A long time ago, Tami waxed rhapsodic about the virtues of audiobooks.
I'm here to share my own foray into the aural storytelling format.
I first got into audiobooks a couple of jobs ago. The job was important, but definitely of the autopilot variety. I was having trouble staying focused for hours on end, simply due to the lack of stimulation of any kind.
I tried the whole listening to music bit, but without a steady and reliable source of brand new music that was to my tastes, things were looking a little grim.
That's when I first dipped into the world of audiobooks.
I'd been in the middle of reading one of the Dresden files at the time so, curious, I looked up who did the audiobooks and surprise, surprise. It was James Marsters.
Freaking Spike was reading out the Dresden files?
This I had to hear for myself.
So I started with book one.
I wasn't blown away right from the start, I have to admit.
The first book, and honestly most of the second, Marsters was reading the books to me. And it wasn't bad, I don't want to give you that impression. Marsters has a lovely voice that's especially suited for the little inner monologues and tangents that Dresden wanders around.
It's around book three that he really...sort of picks up his stride.
There's a character in the novels named "Toot-Toot".
Toot's a sprite, one of the wee folk.
The first couple of times Marsters reads his lines, he sounds like...a very slightly higher pitched James Marsters.
Come book three? Marsters really gets into it and whenever Toot gets to speak, he slips into this muppety Yoda-like voice and almost knocked me off my chair, I was laughing so hard.
He gets into the reading and it's wonderful to hear. Each character gets their own little voice and flare, and by and large, he keeps their voices consistent from book to book.
The best way that I can describe it is not as James Marsters reading the book out loud...but more like he acts it. He makes choked and strangled noises when appropriate. He laughs and chuckles during speech when it's called for.
And his women...
James Marsters is a man. This is irrefutable. But there ARE female characters in the Dresden books and they DO speak on occasion.
When he reads their parts...he doesn't slip his voice up into a falsetto or anything like that...but there IS a shift. His voice tends to change its rhythm just a tiny bit and alters in a way that I can't quite describe but very much convinces me that a woman is speaking those lines.
The best way I can describe it is that when he reads out various characters...it does NOT feel like a man doing impressions or voice acting and more...more like he's creating an aural painting.
Does that make sense?
It's just plain FUN to listen to.
I enjoy it highly and as the series goes through some utterly ridiculous ups and downs (the biggest one was definitely the climactic sequence of book 12 "Changes"), I feel like it's the closest I'm ever going to get to seeing Harry Dresden on the big screen...and you know what?
I'm completely okay with it.
I think if they made a movie or a tv show about it, it would ruin the mental image I have of the characters. The way their voices sound in my head most definitely won't line up to whoever they have acting the roles.
Listening to the audiobooks...because it's just one reader, it doesn't jolt me out of what I'm expecting to hear in my head, if that makes sense.
And yes, I am aware that a couple seasons of a tv show exist.
I refuse to acknowledge said existence in any meaningful way.
All I'm saying is that...if you were ever on the fence about giving audiobooks a try, or if you were wondering what a good and proper Harry Dresden might sound like...
Give the audiobooks a try.
That being said? I'm actually nearing the halfway point of the last audiobook now and now that I've sort of gotten accustomed to listening to it during my commute to and from work...I'm in a bit of a panic as I wonder what I'll listen to next.
Anyone have any wonderful audiobook suggestions?