Tuesday, March 02, 2010

A bit more on books on tape

I just finished listening to Good Omens on CD (so I guess Books on CD, not on tape, but I'm old). I have to say I just loved the experience. First, if you have not read Good Omens, and you are reading this blog, ask yourself one question. Why are you reading this blog? Why aren't you instead reading one of the funniest, cleverest books of the 1990s instead? Why are you depriving yourself? Go, just go and read it, and then come back. We'll wait. Really.

Welcome back (unless you didn't have to go, in which case welcome, uhm, welcome). So with this book in my cd player in my car, I look forward to driving to and from work. I literally hope it might take me just a few minutes longer to get to work. That says a bit about work as well, but it also says that it's just that much fun to listen to. I have also found, to my chagrin, that Good Omens is better when read than when I read it. Why is that? Because I have a very bad habit of speed reading, especially when re-reading a book, and so I miss subtle nuance or see it but don't attend to it. The last chapter of Good Omens had some just lovely imagery that I never really appreciated until I heard it read to me. A book written by Gaiman is likely to have prose like that, that you have to attend to carefully for full effect, which makes Good Omens a great idea on CD. The drawback continues to be that the narrators, however good they are, never sound like the characters are supposed to sound like, according to my imagination (which is absolutely authoritative in my inner world, damnit). But I'm willing to overlook that to avoid stressing out while I drive, and to get to enjoy a good book while commuting.

So, long post short (too late): Books on Cd - I Like.

There is one caveat though. I once had the experience of listening to the first 2 pages of a Dan Brown novel (think it was the big one - Davinci code). What that showed me is that bad dialog, when read out loud, sounds like REALLY bad dialog. I do not recommend a Dan Brown novel on CD. I did enjoy the 2 of his books I read, but the dialog was just godawful, and I didn't really realize it until someone read it aloud. Now I'll never be able to read them again without realizing just how bad it is. Dan Brown is now lost to me. Ye be warned!

Oh, that is also a great reason why no Shifter posts should ever be read aloud. Ye be doubly warned.

1 comment:

Katy said...

Martin Jarvis, who reads Good Omens is absolutely stellar--his rendering of a drunk angel and a drunk devil is way better than I could possibly have imagined.

And I was so glad to know that I was pronouncing Aziraphale correctly in my head.