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Audio books rather than reading books

(21 Posts)
tobee Mon 12-Sep-16 22:33:37

Keep choosing duff audible books so been looking at zombie threads on here for suggestions. Firstly, any new ones I should look out for? Secondly, do you enjoy different stuff as an audio book and, if so, why? Apart from narrator what makes an audio book good?

Lokisglowstickofdestiny Mon 12-Sep-16 23:41:26

I don't try different books on audible, if it's something I'd read as a book then I'd give it a go. For me the narrator makes or breaks a book. For some reason I didn't like the narrator for All the light we cannot see, I think it was her pronounciation of some words that bugged me.
I have enjoyed the Sword of Honour trilogy by Evelyn Waugh, most of David Mitchell's novels, Cat out of Hell by Lynn Truss and American Gods and Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman.
I've only returned one book to audible and that was The Stand by Stephen King, wasn't the narrator and I usually like Stephen King but some of the characters just annoyed me!

AmberGreyson Tue 13-Sep-16 12:02:07

i don't like audio books, i prefer to hear my voice in the head

MermaidofZennor Tue 13-Sep-16 13:41:30

I'm working my way through the Wainwright Prize shortlist (the winner was Amy Liptrot's The Outrun, which was v good as an audio book), have also listened to Landmarks by Robert Macfarlane and am currently listening to The Fish Ladder by Katherine Norbury which seems to be shaping up quite well.

If you want a good absorbing and extremely well narrated novel then I would recommend Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, narrated by Adjoa Andoh.

PhoenixRisingSlowly Wed 14-Sep-16 12:59:37

Audio books remind me of being read to, so I'm less likely to choose a gripping book as I can't race ahead to the finish. They are good for books I might not otherwise try, i.e very long, historical, never heard of the author. I'm more fussy about what I read vs what I listen to. I also listen while I work (I work from home) so it needs to be something enjoyable and soothing and not too sad.
I have enjoyed Sarah Waters books on audible, mainly because the narrator is very good. It's also good for comedy e.g David Sedaris.
I really liked Shantaram on there although have yet to finish it. But again, brilliant narrator.

Cooroo Wed 14-Sep-16 13:01:51

If you like classic/Victorian lit you can't do better than Anthony Trollope novels narrated by Timothy West. Or anything narrated by Timothy West!

There are good and rubbish narrators and it makes a huge difference!

mrsmortis Wed 14-Sep-16 14:39:16

I love audiobooks. I grew up with Radio4 on all the time so I much prefer spoken word to music. I've been with Audible since 2001 so I have ALOT of them.

It really depends what you like. I have quite a lot of non fiction. Recent hits have been 'A history of the work in 6 glasses' and 'Stiff'.

The narrator makes it or breaks it for me. Even with a story I already know that I love. I get really annoyed by Americans who can't pronounce english place names. And the people who seen to be able to make even the most interesting story deadly boring...

Have you had a look at the a-list collection which Audible themselves record? Anne Hathaway reading 'The Wizard of Oz', Colin Firth reading 'The end of the affair', Samuel L Jackson reading 'A Rage in Harlem'.

fatowl Wed 14-Sep-16 16:10:31

I listen to a lot of audible

The best narrator I remember recently was for Americanah

I like Stephen Keeble too, who reads a lot of bernard cornwell, inc the last kingdom. I just downloaded Oliver Twist because it was him.

I do like Stephen Fry reading Harry Potter - it's comforting

Sosidges Wed 14-Sep-16 17:22:53

I agree that a good narrator makes an audible book really enjoyable. Most of the books I have returned have been due to the narrator.

I love Timothy West and Juliet Stevenson. If I can't sleep I listen to any Jane Austen read by JuLiete Stevenson and I am asleep in minutes. Currently I am listening to the Lollipop Shoes and am really enjoying it. I might get the rest of the Chocolar series.

tobee Wed 14-Sep-16 18:00:29

Great, thanks for the recommendations. I tend to like listening on long journeys and while doing dull housework so it's lovely to get really involved.

ladybird69 Fri 16-Sep-16 02:09:53

The girl who said saved the king of Sweden by Jonas Johnson is better in audio it is great.

AnnaChronism Fri 16-Sep-16 09:07:41

I listen to Audible books a lot, there are lots that I've liked.

Do you prefer fiction or non fiction?

tobee Fri 16-Sep-16 17:57:53

Which Trollope to start with?

I like both fiction and non fiction and also dramatisations. I have some great stuff on World War II with first hand accounts with links by Timothy West btw.

Sadik Fri 16-Sep-16 19:23:47

I also listen to audio books while I work (I'm a grower) so I like either books where the plot doesn't move too fast or books I've read in the past.

I pay for Audible, so tend to go for length as much as anything there in my monthly choices, then see what I can find that I fancy in the library online audiobook selection.

Definitely agree the narrator makes an enormous difference - I recently listened to The Difference Engine narrated by Simon Vance, and thought he did a fantastic job. I've listened to some really good books narrated by the author as well (particularly enjoyed Alex's Adventures in Numberland, and also The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making).

MuseumOfHam Fri 16-Sep-16 19:43:24

At the risk of stating the bleedin obvious, always, always play the sample before deciding whether to purchase. I have rejected many books that on first sight I was pretty keen on, on this basis, or decided to add to my list to read instead.

Ones I have enjoyed recently include Wolf Hall / Bring Up The Bodies (different narrators but both good), and The Bone Clocks (multiple narrators).

tobee Fri 16-Sep-16 20:31:02

Oh yeah. Listening to the sample is imperative to weed out the strange robot people.

Cooroo Sat 17-Sep-16 10:41:16

Trollope - The Way We Live Now is a brilliant standalone novel with lots of modern resonance. Then the Barchester novels - starting with The Warden and the. My candidate for one of top 10 books I've read: Barchester Towers.

Sosidges Sat 17-Sep-16 12:54:39

I love Trollope, the American Senator is a great read.

BobbyGentry Sat 17-Sep-16 13:08:15

From a MN thread, I've listened through:

Mary Beard (enjoyed Pompeii but it's not narrated by Mary Beard.)

Wolf hall (brilliant as was the sequel)

IQ84 & The Wind-up bird Chronicles (fantastic, Japanese surrealism, violent & sexy.)

Bernard Cornwell Last Kingdom series on Audible (fantastic)

The Luminaries (struggling through, only 16 more hours to go...)

David Attenborough Life on Air (loved this book)

The Time Traveller's Guide to Medieval England by Ian Mortimer (gave-up)

Alun Rickman The Return of the Native (only picked 'cause I fancy Alun Rickman but gave-up)

Half a Yellow Sun (not tried yet.)

Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozie Adichie read by Adjoa Andoh (loved this)

Other enjoyed, Phillip Pullman (His Dark Materials) & short stories

Anything read by Stephen Fry (Harry Potter)

Sir Terry Pratchett (Disc World Series.)

All good reads (except the ones I gave up on.)

pinkpeter1 Sat 17-Sep-16 13:11:18

Can I just remind people also you can get audio books from the library for free! The app is called overdrive and you just join your local council library. There isn't unlimited choice but plenty for those on a budget or who don't want to pay!

MermaidofZennor Sat 17-Sep-16 16:28:32

pinkpeter - not all libraries do the Overdrive audiobooks. Ours doesn't so I would have to go out of County to another library.

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