

My daughter loves audio-books. She has one on in her room when she goes to bed each night. Her current favourite are the Magic Faraway Tree books narrated by Kate Winslet. We often play them in the car for long road trips. The kids love them (and it beats having actual conversations!).


#5

Too true about the narrator. Especially when they’re flat our wrong with pronunciation.


#6

I have been a huge fan of audiobooks for years, since they were on cassettes. I pretty much went through every one of interest that was available at a local library.

It became hugely better when they became available online. I joined audible.com not long after it started and I download 20-30 a year. I’ve got somewhere near 300 all up. They’re cheap; the site operates through a credit system but it works out under $15 per book.

You’re right about the importance of the reader. A really good reader (current favourite is Sean Barrett) can really make a book live. Most of them are somewhere between just bearable and pretty good; there are a few that I just can’t listen to. The good news is that you can listen to a sample (usually about 5 minutes) before you buy, and that’s usually enough to be able to know.

I listen in the car and when I go for a walk. I’m currently on the fourth book of Anthony Powell’s Dance to the Music of Time.


#7

I read that book 30 odd years ago. Be interested to hear what you think. IIRC there’s one totally insufferable character who naturally goes into politics.

I should say ‘I read those 12 books’.

I usually go with podcasts…


#8

I’ve read them before, in print I mean. I think that as a whole it’s extraordinary. Some individual books are better than others, but they’re all pretty good. Powell conceived of it from the beginning as a cycle covering a good part of the 20th century and a description of a large number of lives over that period and I think it’s great.

I like to listen to books I’ve already read. I usually get a lot out of doing that. Dickens especially is fantastic to listen to.


#9

I listened to a number of Dickens radio plays a few years ago…The Old Curiosity Shop, Barnaby Ruge, A Tale of Two Cities…and I have a few others, like Hemingway and Steinbeck to listen to, but I have so many podcasts to listen to…History of English, History of Byzantium, In Our Time (with Melvin Bragg) to listen to.

I must admit I knew nothing of Barnaby Rudge or of the Gordon Riots before listening to Barnaby Rudge.

And grandpa in TOCS would have to be one of the morally weakest people in literature…and Dickens wrote of a few.


#10

I didn’t know anything about the Gordon Riots either, and honestly didn’t know much more after reading BR. I thought it was one of Dickens’ weakest novels.

TOCS is really weird. The revelation of Grandpa’s great secret is a huge letdown and pretty unconvincing when you think about it — surely there must have been a few times when he came home with his pockets full of money. And the first chapter is narrated in the first person by a gentleman who goes into the shop and meets Little Nell; but he then simply vanishes from the book and the rest of it is a straight third-person narration.

I do have some sympathy for the Oscar Wilde view of the death of Little Nell.

But the best of Dickens is the best there is IMHO. Bleak House, Great Expectations, Oliver Twist, Tale of Two Cities, Our Mutual Friend, David Copperfield — and they are all available as audiobooks, all beautifully read.


#11

I don’t think you’ve grasped the intricacies of the format.


#12

The other good thing about Audible is that you can get your credit back if you don’t like the book. There is a website https://exploreaudiobooks.com that I’ve used that gets you heaps of Audible credits for the US store. I got 25 credits for USD $118.


#13

Listened to the Wheel of time (14 long books) over the course of a year or so for the daily commute…

Now listening to Brandon Sanderson books… currently the Stormlight Archive…

Agree narrator is extremely important… can definitely ruin it otherwise!


#14

The 1st book of that Stormlight series was pretty good. Haven’t had the focus to start listening to the 2nd book - they’re ■■■■■■ long! Has he finished any others?


#15

Yeah I would read some of his other books first as the Stormlight are his epics.

He has written

  1. Way of Kings
  2. Words of Radiance
    2.5. Edgedancer (Novella)
  3. Oathbringer

Oathbringer is like 55 hours so its taking me a while to get through it but I’m really enjoying it.

Might want to read Mistborn first to get a feel for his writing first though and they are excellent


#16

I got the entire Blackadder catalogue through audible - as soon as you hear it the visuals pop in your head.

The Alan partridge ones are hysterical