More on audiobooks few days ago I wrote a post about listening to an audiobook for the first time.  I’ve since completed the two-hour recording, using a combination of listening in the car and listening over headphones before bed.  Of the two, I much prefer the car; listening to headphones with someone next to me is weird and I found that I wanted to be doing something with the rest of me while I was listening.  I just have trouble concentrating on what’s coming through headphones for whatever reason; I want that to be the background while I do something else.

I ended up liking the story more by the end of it; the book started with a rather silly premise but at least investigated the implications of it in a really interesting way.  The book has some interesting theology going on, surprisingly enough, which appealed to the part of me that was working toward a Ph.D in biblical studies eons ago.

What I don’t like, it seems, is audiobooks.  I may have to listen to one more to see if the things I don’t like are specific in some way to Zachary Quinto’s reading or are a thing audiobook narrators always do.  Quinto tries to read each character in a different voice, for example, which is fine in concept but in execution we get “Zachary Quinto doing an old woman” or “Zachary Quinto doing a black woman,” and oftentimes it ends up coming off as at best a little stereotypical and at worst occasionally a bit racist.  I also never really got past the “Zachary Quinto is reading a book at me” part of audiobookery, which, okay, that’s what is supposed to be happening– it’s literally what audiobooks are— but it never stopped weirding me out.

Here’s what I realized: I think I might be interested in listening to old-school radio dramas.  I don’t want Zachary Quinto reading a book at me and doing a black woman voice.  I might be interested in Zachary Quinto acting as the narrator with an actual black woman doing her character’s dialogue, though.  I may need to start investigating podcasts a bit; there’s probably something like what I want out there somewhere, and podcasts are a thing that I know nothing about.  Feel free, if you’re interested, to recommend some good podcasts in the comments, and if you know of any audio dramas out there let me know about them.

9 thoughts on “More on audiobooks

  1. I’ve never tried audiobooks because I like reading, and also singing loudly to the radio in the car. But I’m trying to take up running, and I’ve been wondering if that would be a good way to keep me entertained (I hate running). I dunno, I might give it a try.


    1. I’ve listened to very little of Welcome to Nightvale myself, but I have several friends who swear by it. But it’s also in the form of a radio broadcast about supernatural happenings in the fictional town of Nightvale.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Pingback: In which pods are cast –

  3. I find the narrator makes all the difference, so I’m pretty selective and mostly listen based on recommendations. I tend to like the ones read by actors, even with recognizable voices (Claudia Black’s reading of the Keepers trilogy by Lian Tanner is brilliant) but sometimes it can be a distraction, you might like books with more neutral voices that don’t try to impersonate different characters, especially if you want a more “background noise” type experience. But I second the Welcome to Nightvale recommendation/listening-to-podcasts idea.


Comments are closed.