Author Topic: When the audio book is better than the text  (Read 3665 times)

NoStacheOhio

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When the audio book is better than the text
« on: September 07, 2016, 07:22:41 AM »
I'm a big fan of books and reading, but I also try to be agnostic when it comes to formats.

To that end, there are some books that are actually better on audio than they are in text. Share your suggestions?

I really liked Bossypants and I Am America (And So Can You) in audio, and I'm waiting on World War Z from the library. Growing up, I also had Patrick Stewart reading A Christmas Carol, which was pretty awesome, though I'd have trouble tracking it down now.
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tonysemail

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Re: When the audio book is better than the text
« Reply #1 on: September 07, 2016, 04:33:48 PM »
I enjoyed bill clinton reading his memoir, My Life.
there is something about his voice that is just appealing.

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Re: When the audio book is better than the text
« Reply #2 on: September 09, 2016, 11:07:48 AM »
Any of David Sedaris' books are more hilarious when he's reading them. Once you get used to his voice you will always hear him reading it even if you read a printed version.

aFrugalFather

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Re: When the audio book is better than the text
« Reply #3 on: September 09, 2016, 11:40:23 AM »
I recall the Golden Compass series was really well done and I remember there was a cast of characters rather than just one person altering their voice.  That is rare, but it can make it seem like listening to a play.  There is also a Zombie podcast (story) that acts out the chapters as a cast that is free and worth checking out. 

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Re: When the audio book is better than the text
« Reply #4 on: September 09, 2016, 11:48:49 AM »
I normally hate audiobooks, but a friend talked me into listening to George Takei's "Ohh My!  There Goes The Internet" since I had enjoyed the book.  When I heard him say "lowest common denominator of butthurt" in his grave, elegant voice I almost wrecked my car because I was laughing so hard.
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NoStacheOhio

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Re: When the audio book is better than the text
« Reply #5 on: September 09, 2016, 01:23:32 PM »
My Wold War Z arrived a few days ago, and I can confirm that it is, in fact, really, really good. It's a huge cast, and the book is written as a series of post-war interviews (sort of an oral history), and it lends itself really nicely to the audio format.
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Re: When the audio book is better than the text
« Reply #6 on: October 20, 2016, 12:20:39 PM »
The Help in audiobook was fantastic.  Better than the film. 
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Re: When the audio book is better than the text
« Reply #7 on: October 21, 2016, 05:00:36 PM »
The Rivers of London series, written by Ben Aaronovitch. The man who reads them is amazing. I've listened to all of them, multiple times.

Lagom

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Re: When the audio book is better than the text
« Reply #8 on: October 21, 2016, 05:21:31 PM »
I tend to avoid audiobooks, but the Harry Potter series as narrated by Jim Dale was excellent. I am not a huge fan of Rowling's writing style, so I may well have never read the books at all had I not discovered the audio versions.

NoStacheOhio

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Re: When the audio book is better than the text
« Reply #9 on: October 22, 2016, 09:40:45 AM »
I tend to avoid audiobooks, but the Harry Potter series as narrated by Jim Dale was excellent. I am not a huge fan of Rowling's writing style, so I may well have never read the books at all had I not discovered the audio versions.

I guess Jim Dale vs. Stephen Fry (UK version) is a big controversy. I haven't heard them, but my wife really wants the Fry version. :)
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Lagom

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Re: When the audio book is better than the text
« Reply #10 on: October 22, 2016, 11:17:57 AM »
I tend to avoid audiobooks, but the Harry Potter series as narrated by Jim Dale was excellent. I am not a huge fan of Rowling's writing style, so I may well have never read the books at all had I not discovered the audio versions.

I guess Jim Dale vs. Stephen Fry (UK version) is a big controversy. I haven't heard them, but my wife really wants the Fry version. :)

Hmm, now that I think about it, I'm not sure which version I had (this was 6-7 years ago now, and I had checked them out from the library). I just looked it up on Amazon when I mentioned Jim Dale. Whichever one I listened to was pretty good though!

tyort1

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Re: When the audio book is better than the text
« Reply #11 on: October 22, 2016, 11:25:42 AM »
They Odyssey and the Illiad are both excellent - of course the stories themselves were written-down versions of oral stories, so hearing them aloud just sounds 'right'. 

Moby Dick - the one I got from the library had a dude that read the whole thing as subversively humorous and snarky.  Way cooler take on it than the sort of reverent/stodgy tone I read it with in my own head the first time through. 

Ulysses by James Joyce - was able to hear much more sharply the changes in tone and writing style.  Honestly the audio book was the only way I was able to actually get through this one.  Tried reading it myself several times and always petered out after the first few chapters.
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Re: When the audio book is better than the text
« Reply #12 on: October 22, 2016, 12:55:48 PM »
I've listened to 15 of the 21 Aubreyad ("Master and Commander" series by Patrick O'Brian) books on audio, and loved them in that format. Simon Vance is the reader I really like.
POB's writing is superb, and having it read aloud is just a delight.  A++

Tyort1 - do you remember the reader for Moby Dick you liked? That's on my re-read list. :)
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Re: When the audio book is better than the text
« Reply #13 on: October 23, 2016, 12:56:46 AM »
I've really enjoyed listening to Terry Pratchett's Discworld series. The jokes and dry wit are amazing when listened to 'in the round'.

I wasn't a fan of audiobook format, until Audible.com jumped on the scene. I got a subscription while recovering from knee surgery. Too doped up to read, so I listened instead. I got hooked, which had some unintended consequences. Now I'm realizing that I'm finding static words on a page much less satisfying.   

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Re: When the audio book is better than the text
« Reply #14 on: October 23, 2016, 08:17:10 AM »
Following!

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+1 to this!

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tyort1

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Re: When the audio book is better than the text
« Reply #15 on: October 23, 2016, 11:53:13 AM »
Tyort1 - do you remember the reader for Moby Dick you liked? That's on my re-read list. :)

This one was at my local library, which is where I get all my audiobooks from.  I'd check there first, before buying.  It's like $95 new from Amazon, and $18 used, also from Amazon.  But free from the library is best :)

The Naxos Audiobook version: 

https://www.amazon.com/Moby-Naxos-AudioBooks-Herman-Melville/dp/9626343583

« Last Edit: October 23, 2016, 01:25:38 PM by tyort1 »
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Re: When the audio book is better than the text
« Reply #16 on: October 23, 2016, 12:16:01 PM »
I guess Jim Dale vs. Stephen Fry (UK version) is a big controversy. I haven't heard them, but my wife really wants the Fry version. :)

Jim Dale forever!

lexde

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Re: When the audio book is better than the text
« Reply #17 on: October 29, 2016, 12:44:13 PM »
I'd say Bossypants definitely makes my list - Tina Fey is the only one who can read Tina Fey to me and it's much funnier coming from her than just reading IMO.

I'd say I prefer a lot of audiobooks to reading now, just for time and convenience. I drive a lot for work now, so it helps get my reading in when I don't normally have time.

Just started The Wheel of Time series and am super excited, the narration is great. So was the Hitchhiker's Guide series!

And then Unbroken: A WWII Story of Survival (or something like that) was quite good as an audiobook as well.

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Re: When the audio book is better than the text
« Reply #18 on: October 29, 2016, 01:01:52 PM »
Just started The Wheel of Time series and am super excited, the narration is great. So was the Hitchhiker's Guide series!

michael kramer and kate reading do an awesome job on that series! Once you finish those 14 books up, jump to the Stormlight Archives - very good audio books!

lexde

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Re: When the audio book is better than the text
« Reply #19 on: October 29, 2016, 08:54:12 PM »
Just started The Wheel of Time series and am super excited, the narration is great. So was the Hitchhiker's Guide series!

michael kramer and kate reading do an awesome job on that series! Once you finish those 14 books up, jump to the Stormlight Archives - very good audio books!

Will do! What are those about? :)

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Re: When the audio book is better than the text
« Reply #20 on: October 30, 2016, 03:55:03 AM »
7th habits of highly successful people: Shorter than the book also

Think and grow rich: easier than the book I found

Rich dad poor dad: Same as above, easier than the book

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Re: When the audio book is better than the text
« Reply #21 on: October 30, 2016, 11:51:11 PM »
I sometimes enjoy the Economist magazine in audio format. I often don't have time to read the whole issue every week, so I'll just put on the audio while I'm doing something else.

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Re: When the audio book is better than the text
« Reply #22 on: October 31, 2016, 06:08:29 AM »
Just started The Wheel of Time series and am super excited, the narration is great. So was the Hitchhiker's Guide series!

michael kramer and kate reading do an awesome job on that series! Once you finish those 14 books up, jump to the Stormlight Archives - very good audio books!

Will do! What are those about? :)

They are written by Brandon Sanderson (who does an excellent job finishing up the last three Wheel of Time books). I'll let GoodReads supply the review so that I don't accidentally give anything away.  http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/7235533-the-way-of-kings

The beginning of the first book is the most difficult to get through. Not because it is boring but because you are being dunked into a completely new world where even gravity is different.

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Re: When the audio book is better than the text
« Reply #23 on: October 31, 2016, 09:48:00 AM »
I'd say Bossypants definitely makes my list - Tina Fey is the only one who can read Tina Fey to me and it's much funnier coming from her than just reading IMO.

If you enjoyed Bossypants, I would highly recommend the audiobook of Yes Please by Amy Poehler. Very much in the same vein and so hilarious.

chaskavitch

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Re: When the audio book is better than the text
« Reply #24 on: February 12, 2017, 11:55:35 AM »
Just started The Wheel of Time series and am super excited, the narration is great. So was the Hitchhiker's Guide series!

michael kramer and kate reading do an awesome job on that series! Once you finish those 14 books up, jump to the Stormlight Archives - very good audio books!

Will do! What are those about? :)

They are written by Brandon Sanderson (who does an excellent job finishing up the last three Wheel of Time books). I'll let GoodReads supply the review so that I don't accidentally give anything away.  http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/7235533-the-way-of-kings

The beginning of the first book is the most difficult to get through. Not because it is boring but because you are being dunked into a completely new world where even gravity is different.

ZOMG don't do it.  They are SOOOOOOOO GOOOOOOOOOOOD, but he has only written two books of a planned series of ten.  I've read the first two twice already, but who TF knows when he'll finish the series.  You'll be frustrated for like 20 years.

ETA: I realize I'm probably too late since that was four months ago, but still, the advice stands true for those of you who aren't already in limbo and forlorn forever.
« Last Edit: February 12, 2017, 11:57:19 AM by chaskavitch »

GizmoTX

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Re: When the audio book is better than the text
« Reply #25 on: February 12, 2017, 12:36:42 PM »
Ender's Game & all the sequels & prequels to the Enderverse, by Orson Scott Card.

For younger ones, although I enjoyed it too: Call It Courage, by Armstrong Perry.

NoStacheOhio

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Re: When the audio book is better than the text
« Reply #26 on: February 12, 2017, 05:10:39 PM »
For the record: The Martian, while great in text, wasn't great as an audiobook.
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Re: When the audio book is better than the text
« Reply #27 on: February 14, 2017, 08:33:55 AM »
Just started The Wheel of Time series and am super excited, the narration is great. So was the Hitchhiker's Guide series!

michael kramer and kate reading do an awesome job on that series! Once you finish those 14 books up, jump to the Stormlight Archives - very good audio books!

Will do! What are those about? :)

They are written by Brandon Sanderson (who does an excellent job finishing up the last three Wheel of Time books). I'll let GoodReads supply the review so that I don't accidentally give anything away.  http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/7235533-the-way-of-kings

The beginning of the first book is the most difficult to get through. Not because it is boring but because you are being dunked into a completely new world where even gravity is different.

ZOMG don't do it.  They are SOOOOOOOO GOOOOOOOOOOOD, but he has only written two books of a planned series of ten.  I've read the first two twice already, but who TF knows when he'll finish the series.  You'll be frustrated for like 20 years.

ETA: I realize I'm probably too late since that was four months ago, but still, the advice stands true for those of you who aren't already in limbo and forlorn forever.

+1!

I think I own every Sanderson book on Audible now (Other than the Evil Librarians youth series).  They're all great.

My favorite is probably Elantris, but the Mistborn series & Stormlight Archives are epics.  Stormlight 3 is scheduled to release in November of this year!

Don't get too stressed about Sanderson's writing speed.  He's a machine.  He released Shadows of Self (Mistborn 5), Bands of Mourning (Mistborn 6), Calamity (Reckoners 3), and the graphic novel White Sand all in a 3 month period, Dec 2015 - Feb 2016.  Stormlight will take decades to complete, but he'll keep providing other amazing works in-between!
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chaskavitch

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Re: When the audio book is better than the text
« Reply #28 on: February 14, 2017, 08:46:49 AM »
Just started The Wheel of Time series and am super excited, the narration is great. So was the Hitchhiker's Guide series!

michael kramer and kate reading do an awesome job on that series! Once you finish those 14 books up, jump to the Stormlight Archives - very good audio books!

Will do! What are those about? :)

They are written by Brandon Sanderson (who does an excellent job finishing up the last three Wheel of Time books). I'll let GoodReads supply the review so that I don't accidentally give anything away.  http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/7235533-the-way-of-kings

The beginning of the first book is the most difficult to get through. Not because it is boring but because you are being dunked into a completely new world where even gravity is different.

ZOMG don't do it.  They are SOOOOOOOO GOOOOOOOOOOOD, but he has only written two books of a planned series of ten.  I've read the first two twice already, but who TF knows when he'll finish the series.  You'll be frustrated for like 20 years.

ETA: I realize I'm probably too late since that was four months ago, but still, the advice stands true for those of you who aren't already in limbo and forlorn forever.

+1!

I think I own every Sanderson book on Audible now (Other than the Evil Librarians youth series).  They're all great.

My favorite is probably Elantris, but the Mistborn series & Stormlight Archives are epics.  Stormlight 3 is scheduled to release in November of this year!

Don't get too stressed about Sanderson's writing speed.  He's a machine.  He released Shadows of Self (Mistborn 5), Bands of Mourning (Mistborn 6), Calamity (Reckoners 3), and the graphic novel White Sand all in a 3 month period, Dec 2015 - Feb 2016.  Stormlight will take decades to complete, but he'll keep providing other amazing works in-between!

That's true.  Sanderson's other series are also pretty dang good, and Elantris as a standalone was excellent, but the Stormlight archive series is my favorite :)  I'll have to check out the audio books, for sure. 

I think I'm scarred because I only found Sanderson via Wheel of Time, and we all know how Robert Jordan turned out...  I'm still kind of worried about GRRM, too.

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Re: When the audio book is better than the text
« Reply #29 on: February 14, 2017, 11:10:24 AM »
I'd say Bossypants definitely makes my list - Tina Fey is the only one who can read Tina Fey to me and it's much funnier coming from her than just reading IMO.

If you enjoyed Bossypants, I would highly recommend the audiobook of Yes Please by Amy Poehler. Very much in the same vein and so hilarious.

Can confirm. Listening to it right now through library (OverDrive).


If you can find Bill Bryson reading any of his books I would recommend those too. He can convey his particular way of thinking better than anyone, and his Iowa+England accent is adorable. 

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Re: When the audio book is better than the text
« Reply #30 on: February 14, 2017, 03:28:53 PM »
+1 Bill Bryson.

Carey Elwes, As You Wish. He reads it himself, it's awesome, and other people from the movie read their own snippets, too.
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Re: When the audio book is better than the text
« Reply #31 on: February 14, 2017, 04:11:50 PM »
Another one chiming in on the Harry Potter audio books being superb.

I also enjoyed the audio books of th Hitchhiker's guide to the galaxy. The dry humor comes across really well in that format
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Re: When the audio book is better than the text
« Reply #32 on: February 14, 2017, 04:15:57 PM »
Malcolm Gladwell. I've listened to most of his work on audio books, The tipping point, What the dog saw, Outliers, David and Goliath.  Then one day I picked up a paper copy of one of his books and found it hard to follow, I later got the audio book of the same title and followed it easily and enjoyed it more. He has this calm and deliberate delivery that forces you to pause and really think about what he is saying. It allows enough time to sink in, whereas read it, for me, does not.

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Re: When the audio book is better than the text
« Reply #33 on: February 14, 2017, 04:45:58 PM »
The Rob Inglis versions of all three Lord of the Rings books are good too.  They were put out after the movies came out, so all of the characters sound vaguely like their actors. I think it is helpful for keeping track of who is talking, but kind of sad because he didn't get to pick his own voices. 

OTOH, I thought The Martian was very difficult to listen to.  His "foreign" accents all sound the same, so you can't tell the difference between the Indian, Chinese, and British characters.  Also the ladies sound the same as some of the men ;)

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Re: When the audio book is better than the text
« Reply #34 on: February 15, 2017, 08:15:37 AM »
If you are a C. S. Lewis fan (as I am) "The Screwtape Letters" is amazing on tape. Read by John Cleese. If you're not familiar with the story, it's a short book of "letters" written by a senior devil to a junior trainee devil on how to tempt humans into all kinds of misbehavior. While it's good for any Jesus follower, one of my partners (a Jewish Buddhist) said that "The Screwtape Letters" was one of his Desert Island Books.

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Re: When the audio book is better than the text
« Reply #35 on: February 15, 2017, 11:24:51 AM »
P2F!  I ride a van pool and get motion sickness trying to read while moving so audiobooks it is.  I'm currently working my way through the Dresden Files but these are the first audiobooks I have listened to.  I enjoy them but I can't comment on the quality compared to other audiobooks.
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Re: When the audio book is better than the text
« Reply #36 on: February 15, 2017, 11:44:07 AM »
Tim Curry reads all but books 3 thru 5 in Lemony Snicket's Series of Unfortunate Events. I found the books entertaining, if a bit repetitive (although my kids don't mind - the hard copies on our shelf are very well-loved.)  But Curry's reading is hilarious and brilliant. My dad, usually a consumer of much heavier literature, ate them up on his commute at one point.

The author read books 3 thru 5, and doesn't hold a candle to Mr. Curry.

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Re: When the audio book is better than the text
« Reply #37 on: February 21, 2017, 11:55:09 AM »
There is a fully casted version of American Gods that I really enjoyed. I haven't attempted to read the book, but I think that I took the right path by listening.

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Re: When the audio book is better than the text
« Reply #38 on: April 11, 2017, 12:57:36 PM »
I think the audio one is better when you are on youe way and it`s not comfortable to read. As for me I don`t like read during travelling by bus. )