To read, perhaps to listen?

I have been distracted this week due to family issues but I have still managed to keep up with some reading and I have rediscovered my love of (some) audio books. I have written about audio books before. I stand by what I say. The narrator makes of breaks an audio book for me. I can’t make myself overlook bad voice acting or horrendous accents. It ruins a lot for me.

In preparation for the new instalment of The Dresden Files ‘Changes’ by Jim Butcher, I’m listening to the books to refresh my memory. There’s been a lot of them. ‘Changes’ is instalment 11 or 12 I think. It’s one of the few series I have kept up with. I normally get ‘series fatigue’ by book 5 or 6. Jim Butcher, JR Ward, Lara Adrian, Nalini Singh, Meljean Brook, Lorelei James seem to be the only survivors of this condition.

Sometimes I wish authors would swap, what must be, the security of an established fan base and a nice big fat book contract, and take a chance. Write something new.

I suppose they feel pressured as well. When you get hundreds of letters and email asking when the next instalment is, I imagine it’s hard to disappoint people, even if the creative drive is no longer there. (Which is evident in a LOT of authors who write long and protracted series) I suppose it’s also hard not to listen to people who are there to advise you. Publishers need to make money as much as an author. Why take a chance on something you’re not sure will sell when you have a product (a brand in some cases) that sells really well? Maybe these authors find it hard to write that second series. Find it difficult to come up with new ideas so they stay in their comfort zone. Maybe some even like the notoriety? Who knows?

But I think audio books might be the answer to some of my series fatigue. I don’t feel like I am wasting my time when I am listening to an audio book while doing the dishes, or the laundry. Plus, a stack of  audiobooks just doesn’t look as intimidating as a massive stack of books can.

So I can maybe pick up some of those series I let fall behind. I left the ‘In Death’ books behind at around book nine, I think. I would love to pick that series back up but every book started to feel very samey to me. I could also finally get around to reading the last Harry Potter. (I know, I still haven’t read it AND I have managed to stay unspoiled! Don’t ruin it for me.) Does Sherrilyn Kenyon’s Dark-Hunter books have audio? Are they any good?

I doubt they are as good as James Marsters is. I think they should pass a law that he should read all audio books from now on. Le sigh.

What about you all? When do you usually drop a long running series? What about good/bad audiobook narrators? Any I should stay away from?

  1. I keep hearing great things about James Marsters’ reading of the Dresden Files. Unfortunately, my library only has the last couple in audio, and I’d really like to start from the beginning. Eventually, I’ll buy them at Audible.

    I’ve enjoyed my “audio re-read” of the Sookie Stackhouse series.

    You are so right about the narrator. I just stopped listening to a book because the narrator was so awful. I also almost dnf’d Deanna Raybourn’s Silent in the Grave before I realized it was the narrator that was so bad, not the book. I now read that series.

    I listened to a few of the Dark Hunter books, though it’s been so long, its hard to remember. The series didn’t really work for me, so I stopped listening. I like Kim Harrison’s Hollows series in audio. (Marguerite Gavin does them, and anything by her is great!) I’ve also enjoyed the Lisa Kleypas books I’ve listened to (both contemporary and historical). Though Stephanie Laurens’ books make me crazy. Simon Prebble narrates them, and while he is extremely talented, I have a hard time listening to him do romance.

      • Sayuri_x
      • January 23rd, 2010

      Ohh, I couldn’t finish the first Hollows book. Maybe the audiobooks would work for me? Everyone says such great things about the series I want to read it…

  2. I discovered audiobooks about a year ago and I’m totally hooked. If the book is good I get a lot more housework done!

    I’d recommend the Outlander series – the first 4 and book 7 are easily available on MP3/4 but books 5 and 6 will be becoming easier to get in the next year or so when the abridged versions contract runs out (so I understand anyway). I’m looking forward to getting them to round out my collection. Davina Porter, the narrator, is AMAZING.

    You are so right about the narrator. I recently listened to Mary Balogh’s A Matter of Class and Anne Flosnik’s narration made me want to chew nails. I liked the book in spite of her but I think I would have been better to read that one.

    The In Death books are a good listen too. Susan Ericksen (? spelling) narrates and does a great job. (Although I thought Roarke’s accent was going to be less Irish – it is described as a faint lilt in the books I think, but Susan does it quite strong (IMO). I got used to it pretty quickly though. The novellas a good to get on audio – that way you don’t have to buy the whole anthology and you still get the story.

    I’m listening to The Sharing Knife by Lois McMaster Bujold at the moment and Bernadette Dunne narrates. She’s so good, I did a search on her to see if there’s anything else she’s done I might try – that would be a first for me – buying on the strength of the narrator alone!

    If you want more recs, AAR has an audiobooks post every 2 weeks or so and a little while ago there was a post about favourites, so plenty of recommendations in there.

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