Discussion Forums - Mystery & Thrillers

Topic: Audio book pet peeves (mystery/thriller version) (make recs too!!)

Club rule - Please, if you cannot be courteous and respectful, do not post in this forum.
Page:   Unlock Forum posting with Annual Membership.
Subject: Audio book pet peeves (mystery/thriller version) (make recs too!!)
Date Posted: 2/20/2011 2:53 PM ET
Member Since: 12/19/2007
Posts: 2,408
Back To Top

I have only recently started listening to audio books.  My local library started offering the Playaway MP3 players last year so I decided to give them a try. Overall, I am really enjoying this option in addition to actual paper but there are a few things that bother me about the format.

I just finished listening to the first book in a new-to-me series and author.  I had heard good things about the series and since my library had the first book on MP3 so I picked it up.  Now I wish that I had read the book instead.  The reader mispronounced two very common Spanish surnames over and over and OVER again!  Drove me batty!  The book is set in a very specific region of the US and the story itself is very tied to the land.  The region itself is a major character in the book  You'd think the reader might do a little prep work before starting to make sure there are no surprise words or names.  The reader mispronounced "acequia" several times too, saying a-suh-KEE-ah rather than uh-SAY-kee-ah.  I found myself listening for mistakes which is very distracting!!

Tell me about your listening pet peeves!! Make recommendations of your favorites readers as well.

 

Date Posted: 2/20/2011 6:14 PM ET
Member Since: 12/30/2006
Posts: 929
Back To Top

I listen to audio books fairly frequently.  Since I don't speak a foreign language, I probably wouldn't know if a foreign word was mispronounced.  I can see why it would bother you though, if you know the difference.  I can't think of any particular pet peeves other than when the reader is so boring it puts me to sleep.

Some of my favorite readers:

Jim Dale who did the Harry Potter series--Don't know if he's done much of anything else but he was fantastic

Jim Frangione--Chet and Bernie series

Dick Hill--The Adventures if Tom Sawyer--I think he has done other as well

Stephen Lang--I listened to Heart Shaped Box by Joe Hill with Lang as narrator.  Gave me the creeps he was so good.

Date Posted: 2/20/2011 6:37 PM ET
Member Since: 12/19/2007
Posts: 2,408
Back To Top

Terri, the Harry Potter books were the first books I ever listened to (road trip to Iowa) and so Jim Dale was my first reader.  He set the bar pretty high for me!  I also really enjoy Dick Hill who has done all the Jack Reacher books.  I think he does the Joe R. Lonsdale books as well.

Date Posted: 2/20/2011 6:54 PM ET
Member Since: 12/30/2006
Posts: 929
Back To Top

Yes, Jim Dale is hard to beat.  I guess I've learned not to expect anyone to be quite that good.

Kat (polbio) -
Date Posted: 2/21/2011 1:16 PM ET
Member Since: 10/10/2008
Posts: 3,067
Back To Top

My pet peeve is when the narrator has such a thick accent it is hard to understand them. i tried listening to an agatha Christie book on tape and had to turn it off cause the narrator was horrible. His British accent was so thick, I couldnt make out what he was saying.

Date Posted: 2/21/2011 2:28 PM ET
Member Since: 10/22/2009
Posts: 1,452
Back To Top

In addition to those mentioned above, another pet peeve of mine is when a conversation is taking place in hushed tones so the narrator decides he/she needs to follow suit.  I have a hard time hearing any of the dialog and find myself rewinding and listening to those sections over and over to determine what's being said.

As for favorite readers--the first one that immediately pops into my mind is George Guidall.  I absolutely love his narration of Tony Hillerman's books.

Date Posted: 2/21/2011 5:10 PM ET
Member Since: 8/10/2005
Posts: 4,597
Back To Top

Oh don't get me started! LOL

Pet peeves:

1) Monotone recital

2) No variation in the voices, with all the female voices sounding the same and all the male ones sounding the same so you can't tell who's speaking.

3) Overly dramatic readers who say every sentence with a flourish such that the really important stuff that needs to be emphasized melts in to the rest of the story. These are the readers you can easily imagine with spit flying out of their mouths as they read. LOL

4) Mispronunciation.

5) Horribly fake accents. I tried listening to ONE of the China Bayles books in audio format and the reader was horrible. Everyone in China's circle, including China herself is a native Texan, but *no one* except Ruby had an accent at all--and that was an over-exaggerated fake twang. I just couldn't finish listening and now know that I must just read that series in print.

Sometimes, the reader "seems" perfectly fine, but if it's a series I have read in print and the reader's tone just doesn't match what I know of the series, I can't listen.

Favorites:

George Guidall. He does a wonderful job on Walt Longmire series, and I just started re-listening to Tony Hillerman's series and found (yippee!) that he does that series too. I've also heard him narrate several "classics" and have never NOT liked what he did.

C.J. Critt does a great job on the Judge Deborah Knott series. I always try to listen to these rather than read them if I can just because of her reading. Also she does Linda Barnes' Carlotta Carlyle series that I have listened to a few of. (My library doesn't have all of them) and those are good, too.

Tom Stechshulte does a wonderful job on the Tres Navarre series by Rick Riordan, and I've heard him narrate a couple of stand alones by other authors also.

I really like Alyssa Bresnahan--she did Charlaine Harris's Harper Connelly paranormal mysteries and did a great job. I've also listened to a few stand-alones of hers, most notably The Lace Reader by Brunonia Barry.

James Marsters (Spike from the old Buffy show) narrates the Harry Dresden paranormal series and he is BRILLIANT! He sounds nothing like Spike and he is just perfect in tone and with the various voices.

I also really enjoy Jayne Entwistle who narrates Alan Bradley's Flavia de Luce series. I believe when I listened to the first one I looked her up and found that was her first narration, but you'd never have known it...she was excellent!

I'm sure I'll think of more as time goes on.

Cheryl

 

Date Posted: 2/21/2011 5:49 PM ET
Member Since: 11/28/2005
Posts: 49
Back To Top

I only do audiobooks since my girls are 6 and 3 and I can listen to them as they run me around! I hate it when the series switches narrators on you! I get used to one and when they change them I cannot stand it!

Date Posted: 2/23/2011 10:47 AM ET
Member Since: 8/11/2008
Posts: 15
Back To Top

I listen to audiobooks constantly (in the car a lot) and have found that the choice of narrator can make or break an audiobook.  I am currently listening to the Amelia Peabody series by Elizabeth Peters and Barbara Rosenblat makes listening a pleasure.  I've enjoyed every book that I have heard her narrate - she does a great job of distinguishing the characters which makes a big difference.

Date Posted: 2/23/2011 5:33 PM ET
Member Since: 8/10/2005
Posts: 4,597
Back To Top

Interesting that you should mention Barbara Rosenblatt, Karen...I first heard her narrate one of the Tess Monaghan series of books by Laura Lippman and I absolutely could not STAND her voice at first. I very nearly stopped listening to the book, but hung in there with it because the story was so good. I've listened to several others in the same series since then, and she has grown on me. She's not my favorite--sometimes she just sounds like she's out of breath and occasionally gets a bit 'mumbly' but she does really well with the voices, I agree. I did try listening to one of those Amelia Peabody books and couldn't finish it--but I tried reading in print and didn't care for it that way either.

Cheryl

Date Posted: 3/9/2011 7:00 PM ET
Member Since: 6/8/2008
Posts: 206
Back To Top

Mispronunciation does rank high up there... I love audiobooks and 'read' them while doing housework, gardening, driving, riding the train, and running errands.  I find myself astonished when a 'regular' mispronounces something, but I also blame the producer for not knowing better.

My favorites?  I've read ALL of the In Death series by J. D. Robb while listening to Susan Erickson, who is "the voice" of Lieutenant Dallas.  Scott Brick, as John Corey (in the Nelson DeMille series) or as Sean Drummond (in the Brian Haig series) is terrific.  Just the right amount of snarkiness.  I loved the early books in the Commissario Guido Brunetti series read by Anna Fields, and was crushed when she was killed during a freak flooding (I forget what year) but soon adjusted to the new reader, David Colacci.  George Guidall and Dick Hill rank up there too!

Oddly enough, Stephen King wrote about his favorite audio book (practically) of all time, Blood's a Rover by James Ellroy, read by Craig Wasson.  Took me a while to find it, and I'm not a huge Ellroy fan, but wow the reader was brilliant!

Cele

Date Posted: 3/11/2011 2:54 PM ET
Member Since: 8/23/2007
Posts: 26,510
Back To Top

I'm not a Barbara Rosenblatt fan. I have an issue with "mouth" noises.  (yes it's an odd quick). But lip smacking, wet sounding, mouth noises are like fingernails on a chalk board to me and she makes those noises.  Most people probably don't even notice them but they drive me up a wall.  (I don't have many odd quirks but that's one of them).  She also seems to take long pauses between sections in paragraphs.  Instead of jut a second or two it's like 10 or 15 before she starts up again. Which feels like an enternity when listening to an audiobook.  I will still listen to her sometimes. 

I listened to a couple of books read by Juanita Parker and she was horrible. She had all these awkward pauses and she mispronounced a whole bunch of common english every day use words. (she didn't appear to have an accect of any kind it was almost like she was learning to read while she narrated the book) The hero's name on one was Gabriel and she kept pronouncing it Gabrielle.  Drove me nuts. 

I listened to one by Jean Smart (whom I love as an actress) but it was like she was running a race. She read the book so fast she was almost out of breath. I kept wondering if she had been offered a bonus if she kept it under a certain time frame. 



Last Edited on: 3/11/11 2:57 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 3/11/2011 2:55 PM ET
Member Since: 8/23/2007
Posts: 26,510
Back To Top

I've listened to so many Eve Dallas books that when I played another book narrated by Susan Erickson, I had a hard time with it because she's "Eve Dallas". 

Date Posted: 3/11/2011 3:02 PM ET
Member Since: 8/23/2007
Posts: 26,510
Back To Top

Oh series switching readers I hate that.  I loved the first read of the the Harlan Coben Myron Bolitar books (Jonathan Marosz) and then the author read one and then someone else.  They just couldn't get Myron and Win like Jonathan Marosz did. 

Jim Dale is awesome.  He is the king of audio book narrators. 

Johanna Parker sounds exactly like Sookie Stackhouse did to me when I read them in print.  (read print first then got audios from library). 

Date Posted: 3/11/2011 6:22 PM ET
Member Since: 10/22/2009
Posts: 1,452
Back To Top

"I'm not a Barbara Rosenblatt fan. I have an issue with "mouth" noises.  (yes it's an odd quick). But lip smacking, wet sounding, mouth noises are like fingernails on a chalk board to me and she makes those noises.  Most people probably don't even notice them but they drive me up a wall.  (I don't have many odd quirks but that's one of them).  She also seems to take long pauses between sections in paragraphs.  Instead of jut a second or two it's like 10 or 15 before she starts up again. Which feels like an enternity when listening to an audiobook.  I will still listen to her sometimes."

Mary--That's exactly how I feel about Barbara Rosenblatt!!!  She has real talent as a reader, but those "mouth noises"--they grate on my nerves everytime I've listened to anything read by her!  (I don't find your "quirk" odd at all smiley)

Date Posted: 3/11/2011 9:26 PM ET
Member Since: 8/23/2007
Posts: 26,510
Back To Top

Good to know I'm not alone with this odd quirk of mine.

Date Posted: 4/1/2011 1:12 PM ET
Member Since: 8/9/2005
Posts: 318
Back To Top


Last Edited on: 2/4/15 5:06 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 4/4/2011 11:28 PM ET
Member Since: 4/1/2011
Posts: 269
Back To Top

Audiobooks have been a major part of my 'reading' for over a decade! Best. Reader. Ever. has got to be Jim Dale for the Harry Potter books. I've listened to most of them - my youngest has listened to all of them multiple times. It's still her favorite book series.

For mysteries, my favorite readers have been George Guidall, Dick Hill, Joanna Parker, Barbara Rosenblatt, and another great one: Scott Brick. For me, Dick Hill will always be Jack Reacher, Parker will always be Sookie Stackhouse (and Anna Paquin plays her with exactly the same accent on the TV series, True Blood), and Barbara Rosenblatt will always be 'Goldy' Behr. I can listen to Scott Brick read almost anything.

Pet Peeves?

  • I do a lot of my listening in the car, so voices have to compete with road noise. A lot - I mean, A LOT - of women's voices just can't do it. So, I've tended to listen more to male readers.
  • A couple of female readers try to do all male voices in a register lower than their vocal cords can really handle. This makes it sound like they're swallowing the words - really unintelligible.
  • Male readers who do all female characters in high, fluty voices. Really. We don't all sound like Betty Boop. Besides, what I said above about women doing voices in registers too low for them? Same thing goes for men doing voices in registers too high. Learn from Dale & Brick - there are a lot of ways to vary one's voice...

Lori Hl.

Subject: audio recommendation
Date Posted: 4/4/2011 11:31 PM ET
Member Since: 4/1/2011
Posts: 269
Back To Top

To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee, read by Sissy Spacek. If ever a reader-book match was 'made in heaven,' this one was!

Lori Hl.

Date Posted: 4/5/2011 11:11 AM ET
Member Since: 6/8/2008
Posts: 206
Back To Top

Lori, you said it!  Scott Brick = ACES.  Love his John Corey series by Nelson DeMille.  Thinking about those 4 books, read by Scott Brick, gives me a chill!  Also, he has read a couple of the Agent Pendergast books by Preston & Child, although they switched to Rene Auberjonois, who is terrific.  One of the 'switches mid-series' that I approve of... LOL

I also 150% agree that Sissy Spacek reading To Kill a Mockingbird was an inspired match!

Cele

 

Date Posted: 4/5/2011 4:36 PM ET
Member Since: 4/1/2011
Posts: 269
Back To Top

Cele, I've heard him read the Pendergast books, and some others - usually mysteries, some science fiction I think. I know he's won audio book awards. He is really the best in the business, I think. Even better than Jim Dale, who is great but has really only done one series.

I listen to fewer audio books now that I don't have long commutes. I kind of miss them, but really don't like to just sit and listen.

Lori Hl.

Date Posted: 4/5/2011 6:59 PM ET
Member Since: 6/8/2008
Posts: 206
Back To Top

Lori, ever since I 'discovered' my mp3 player and the iPod, I am almost never without a book through the earphones (and most recently a wireless headphone!) so I 'read' while doing laundry, vacuuming, cleaning, yard work, cooking, walking at lunch, running errands, food shopping, etc., etc.  My ratio of audiobooks to hardcover or paperbacks is really high, but I truly enjoy the spoken word.  I have even started reading a hardcover, found I liked the author, and then looked up the rest of a particular series on CD from my library.  Sitting and listening doesn't do anything for me either!

Cele

Date Posted: 4/6/2011 8:22 AM ET
Member Since: 8/10/2005
Posts: 4,597
Back To Top

Cele, that's what I do, too. Just tuck the MP3 player in my jeans pocket and get to cleaning. I think my house is a lot cleaner now than it used to be--I used to loathe putting my book down to pick up the mop or cleaning rag. LOL

Cheryl

Date Posted: 4/9/2011 7:56 PM ET
Member Since: 8/23/2007
Posts: 26,510
Back To Top

Me too.  You can tell when I have a really good audio book going because my house is extra clean.  I listened to 2 CDs of Vicious Circle by Mike Carey today just putting groceries away, making a pizza for lunch and chicken corn chowder for dinner.  I'll probably get another cds worth in when I go do the dishes soon and do some laundry.

Date Posted: 4/10/2011 8:06 AM ET
Member Since: 6/8/2008
Posts: 206
Back To Top

Mary, I think I need any intervention!  I foolishly looked up Mike Carey on Amazon, and read the editorial reviews of Vicious Circle.  Hmmm. I'm not into the whole vampire thing, but the reviews made it  sound like a cross between Harry Dresden and Agent Pendergast!  Now I'm gonna have to add the Felix Castor to my ever growing (ever-groaning) TBR list! lol

Back on topic, I'm reading Live Wire by Harlan Coben on the iPod - I don't know who the reader is - I really enjoyed Jonathan Mayrosz but when it comes down to it, I just enjoy Myron, Win & the gang so much that I wouldn't care who reads is!

Cele

 

Page: