TELL ME A STORY
My friend Allison sent me a bunch of books on CD so that I could listen to them when I went up north last year. It's a fairly new thing for me the books on tape. I usually listen to music when I'm driving. Music that I've put together. My own play list soundtrack to whereever I'm going.
But I thought, since I would be traveling alone, that I would try the books on tape. (I know they're on CD but I also still refer to a band's new CD as their new album. I figure my friends now what I mean.)
I have to say I am completely addicted. The time goes by much more quickly and I am, for the most part, completely entertained if not engrossed. I mean I really prefer to read a book. I love reading, but being read to is not so bad. It brings back memories of being read to when I was a kid, without the lap to sit in.
I am for the most part pretty wrapped up in the storytelling, although I have to say that one of them (one my mom gave me) I couldn't listen to all the way through because the guy that wrote it was also reading it and I kept getting distracted by his vocal inflections and my mind would wander into wondering what his home life was like and did his nasal tones make his wife crazy, because that's one of those things that might not bother you at first, but after a few years could just make you snap one day...
See! Unless the reader is very good my mind goes off in crazy directions. Sometimes I'm amazed by my ability to think about stuff I need to do and listen with half my brain to the story and retain it. Of course other times I miss my off ramp and suddenly realize that I have no idea where I am. That's pretty weird.
My favorites so far are the Janet Evanovich, Stephanie Plum books, read by Lori Petty who does a really tremendous job. I'd read the books and I have to say that Lori pretty much had down the characters voices that I heard in my head while I was reading. Except for Ranger. I gave him a more basso voice without the Puerto Rican accent.
The one I'm listening to now, The Rule of Four, is pretty good as far as the reader goes. He's an actor too I think, although not one that I've ever heard of - he has theater guy hair in the photo on the box, so maybe he's from the stage. But in this case the story, the writing itself is not real tight and I find myself wondering if I would be skipping over stuff if I were actually reading it.
There are weaknesses that I might not notice so glaringly if I were reading (and skipping over stuff), like a character got killed about 15 chapters ago and there's really never been much mention of it since and this is one of the major plot points because it's supposed to tell us that the thesis that Paul is writing (about the Hypnerotomachia Pollipholi - I have no idea if I spelled that right and I forgot how to write the html to do links so if you want to see what the hell that is you will have to coyp and paste this link http://mitpress.mit.edu/e-books/HP/) is worth killing someone over. So I keep wondering what's going on with Bill's murder? Why is no one really mentioning it? This morning while I was sitting in traffic I realized that maybe only a day or two have passed since Bill was shot - it feels like freaking eons what with all the historical exposition into renaissance history and people like Savonarola and his bonfires.
That stuff is interesting to me and I would totally get on-line and find out more about it if I had time, but it's bogging down the story, and I feel like a little kid who is being read to and who forcibly turns pages when things get boring.
Why does life seem a lot easier for three year olds?
I don't know if I would finish this book if I were reading it. Lord knows I have more than a few unfinished books lying around right now. I like books on CD though and to date I have listend to all of them - except for nasal man's book - all the way to the end because what the heck, I'm getting where I'm going and it keeps me off the phone. Alos lately when I try to read I'm having to close one eye to get the words to come into focus and I fall almost immediately to sleep. I'm quite looking forward to the bunch more I have to get through.
I just hope that the readers don't have annoying voices. Don't you think that's something they should check before hiring them?
I'd love to find a so-so book about unicorns and rainbows and other happy thoughts that's read by someone with a really soothing voice. I could play it on my clock radio when I'm going to sleep at night. It would be a lot nicer than Leno.