Sunday, January 05, 2014

Favourite Discoveries 2013 (10)

Today's final instalment of favourite discoveries of 2013 comes from Lynn Harvey who blogs at Little Grey Doll as well as reviewing for Euro Crime.

We began this series of discoveries with one publisher, The British Library, and end with another one, Audible.

Lynn Harvey's Favourite Discovery of 2013

My favourite discovery of 2013 is not so much a particular book but listening to crime fiction via download from Audible.

Sometimes there are just not enough hours in the day to read all those books. Listening to downloads however – whilst travelling, cooking, waiting, whatever – lets you shoehorn in a few more. Of course listening is not the same as reading. I find the main issue is whether or not I like the narration. On the Audible website I can listen to a sample of a book before I buy. And sad to say there are one or two books I would like to hear but I some of the readers' styles are not for me. However some narrations are a joy in themselves. 

Nigel Anthony gives a tour-de-force display of character voices in his readings of Colin Cotterill's funny and magical series featuring Dr Siri Paiboun, the National Coroner of Laos: old, young, male, female … leave alone spirits, he voices them all with skill and variety.

But he displays another side in his narration of Johan Theorin's THE QUARRY (which sent me searching for the previous titles in the series). Some books have a distinctive production as well as the work of the narrator. I enjoyed (once I got used to it) listening to Mons Kallentoft's MIDWINTER SACRIFICE which introduced a different sound quality for voices on the telephone and a distinctive treatment for the Kallentoft trademark “voice of the victim”. 

Meanwhile I catch up with favourites such as Philip Kerr's “Bernie Gunther” series which is narrated by American actor Jeff Harding (which seems to fit with the private-eye-noir element).

Above all “listening” to books has enabled me to discover books I hadn't found time to read. And listening to these has sent me searching out other work by their authors. What more can you get by way of discovery.


Unknown said...

I also find there isn't enough time to read as much as I'd like and listen to a few books a weeks.

I've been waiting for The Quarry to come out and hope the audio is available in the U.S.

Looking forward to hearing more news about audiobooks.

Thank you,

Signalman said...

Although I enjoy radio drama ( primarily BBC ) I can't adjust to audio books at all, I can't quite work out why.

Berliner Bernie voiced by an American ? Maybe it works, but it doesn't feel right :)

nonie said...

I too discovered audiobooks and the narrator makes all the difference! I also discovered that some books are enhanced by hearing a skilled reader. Paxton reading James Lee Burke for example makes me appreciate in a new way the music of Burke 's prose. On the other hand, I stopped listening to a book that I was looking forward to because I disliked the way it was presented.