Saturday, January 13, 2007

Books on Tape

I just finished listening to "Pegasus Descending" by James Lee Burke, read by my all time favorite recorded books reader, Will Patton. I honestly don't know which I enjoy more, Burke's impecible writing or Patton's fantastic vocal performance.

I've read or listened to so many of Burke's novels I feel like I understand Dave Robicheaux fairly well. He's a complex man. I even like his violent prone side-kick, Cleat Pursell (even though he does sometimes have a potty mouth).

I've been so impressed by Will Patton's reading that I had my local library do a search of all the books on tape in their collection that were read by Patton. I think I could be entertained by hearing that man read the telephone book.

I've been giving some thought to the way I process books diffently when I listen to them rather than when I read them myself. I have read some books later after having first heard them on tape, or visa versa. The experience is clearly different, although I am at a loss as to really explain how.

Generally speaking I will avoid books read by the author. There are some great writers out there who can craft a superb tale but have no style at all when it comes to reading aloud. There are some exceptions...but a bad reader can destroy a good book. I usually prefer male readers...although I have heard a few read by women that I very much enjoyed (such as the Stephanie Plum series by Janet Evanovich. I will never in all my life forget the classic dog humping scene in one of those husband and I both got to laughing so hard while we were listening to it on a road trip over Bluett Pass we almost went off the road!)

I will never give up on the delicious experience of curling up in a cozy chair with a good book...but the chance to make use of car time to get lost in some stories is something I appreciate as well.


Pondering Pig said...

The last time I listened to a book was when I was recovering from heart surgery last year. It was impossible to sleep so I would load up on pain medication, get into bed and lie in the dark for hours and hours listening to the first two books of the Ring Trilogy. By The Return of The King I was starting to feel better.
I am a terrible listener. I start thinking about something the reader says and pretty soon I have completely lost the thread and have to go back and try to pick it up again. I guess it's because I'm a ponderer.
I did listen to The Lost World by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle once on a long drive with complete joy. But for any depth or complexity - I have to read the book so I can stop and ponder and the start handily again just where I left off.

booklogged said...

Thanks for the heads up about Will Patton. I received an iPod for Christmas and I'm loading it with audio books. I see what my library has that's read by him.

Hey, you mentioned on my blog about having read Anna Karenina. Are you interested in joining the classics challenge? Should I add your name and books to the list? If not, that's fine. I just didn't want to miss including you if you wanted to.

Belladonna said...

Hey PP, many folks I know are in the same camp as you - finding their mind wanders too much when listening to books on tape. However, I grew up being read to and carried the tradition on with my kids. From the time they were babies until they were emancipated we always read to them outloud - with them taking turns once they got old enough. Maybe that has some influence with why I enjoy the audio books so much? Don't know.

Booklogged - I'm loving perusing what others are reading on your challenge site, but think I'll pass for now. I suspect I will be prompted to pick up a few of the ones on your list in weeks to come, but I don't want to take on any more "ought to read" obligations right now. I'm having too much fun with my eclectic hit and miss. Thanks anyway.

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