Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Audiobook Week: Mid-Week Meme

Current/most recent audiobook:

I'm currently listening to A Discovery of Witches (by Deborah Harkness; narrated by Jennifer Ikeda)


A couple of people whose opinion I highly respect recommended this title; but quite frankly I'm quite disappointed with it. I had no preconceived ideas about what it was about or what to expect other than that the story would be compelling. It's about a witch who calls up an alchemical text from the stacks At the Bodlean library at Oxford. I'm about halfway through and I'm just not feeling it. Jennifer Ikeda has a lovely voice but every passage in the book is treated with the same intensity, whether its that moment when the protag meets up with an avowed enemy or she's in a yoga class. The evenness with which the narrator delivers the story bleeds the excitement out of the tale. And then there's the issue of a couple of mispronunciations which is driving me batshit crazy: Stuff like Magdalene (College) being mispronounced "mag-da-lin" instead of "maud-lyn" and "dressage" being mispronounced as "dres-idj" instead of "dre-sahdj." There are a lot of suspect pronunciations but I'm too lazy to drag out the OED to do a look-up every time a not-quite-right-sounding word pops up.

(So why haven't I dumped the audio in favor of the book? Basically because I'm cheap. I spent my book allowance on a FitBit (a fancy pedometer) and the hold list on the library is rather long.) I'll get through this; but when the sequel is published I plan on getting Shadow of Night in print.

Current/most recent favorite audiobook:

One of my favorite audiobooks this year was actually released a couple of years ago, The Ghosts of Belfast (by Stuart Neville; narrated by Gerard Doyle.) I'm about to add it to my Personal Pantheon of All Time Great Audiobooks. The story is about a former IRA hit man, Gerry Fegan who is haunted by twelve ghosts. The ghosts will leave him in peace if he executes a vendetta against the people ultimately responsible for their respective deaths. It's a great story and Gerard Doyle is perfectly suited and cast for it! You can read my review of it on this blog :-)

Favorite narrator you’ve discovered recently:

My favorite new-to-me narrator is Wil Wheaton. His narration of Ready Player One (by Ernest Cline) was perfect! I often blow off celebrity narrators but this is an exception I'll gladly make :-)

One title from your TBL (to be listened) stack, or your audio wishlist:

Hmmm, next up may be Hillary Mantle's Wolf Hall (narrated by Simon Slater.) I tried reading the book before and was lost. Then I switched to audio and was equally lost! Then I tried listening to the book and listening together and it all made sense! I stopped for some reason though. I need to get back to it however and wrap it up so I can listen to Bring Up the Bodies (by Hillary Mantle; narrated by Simon Vance.) I've heard that Bring Up the Bodies is more accessible (whew!)

Your audio dream team (what book or author would you LOVE to see paired with a certain narrator, can already exist or not):

I really can't go there! Let's just say that I make casting recommendations for a lot of books and sometimes I win and sometimes I don't :-/

06/27/2012: 10:100: UPDATE! I'm changing my answer! I wish Xe Sands had narrated the final chapters to The Last Werewolf (by Glen Duncan) and then gone on to narrate Talulah's Rising.


  1. I see your point about A Discovery of Witches. She was interesting enough, though, for me to get through it. I'm not sure I would have made it in the print. I think I would have given it up to be returned to at some unknown point because it would have felt bulky. Now that I'm invested in the story, though, I think I can read the others. I'm not opposed to doing audio again, I just think that I need to try the print this time around.

    And Wil Wheaton is so totally worth it!

  2. I thought Ikeda did a good job with GILT, but I'm bummed you're not digging her in DOW. I was planning to revisit it and SHADOW OF NIGHT in audio before the 3rd book comes out.

  3. The Ghosts of Belfast. If it's even close to your pantheon, I've got to listen to it.

    I'm kind of sad about A Discovery of Witches. I've now bought that and received a review copy of Book 2. Based on what you've said, I may very easily end up in your camp. Boo! At least this helps me to hold off for a while.

  4. I started reading Discovery and put it down to get the audio, but have not listened to it yet.

  5. The Ghosts of Belfast was one of favorite listens of 2011. If you enjoyed Gerard Doyle's work in that, you might want to give Adrian McKinty's Falling Glass a run (another fave). GD is just as great there, too, with a book of Irish crime that's on equal footing w/ TGoB.

  6. I can't decide between reading Wolf Hall or Game of Thrones. Somehow I doubt I'll ever get around to both. The Ghosts of Belfast sounds great.

  7. I feel like I am leaving the same comment on everyone's blog but... I have Ready Player One on my new TBL list from all these great mentions.