Jul 8, 2013

Posted by in Question | 11 Comments

Question – Are Some Books Better In Audio?

Question Visual Again

This Question came to me while I was commenting on a post over at Paranormal Haven.  The post showed how they had received a copy of Magic Rises by Ilona Andrews for review.  My friend Carmel from Rabid Reads commented that she was excited for it but that she would not read an advanced copy but rather wait for the audiobook version because the narrator was worth it.  Um…what?!  Pass up the opportunity to read the next Kate Daniels book because you like the way the chick who does the audio version reads it?!  I wondered for a moment there if there was perhaps something wrong with her and that maybe I should reconsider our friendship.

Then I thought more about it and this week’s Question popped into my head.  Are some books just better in their audio version?

This is not a question I have much of an opinion on since I have not had the opportunity to listen to many audiobooks.  You must remember, I have two kids (ages 5 and 8) and I run a licensed daycare from my home with kids ranging from 1 to 3 years of age.  So just think of that and see my conundrum.  If you haven’t figured out my issue yet, think of it like this…I read books with lines like this:

“When I want you to beg, I’ll tell you.”
― J.R. Ward, Lover Unbound 

Take that line and expand the scene in your mind.  Now read it out loud to a room full of toddlers.  See my issue now?



I have listened to much of a Charley Davidson book by Darynda Jones (narrated by Lorelei King) and it was really well done.  It took me a while to get used to the pace as narrators read a little slower than I do, and I tend to skim descriptive scenes which apparently is a no-no when you’re a voice actor, but soon enough I got into it and enjoyed it.  The only issue I had while listening is that I only had a very small window of time each day when I could listen to the book.  It took me forever and that made me sad.

I thought I was doomed to waiting until my kids left home for college when someone suggested I try listening to an audiobook in my car during the 6 hour drive my family and I take every July to visit my aunt and uncle.  Brilliant!  I have the kids with me in the car so it’s not like I’ll get much listening in but it will be more than I do now!  So I decided to try Magic Bites by Ilona Andrews (narrated by Renée Raudman).  As you know by now, I adore that series and I apparently the narrator is amazing (or so Carmel says).  So that is what I am going to do starting tomorrow when I am on the road.

So all that to say…  Are some books better in audio?  I have no real idea but I’m sure you guys can tell me.  😉

  1. mrsbkwrm says:

    I have four kids, but they are all 14 and older now, so I can keep my bluetooth headphones on a lot of the time. I like audiobooks because they let me multi-task, plus I can listen in bed without disturbing my sleeping husband and can fall asleep listening more easily than I can reading.

    I agree that Renee Raudman is an excellent narrator and may very well be worth a little bit of a wait. I think Robert Petkoff brings a lot to the Immortals After Dark series, too. Some of those lines . . . OMG! And James Marsters really is the best way to enjoy a Dresden files book, IMO.

    I mean, there is no bad way to consume a delicious book, but if you can get a good narrator I think it can enhance the experience.

  2. I do not know. I have not have the best experience. I once tried to listen to a fantasy book and the guy made one of the females have a Russian accent and I was just all WTF! After that audio kind of died for me

  3. I listen to audiobooks every day, yes they are better a lot of them; I got hooked on the Eve Duncan series by Iris Johansen because I bought an audio very cheap once and now I’m slowly buying all the books. Same for the Charley Davidson series!!!

  4. I recently listened to Rotters by Daniel Krauss and I don’t think I would have enjoyed it as much if I had read it on my own. The narrator, Kirby Heyborne, did an amazing job of bringing each character to life. But I’ve had the opposite experience as well.

    Great question, Julie!

  5. I think some are. Jennifer Estep’s elemental assassin series is one that I have tried reading but worked so much better for me in audio form.

  6. I haven’t listened to many audiobooks either, but for some reason I really prefer the audio version of the In Death series by JD Robb. For some reason the physical books just can’t hold me interest. Plus, the narrator does some great voices!

  7. Jessica says:

    For me, the answer to that question would be a resounding no. I am actually a HEAVILY visual learner though. I do not retain information when I hear it, only when I see it written down. So the only books I would listen too were the ones I’d already read, or didn’t care about, and I’d only listen to them while I was held captive in my car during my daily commute. I’m assuming audio learners would do very well with books on tape though. Not sure about Kinesthetic learners.

  8. I only have one audio book – Deborah Harkness’s A Discovery of Witches and I absolutely LOVE listening to it. But I only bought the audio book after I’d read the ebook version a dozen times. I would listen to it on my iPod when I was cleaning around the house and out walking, but when I was able to sit, I’d read along with it. It definitely gave me a different reading experience and I enjoyed it, I got to hear how the author envisioned certain names being said and how she envisioned the “tone” of the characters. But I just can’t justify the price of audio books to buy many of them – too expensive!

  9. mrsbkwrm – James Marsten does the Dresden books?! I bet he is so amazing!

    blodeuedd – It’s true that a narrator can really butcher a book 🙁

    Diane – I think the Charley Davidson books are really well done in audio 🙂

    Cat – I’ll have to give that one a try when I can sneak away and listen somehow lol

    Felicia – I love Jennifer’s books but I do find the repetitive nature of her voice can get a bit much. I totally see how those who have that issue would be better off with the audio version. Great idea!

    Krista – I’ll have to try a snippet of the In Death narrator to see what you mean 🙂

    Jessica – Very good point. If you are more visual audio books would really not work. I had not thought of that. Of course you would be smarty pants and would bring it to my attention. Where would I be without you, Jessica?

    Liz – They are pricey, I agree. But if you can and you know you’ll get great enjoyment out of them, why not? lol

    I listened to an audiobook once before (took me ages lol) and I feel I would have enjoyed the book better have I read it. I found the narrator whined lol. So I know what you mean by sometimes they just don’t wor

  10. Well, I’m glad to hear that we’re still friends Julie. :p Have you started listening to that Kate Daniels book yet? Was I right about the narrator?? 😀

  11. Carmel – I managed to listen to three whole chapters while in the car last week. I love it so far! I am even starting to sneak in some time alone in my yard with my iPod to listen to more of it. At this rate, I may finish it by the end of 2014 lol.

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