Audiobooks

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Dustin
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Audiobooks

Postby Dustin » Thu Jun 10, 2010 11:13 pm UTC

I was just listening to what I consider a really good audio book, Frank Muller's reading of 1984. I love em for multitasking. I'm listening to one now, even though sometimes I'll type out a sentence from the book in the middle of something else. Do you have a favorite or anything you'd like to share?
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dragon
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Re: Audiobooks

Postby dragon » Sat Jun 12, 2010 11:15 am UTC

I'm afraid I've never managed to get the hang of audiobooks. I zone out easily, which happens with traditional books too, but I can easily read back over a previous paragraph once I notice that I haven't been absorbing the words. The time wasted fumbling for a wind-back is my biggest problem with audio. (Though that may be related to my only resorting to audiobooks when a normal book would be impossible.) Does this happen to you?
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Dustin
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Re: Audiobooks

Postby Dustin » Sun Jun 13, 2010 3:00 am UTC

Not that I can remember. I listen mostly to downloaded mp3s, so if there was a problem, I think I'd only have to move it back like ten seconds.
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Re: Audiobooks

Postby RabbitWho » Sat Jun 19, 2010 5:27 pm UTC

I listen to every chapter 4 or 5 times and that way hopefully the bits that I'm not paying attention two each time are different.

I like that I can multitask with an audiobook, I really can't concentrate on sitting still anymore.

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Re: Audiobooks

Postby cv4 » Sat Jun 19, 2010 6:09 pm UTC

I have to agree that I have never got into audiobooks. I would prefer to just read a book than listen to one and multitask.

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Re: Audiobooks

Postby sendingsignal » Mon Jun 28, 2010 9:29 am UTC

I've had to do a fair amount of long distance driving in the past, so I've gotten into some audiobooks. There were some discworld ones that weren't bad for wasting time, and I also heard a version of The Diamond Age by Neal Stephenson that was pretty good.

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Re: Audiobooks

Postby PAstrychef » Tue Jun 29, 2010 2:16 pm UTC

I almost always have one in the car. The news gets tiring to listen to, and the radio in my car sucks. I could listen to more music, but then I'm having to decide what want to hear. A story just pulls me along.
I found some authors much easier to enjoy as audiobooks than in print-Patrick O'Brien and Elizabeth Peters in particular. Authors whom I like to skim parts of-David Weber and Stephen King-I can't listen to because skimming just doesn't work. it can also be nice because I read quite fast, and listening to the story makes it last longer. A good reader or readers is important. One that has a totally different take on the characters than I do is annoying.
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Re: Audiobooks

Postby RabbitWho » Tue Jun 29, 2010 3:37 pm UTC

cv4 wrote: I would prefer to just read a book than listen to one and multitask.



Me too, absolutely. Reading a book is 100 times better than listening to one. But I can't concentrate, I used to half read books, I've half read about 20 books, not because I didn't love them.. some of them were so amazing I kissed every page.. but I just couldn't concentrate on finishing them.
Now I don't even have the attention span to finish a single chapter. Too much to do, can't relax, 10 other things i need to do, so I do everything for 5 minutes at a time.. wich works with a lot of things but not with reading. Audiobooks allow me to read again!


There are auditory people and visual people and kinetic people, I'm more visual/kinetic, but I can handle audio. I get that some people just don't get anything from it.

I find it amazing that when you're reading you stop seeing the words and start seeing a picture in your head, that never stops being amazing. It's equally amazing that I can be washing dishes but sitting on a boat in the middle of the ocean with a zebra and a hyena.


Speaking of 1984, all of the film of it from that year with John Hurt is on youtube right now. It's one of the best film adaptations of anything ever. Of course it's different from how I imagined, but it's so good.. and John Hurt is at least one character in every book I read.

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Re: Audiobooks

Postby Redjack443 » Tue Jun 29, 2010 8:16 pm UTC

The problem with audiobooks is that they take so long. I could multitask, but then I'm just missing parts of the story, which is not my goal when reading or being read to. I'm also a a pretty fast reader, so my time is usually better spent reading the actual book. That said, audiobooks can be very enjoyable. It really comes down to the quality of the narrator.

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Re: Audiobooks

Postby sendingsignal » Tue Jun 29, 2010 9:12 pm UTC

Yeah, that's why it's good for driving. If I'm at home, I get super impatient with them.

When I was a kid I used to like to fall asleep to Bunnicula, or something like that, though.

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Re: Audiobooks

Postby folkhero » Thu Jul 01, 2010 6:00 am UTC

I have a temporary job that involves driving about 6 or 7 hours a day twice a week, so audiobooks from the library are a godsend for me. "A Scanner Darkly," is my favorite so far, it's read by Paul Giamatti, which I found to be very cool. The trick is to find something that isn't too dense and meditative, but that still has substance. Some books that I thought fit into that category were: "Rabbit Run," "The God Delusion," and, especially, "A Confederacy of Dunces."

Audiobooks written in the 1st person have the rather interesting character of sounding like someone is telling you a part of their life story. In that way, "Special Topics in Calamity Physics," reminded me of a few girls I know who are very pretty with lots of interesting things to say but who just need to take a breath and just stop talking every once in a while. (the reader had a nice voice and the story was fairly interesting, but the prose was far too verbose leading to the book being much longer than it needed to be)

Right now, I'm listening to "Johnathan Strange & Mr. Norrell," with "Cryptonomicon" next on the list, for about 75 hours worth of listening between the two.
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Re: Audiobooks

Postby RabbitWho » Thu Jul 01, 2010 3:39 pm UTC

I'm listening to Catch 22, it's read by squidward. He has amazing comic timing, much better than the reading voice inside my head.

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Dustin
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Re: Audiobooks

Postby Dustin » Wed Jul 07, 2010 9:18 pm UTC

There's a recording of Kurt Vonnegut's Breakfast of Champions read by Stanley Tucci I am vouching for as I listen to it. It's worth getting through your local library consortium.
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Re: Audiobooks

Postby SpaceShipRat » Sat Jul 10, 2010 9:56 pm UTC

For me it happened by chance, I found an audiobook of every single Sherlock Holmes episode right before a vacation involving lots of car travel, and it was a great solution. No car sickness(Not that I ever had any, I've been reading in the backseat since I learned to put words togheder), more importantly you can listen in the dark. I admit to getting distracted during long descriptions, but I do it while reading.
The worst thing is having to take a few seconds to go back if you missed something important, but still I consider myself a convert :) eeh, not that I wouldn't rather have a paper and ink book I can smell.

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Re: Audiobooks

Postby dardarness » Thu Jul 15, 2010 5:27 am UTC

dragon wrote:I'm afraid I've never managed to get the hang of audiobooks. I zone out easily, which happens with traditional books too, but I can easily read back over a previous paragraph once I notice that I haven't been absorbing the words. The time wasted fumbling for a wind-back is my biggest problem with audio. (Though that may be related to my only resorting to audiobooks when a normal book would be impossible.) Does this happen to you?


This happens to me all the time and is the main reason why I don't even bother with audio books. I really tried to like them though since they are easier and are faster to finish, but my attention span won't stand still long enough even for a chapter or two. :evil:

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Re: Audiobooks

Postby RabbitWho » Thu Jul 15, 2010 10:37 pm UTC

I forgot to mention the absolute key thing for me when it comes to holding my attention is the ability to move around. I can't do this while reading, or at least it's hard. I have a big scar on my head from walking while reading Metamorphosis. Every time someone mentions the book I rub my head, it's my Voldemort . I noticed last year that when I studied I got up and walked around every 5 minutes, couldn't help it. So I started sticking things up on the wall so I could study while I walked and I got a lot more done. Whatever I do I get up and walk around quite often.
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Re: Audiobooks

Postby Hurt » Sat Jul 17, 2010 10:12 pm UTC

Just read/heard Slaughterhouse five read by Ethan Hawke. It was alright, his voice didn't always follow the flow of the story, but he still did a good job and entertained me.

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Re: Audiobooks

Postby SpaceShipRat » Sun Jul 18, 2010 7:34 pm UTC

RabbitWho wrote:I forgot to mention the absolute key thing for me when it comes to holding my attention is the ability to move around.

I walk furiously around tables while on the phone, but I don't need to move to read.

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Re: Audiobooks

Postby RabbitWho » Tue Jul 20, 2010 10:54 pm UTC

Hurt wrote:Just read/heard Slaughterhouse five read by Ethan Hawke. It was alright, his voice didn't always follow the flow of the story, but he still did a good job and entertained me.


Me too! I thought it was an excellent reading... and what a book!

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Re: Audiobooks

Postby Dustin » Wed Jul 21, 2010 1:38 am UTC

I remember Ethan Hawke being kind of simpering and overly emotional, which seems a bit out of step with a book where the motto was "So it goes." But I think I'll give it another try.
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Re: Audiobooks

Postby RabbitWho » Thu Jul 22, 2010 10:35 pm UTC

I'll admit the voice annoyed me at first, but I think that's happened with every audiobook I've listened to till I've sunk into it.. but..
Spoiler:
Simpering and over emotional!? The book is about the bombing of Dresden! It's about a man who dies of post traumatic stress disorder because he "turns to steam" to get away from the horrible things he's seeing!

How could you possibly be over emotional?

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Re: Audiobooks

Postby folkhero » Fri Jul 23, 2010 2:42 am UTC

I just couldn't get into "Blood Meridian," I thought that my traverse through the unfathomable American Southwest (Flagstaff to Holbrook Arizona and back twice a day) would fit nicely with a book about the unfathomableness of the American Southwest, but I just found my mind drifting. Maybe it was the stripped down prose, or the fact that I was really tired when I started listening to it, either way, I switched back to Cryptonomicon.
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Dustin
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Re: Audiobooks

Postby Dustin » Fri Jul 23, 2010 11:24 pm UTC

RabbitWho wrote:How could you possibly be over emotional?

By not following a simple piece of Tralfamadorian advice: try to concentrate on the good moments, and ignore all the bad ones.
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Re: Audiobooks

Postby RabbitWho » Sat Jul 24, 2010 1:43 am UTC

Dustin wrote:
RabbitWho wrote:How could you possibly be over emotional?

By not following a simple piece of Tralfamadorian advice: try to concentrate on the good moments, and ignore all the bad ones.


major spoiler. my interpretation of the book will slant yours, so make your own first.
Spoiler:
That advice was a protective mechanism invented by Billy Pilgrim. Every time the pain got too much to bear he used it to remind him of the Tralfamadorian way of of seeing things, because in a universe where Tralfamadorians exist everything is constant and heavy so all the people who died aren't really dead at all but alive and living out their childhoods and all their happy moments, eternally. In that world Billy lived through the war and had a normal life, which he escaped out of the war and into.
But in reality Billy was in immense agony because he saw how horrible a place the world was and the only way to deal with it for him was to live in an imaginary universe where everything was peaceful and to invent rules for this universe to try and make sense of all of it. You'll note "So it goes" is said after any death in the book whatsoever, even characters in Kilgore Trout books, because for Billy there is no line between the real and imagined any more.
You take for example the band he thought he was watching while the bombs were falling on Dresden, see how the pain of it soaked through into the fantasy.
How could that be read in a matter-of-fact indifferent way?

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Re: Audiobooks

Postby Dustin » Mon Jul 26, 2010 11:52 pm UTC

But the point is the story is presented from Billy's perspective, which is emotionally deadened. If I were inclined to believe that the bombing of Dresden was a tragedy or not, Ethan Hawke talking slowly or weakly like he did wasn't going to change my mind one way or the other.

Did you hear the audio sample of Kurt Vonnegut reading a portion of his book at the end set to that sort of jazzy music? Mr. Vonnegut's reading is very matter-of-fact despite the fact he's describing possibly the most poetic (to my mind, the most creative) passages in the damn book. THAT'S how the thing should be read.

Anyway, I really don't think anything humans do to each is tragic. We're all going to die, the sun will burn out and the world will be destroyed if we aren't all killed by an asteroid hitting the Earth first. It doesn't matter if someone breaks into this room now and rapes and/or murders me. I was going to die anyway, and wasn't terribly important in the first place. I'm just typing this because it pleases me to do so. So it goes.
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Re: Audiobooks

Postby RabbitWho » Wed Jul 28, 2010 12:39 am UTC

Dustin wrote:Did you hear the audio sample of Kurt Vonnegut reading a portion of his book at the end set to that sort of jazzy music? Mr. Vonnegut's reading is very matter-of-fact despite the fact he's describing possibly the most poetic (to my mind, the most creative) passages in the damn book. THAT'S how the thing should be read.

Vonnegut was not a professional voice actor.
We're just gonna have to agree to disagree.
Anyway, I really don't think anything humans do to each is tragic. We're all going to die, the sun will burn out and the world will be destroyed if we aren't all killed by an asteroid hitting the Earth first. It doesn't matter if someone breaks into this room now and rapes and/or murders me. I was going to die anyway, and wasn't terribly important in the first place. I'm just typing this because it pleases me to do so. So it goes.


:roll:

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Re: Audiobooks

Postby PAstrychef » Sat Jun 08, 2019 3:51 am UTC

Necroing this antique thread, as I realized I get a lot of my reading through audiobooks these days.
I’ve just enjoyed the first book of a trilogy, and downloaded the second to my phone, but now I’m conflicted. Should I stay with this fantasy world, or take a break and then come back to it?
The books in question are The Queen of the Tearling and Invasion of the Tearling. An interesting bit of world building, as it’s clear that we are on this earth, but one that has suffered some tectonic catastrophe, leading to the creation of a “new world”, settled by various old countries. Most science was lost in “the crossing”, apparently a tumultuous sea journey. I await the various explications with interest. There are also some things that are either magic or sufficiently advanced science.
The narrator gets very energetic at the exciting parts, which is a bit distracting.
Heard any good books lately?
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Re: Audiobooks

Postby Thesh » Sat Jun 08, 2019 3:58 am UTC

I've been listening to "Nationalism and Culture" by Rudolf Rocker on YouTube.

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=4NsMy19-Zi0
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Re: Audiobooks

Postby Zohar » Mon Jun 10, 2019 3:46 pm UTC

I listed to An Absolutely Remarkable Thing about a month ago on a trip with a bunch of driving. It was quite good! I think the narrator was very good (to the extent I thought "oh her tone is expressive enough some of the literal descriptions from the book aren't needed"). I enjoyed the book in general - it's a story of how a person accidentally becomes ridiculously famous, how does that fame impact them, alongside a good science fiction story that I don't want to spoil for anyone.
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