Does anyone else listen to them? I am an Audible members, and have a large library selection as well.
I have a long commute and love them.
I am an audiobook addict, but think Audible is a huge ripoff -- way too expensive.
I just listened to the LOTR books, and before that all the Sherlock Holmes books and stories (read by Derek Jacobi), the Anne of Green Gables series, a bunch of David Sedaris books, the Harry Potter series (read by Stephen Fry, not the wretched Jim Dale versions), Frankenstein, A Passage to India, Gulliver's Travels (both the David Hyde Pierce version and the Hugh Laurie version; the latter was better), Brideshead Revisited (read by Jeremy Irons), Arthur C. Clarke stories, Short Stories of Saki, the Lucia / Mapp books, In Cold Blood, and the Haunting of Hill House.
[R2] - I have the Jeremy Irons recording of "Brideshead Revisted" on my to-read pile for a discussion group later this year. Audible is expensive for one credit per month, but at two per month the cost becomes bearable. I've run across my library adding a book after I'd already gotten it from Audible, but those are the breaks of the game. A recommendation for you based upon your list would be "Old Filth" by Jane Gardam.
I just signed up for Audible to listen to the Song of Ice & Fire series. Considering how expensive audiobooks are, I don't see how it's a ripoff. Short of stealing them or borrowing from a library, where else can you get them for a good price?
Audible often has sales, and promotions. Also, a book can sometimes be cheaper if you get the Kindle edition first, even when you have no intention of reading it that way.
I am an Audible fan.
They have the absolute paradigm for what customer service should be.
Their customer service people are nice as all get out.
My friend gives me her free credits so I am oblivious to the cost.
Check with your local library -- many now offer free downloads of audible books good for a limited time. My podunk library offers this service so I bet most do now.
Just signed up for a 1-month trial with Audible and got a free audiobook (sexy Jeremy Northam reading "Our Man in Havana"). Don't think I will continue the membership, however, I'd rather listen to music than have someone read to me. But Jeremy Irons reading "Brideshead" sounds good though.
I commute about 10 to 12 hours a week, so I listen to a lot of audiobooks.
The quality of narrators varies widely.
I recently listened all the way through Asimov's Robot/Empire/Foundation series. Scott Brick did a great job, but I had to suffer through two books narrated by Larry McKeever. Even Siri sounds more natural.
I hear a lot about Scott Brick, but have never listened to anything by him. Stefan Rudnicki has a sexy voice.
"Our Man in Havana" is a very funny story!
Love them, best thing in the world for long drives.
Today, I've been listening to "World War Z", thanks to my local library.
This thread got me curious, so I checked my library stats and was a bit surprised to find 426 titles. That's on the account I have had since 2004. I had a previous account from 2000 to 2002, but I let that one lapse.
There are a few in there that I just couldn't make it all the way through.
Mostly they are books, but I have used some of the Pimsleur language learning kits.
I wanted to get the free audio book from Audible but they want your credit card info to get it.
I loved "The Graveyard Book" by Neil Gaiman.
Recently I've listened to "The Adoration of Jenna Fox" and I am currently listening to "The Secret Life of Bees."
I can't drive in my car anymore with out listening to an audiobook!
Audible's customer service is totally excellent. Did you know that most customers (with an established history) can return books they just didn't like?
I love the idea of it, but I just can't get into them. I'd rather read.
What sort of machine do you listen to them on & how do you 'bookmark' ?
Also, aren't audio books usually edited down in size?
Some audiobooks are "abridged" but these days the vast majority as the full length word-for-word text. Many folks listen their books on iPods; my primary device is a Sansa Clip. Audible books are self-bookmarking on all devices, period. Most players these days have a bookmarking function (with the Clip, I need to change the tag to "audiobook" for Overdrive downloads, but that's instinctive now, taking about two minutes).
Many folks, myself included, cannot just sit and listen for very long at home with actually DOING something: ironing, sewing, cleaning, etc. I don't sleep well on redeye flights, yet don't want to read a print book either, so that's a perfect time. I love NOT hearing the conversations around me on public transportation, too.
I could never have faced reading "classic" authors like Dickens or Trollope in print (talk about daunting!), but my audio listens have been largely a pleasure!
I used to be an avid audiobook consumer on my long commute. Now I'm all about e-books on my iPad, whether through iBooks, the Kindle app, or the Google Books store. (There's also a Nook app from Barnes & Noble, but who uses that?)
I had slowly fallen out of the habit of reading the printed word for pleasure as I aged and my vision deteriorated subtly. The Retina display has changed my life.
[quote]Short of stealing them or borrowing from a library, where else can you get them for a good price?
That's just it; I "steal" them.
[quote] I could never have faced reading "classic" authors like Dickens or Trollope in print (talk about daunting!), but my audio listens have been largely a pleasure!
This is real food for thought. I've only tried listening to books that I'd have no problem reading. But the idea of listening to the classics is something I think I'm going to try.
I was also listening to books on CDs on an old CD player...which was a pain.
I'd never even heard of sansa clip, until now.
Thanks for the info, OP.
[quote]A recommendation for you based upon your list would be "Old Filth" by Jane Gardam.
I used to listen to them years ago while driving a long commute. Bad idea. Like a good bedtime story, it put me to sleep and I woke up just as I was heading for the shoulder. I overcompensated and ended up rolling the car.
I love listening to memoirs and biographies, but I have trouble following novels audiobooks. It goes in one ear and out the other.
You must be simple-minded, R23.
But have a nice day anyway, simpleton!
OP, what does an audible member look like and how do I know if my member is audible? I have never heard it, even when peeing, but I'm not sure what an audible member sounds like?
Audiobooks are great for a long drive or for the treadmill or your boring walk. Just listen to a sample of the book first--I think you have to like the narrator's voice. Here's two I loved recently:
The newest Ian McEwan--"Sweet Tooth"--narrated by one of my favorite actors, Juliet Stevenson. Her voice is such a pleasure to listen to and she was perfect for this book--the main character who narrates the novel is a young upper class Englishwoman fledgeling MI5 spy in 1970s. I imagine this version was better than reading the novel.
I also liked Eduardo Ballerini doing "Beautiful Ruins." I think the novel is over-rated (although it's an enjoyable read) but Ballerini is a really skilled narrator with a wonderful voice, excellent acting skill, and a perfect Italian accent (I've studied Italian). He does all characters well--even the female voices are very plausible.
[R24] that was rather harsh.
[R25] doesn't deserve a reply, so I'll just leave it at that.
[R26] That's the impression I've gotten about "Beautiful Ruins" -- the narration improves an over-rated story.
[R21] If you liked "Old Filth" then by all means get its companion book (not exactly a sequel) "The Man in the Wooden Hat" also.
Is too stupid to read that many numbers.
I have a very boring job, like factory work in front of the computer and without audiobooks and podcasts I would go crazy. I don't know how my co-workers do it every day with only listening to music.
Anyway I sometimes have difficulties following audiobooks like R23 but I hope it's a language issue.
Thanks for all the suggestions, I'm going to check them out.
To me, there is nothing worse than listening to an author read his book to me. I'd rather read it out loud myself and imbue the characters with my own speech inflections and personal tics that I make up in my head according to how I feel about them as I go along.
That doesn't make any sense, does it.
Yes, it does, R30. I know exactly what you mean.
Strange how a thread about books, on DL, always gets some people upset and unsettled to the point where they feel the need to insult people.
"I'd rather read it out loud myself and imbue the characters with my own speech inflections ..."
I agree, R30. Which is why I didn't like audiobooks at first, because I tended to try to listen to books I already knew and liked. It was much less frustrating to listen to books I had never read.
For the poster who mentioned a using credit card to sign up: if you already have an Amazon.com account, Audible can use that card as well. I believe it's already set as one of your payment options.
I am a commercial voice-over actor, and recently I auditioned at Audible.com and was hired to narrate an audiobook. It was part of a series, and I have since done all four books. I was excited and very nervous.
I really love the work. It is very specific, and rather demanding believe it or not. I want the listener's experience to be as enjoyable as possible. Sadly, the books were not great, yet I hoped to have actually improved the experience by giving it my all and telling the story in the most compelling way possible, mostly by staying out of the way of the writing.
I've listened to lots of other male narrators near my age(40s), and I agree Eduardo Ballerini and Scott Brick are both superb. I have a Scott Brick sort of voice in general, but I think I have had slightly more success with my female characters. Can't wait for my next narrating assignment!
I've listened to several books where the narration has made an otherwise mediocre plotline bearable! I'm a big fan of Grover Gardner and William Dufris for male readers. Goodreads and LibraryThing both have active Audiobook forums where your input would be well apprecaited!
"The Poisoner's Handbook" by Deborah Blum. It's a non-fiction book about forensic science in Prohibition-era New York. It's part biography of Charles Norris and Alexander Gettler (NYC's first Chief Medical Examiner and toxicologist, respectively), part history of Prohibition, and part true crime novel. Coleen Marlo, the woman who narrates it, is wonderful.
One of the stories she tells is of a homeless man, Michael Malloy, who was conned into taking out a life insurance policy by a group of men who frequented a speakeasy, while they sat back and waited for him to day. When he failed to drink himself to death, they moved on to more direct methods, trying to poison him on numerous occasions, then when that didn't work, waited for him to pass out on a freezing cold night, dumped water on him, and left him to freeze to death, only to have him walk back into the speakeasy the next night. One of the conspirators eventually ran over him with his cab, and then they figured he was finally gone, only to have him return after a long hospital stay in desperate need of a drink. They finally managed to kill him by asphyxiating him with a gas from a faulty gas light. When the killers were finally caught, the papers nicknamed Malloy "Mike the Durable" and if there was ever a story ready-made for a Cohen brothers film...
The Voice of the Night
I will join Audible when they have Fran Drescher reading 50 Shades of Grey in her Fran Fine voice.
I have Richard K. Morgan's The Steel Remains and The Cold Commands narrated by Simon Vance. The Richard K. Morgan novels are parts of a gay themed fantasy series and Vance gives most voices some distinguishable accent. To me they are nice enough entertainment. I also have the first book of the Hunger Games series on audiobook. But most audiobooks I have are self help books.
When it comes to fiction novels I think audiobooks take away a tiny bit of liberty by giving characters a voice so the reader can't make them up in his head which may put off book readers who prefer to be in full control about their imagination while reading.
This is a funny clip of Judy Geeson (British actress of the '60s) struggling to narrate an audiobook.
She even brought her pet dog to the studio.
[quote] When it comes to fiction novels I think audiobooks take away a tiny bit of liberty by giving characters a voice so the reader can't make them up in his head which may put off book readers who prefer to be in full control about their imagination while reading.
I never make up voices. However I make up their looks and the whole scenery, including every little detail.
Audible is like the old Columbia Record Club. Expensive, limited selection of titles, and once you're a member, they will track you to the ends of the earth to get you back when you cancel your membership.
R38 - that's why a blind friend of mine preferred Braille over audio.
R41 - I wouldn't call Audible's selection "limited" at all. My problem is that I'm spoiled as my library has a humongous selection of books on CD's and downloadable Audiobooks, so my Audible credits back up; I'm going to have to request an annual three month "hiatus" soon.