Bad Audio Books = Bad Mood

I was hoping to be able to review something today, but my head has been killing me for the past two days, and thus my reading progress has been somewhat impaired in that I only want to read something comforting or at least fast-paced.

It’s amazing how much one’s mood or general humor effects one’s reading experience.  A week or so ago, I wouldn’t have minded reading books that were wonderfully written but a little slow as well as on the heavy or depressing side, of things, but at this moment I cannot bring myself to continue with any of them. Adding to my frustration is the fact that I cannot find a good audio book to listen to and a good audio book would be a lot easier for me to deal with until this headache gives up and moves on.

I have done so much audio book abandoning over the last few days that I almost wonder why I keep bothering to check any out only to get home and immediately want to return the stack I’ve borrowed. Each attempt to find a decent reading of a good book leaves me more baffled than the next and each time I give the audio books less of a chance. Today, for example, I listened to roughly a minute of Fantasy in Death by J. D. Robb before scowling and tossing the CD aside.

The audio book that has made me despair the most, however, was Wolf Brother by Michele Paver. Not, oddly enough, because the narration was horrible but because Sir Ian McKellan was attempting to every single syllable he read exciting and epic. This would work for a knight’s quest or a wizard’s duel against a ferocious dragon. It doesn’t work when people are sitting around campfires and thinking about wolf friends.

The only conclusion I can come to is that I myself have a certain way I percieve characters and the text of stories themselves. If a narrator cannot add to a story or characters or bring my vision to life, I cannot be bothered. If I’m going to be listening to someone tell me a story, they have to tell it well or they are going to get booed right off my mental stage.

Truthfully, very few voice actors have been able to do that for me outside of Jim Dale reading the Harry Potter series or the works performed by other voice actors I’ve mentioned on this blog in the past which include Linda Emond (various mysteries) and Frederick Davidson (Wodehouse books).

The only recent case where the audio books have improved a book more than a little bit for me was when it came to Linda Emond’s reading of 206 Bones from the Temperence Brennan series by Kathy Reichs. I suppose my only hope now is that somehow I can get Spider Bones from a library sometime soon.

In the mean time, I will be attempting to read Artemis Fowl by Eoin Colfer and possibly Consider Phlebas by Iain M. Banks. Wish me luck!

If anyone has any suggestions of decent audio books and/or warnings of bad audio books to avoid like the plague, let me know.


About April

I'm a librarian, reader, and writer whose main goal in life is to be able to swim in books the way Scrooge McDuck swims in money. Although my reading choices will always be wildly eclectic and I never plan on leaving any genre unexplored, my favorite reads tend to be Fantasy, Young Adult, Science Fiction, Gay Romance, or Historical Fiction. You can e-mail me at inspector[dot]librarian[at]gmail[dot]com.
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