In the previous post, I discussed the characterization of Uhtred, Son of Uhtred, of Bebbanburg and his tendency to act rashly. Today, I want to switch it up a bit and discuss a topic near and dear to my heart--the audiobook version of The Pale Horseman as narrated by Jonathan Keeble.
I listened to the sample of Jamie Glover reading this book, and thought it sounded good--a style and cadence of speech that I could listen to for a long time. Ultimately, this is the litmus test for audiobook readers.
The version I am listening to, however, is read by Jonathan Keeble, who burst into my favorites list like an axe wielding Viking of the vocal world. He doesn’t just read, he acts. It really sound like he is putting body-English and facial expression into the microphone.
This blog article is particularly meaningful today, to me at least, because I am listening to the final version of one of my own books, Son of Orlan. Most writers dream of seeing their books in print. That definitely gets me jazzed up like a monkey full of Starbucks go-juice, but hearing a talented professional narrate my stories--well, it’s like going to Disney Land after winning the world series.
Many, many times I have blogged about my love of the audiobook medium.
Why so serious?
In the past, I’ve talked about convenience and how great it is to listen to a book on a long drive. Yes, yes, that is true. But there is a lot more to my obsession. I think the spoken word is good for writers; storytelling began as an oral tradition of great importance to the tribe. When done correctly, the rhythm, range, and tension of the narrator brings good (and sometimes bad) things to life.
All of this, I have said before. This morning, it occurs to me that there is a much simpler explanation. When I hear an audiobook, I slide effortlessly into the story world. It relaxes and excites me, encourages visualization, and takes me away like a genre-hopping time machine.
Audiobooks are great. I hope you will try one out, and if you do, look for my top seven list of great narrators (which is kinda-sorta in order by the voice actor, not the actual stories):
The Pale Horseman by Bernard Cornwell (as narrated by Jonathan Keeble) (The Last Kingdom is book one in this series),
The Last Town on Earth by Thomas Mullen (as narrated by Henry Strozier),
Cop Town by Karin Slaughter (as narrated by Kathleen Early),
The Pillars of Earth Ken Follet (as narrated by John Lee),
A Game of Thrones by George R. R. Martin (as narrated by Roy Dotrice),
Master and Commander by Patrick O’Brian (as narrated by Simon Vance),
Wool by Hugh Howey (as narrated by Amanda Sayle)
If you listen to the above series, I am confident that you will share my deep appreciation for the spoken word! (I have no financial affiliation with any of the above works, just a deep affinity for awesomeness and the need to share what I like with you, dear reader. If they wanted to send me a check, I wouldn't say no, but I ain't holding my breath:)
I also have three audiobooks available thanks to the talented new voice actor and musician, Reece Allan Morse: Dragon Badge, Dragon Attack, and also Enemy of Man. Son of Orlan will be available soon.
The more traditional versions of my science fiction and urban fantasy books are available here. The Kindle editions are available through Kindle Unlimited and Amazon Prime as well.
Thanks for stopping by,
Cop Town is the first book I've listened to by Karin Slaughter. I am now a fan for life. The obstacles that Kate Murphy faces on her first day in the Atlanta Police Department in 1974 are intense and she has a lot more to her character than first impressions suggest. I really liked her family and some of their interactions. Kate handles herself well in a time and place where women are definitely treated differently than their male counterparts. It's almost impossible not to cheer for her as she faces killers and bullies. My favorite character, however, was Maggie Lawson, a five-year veteran of the police department who has the added burden of being part of a family with a long law enforcement tradition.
Anyone interested in reading or listening to Cop Town can see how intense in the basic subject matter of this book's plot from the description, so I won't go into that. I don't like to do spoilers anyway. I will say that Slaughter’s research into law enforcement seems to be excellent. Karin Slaughter is now on my top five list of crime fiction novelists. I'll be reading more books by her. (Kathleen Early did an excellent job narrating this book.)
Life is an adventure. I read to expand my horizons and write because I must.
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