Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Road Trip Wednesday: Who Should Narrate the Audio Book?

I am an audiobook nerd.  I love them, and I always have.  They remind me of the very act of roadtripping, because my family and I used to listen to them on our long drives down to Florida for Spring Break (when you're coming from Wisconsin, that's a LONG LONG drive).

Now, with the wonder that is, audiobooks fill my iPod just as much as music does.  Though, I must confess, my listening has dropped off considerably since I don't have a work commute anymore.

There are some books I actually prefer to hear rather than read.  The Stephanie Plum series by Janet Evanovich, for example.  Her books are short and pure candy goodness.  So, I like to prolong the enjoyment by listening to the amazing Lorelei King read them to me.

In YA, one of my favorite audiobook experiences was HOW I PAID FOR COLLEGE and its sequel ATTACK OF THE THEATER PEOPLE by Mark Acito.  The reader, Jeff Woodman (who, by the way, also reads John Green's books), not only created distinctive voices for each character, he sang all of the song references.  He sang them beautifully.  Reading the book would just not have been the same, because although I know these songs, hearing them in my head is just not the same.  If you haven't read these books, you really should consider taking a listen.  Pure joy.

So over at YA Highway today, the Road Trip Wednesday topic is Audiobooks, and who should read them.  I'd give a vital organ to have Jeff Woodman read one of my books, but if I had to pick a dream combination of reader and already-published novel, I think I'd go with Jodi Foster reading THE HUNGER GAMES.  I'd love her to use that soft West Virginia twang she hinted at in SILENCE OF THE LAMBS to bring life to Katniss.  What a dream come true!

Now get over to the Highway and check out everyone else's suggestions!

- Liz


Road Trip Wednesday is a "Blog Carnival," where YA Highway's contributors post a weekly writing- or reading-related question and answer it on our own blogs. You can hop from destination to destination and get everybody's unique take on the topic.

To participate, just answer the prompt on your own blog and leave a link in the comments at YA Highway.


Tracey Neithercott said...

A while ago, when I was driving with my sister to college, we listened to The Nanny Diaries. I'm not sure I would have loved that book so much if Julia Roberts hadn't done such an amazing job of reading it. It was so fun to listen to. So I get what you mean when you say some books are better heard. Of course, others are ruined by a bad reading.

Debra D. said...

Oh, I love the Stephanie Plum books, and now I might have to try them on audio book! I love Jodi Foster's voice, too. :D

Stephanie S. Kuehn said...

I love Jodie Foster. Did you ever see (or read) The Little Girl Who Lives Down the Lane? Freaky!

Sarah said...

Jodie Foster is pretty awesome.

Kristan said...

To be honest, I can't do audiobooks. But it's not them, it's me! I have a strong natural tendency to ignore things that I'm listening to. (Yeah, I'm horrible to have a phone conversation with.) I've really got to see/read something to digest it.

But I LOVE the idea of Jodie for the Hunger Games audiobook.

Alison Miller said...

Interesting choice for Hunger Games!

Jess said...

Ooo, I'm going to have to go find some Jeff-Woodman-narrated books to listen to now. :)

Kari Marie said...

I've tried a few, but I think it's all about who is reading it for me. Funny thing is I just checked out today before reading your blog. Maybe it's a sign...

Richard Scott said...

I'm sure many will agree that the voice of Jim Dale, who masterfully narrates the Harry Potter series is one of the all-time best (

Another excellent reader is Susan Eriksen, who manages a wide variety of female and male voices in many books, including the very popular "In Death" series by J. D. Robb (

These are my top two favorites.

That said, when the first volume of The Dark Tower by Stephen King came out, he recorded it. My first reaction was, "Yuck! What an annoyingly nasal voice.", but very quickly I grew accustomed to it, and later decided that in fact, nobody really knows all of the nuance of a book better than the author.

Stephanie Faris said...

I saw you on Twitter and noticed we have the same agency. It's funny you say that about the Stephanie Plum series because that is one of the few fiction audiobook experiences I've enjoyed. For some reason when I'm listening, I have a hard time focusing but that audiobook drew me in.

Lately, I've stuck with non-fiction and celeb bios and how-to writing books for my audiobooks...but I'm going to try that YA book you mentioned if the library has it. I'd love a good YA fiction audiobook experience!

It's nice to meet you!