June is Audiobook Month!
With this in mind, I stopped by my local Barnes and Noble yesterday to pick up Nichole Bernier’s debut novel, THE UNFNISHED WORK OF ELIZABETH D. (not yet available on audio) and decided to take a moment and browse the audiobook section as well.
Truth be told, I purchase almost all of my audiobooks through Audible. It’s much easier to download the books digitally rather than uploading the CDs onto the computer, but I’ve been known to purchase audiobooks in their physical form as gifts for friends and family, so I find myself in the audiobook sections of bookstores quite frequently.
I pulled these four books from the shelf for comment:
The first is THE ILIAD, which I have actually listened to on audio several times. In addition to listening to new titles on audio, I love to listen to books that I have read previously, and especially books like THE ILIAD that I was required to read several times in college as part of the curriculum and now want to listen for pure enjoyment.
If you’ve been afraid to read THE ILIAD because it’s ancient and large and daunting, don’t be. Try listening to it on audio. You will not be disappointed.
The second is UNBROKEN by Laura Hillenbrand, which is a book I purchased from Audible almost a year ago after listening to a book club discuss it as a possible choice for the coming month. I'm also a fan of listening to nonfiction on audio, since I find it easier to jump in and out nonfiction regardless of how long I go between listening. If I am listening to fiction, I feel like I need to listen every day, and oftentimes more than once a day, in order for the story and the characters to remain fresh in my mind. It’s not impossible, but if my life is especially hectic, my podcasts have piled up and I don’t have time time to listen regularly, fiction on audio can be a challenge for me.
I have yet to listen to UNBROKEN, but it is near the top of my audio pile. I saw a segment about the book on CBS Sunday Morning recently and am looking forward to it all over again.
The third is WORLD WAR Z by Max Brooks, a book that I desperately wanted to listen to since the book, an oral history of a fictional Zombie War, seems to be perfectly suited for audio. But for reasons that will always baffle me, the publisher, Random House Audio, produced the book in abridged form only.
Abridged? Who the hell wants an abridged version of any book? Why does the industry continue to produce abridged versions when everyone listener I know despises them? I don’t get it.
I DON’T GET IT!
Random House also went out of their way to cast an impressive list of narrators for the book, including Mark Hamill, Henry Rollins, John Turturro, Alan Alda, Becky Ann Baker and more. Yet they decided to abridge the damn thing, cutting these talented voices short!
I can’t tell you how annoyed I am by this decision.
I plan on reading the book, but I feel like it’s an opportunity wasted.
The last audiobook is ROOM by Emma Donoghue, a book that my upcoming novel, MEMOIRS OF AN IMAGINARY FRIEND, has been compared to repeatedly. I have yet to read ROOM for this very reason, but I made it my Audible pick for May and now have it loaded onto my iPhone. It is currently in a metaphysical battle with UNBROKEN for my next listen.