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Author Topic: Badly Read Books
SingerGuy59
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Just a quick comment on the current essay about badly read books. I know exactly what Scott means about books being read by some "golden throat" that just doesn't know how to interpret characters and reads everything in such a tedious way that you think your foot has gone to sleep.

I love to listen to books on CD while I drive my long daily commute. One of the best readers I've ever heard is David Walker. So far all 30 of his works are through Covenant Communications, so he might not be familiar to many of you.

My three top favorites of his are "Of Mice and Magic" by David Farland, "On Second Thought" by Robison E. Wells and his most recent "Chickens In The Headlights" by Matthew Buckley (absolutely hysterical at points).

He manages to come up with a distinctively different voice for every character in the novel. There is never a moment where I have to stop and try to figure out who is speaking. He manages to be a one man cast and he just seems to "get" the characters.

If you like to hear great readers, check him out. I'm sure you will enjoy him as much as I do.

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Brinestone
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I will. I've been thinking today that a book on tape might be fun during my commute to and from work.
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docmagik
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Of Mice and Magic is OUT?

Why don't people tell me these things . . . .?

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SingerGuy59
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Hey, I found David Walker in IMDB, but it doesn't list any of his voice work. Maybe they don't have a category for narration?
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BigMonkey
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Thanks guys! I appreciate the kind words. A friend of mine told me you were talking about me, so I thought I'd come check it out. Perhaps one day I can voice a book for Scott. *hint*

Of course, I have already narrated some of his books. That's how I got started...reading the "Homecoming" series to my kids. Scott, if you can remember that far back, I talked to you about the voices in "Ships of Earth" to make sure I had all the dialects right. You commented that you had never had someone work so hard to read one of your books, and gave me a comp copy of "Stone Tables" Now I have a "big time" VO career. [Razz]

Thanks again for the support.

[ November 01, 2005, 01:34 PM: Message edited by: BigMonkey ]

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jd2cly60
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Here's one, Monstrous Regiment, by Terry Pratchett. Not sure who the reader was but he seemed to feel that it should be read dry, droll, and SLOOOOOOOW. Killed it after three minutes and read the book instead.
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BigMonkey
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quote:
Originally posted by SingerGuy59:
Hey, I found David Walker in IMDB, but it doesn't list any of his voice work. Maybe they don't have a category for narration?

Well....it is called the Internet Movie Database. [Big Grin]
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Yank
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Greatest book on tape I've ever heard was C.S. Lewis' Screwtape Letters read by John Cleese. Brilliant. Absolutely brilliant.
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Tante Shvester
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I've never listened to an audio book in my life. I love reading so much, that I always keep the closed captions on the TV, and keep the volume turned way down. When my husband complains that he can't hear the TV, I tell him that he doesn't need to -- just read the captions.

I figure that if I went blind, I'd learn braille.

Is the audio book such a great experience? And how do you stick in your bookmark when you are interrupted?

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james01
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You use the pause button Tante!

I've listened to Harry Potter on tape before, it's kind of fun.

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Tante Shvester
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quote:
Originally posted by james01:
You use the pause button Tante!

Yeah, but if I start a "book" at home and then want to continue in my car, how will my car know where I left off at home? [Confused]
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james01
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You stop at the end of a track.
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JennaDean
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quote:
Greatest book on tape I've ever heard was C.S. Lewis' Screwtape Letters read by John Cleese. Brilliant. Absolutely brilliant.
I love C.S. Lewis; Screwtape Letters is really funny, to me. And I love John Cleese. I'll have to give that a try.
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Tante Shvester
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quote:
Originally posted by james01:
You stop at the end of a track.

Is that the same as a chapter?
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james01
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No, it's not. Tracks are usually only 4-5 minutes long; that was my experience with Harry Potter at least. Chapters could span many many tracks.
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Treason
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Frank Mueller did some Stephen King books on tape (or CD)
and he was great! I believe he has passed away though.

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Tante Shvester
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I may try one, but I am dubious about liking it. It feels good when my eyes caress the words, I'm not sure if I will like the feeling of the words caressing my ears.
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Bob_Scopatz
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I somehow ended up with an abridged version of Neuromancer read by the author. It is almost unlistenable. He is not a bad author, IMHO, but his ability to read dramatically is just off the chart horrible. He clearly sees himself as a modern version of Dashiell Hammett, but try as he might, his prose just doesn't work when read as if from a 1940's film noir soundtrack. Which is what he tries to do.

And his use of cuss words is just laughable when he says them.

Dana and I basically shut the thing off and read the book. Which, I have to say, was spoiled now by having heard it in the author's own voice.

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kojabu
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I don't really like audio books. I only like having things like music on in the background and it's hard to follow a story when you aren't giving it your full attention.
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Misha McBride
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My husband is an OTR truck driver and has many audio books. Some of them sound great (Ender's Game) others sound like dying cats (Dune). I'm contemplating reading and recording books for him, since some are incredibly awful and other books he would like to have don't have an audiobook done of them.
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BigMonkey
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quote:
Originally posted by Misha McBride:
My husband is an OTR truck driver and has many audio books. Some of them sound great (Ender's Game) others sound like dying cats (Dune). I'm contemplating reading and recording books for him, since some are incredibly awful and other books he would like to have don't have an audiobook done of them.

that's a cool idea. It usually takes me about 9 production hours to record 5 finished hours of audio. Get plenty of water and a half decent mike, otherwise, all he will hear is hum and hiss. Who knows, after you have recorded enough books for him, you could start doing it for pay. it's pretty much how I started. Reading aloud to my kids.

Good luck.

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Uprooted
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I've only listened to nonfiction books, and not that often. But now that I have a car w/ a working cassette player again (nope, never had a CD player in a car yet), I might consider fiction for my next long trip.

One of my problems is that I'm easily distracted, and will suddenly realize that I haven't heard the past (however much) of the book. That's a lot more easily remedied when reading than it is when listening.

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