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Topic: Books that are better in Audio

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Subject: Books that are better in Audio
Date Posted: 5/7/2012 10:47 PM ET
Member Since: 5/9/2006
Posts: 1,755
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Is there a book that you loved in audio but just couldn't read?

I started reading The Case of the Missing Servant by Tarquin Hall and wasn't sure I would finish it. I found it on my library audio site and downloaded it. I liked it so much I just downloaded the second book The Case of the Man who Died Laughing. 

I'm really glad I got it in audio because I enjoy the books but hated reading them. Maybe because it is set in India and many of the words and names are not familiar. Whatever the reason I'm hooked.

Date Posted: 5/8/2012 12:55 AM ET
Member Since: 7/29/2006
Posts: 1,366
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FAITHFUL PLACE by Tana French.  I liked reading the book....but I really loved listening to it even more!  The rhythm, tone and delivery of the Irish brogue was wonderful.

Date Posted: 5/8/2012 12:12 PM ET
Member Since: 3/13/2009
Posts: 8,022
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The Hyperion Cantos by Dan Simmons.  There's no way I would have gotten through the first two books without using audio.  Unfortunately, I can't find the 3rd book in audio format.  I've looked in many places.   

The Genesis of Shannara trilogy by Terry Brooks is better in audio.  I read the first book, but I listened to the second two books and the narrator is incredible!

Date Posted: 5/8/2012 6:46 PM ET
Member Since: 5/9/2006
Posts: 1,755
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Anna, I had never heard of Tana French before, they sound like great books, I will try to find them in audio first but will get the books to read if I don't find it in audio. Thanks for posting, just what I need more books for my TBR pile.

Date Posted: 5/9/2012 1:37 PM ET
Member Since: 10/22/2009
Posts: 1,452
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I read "The Help" about a year and a half ago, and loved it.  Recently, I just finished listening to the audio version, and it was even better!

Date Posted: 5/9/2012 4:36 PM ET
Member Since: 5/9/2006
Posts: 1,755
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Wow, I didn't think the help could be any better. Thanks
Date Posted: 5/10/2012 12:03 PM ET
Member Since: 2/2/2010
Posts: 1,206
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I just finished the 6th Outlander book in audio, I love listening to them.  Reading them with the Scottish words and dialect can be harder for me.

Date Posted: 5/12/2012 12:26 AM ET
Member Since: 3/27/2010
Posts: 2,138
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Sense & Sensibility by Jane Austen - it might have been the teeny, tiny print in the paperback, but I could NOT get into it at all. Then I tried it on audio and completely fell in love.

Eat, Pray, Love - way better on audio than in print (narrated by the author, too - so you get the real tone of the book) - I really loved it!

Date Posted: 5/13/2012 3:15 PM ET
Member Since: 11/18/2009
Posts: 122
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House of Silk by Anthony Horowitz - Derek Jacobi is an excellent narrator.

Date Posted: 5/13/2012 3:48 PM ET
Member Since: 6/21/2008
Posts: 6,531
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I think the unabridged audio book of The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver is so much better than reading it.   I actually skipped some pages of the book toward the end,  but the audio held up to the last word.  The reader uses a different voice for each character and really pulls it off well.

Date Posted: 5/13/2012 6:26 PM ET
Member Since: 7/29/2006
Posts: 1,366
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Hi Elaine,

I like Tana French's style of writing very much.  You may want to read/listen to the books in order, IN THE WOODS, THE LIKENESS, FAITHFUL PLACE,  to have a better understanding of the characters. 

Date Posted: 5/13/2012 9:00 PM ET
Member Since: 5/9/2006
Posts: 1,755
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Thanks Anna, I will be sure and get them in order.

Pamela, I love Barbara Kingsolver and a freind just read The Poisonwood Bible and reccomended it so I will look for it in audio.

Date Posted: 5/17/2012 4:48 PM ET
Member Since: 3/4/2007
Posts: 4,546
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Oh yes, absolutely read the Tana French books in order; it's not essential, but there is a thread that runs through them which will make more sense if you do.  I can't wait for Broken Harbour which is due out in July.

I haven't found a book that I could only get through in audio format, however, Bill Bryson's books have an added depth of wonderfulness when you hear him read his adventures.  Same for Frank McCourt's books.  He had a lovely brogue which made for a nice addition to the stories being told.

Date Posted: 5/18/2012 2:55 AM ET
Member Since: 4/2/2009
Posts: 16
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Pretty much any James Patterson book. They get great voice actors and I just think his stuff translates quite well to audio. It is at the point I won't even pick up his books anymore, I just get the audiobooks from the library.

Date Posted: 5/18/2012 2:36 PM ET
Member Since: 10/7/2008
Posts: 857
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I tried the No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency by Alexander McCall Smith several years ago and I just couldn't get into it.  I went to the audio book version and just fell in love with it.  The lady who narrates has a beautiful voice and she has the dialect down so good, even to the words with the click sounds in them.  It takes me away to another country and culture and I feel I have visited Botswana each time.  I am on the hold list at the library for the newest one # 13, The Limpopo Academy of Private Detection...can't wait!

Date Posted: 5/18/2012 7:42 PM ET
Member Since: 5/9/2006
Posts: 1,755
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Thanks for all the great suggestions of books that are great in audio, I am expanding my list to listen to on audio!!

Date Posted: 5/18/2012 8:10 PM ET
Member Since: 11/8/2006
Posts: 871
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Wicked - Hard to read at times but very good in audio.  

Also original Dracula.

The Odyssey as read by Ian McKellen (Gandalph).  

Date Posted: 6/16/2012 10:30 PM ET
Member Since: 12/28/2006
Posts: 14,167
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Brian Jacques reading his own Redwall books...awesome!  Once you hear his unique voice (accent) you'll forever after 'hear' him when you read the books.

Date Posted: 6/17/2012 12:45 AM ET
Member Since: 5/9/2006
Posts: 1,755
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Wow, you don't have too many authors reading their own books.

Date Posted: 7/7/2012 3:50 PM ET
Member Since: 5/23/2005
Posts: 5,156
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Hi Elaine.  Good topic.  I read more audios than print books, and when I really like a print book, I will try to get the audio. 

Eat, Pray, Love is one of my favorite memoirs, and then I saw that she read the audio.  Oh, my!  Perfection.  She, having lived it, and written it, knew exactly where emphasis was needed, laughter warranted, and when she should use a self-mocking tone.  I loved it in audio!

When I first read Water for Elephants, I wondered what all the hype was.  A good story, for sure, but just ordinary, really.  My daughter said the same.  Then someone here sent me the audio...oh, my lord.  It was like listening to a different book!  Two narrators, a young and old Jacob, and they were superb.  The story was so alive thanks to them.  My husband agreed. 

Breakfast with Buddha is one of my favorite fiction books.  Has everything, a stuffy middle aged man, and a monk, on a road trip.  And what could be a trite plot of the monk teaching this overfed, overworked man all about life.  Well, he did.  In the funniest, most subtle way, not once preachy.  Then I got the audio, and immediately hated the narrator.  He reminded me of some guy on NPR, on the older side, who has problems with his S's.  I was soooo disappointed.  But since I paid for this one I plodded on a bit...and you know...it was wonderful.  Just wonderful.  The audio even better than the print book for sure.  I couldn't believe it.

I do have more...but this is enough for now.

 



Last Edited on: 7/8/12 7:58 PM ET - Total times edited: 2
Date Posted: 7/7/2012 3:58 PM ET
Member Since: 5/23/2005
Posts: 5,156
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Well, Ok, just a couple more.

These are books I did enjoy in print...but absolutely loved in audio.

Prodigal Summer, Barbara Kinsolver.

The Help was an astonishing piece of work.  Those ladies all deserved awards.

Dare I say it?  To Kill a Mockingbird read by Sissy Spacek.  Must add...I planned on hating it as I do NOT care for SS at all!  I could feel the heat of the south, the tension in the air, the smell of the bodies in the courtroom, she was that good.

The Good Earth read by Anthony Heald.  I have heard that there are other readers, but I really enjoyed his narration.

A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, but it is the version narrated by Kate Burton.  That is a book I've read a dozen times since my childhood, and never enjoyed it as much as when listening to Burton perform it.

 

Date Posted: 7/8/2012 12:20 AM ET
Member Since: 2/2/2010
Posts: 1,206
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Bonnie- Yes I loved "Mockingbird" with SS, and "The Good Earth"  I have heard great things about The Help audio but havent tried it.

Subject: Joyce Carol Oates
Date Posted: 7/8/2012 7:04 PM ET
Member Since: 12/31/2010
Posts: 2,797
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Almost anything by her is better in audio.
Date Posted: 7/16/2012 12:26 AM ET
Member Since: 9/30/2007
Posts: 681
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I love listening to The Help on audiobook.  I don't even know how many times I have listened to it, just never gets old.  I have run across a few in the past few weeks that I am not crazy about though, such as The Hunger Games Trilogy, the reader just doesn't fit the character for me.  I also have enjoyed Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi on audiobook as well as the Matched Triology (Matched, Crossed and Reached-which is out in November 2013) by Ally Condie.  



Last Edited on: 7/28/12 10:26 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 7/19/2012 12:13 PM ET
Member Since: 3/28/2010
Posts: 3,023
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The Harry Potter series was done extremely well.  I forget who the voice tallent was, but he had unique voices for all of the characters.

I can't remember the exact title where I realized this, but I always did better on the very dense books on audio.  It alwasy took me too much out of the story to actually decipher some of the deep prose.  Just keep going with it.

I heard the same recomendation from Ebert on watching the Pirates of the Caribean movies.  If you look too close, all there is is flaws.  Unfocused appreciation for the moment is how to watch.

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