Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Audiobook Disasters: Time to Stop Listening?

Krispy: I think you need to stop listening to audiobooks.
After I told her my version of Incarceron pieced together from a failed audiobook reading.

Something has gone very, very wrong with audiobooks and me.  I've either hated or been bored to sleep (as passenger, not driver) by several highly lauded books.

Now this could be because I, simply, just don't like the book.

But I also suspect the format has much to do with my somnolent response.

Bitten (Women of the Otherworld, #1)Take Bitten, for example, Kelly Armstrong's first book in her Women of the Otherworld series.  It's about a female werewolf.

A CHICK werewolf.

Awesome right?

I thought it was meh.  (Except for the s-e-x scenes. Dang that lady can write.)

I decided to give the series another shot, this time on Kindle just in time for my Taiwan trip.


In the written form, Armstrong's writing was suddenly laugh-out-loud funny, her plots exciting, her men sexy.  I ended up downloading the third book midway through my trip; it's now one of my favorite series. (Just started book 5)

The Iron King (Iron Fey, #1)Right now I'm listening to The Iron King.  I was never into fairies to begin with (save for the ones in the Sookie Stackhouse books), but it was a Goodreads book club pick plus I wanted to support an Asian sister.

I've taken to only playing it when my boyfriend is driving the car...

Sophia: (sits up suddenly, blinking) Wait.  He's standing?  I thought he was dead.
Unicorn boyfriend: (smoothly) They were discussing what to do with him, then he got up, he's bleeding, and now he's holding a sword and wants to kill her.
Sophia:...who is this now?
At least one of us is following along.

Looking for AlaskaSo here's my quandary: one of my Goodreads groups is now reading Looking for Alaska.  I know.  This one won the Prinz.

We're about to take a roadtrip and I'm trying to decide whether to listen on audiobook (the Unicorn will be driving so he can catch whatever I miss), or if I should do this one right and stick with the hardcover library book I took out today.

What do you think, readers???

Stay tuned for my next post, when I outline the plot of Incarceron...what I heard, at least.


  1. Hmm. I think that it really depends on the book (or how bored you are in the car :p). If the writer's voice is conversational, I think it should work. (Note though that I have only listened to ONE audio book in my life. I liked it, but I think that had a lot to do with the car radio being busted...)

  2. If I don't like the reader, then the book is sunk. A good reader makes ALL the difference. Best one I've heard yet is Christopher Moore's YOU SUCK. The woman did voices, but not in the stupid way. I hate it when female readers lower their voices for men--gah, just read it normally, you sound ridiculous!

    Can you test listen?

  3. It TOTALLY depends on the voice!

    I've been listening to audiobooks for 2 1/2 years and this only started happening in the last 6 months. Sometimes the previews are misleading :(

  4. Incarceron is one of my FAVORITE (relatively) recent reads, and Sophia's audiobook reading of it turned what I thought was interesting world-building into a fantasy-sci-fi acid trip. Although that does sound like it could be fun, that's not the tone of Incarceron. :P

  5. I've never listened to an audio book, but I kid you not, my husband "forced" Something Wicked This Way Comes, by reading it to me.

    For some reason, I couldn't read the book. I couldn't get past the way it was written; to poetic. But my husband begged me to allow him to read it, and then it became slightly tolerable. In the end, the story stuck with me (even if I fell asleep each time he read).

    I think it's like you said, depends on the voice and the story. But tell us if you like the book!! I'm intrigued now, but audio books. Should I try?

  6. Tricky. About the only time I listen to audiobooks is if I've already read the book, or if it's a boon I don't care too much about loving. If it's something I'm excited about, I will definitely read it first.

  7. Sophia, thanks for stopping by my blog and offering such encouraging words. I will be your quitting/writing buddy, for sure! I find it helps so much to have support through tough decisions. I am already grappling with whether or not I am making the right decision.
    About your post...I read Looking for Alaska. I am not a big audio book fan. I would really recommend it as a traditional read. It is such a good book.

  8. I don't think I'm an audio book person. I don't know, I've never really tried it. There's just something about seeing the words and being able to keep going back to them. I think it's a more intimate relationship. Kudos to you for being able to read so much. I'm currently reading 'Kafka On The Shore' by Haruki Murakami and so far I'm loving it! With a sick 4yr old though it's kind of tough to keep reading on *sigh*


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