Thoughts on Audiobooks

My love of audiobooks as existed for approximately one year. Just over a year ago, I could not really envision myself enjoying an audiobook. Listening to them on car journeys gave me travel sickness, the voices weren’t quite right (the Harry Potter audiobooks are the main gripe here), and I simply much preferred reading the words than listening to them.

Now though, I can say that I love them. Not only have they increased my ability to read more books, but they do add something extra to the story. They aren’t perfect, but they are not horrendous creations either. Indeed, audiobooks have helped me finish books that I have otherwise struggled with reading (looking at you Tess of the D’Urbervilles)

The problem is, the success of an audiobook depends on the combination of a narrator that fits the book and a book that fits the format and you can have very different experiences with them.

I strongly disliked the audiobook for The Girl on the Train yet everyone I know who has read the book had enjoyed it, and there is a film coming out. The book did not lend itself to an audiobook format and it has partly been ruined for me.

However, I struggled with Libba Bray’s books for a while until I downloaded Beauty Queens from Audible. Now I view Libba Bray as one of my favourite authors and cannot wait for the third Diviners book to be released.

As the year has gone by, I have started to realise what it is I like in an audiobook and that has helped reduce instances of me regretting my decision and not enjoying the book. The narrator needs fit the story and their voice has to be something that my ears can enjoy listening to. My auditory processing skills are not the best, so certain voices are difficult for me to perceive. There also needs to be variety. I cannot abide monotony. A bit more of an abstract one this one, but I also like to be able to feel like the narrator is enjoying reading the book and not just doing it for their job. This helps make the story feel real to me. The author has put their heart and soul into a book, and I want to be able to feel that as well.

I will certainly continue listening to audiobooks and discovering new adventures and stories through them. I really commend narrators for the effort they put in to the books and they make for good background listening while working on monotonous tasks. I have even come to enjoy Stephen Fry’s narration of Harry Potter which was something I was very much against when I was younger (the voices didn’t match my dad’s).

Here are a few of my favourite audiobooks if you’re interested:

The Diviners by Libba Bray

The Lies of Locke Lamora by Scott Lynch

The Edge of Nowhere by C.H. Armstrong

Midnight Crossroad by Charlaine Harris





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