Friday, August 7, 2015

Let's Discuss...(3)

Let's Discuss...
Let's Discuss...is a new feature here on Lunar Rainbows Reviews, inspired by many of my fellow bloggers and their discussion posts.  For my posts, I'll be discussing random bookish and fandom topics.

Audiobooks

Hi everyone! I'm back with another edition of my discussion feature and this time, I'd like to discuss audiobooks with you all. I've recently re-discovered audio books. To be fair, the first time I discovered them was over 5 years ago when I convinced my boyfriend to listen to the Harry Potter Series on audiobook with me. The poor misguided soul isn't much of a reader (sigh) so I figured this was the only way we could enjoy the books together. I mean, he loves the movies and this way,  he would finally get why I kept bitching about all the differences between the books and movies XD After figuring out who my favorite narrator was for the series between Jim Dale and Stephen Fry - Jim Dale, all the way! - we were soon listening to a few chapters every day until the very end and we both had an absolute blast! Despite taking a bit of a break with audiobooks after that, I was sold. I find that listening to a book can be even more immersive than reading one. The impression of a film playing out in your mind is all the more pronounced, especially when the narrator is up to the task!

And herein lies my issue. The audiobook narrator can make or break the book. Since I got back into audiobooks, getting them through my local library, I've had quite a bit of success. For the most part. I listened to Sabriel by Garth Nix, narrated by the bloody brilliant Tim Curry. I'm currently listening to the second book in the Song of the Lioness series by Tamora Pierce, In the Hand of the Goddess and it's quite delightful! I read the first book, so I wasn't sure if it was a good idea to switch over to audio but so far it hasn't been an issue. But then, there was the disaster that was Eleanor & Park. Granted, I don't think I would have had much more luck with it if I had read it, but the dual narrators were truly awful, both of them were flat and uninteresting, to say the least.

The thing is, I want to try and avoid that experience^^ from repeating itself. Audiobooks make my commute to and from work so much easier, and they allow bookish people to 'read' while doing mundane tasks at home. I love the idea of getting reading done when actually reading a book would be impossible BUT I don't want an otherwise great read to be tainted by poor narration.

And this is where you guys come in. Keeping in mind that I mostly read Fantasy, Sci-Fi, Dystopians and Historicals, I'd love to get recommendations from you all! Which audiobooks were standouts for you? Have you ever had any bad experiences you want to warn me about? Give me ALL the dirt, because I have a lot of time and a ton of books that need reading/listening to!

22 comments:

  1. I still have yet to listen to an audiobook Micheline! I get so worried that I won't like the narrator, and like you said, that makes or break the book. Tim Curry would be an AWESOME narrator for sure though. Might have to start there!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It can definitely be a gamble Jenny but I respond really well to auditory learning/reading etc and it's great to be able to 'read' when actually having a book is impossible :) Tim Curry was a brilliant surprise to be sure, and he narrates the entire trilogy :D

      Delete
  2. I have never listened to books until recently when I got Outlander. It was my first audio book and maybe the length and complexity were a bit too much for me for the first time, but I just cannot get into it. I am bugged I don't know the spelling of so many things, that the lady reading it is doing 40 thousand impressions (Scottish accents and 2 sexes and 50 people and it's all very admirable but man it's hard to follow). Also really bugged by the book itself... And I get too sleepy too soon and drift away and have to rewind a million times. I doubt I'll be getting any others any time soon. I don't commute much but even when I do the public transport is too loud, either with people or music. :X

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. From what I've heard from other bloggers, epic fantasy is NOT a good genre to go to with audiobooks. The complex plots, paired with not knowing how things, places and names are spelt has frustrated many a listener to the point where as much as epic fantasy is my favorite genre, I've avoided them in audio format. That being said, I've also heard that Outlander can be VERY hit or miss, even as a physical book, so the audio might not be the entire problem. I am sorry that you didn't have luck with your first audiobook attempt though :(

      PS- I miss you Ula ♥♥

      Delete
    2. Ula, I don't enjoy the Outlander audio at all!! I love reading those books, but the audio put me to sleep. And I slept for a transatlantic flight without waking up. At all. Luckily, I've found some others I truly love, though :)

      Delete
    3. Yeah I figured I really didn't pick the right read so I may try again with another. Especially now that I see I am not the only one having troubles! I MUST listen to something lighter, that's for sure.

      Miss you too, sweet peas! I'll try and come around more often - it's so hot lately I just can't be on my lap top for long...

      Delete
  3. I mostly do rereads on audio, and I'm sure you've already read a bunch of these, but here are some of my favorite books on audio:

    The Lunar Chronicles - I can't go back to print after the audio :)
    Mistborn - the narrator is FANTASTIC
    Chaos Walking trilogy - Nick Podehl. That is all.
    Daughter of Smoke and Bone - excellent accents/voices in this book!
    Ready Player One - so much funnier than in print
    Code Name Verity - the book made me cry, but the audio had me sobbing (in the best possible way, of course)
    The Iron Druid Chronicles - Luke Daniels is amazing!!

    I hope that isn't too many recs haha

    - Kritika @ Snowflakes & Spider silk

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh excellent, see I'm planning on rereading The Lunar Chronicles, Mistborn and DoSaB at some point so I'll have to check them out in audio. Ready Player One is coming up next in audio for me, FOR SURE! And I'll add Code Name Verity and The Iron Druid Chronicles to my list :D Thanks Kritika!! xxx

      Delete
  4. I gave audiobooks a shot this academic year, since I was driving about two hours each way to uni every day, but now that I'm working on my dissertation at home, they've sadly fallen by the wayside a bit! I did find a few I loved though, and we have similar favourite genres, so hopefully these will help a bit!

    I found that I didn't actually like listening to fantasy audiobooks, even though lots of people love them - I tried listening to Mistborn and like Ula I found that the fact I couldn't visualise spellings drove me absolutely insane. Plus there are no maps ;)

    My favourite audiobooks so far have been Ready Player One, read by Wil Wheaton - he's the perfect voice for the book I think and I loved it - and also Steelheart & Firefight by Brandon Sanderson, read by MacLeod Andrews - I will forever hear his voice in my head for David and as soon as Calamity is available for pre-order on audible, I'll be getting it! I also went on to listen to Lock in by John Scalzi, also narrated by Wil Wheaton which wasn't bad either, but not the stand out Ready Player One was.

    I've recently started listening to a David Attenborough, narrated by himself just because I love David Attenborough! It's not particularly addictive so far, but it is nice mellow listening, especially before bed and it's working pretty well since I don't have the commute at the minute and I'm listening sporadically.

    Recent audiobook purchases include Storm Front by Jim Butcher, narrated by James Marsters (Spike from Buffy!). I've not started it yet, but I've heard SUCH great things about it. I originally wasn't keen because the plot sounds okay but not wow, and also because James Marsters isn't using his British accent (what?!?!) but people raved so much about his narration I thought I'd give it a go. I also bought Off to be the wizard, which comes up a lot when people ask for recommendations for what to listen to after Ready Player One, and again people recommend the narrator, Luke Daniels a lot - though I've not listened to that yet either.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. YES^^ Best.Comment.Ever. I LOVE all of your recs Faith ♥ I remember when you got into audiobooks well, so I knew you'd have some good ideas for me :D Ready Player One will be coming up very soon for me, I was able to get it from the library - though I do hope it's the Wil Wheaton version. I've read Steelheart already but I might give Firefight a try on audio! I haven't read anything by David Attenborough though so that would be worth checking out. Same goes for Storm Front. I have heard about Luke Daniels though, so he's a must-listen heh! Again, thank you so much!! xx

      Delete
  5. I've never tried audiobooks, but I definitely see the benefit of being able to do other things while still "reading." I finally got to listen to some of Jim Dale's narration on Pottermore recently, and OMG, he was AMAZING! I'd seriously consider doing an HP "reread" on audiobook now!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ooooh Jim Dale's narration for HP is absolute perfection! You'll have to let me know if you do give him a shot :D

      Delete
  6. LOL I wasn't a huge fan of Eleanor & Park, either, but I'm really glad I didn't try it in audio, that's for sure! I've only listened to a handful of audiobooks but I do enjoy them, especially if you are in a situation where you can't sit and hold a book. Narrator really can ruin the experience, the narrator for the second book in the Falling Kingdoms series- D: The different accents D: His "girl" voice D:

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh gods, I'm glad you didn't either, it would have made things much worse LOL Yikes! Good to know, I'll avoid that one on audio for sure o_O

      Delete
  7. I totally agree that the narrator makes a huge difference. If I don't like the way they do a character's voice it really put me off! I don't listen to many audiobooks because I prefer reading at my own pace and I often find the narrator reads them too slowly for me. I just prefer seeing the words on the page for some reason. They can be really handy sometimes, though, like when you're travelling or just before bed. The only one I've listened to a lot is Harry Potter-but I preferred the Stephen Fry version. Jim Dale is great though-my grandparents actually went to school with him and knew him quite well!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You're probably more visually inclined then. As much as I adore reading actual books, I tend to experience the world through sound more than sight so that's probably why audiobooks have such an appeal to me - especially now that my time to sit down and do some actual reading is so limited. And I think the HP fandom is split into two over their favorite audio-narrator XD Really?! That's SO cool!

      Delete
  8. Nalini Singh's Psy-Changeling series has an amazing narrator, Micheline, and I listened to Shards of Hope before I read it - this is a first for me! I use audiobooks as a way to 'let' myself go back to a favorite.
    Stacia Kane's Downside Ghosts series is amazing too, the narrator brings all of the characters to life, and she even has the downside accent down pat.
    Good luck on finding more audios to enjoy :)
    Lexxie @ (un)Conventional Bookviews

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Psy-Changeling is definitely on my reading list Lexxie but thanks for the audio rec^^ I don't think I've ever even heard of Downside Ghosts though so I'll have to look it up :D Thank you ♥

      Delete
  9. I really can't immerse into audio-books. There is something that prevents me from connecting to a story in the same way as reading a book. I am good in concentration, but for some reason my mind just wanders off when I'm listening to someone reading a book to me.. I don't know why, because I used to love it when my mother read to me when I was younger, but it doesn't work for me :(

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's like that for some people - I think it depends if you can focus on audio versus the visual of reading. A lot of my friends just can not to audio but I'm really pleased that it works for me :)

      Delete
  10. I only just got back into audiobooks too. Like what you said, they make the commute to work so much better! I'm so glad I got back into them.

    I've really been enjoying all the Rick Riordan books on audio. I loved the Percy Jackson series and was a little disappointed that the narrator changed for the Heroes of Olympus series, but I've grown to love this narrator too.

    I also super enjoyed The Golden Compass on audio. And my library school friends told me I need to listen to Lemony Snicket too.

    Good luck with your adventures into audio land! I want to know what you end up liking too.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It literally changed my entire commuting experience!

      If I ever reread His Dark Materials, I'll give them a go on audio^^ I want to listen to Lemony Snicket but so far my library only has the first book on audio >.<

      Thank you!! xx

      Delete

I LOVE comments & do my best to return every one a.s.a.p. ♥
This blog is an award-free zone. I appreciate the thought but I can't invest the time needed.