So you can read my books

Saturday, August 16, 2014


Print is bruised.  Audio seems to be flourishing.  You never know though.  

I asked my Magic 8 Ball, and all I got were its “Concentrate and ask again” shenanigans.

But things are getting exciting in audio.

 Audible has already churned out 20 original books written specifically for audio, including Metatropolis, a science fiction epic narrated by Star Trek alums, 

and The Chopin Manuscript, a serial thriller by 15 blockbuster authors including Lee Child, Jeffery Deaver, and Lisa Scottoline. 

Audible has even commissioned Orson Scott Card to write a new dramatization of his sci-fi classic Ender’s Game with 28 actors! sound effects! music! SEX! (OK, no sex, sigh) 

that Card describes as “not a simple adaptation, it is a new telling of the same story” written in dialogue with ENTIRELY NEW MATERIAL.

How cool is that?

(Cover by the genius of Leonora Roy)
{Soon to come to Audio, a SAMPLER of most of my heroes}

 Other writers and publishers are getting into the act, too, producing books that skip print and go straight to audio. 

Take British author David Hewson, who’s written an audio novelization of Macbeth where the bloodthirsty monarch is more, you know, likeable -- sort of a Shakespearean Dexter, 

and an upcoming adaptation of Hamlet featuring a peppy Ophelia and a Hamlet who’s less of a buzzkill. 

 Audiobooks are now being considered “audio entertainment” 

that can hold their own as original works of art; splashy productions with full-cast dramatizations, music, and sound effects. 

Max Brooks, author of World War Z, says “it’s one of the few times in history that technology has reinvigorated an art form rather than crushing it. It opens the door for more creative storytelling.” 

And the audio edition of World War Z is held up as one of the best in the biz — an elaborate production with 40 cast members including Alan Alda, John Turturro, and Martin Scorsese.

Is this progress or going back to the times of Homer 

where the bard spoke his tale in the darkness by the campfire, or Shakespeare writing works of genius to have them played upon the theater floorboards?

There is a lot of commuting to work, pumping on exercise bikes, or jogging while listening to Ipads.

I believe audiobooks may be the wave of the future 

because they allow you to learn and increase your knowledge base without having to sit down and read a book. 

They let you learn while doing other things. And you never know, what you learn might just change your life forever.

 We become what we think about.

What do you think?


  1. I hope not. I have enough voices in my head!

    But seriously, who knows... Nothing would surprise me. Things are changing so fast

  2. Multiple actors with sound effects - now that might be cool.

  3. I am with Wendy. I hope not. I really hope not.
    But dinosaurs have been defeated before.

  4. Wendy:
    Yes, but all the voices in my head are friends. :-) Things are changing, but listening to tales is how Man discovered the thrill of stories.

    And with all new material. That really interests me! :-)

    Elephant's Child:
    I sometimes feel like a dinosaur myself. The more things change, the more human nature stays the same. :-)

  5. I can't listen to books. I'm not an auditory learner. I'm a visual learner. Watching a play with sets and different actors works for me, but I can't listen to books. I love that movie, Seeking A Friend For The End Of The World.


  6. I hope this doesn't become the norm as others have said. I don't mind audiobooks on original works by the same author (like yourself), but reworking classics verges on sacrilege in my mind.

    That's like fan fiction of the classics. Leave my MacBeth, and other classics alone. Don't rework it if you didn't create it. Thumbs down on this.

    Audio is great as long as one has devices, and electicity or batteries. But a book doesn't need a support system as device reliant versions do. Have you ever noticed how fast electronics wear out?

  7. I used to listen to audiobooks on the way to work everyday, but I've fallen off the wagon. Thanks for the reminder to shut off the idiotic morning radio shows and plug in an audiobook.

  8. While I love audio books, I don't want to ever lose print books. I enjoy listening to audio books while I'm busy working in the yard or cleaning house or driving, but I still enjoy sitting down and turning the pages of a good book.

  9. Janie:
    Isn't SEEKING A FRIEND FOR THE END OF THE WORLD a good movie? It goes to unexpected places, right?

    Christopher Moore wrote FOOL, the tale of King Lear told through the eyes of his jester. It grated on me, and I like Moore!

    Yes, batteries go fast these days in our electronic devices! But the right narrator can bring so much to the tale. George Guidel, who reads the LONGMIRE mysteries, does a superb job, bringing tears to my eyes in emotional scenes.

    You can do so much research on your next book by listening to audiobooks on the way to work. I enjoy doing that at the blood center blood runs. :-)

    The smell and feel of leatherbound books is a favorite of mine. But listening to audiobooks has become my chief way of reading these days!

  10. I love audiobooks. Whereas I will rarely read a book twice, I will listen to an audio book after I've read the print version because the experiences are so different. In fact, I'm about to settle down with the audio version of Anansi Boys, a book I read years ago.

    Don't own a car, but I like to be read to sleep. I also find it relaxing to draw or even work a puzzle while listening. My one experience with an adaptation was Audible's Dracula, which I hated with an absolute passion. Worst Audible credit ever spent. LOL. So, as much as I respect David Hewson, I won't be reading his novelization of Macbeth. For audit, it's unabridged, original works or nothing.

    Yes, I love audiobooks. Are they a replacement for print books? No. They are two different experiences.

    VR Barkowski

  11. VR:
    There's an audiobook, KINDNESS GOES UNPUNISHED, narrated by George Guidall -- a LONGMIRE mystery.

    It begins with the poor, ill-prepared sheriff reading the old battered copy of his, now grown, daughter's SLEEPING BEAUTY. The way George narrates, it is amazingly funny as the kindergarten children badger the poor man with more info on the criminal activities of their parents than he really wants to hear from children.

    At the end, he is reading the same book to his now comatose daughter in the hospital. Tears keep him from seeing the words, but he has the story memorized.

    The choked narration of Mr. Guidall will choke you up, too.

    And when Mr. Guidall narrates how Longmire feels a feeble tug on his fingers and hears the soft words: "Dad-dee" ...

    Well, it shows you what a talented narrator can do.

    George has narrated Gaiman's AMERICAN GODS, and I will spend my credit on that next month.

    I have listened to DUMA KEY and FEAR NOTHING several times because the narration was so well done.

    Like you, I will not do an abridged audiobook. My blood runs have made me a believer in the art of narration.

    Like you, I think print and audio are two different experiences. Print allows me to skip boring passages -- so I must choose carefully my audiobooks! No skipping the boring stuff! :-)

  12. Hi Roland - I hope yesterday went off successfully and all will be well ... my thoughts.

    Audio books - I suspect they'll be around and are definitely appropriate for various occasions - I rather like them ... but don't travel much now ...

    Cheers and all the best - Hilary