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Claire (The Captive Reader)

RA reading Heyer is perfection. I actually just picked up the audiobook for Venetia this week and can't wait to get started on it, having loved listening to Sylvester last year. My library has the audiobook for The Grand Sophy, my favourite Heyer novel, on order and I've already placed my hold on it. It does bother me that the audiobooks are so dramatically abridged but I'll take what I can get for now!


I read Helter Skelter years ago and it is one of only a very few books that had me scared and gave me nightmares, probably because I knew it was true and had happened a few years before I read it. I would think it would be very engaging on audio. It is well written and reads like a novel.


I could imagine listening to a book I've read before especially when it's read by an actor or someone else with a great voice but for a book I haven't read it's not possible for me. I tried it a few times and my mind wanders off too quickly, something that doesn't happen when I read or if it does, I just stop quickly or got bach to where I lost the thread.

Cath @ Constance Reader

God, Winds of War is going to take FOREVER. But I bet it will be great.

I sort of(ish) do audio books. More like, if I am in the middle of something (a classic, where it's available for free) and need to clean or go for a drive, I will queue it up so I can get back to it ASAP!

I bet Heyer WOULD translate well to audio. It's like a radio serial in a lot of ways. The story is what to focus on, rather than language, so you don't feel like you have to parse everything.


I'm also in Audible -- I'm on my third membership, having cancelled and rejoined twice. But in fact I am now going to stick with it because it fills a really important gap for me -- I can't read in cars or on buses/coaches and as I travel a LOT, audio books are an amazing resource. I absolutely agree about the quality of the reader -- I have abandoned a couple of books because I really didn't like the way it was being read. As for your choices -- I would go for books I had not read, or had not finished otherwise it seems a bit of a waste of your subscription. I'd probably go for the WW2 novel as it certainly is value for money! and maybe the Powell, who I've never read. I have read a couple of McDermids and I am always rather disappointed with her, but of course as you say she is very popular.


Richard Armitage and Georgette Heyer, eh? What a combination! I love me my audio books but I tend towards dramatisations of golden age crime which I listen to again and again. It's the most comforting and relaxing thing I do.

Liz F

I've only tried a couple of audio books and really couldn't get on with them but admittedly neither had Richard Armitage reading them!
I read Winds of War years ago and absolutely loved it although it is a HUGE book but it would probably translate to audio pretty well.
I liked some of Val McDermid's early books about a Manchester PI but I found that her more recent ones are a bit grim for me and the title you mention is unfamiliar - maybe one of those novels which have different titles on each side of the Atlantic.


Audiobooks? Nein, danke :(

Audio does not equal book in my view...


I don't blame you for signing up to hear RA narrate books!

I'm really picky about audio books, which is why I rarely listen to them. If I find the narrator's voice even slightly annoying, I can't listen to it. Don't think I'd have that problem with RA though. :)


So many choices! Wouk is definitely sweeping. I read one of his books in the 80s and while it was fat (are any of his books short?) the pages just flew by. The man knows how to tell a story. If the Anna K is read by Nadia May you will really enjoy it. My husband listened to that edition and loved it. Good luck deciding!


Yes, but not all and not always. There are more problems to use them, I mean equipment, devices. To read a book you only need light.


To answer you question: I don't :)
Listening to an audiobook just doesn't feel the same for me as reading a real book.

But, you have some great choices there. I've read Winds of War & loved it. Also, Gaskell is always a good choice. :) I've read some of McDermids books (not the one you mentioned, though) & liked them.


If you're tallying votes, mine goes for Anthony Powell, only because it's something I think I should read someday. I've started listening to books only lately since I've started exercising -- it doesn't compare to the real thing but it still takes a lot more focus than I ever imagined.


Yes I do, and I think they really work well for me. Especially when I'm driving, at the gym or walking the dog. And it's easier on the ears than on the eyes when I feeling tired. In a way, it allows me to still "read" even when I don't physically feel like doing so. But like you, the voice and tone of the narrator matters much, and if it isn't right, I will rather give it a pass than to let it spoil the book.
I joined Audible once before too (was also lured by the free book gimmick) but cancelled after that. The one I got for free was Bittersweet by Nevada Barr, and it was actually good.
I listened to Val McDermid's Trick of The Dark recently and enjoyed it quite a bit. It has a fair share of twists and turns (& dead bodies) plus an Oxford setting in the background, if that appeals to you. No idea about the one you mentioned though, sorry.
I have also enjoyed listening to Sarah Water's books (after having read them). All were excellently narrated. Oh and if you can, do try getting hold of any P.G Wodehouse narrated by Jonathan Cecil. I just had a most delightful time listening to Aunts Aren't Gentlemen. :)



I'm no help and to provide more distractions try browsing here for free Podcasts

from Margaret Atwood to PD James
Pullman, Prachett, Stephen King...etc there are loads to choose from!

DID is a show where a guest chooses a number of songs, a book and a luxury of items to take to a desert island and they chat about their life between the music extracts it can be not very exciting to quite fascinating


Claire--I don't really understand they they abridge these books, but I'll take what I can get, too! I loved Venetia--and even started listening to it a second time. I'm already planning on using one of my credits for one of the other Heyer's read by RA--maybe I'll try Sylvester, too!

Penny--I read a different book by him and recall being glued to it as well. I think I will get HS as one of my choices as I don't think I will ever read it and it would be interesting to listen to it. It does sound scary--even though I know more or less what happened.

Caroline--That's why I was thinking I could listen to a book that I had already read and enjoyed the story the first time around. I'm picky on what I will listen to, too. It is harder with audio--if you miss something you can't easily go back and find the place you lost the thread--I agree with you there!

Cath--It is a long one and I'm not entirely sure I will choose it--for that reason. For a really long car ride it would be perfect. I have the Wouk in book form, so I might just stick to reading it at some point--though it does sound like a great story. The Heyer was a wonderful choice--and I still plan on reading the book eventually, too. RA read it very well. I wasn't sure what it would be like for him to be the voice of the female characters, but after a while I didn't really notice.

Harriet--I hate not having something to do on the bus but I don't have a problem reading a book. Walking, however, which I do a lot of is another thing entirely. I get very bored as there is nothing nice to look at--only the ugly traffic, so listening to a book on audio really helps pass the time. In in the past I have always borrowed audio files from the library so didn't mind trying something and if the reader didn't click with me I only too happily would delete it. I will have to be more careful with the Audible as I will be buying the files. Luckily you can listen to a sample and see if it sounds okay--I'll be listening to the samples for these books! I don't really mind listening to a book I've read, but I'd like to mix it up a little--one that I've read and one or two new ones. Not sure about Val McDermid as I'm not sure this particular story appeals, though I do want to try Anthony Powell--I started reading this book earlier in the year but set it aside--as I got busy with other books.

Litlove--I'm a sucker for RA and Heyer--what more can I ask for to have them both together?! :) I like dramatizations as well--I listened to a radio show of a Ray Bradbury and it was excellent--I'll have to see if Audible has anything like that as I think I would very much enjoy it!

Liz--You might just be sold if the narrator was RA! ;) It's like he's just whispering a story in your ear... :) If I don't listen to the Wouk I will read it as I found a nice used copy at a library sale! And the thing that makes me waver a little on the Val McDermid is that I have heard her stories can be somewhat gruesome! Maybe I'll look up the Amazon reviews for that one.

Tony--It is a different experience that's for sure. There are some books I will only read, but books that I am only peripherally interested in (and wouldn't read otherwise) or books I've read and wouldn't mind listening to as well are the ones I tend to choose.

Anna--So many times I have looked at those audios and wanted to try one and I finally gave in. I only wish he would narrate more books! I am the same way when it comes to the voice of the reader--if it grates on me than I won't bother listening!

Stefanie--I'll see who narrates Anna K--glad to hear your husband liked it--that always helps in deciding. The Wouk would certainly keep me busy! I may have to wait until nicer weather, though, as that is a lot of hours walking. :)

Zbyszekspir--Yes, you certainly can't improve on a plain old book--I absolutely agree. What I don't like is not being able to flip back a few pages in case I might have missed something--it's not so easy with audio. Occasionally they come in handy though to pass time when you can't actually read a book.

Tiina--I know what you mean. It's taken me a long time to really get into audio books and still I am very picky about what I listen to. With a book I am really excited about I can only read it. I'm leaning very heavily towards North and South as I loved the book so much. Wouk seems to be a favorite--lots of people have read him--I will have to give him a try--book or audio!

Isabella--I only listen at certain times, too. It is boring on my daily walks to work, which is when I tend to listen to audio books. I get tired of just music so I thought it was time to find a few more audio books to have ready. I started the Powell earlier in the year and was enjoying the book but I got distracted and set it aside. I think I would still like to read him, but maybe listening first is not a bad idea.

Michelle--It is a good way to pass time when you are doing something that doesn't take a lot of thought but you still need to do--what better thing than to listen to a book! I also was lured by this one book--not sure I'll continue but I do need to use my credits up. It's always good to have the books on hand for future listening. I will definitely look for PG Wodehouse--they have loads to choose from and I bet I can find him. I would think he would translate well to audio, too. I do want to try Val McDermid, but I am not sure this is the one I want to start with. And I'll keep an eye out for Sarah Waters, too! I've read almost all her books but I think I could happily listen to her stories again as well.

I used to load podcasts onto my MP3 player and really enjoyed listening to them, but I found iTunes so clunky to work with. Also at the time my computer was older and very slow so it took forever to load the programs. That was several years ago, and now with a newer computer it might work better--I'll take a look--thanks for the link--the program sounds like fun.


I can only do audiobooks on a car trip when I am the driver and since I am rarely the driver, I read books instead. But the two I have experience with were pretty great -- Jon Krakauer's Into Thin Air about the very ill-fated Everest expedition, and Katherine Graham's autobiography Personal History.

Val McDiarmid was the writer for a UK show called Wire in the Blood -- I didn't love the plots but the main characters -- played by Robson Green and Hermione Norris were compelling.


Danielle, the brief answer to your blog title would be -- "I don't."
The long-winded answer, [similar to listening to Winds of War...] is "I don't because I can't."
Not that I'm deaf or anything, but I find I just cannot follow along with audio-books. I've tried many times and had some success, listening to books by Elie Wiesel, Philip Roth and C.S. Lewis -- but for the most part, my attention wanes. Which is weird because I love podcasts and interviews etc. I can follow along with that real well, but with books I just can't. My attention wanders. I need to SEE the page, and the print. I notice too that I re-read a lot of paragraphs and sentences when I read -- and this is not possible with audio books, they just keep rolling along.
I think a person has to have real focussed powers of concentration with audiobooks, and I wish I had this attribute.
Now, to answer which of your choices I would choose if I were to listen -- I would pick Anna Karenina because it's my fave-book ever. I've read it twice and I think I would have better focussing powers attending to the words of my beloved Tolstoy.

Rebecca H.

I love the idea of listening to Georgette Heyer! I also love the idea of rereading books on audio. I listened to all the Austen books on audio a while back (before blogging) and it was great. You already know the story, so it's not as hard to follow along and you can enjoy yourself more. Or at least that was my experience of it.


I do love listening to radio shows that dramatize books (e.g. BBC radio 4 extra) especially while stitching, but I'm not good at listening to someone reading the actual text. How weird is that? Anyway, I don't have the concentration (having a very visual memory) to follow the details of an audio book. Hey, that's not quite true. When I was nursing baby S, I got a lot of audio books of Agatha Christie and I liked it a lot! but that was because I had my hands full ;)!


AJ--I prefer to read on a long car journey, too. I listen to books when walking outside. It will take me ages to get through even three long audio books but it is good to have them on hand. Must check out Wire in the Blood now as I love Hermione Norris!

Cipriano--I've decided that Winds of War is maybe just a little too long for me, too! :) It is harder work to listen to audio books than you think--that's why I have to choose carefully--nothing with too many facts or details and books that I've already read and just want to listen to again are good choices. I like podcasts, too, though I am lazy about loading them onto my MP3 player. And my attention wanders too often too--maybe that's why I read so many books at once--jumping from one subject to another at whim. And Anna K is definitely on my reread list. I have chosen my three books, and while Anna K isn't in this group--too many other long books/audios--I might still listen to it again. I still have one credit left to use. :)

Rebecca--Venetia was a great story to listen to. She does translate well onto audio, and is just the sort of story that works well for me. You don't need to concentrate too hard and yet you are told a great/entertaining story. And I like listening to stories I've already read, too, for just the same reasons you mention.

Smithereens--I like dramatizations, too! I listened to Ray Bradbury's This Way Wicked Comes, which was done as a radio show and was excellent. I would love to find more like that. I need to listen to BBC4 more--I always hear about the great shows they have. Agatha would be great on audio, too--very compelling I would think--perfect for a nursing mother! :) And I don't always concentrate so well with audio books either, which is why I like to only listen to certain kinds of stories.

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