Friday, September 16, 2011

When Books Become CDs



My author's copies of the audio version of Where Shadows Dance finally arrived, and it was quite a strange experience sitting down and listening to my own book. Interestingly enough, I enjoyed the reader's rendition of the dialogue of the minor characters. But neither Gibson, Sebastian, nor Hero sounded the way I "hear" them, so it was disconcerting. I made it through most of the first CD, then dozed off. Always a danger at this point, since I can practically recite the book in my sleep.

But Steve, being a trooper (and having only read it once), listened to the entire thing. He said he enjoyed it, and that he thought the banter between Sebastian and Hero came off even better when it was spoken. Of course, Steve listens to two or three books a week, while I've probably listened to only half a dozen, period. And I've never listened to a book by an author I normally read, so I can only wonder at how different the experience is.

Thoughts, anyone?

15 comments:

Charles Gramlich said...

I wonder too whether I'd be OK with hearing my characters voices in someone else's voice. I have had one story turned into a podcast and it was pretty good. The reader was quite good.

Anonymous said...

I just downloaded it from audible. I will try and listen in the next week, but I have to tell you, I'm a little nervous. What if I don't like the voices of the different characters I've come to love? Will let you know. It is exciting though. Sabena

liz fenwick said...

It's funny you mention this as I listen to edit and am knee deep in it at the moment. As I was listening yesterday i was wondering who would do the CD version of The Cornish House. But as I use 4 different voice to give me 'distance' from the work I don't think it will trouble me too much.

Audible books have been so big in my life the last fifteen years do to ds1's dyslexia that I am in awe of the skill of some of the readers...

lx

cs harris said...

Charles, I do think the reader makes a huge difference.

Sabena, I'm nervous, too! What if you don't like it? Will it color your future reads, I wonder?

Liz, I do wish they'd used a male reader, even though I know Porter is huge star and very popular. I've always felt the gender of the reader should match that of the protagonist.

RevMelinda said...

Congratulations on the audiobook, Candice! I've been listening to audiobooks quite a lot lately, to make my commute more pleasurable/productive. It's become my "out of the box" reading method of choice--meaning it's a way of reading books I would never choose or wouldn't make it through otherwise--like the Dickens I could never "get into" (bad English major!) or the lit-fic bestseller du jour (which I usually spurn in favor of genre fiction). Audiobooks also help transcend certain of my (unreasonable?)readerly prejudices, --for example, things like present tense first person narration, which I pretty much loathe to read in print, sound beautifully natural when read aloud. Right now I'm listening to "The Help" and the southern accents of the performers are falling on my ear like mother's milk and honey. I would love to hear Phil Gigante (one of my favorite voices--makes me weak in the knees) read a Sebastian novel. . .

Anonymous said...

I'm through the first eight chapters. I LOVE the voice of the narrator and all the secondary characters. I'm still a little on the fence about her Hero and Sebastian voices. I'll have to hear more. The british accent of the narrator is just lovely. After all the times I've read the book, I never noticed that Ross' valet had a lisp. What fun it was to discover. I'm really enjoying hearing all the names pronounced correctly as well. Loving it so far!!! Sabena

vp said...

I usually only do audio books on road trips, but I have a zillion credits with Audible, so I've downloaded it. Of course, this means I now own this book in kindle, hardcover and audible and that seems a tad excessive! I'll let you know what I think as soon as I finish it.

cs harris said...

Sabena, Well, that's a relief! Thanks for letting me know.

Vp, my husband frequently buys hard copies of books he enjoys when he listens to them. I keep trying to get him to switch to more electronic books because we are totally out of wall space for new book cases in our house, but he's resistant.

Steve Malley said...

I've never been much for audiobooks-- I'm really not a *listening* type. I'll play music in the background sometimes, but having a book play in the background seems like a disservice to the book.

I've heard the narrator-switching-genders thing done well (which is to say, unobtrusively-- Frank McCourt's TIS comes to mind) and I've heard it done poorly. Very poorly.

In fact, I remember one audio book where Schneider from One Day at a Time read some Christian story about a dragon in a small town killing the sinners... yeah. Well, story aside, the guy's voice was just, just absolutely freaking hilarious! It got so we'd crack up every time he spoke a female line!

Probably NOT the effect the author wanted. On the other hand, it did get me to listen much further than I otherwise would have.

Anonymous said...

OK, finished. I really enjoyed being able to listen to the different voices. I settled in to be OK with Sebastian's after a while. Hero's is the one that just isn't right - a little too whiney sounding I think. It did not take away from the overall affect and enjoyment though. I'm going to go log into audible and give it 5 stars right now. So.....when will all the others be made into audio books? Keeping my fingers crossed. Sabena

RevMelinda said...

Candy, your blog is one of my favorites (just like your books are among my favorites). You have cool people commenting here, too--like Liz Fenwick who is from my college class. . .***waving***

vp said...

OK, I listened to it and I liked it overall. The narrator is very good, but I have to admit that when I read your books, Sebastian sounds a lot like Richard Armitage and Hero sounds like Jennifer Ehle. I can't help it, that's what I hear in my head. I was a bit surprised that they didn't go with a male narrator.

Seriously though, I thought it was quite well done.

barbara h. said...

I have just discovered the "SEBASTIAN ST. CYR MYSTERY" Series.
These are the best written and most enjoyable novels I've found in years.
They have a flavor of both G.Heyer and Dorothy Dunnett. I read them in order, what a real treat. I hope there will be another.

cs harris said...

Steve, I've noticed my husband tends to listen to a lot of trashy books, mainly because he can listen with half an ear while doing something else. He recently quit listening to a book and bought it so he could read it. I find it all strange.

Sabena, well, I'm glad it didn't leave you with a bad taste in your mouth! I just didn't feel she hit Hero or Sebastian, either. They have bought When Maidens Mourn and will be bringing it out next year. So far they haven't expressed interest in the earlier books. We can only hope!

RevMelinda, that is so bizarre about you and Liz! What a small world it is. Ironically, the very first person who commented on my blog was my old high-school boyfriend, whom I hadn't heard from in decades.

VP, that's good to hear. It looks as if the consensus is that Hero and Sebastian just don't sound quite right.

cs harris said...

Barbara, thank you so much. And since Georgette Heyer and Dorothy Dunnett are two of my favorite authors, I take that as a huge complement!