The Case for Audio

I suppose now is the time to talk about audiobooks.

As for my personal experience with the things, the only audiobooks I’ve listened to (apart from a fifth grade class reading of From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler**) are for the Artemis Fowl series, by Eoin Colfer.  They’re about fairies- but not the Tinkerbell, oh-look-at-me-I’m-a-rainbow-sweating-daffodil-aren’t-I-pretty kind.  No, these are kick-behind save-the-world fairies WITH RAY GUNS.  And there’s also an evil genius child wonder in the thick of it, which I always enjoy.

Remember when I said I had decoded Gnommish? This is the series I was talking about.

Anyway.  One day a couple of years ago I was skulking around iTunes, looking for something good to buy, and I came across the first of these books as an audiobook.  I had never read Artemis Fowl before.  I had never listened to an audiobook for fun before.  Purchasing it as a curiosity, I proceeded to fall in love with the series, thanks in part to Nathaniel Parker’s wonderful narration.  In the time since, I have purchased the second, fourth, and fifth books on audiotape, buying the rest (of seven books) in actual paper editions (although I’m working on getting the third and seventh off iTunes, which was so gracious as to FINALLY get those available).

The title character and his female counterpart at the time of the sixth book. This fan art is FANTASTIC.

Unfortunately, the sixth one doesn’t appeal to me as an audio version because it’s read by a different person than all of the other ones are.  That’s where one of my main points comes in: when a book is read to you, the person reading it shapes your perception of the action in a big way.  How fast or slow or loud or soft or in what cadence they read it determines the film that appears in your mind when you imagine the action.  A lot of times, it adds to the adventure of reading a book for the first time.  For the most part, I feel Mr. Parker does a splendid job of doing this.

But that’s not the best part.  The very best part is the voices.  If you have a really good audiobook, the narrator will do different voices for all the characters.  This is true of the Artemis Fowl audiobooks.  Each character has a distinct voice that adds so much more to the story.  Now, even when reading a hard copy of one of the books, I find myself imagining Mr. Parker’s voices and even narrations going along with the text.

This is, I believe, an "official" picture of Artemis from the official website/graphic novels.

So, that’s my bit.  I just thought I’d share my thoughts on this rather different method of reading (as well as proclaim my being part of the Fowl fandom).  In all, it’s a good way to get into the story.  Besides that, audiobooks are handy when you’re doing something with your hands and want to read at the same time.  Nowadays I never clean my room without putting Artemis Fowl on the speakers.

Oh!  I almost forgot!  There’s this really cool ARG going on in the Hunger Games fandom, and it’s called Panem October.  Not much has happened yet, but it’s a six-month thing that’s going to run until March, when the movie comes out.  Go there!  Sign up!  Tell me if you want to friend me!

Oh again!  Yesterday I started reading the first book of The Lord of the Rings.  Thoughts on the series?

Happy reading!

 

*Quick side note: I was nominated once more for a Versatile Blogger award by the lovely Nerdygirl98.  Thanks!  Everyone go check out her blog!  It’s got rolls of duct tape and barrels of awesome!

**Does anyone else think that’s a REAAALLLLY long name for a book?  But it works somehow.  THE MAGIC OF WORDS!

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