The narrator of an audio book can make or break the novel.

The joy of audio books …

Game of Thrones has been out for quite a while now, and despite being a fantasy lover, I haven’t picked it up because hey, these things are HUGE, and I’d been warned that they were so detailed that the story moved slow at times.

1430695 YAY CHEERBut when I saw the audio book at the library, I figured that would be a great way to experience the book without cutting into my reading time. So I prepared to make Game of Thrones a part of my commute for the next few months (There were 28 disks in the set).

Project2At first I enjoyed the narrator, who’s British accent really added flavor to this medieval fantasy tale. The problem was, though, that his voice sounded like an older man. Now, this was fine when voicing Ned Stark, or the King …but most of the characters in Game of Thrones are kids 14 years old and younger.

I’ve listened to many talented actors voice novels this year, and each and every character sounded different. The female narrators had a knack for sounding like boys, and the male narrators had no problem sounding like girls.

Project1No matter who’s part this narrator read, though, sounded like an old man.

That made it really hard for me to get absorbed in the story when we were in the points of view of characters that were young, or even worse… GIRLS.

No matter how hard I tried, I envisioned an old man playing all the characters. It kinda ruined it for me.

Yesterday I got a ping from the library that my audio book was due back. I was only on disk 4 of twenty eight. Since someone else had requested it, I could not renew, so I returned the discs figuring I could take them out again at a later date.


But the more I think about it, I probably won’t. The sad truth is that I really wasn’t enjoying it, and I don’t want to get a bad taste for the book just because the narrator didn’t spark my imagination.

This will be my first DNF of 2015. Bummer.

If you’re interested in listening to narrators who were great, consider the audiobooks of Cinder, Scarlet, and Cress (All the Lunar chronicles) or the audio book of “14” by Peter Clines. Those narrators totally rocked a distinct voice for every character, be they male or female.



3 responses to “The narrator of an audio book can make or break the novel.

  1. i only “read” books on cd during my 2-hour-plus commute. i don’t like when more than one person is narrating. i don’t like different actors reading the dialogue when someone else narrates. i also don’t like actors who read too slowly, but that’s the director’s fault. i prefer female readers, but i’m not sure why. i guess women just have a more pleasant voice.

    occasionally, i’ll bail on a book. i don’t enjoy first person-present tense POV, and i will bail on a book written as such unless i have a good reason to ignore it. it doesn’t make sense to listen to a book written as if it’s happening right that moment, like a “live streaming” book. i’m currently listeing to a book that isn’t just present tense but involves alternating chapters that are flashbacks – but both the “present” and the “past” are written in present tense. that makes zero sense, but i’m putting up with it because my daughter thought it was a great book.