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The Audio Book Guy - No Fluff. Just my honest opinion of the audio books I listen to.

The reader vs. the material

After my latest post (here) I found myself searching out the readers John Slattery and Reg Rogers, which after I thought about it was opposite of what the proper way to find new material should be. The book was fantastic, but the voices sold it.

Once I saw that John Slattery had voiced other audiobooks I owned and considered favorites, I found the pattern. Either he chose to read only amazing books, or my views of the book were influenced by his reading. I then scrolled through the list of all other audiobooks I own and focused on who was reading them. The majority of books that I thoroughly enjoyed I could distinctly remember the voice, sometimes even more so than the content.

In Duma Key Slattery becomes Edgar Freemantle. He changes slightly for each character and is believable, but when he gets into Edgar Freemantle, you can see him, feel him, and really know who he is.

A recent post of mine on free audiobook sources (Free audiobook sources) covered a source that turned e-books into a computer generated audio recording. Although they offer different “voices”, the inflection, dramatic pauses and “feel” of the book are lost. And librivox.org is public domain books read by volunteers, which seems to be hit or miss.

I feel the casting of the audiobook narrators (hired or volunteers) should reflect a reader that can show a slight change in inflection or tone to differentiate between characters instead of stretching their voices to the upper and lower portions of ability (usually offending one of the sexes, races, or ear drums themselves). Multiple readers can also be used and usually make for an enjoyable experience.

Although I am not very picky on what book or genre I listen to, I do think that from now on I will use the audible.com sample button to see if I could live with hours of the reader’s voice.

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2 comments to The Reader vs. the Material

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