Listening to Audiobooks: Hyenas Won’t Eat My Children After All

30 Mar

seven handsI’ve been borrowing my girlfriend’s car this week while she globetrots and it turns out she’s had the audio version of my story “The Book of Seven Hands” in the CD player.

This story of mine came out two years ago from 47 North as an e-book and an audio book. I’ve read the e-book just to see how 47 North “built” the architecture for the “book”, but the notion of listening to someone else read my story has pretty much made my skin crawl up till now. For no good reason, really! I think I feared that listening to someone else read my book would accentuate every tiny problem. In my unprotected ears, I think I feared that every clunky sentence and awkward phrase would sound like recordings of my children getting eaten by hyenas.

But whatever. Two years have gone by. I was in the car, there was nothing on the radio except granulated pop sugar, so what-the-hell, I flipped on “The Book of Seven Hands.”

Again, my reasons for never listening to the audiobook were just irrational and I knew that, because, wow, the performer, Nick Podehl, rocks. I mean, he’s REALLY really good. I found myself really listening to his performance — because it is a performance of a one-man play, basically. It was fun to realize that he was giving nuanced but very individual reads to each character in the opening scene and that his inflection changed as these characters subtly realized what was happening in the scene around them. Weirdly, I found myself getting caught up in the story.

This probably sounds a totally obvious thing to say, especially if you listen to a lot of audiobooks. But I don’t, so this was a lovely surprise, to discover that the “reader” isn’t reading at all. S/he is unloading a trunk-full of talent upon the listener — comic reads, sad reads, big characters and quiet ones. Even animal characters get a great treatment in Podehl’s hands (there’s a long-suffering draft horse named Padrona in “The Book of Seven Hands” whom Podehl treats very respectfully and with touches of comic flair. QUITE LOVELY — and it’s all him, not me.)

ANyway, looking forward to getting some shopping done out in the suburbs tonight so I can see what happens next.

3 Responses to “Listening to Audiobooks: Hyenas Won’t Eat My Children After All”

  1. Matt Black April 6, 2015 at 5:12 pm #

    Hi, I followed your link from TerribleMinds. The Right-wing ish one was the Black Tide Rising series by John Ringo, the Left-ish one was Ex-Heroes by Peter Clines.

    • Matt Black April 6, 2015 at 5:20 pm #

      Also, if you want some conservative style sci-fi, anything by David Weber or John Ringo can get you there.

    • barthanderson April 13, 2015 at 8:23 pm #

      Thanks! Yeah, I’ve heard of Ringo before but not Clines. Appreciate it!

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