Monday Musing: Audiobooks

In this week’s musing MizB asks’¦

Do you listen to audiobooks? If not, why not? And, if so, what has been one of your favorites, so far?

I rarely listen to audiobooks, mainly because I prefer to read and ‘hear’ the characters in my head for myself. Listening to a book being read is similar to watching a film version (which often disappoints me), although in an unabridged audiobook all the author’s words are there, but with the narrator’s version of the characters’ voices. Sometimes the narrator’s voice is so irritating or the performance of a regional accent is poor so that it spoils the performance and the story for me.

I also find that my mind wanders, particularly if I’m driving or even when I’m a passenger in the car, and I miss sections. I think the most enjoyable audiobook I’ve listened to is Simisola by Ruth Rendell, narrated by Christopher Ravenscroft, who played D I Mike Burden in the TV adaptations of Ruth Rendell’s Inspector Wexford series. It helped that I’d watched the Wexford series and knew the plot of Simisola. Ravenscroft’s imitation of George Baker’s voice as Wexford was quite good! But even so, I had to rewind it several times to fill in the missing parts when I’d been concentrating on driving.

Somehow listening to a book when I’m at home doesn’t appeal – I’d rather read.

9 thoughts on “Monday Musing: Audiobooks

  1. I’m really trying to listen to audio books, simply because I travel at night at least 2 nights a week,=4hrs. and it’s boring, but I can’t seem to read with a book light. I shall be giving it another go on Tuesday. Thanks for stopping by, my paint for a cure, is a fundraiser for Breast Cancer, I have no idea what I’m painting, apparently that’s part of the fun, we are told just to bring our brushes. I suppose we’ll be painting something that will be sold.


  2. Look for books narrated by Frank Muller. Unfortunately he died several years after a horrendous motorcycle accident, but he has such a lovely narrative voice and can make almost anything interesting. One of my favorite recordings by him is “Trustee from the Toolroom” by Neville Shute. I only listen to recorded books in the car, but have often stayed in the car listening after arrival at my destination to get to a point where I could bear to turn off the engine.


  3. I agree totally. My mind tends to wander too, and I would much rather read. I wouldn’t dare listen to a good book while driving!


  4. I think this Musing is inspiring me to try audio books again. I agree that the annoying voices bother me (the regional dialect was a really good example!). Maybe I’ll try in the car so I will be a more captive audience.


  5. I have recently been listening to a lot of audio books – always at night when I’m in bed. My preference right now is for undemanding books which don’t require too much concentration, but keep me interested. The Miss Read books with June Barry reading are a joy.

    I’ve also have on CD The murder of Roger Ackroyd and Murder on the links – great fun and easy listening.

    It is nice to have the choice.


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