This one time at Writer's Camp…
Don’t get me wrong, I like the concept of them. Having someone read to you is comforting and, for you regular people, often brings back fond childhood memories. But the execution of an audio book? Having some kindly, gentle voice reading to me and suddenly saying “‘Sh*t’, the officer said as he looked at the corpse hanging from the telephone pole” is a bit jarring. Plus, it takes away one of the most powerful elements in my mind while I’m reading someone else’s work — the voice of the character.
I don’t know about you, but when I read I hear the voice of the author and characters a certain why in my head. I just hear things differently, and I have conceived notions of who sounds like what form as I delve deeper and deeper into a book. An audio book takes away that ability and force-feeds you a structured narrative voice of someone else. I don’t care if it’s Christopher Lee doing the reading (though if he did the audio book for Corruptor, and hearing him quote Tori, would probably cause a hernia from undue laughter), if the narrator is reading it different than you would, it’ll throw you off.
Sarah Hoyt, as always, digs into much deeper than I do and doesn’t have the same problems as I. In fact, I could swear she actually enjoys audio books more than actually reading them. Blasphemy, I’m sure some of you are thinking. More power to her, if you ask me. But I just can’t do it. I read faster than people speak, and in 8 hours it takes them to read me a 400 page book I could have read 2 books already. It doesn’t have that…. certain spark when someone reads it to me.
…and, as I mentioned before, that pesky little “Their voice isn’t the same as the voice in my head” issue I seem to have.
Do you like audio books?