Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Road Trip Wednesday

This Week's YA Highway Road Trip Topic:
Some audiobooks are read by celebrities. Most recently, Cassandra Clare's CITY OF FALLEN ANGELS was partly read by Ed Westwick of Gossip Girl.

So, if you got to choose a celebrity narrator for the audio book of your WIP or your favorite novel, who would it be and why?

You would think this week's audiobook related topic would be perfect for me, the self-proclaimed audiobook addict, but not so. I've had friends who've tried audiobooks say they love a certain narrator or find some of them annoying, but, honestly, I rarely notice.

Things I do notice:
-Multi-voice recordings- It feels like a play, not a book
-Sound effects (storms, doors creaking, etc)- I want to imagine these things, not hear them
-When the author is the narrator- I LOVE this (as long as their voice can fit the age of the characters) as I feel like I'm getting to hear how the sentences sounded in their head as they wrote them and/or as they intended them to be read. (Stephen King does a great job reading his own books)

So, my dream narrator for my WIP would be someone (celebrity or otherwise) who has a young-sounding female voice, can do male voices in a realistic but not overdone way, and who has a feel for my characters, story and writing voice.

I know, boring answer, but there you have it.

What about you? If you listen to audio, are there any favorite narrators?

Narration styles that annoy you?

Would you be more likely to listen to a book (or audiobooks in general) if a certain celebrity narrates it (or them)?


  1. I have to confess---I don't think I've listened to a single audiobook, so your comments were all thought-provoking to me. Thanks for sharing!

    This is my first week participating in Road Trip Wed, and it's interesting to read all the different responses! :)

  2. well, I'm especially interested in your opinion-- I do think of you as the expert here.
    I don't listen to much audio, but I love the idea of the author reading (and hearing how they hear it in their head). Very cool!

  3. I was curious about what your take on this would be. I listened to the piece of the COFA audio book they had out just because I love Ed Westwick's accent. I honestly don't know if audio books are for me.

  4. I agree with you. I don't listen to many audio books, but there are two that stand out in my mind. The first I listened to in college--The Nannie Diaries--and it was read by Julie Roberts. She was fantastic. The second was a snippet of The Road (I'd read the book, but my husband was listening to it in the car) and the reader switched the dialog in one scene so he'd talk like a boy for something the man said and he'd talk like a man when the boy was supposed to be speaking. I had to pause it and explain to my husband why he was so confused.

    Like you said, I love it most when an author does the reading.

  5. I tend to prefer men's voices to women's. I don't know why, but I find a lot of women's voices grating.

  6. Tracey-I don't think I've ever caught one of those dialogue mistakes...though I'm sure I've missed some along the way.

    YA's fondness for untagged inner monologue does throw me sometimes as I'm not always sure whether or not the character said it out loud.

  7. I'm an audio book addict, too, but I definitely have certain narrators I like and certain ones i don't. I think my biggest issue is when the narrator sounds WAY too old to be a teen in a first person book.

  8. I like an narrator who doesn't draw too much attention to themselves, but reads in an engaging way. :) Do you think that as an author you would ever want to narrate your own work?

  9. Sarah- I'll admit it's crossed my mind that I'd like to narrate my own books...I sound younger than I am, so the teen girl thing wouldn't be a problem, but I'm not sure I could pull off the male voices.

  10. I knew you'd have a good answer for this one, and I WHOLEHEARTEDLY agree with your sentiments on multi-voice recordings. I just finished listening to one and I found it really distracting.

  11. Completely agree on the multi-voice AND the sound effects. I don't even want to remember the voice... just the story.

  12. I hardly ever listen to audio books. I tried. I really did. But then I listened to my favorite - completely killed the experience for me. I think the single narrator trying to voice other people turns me off. But maybe one day I'll try again.

    PS - I didn't think your answer was boring. I found it a very interesting take. :)