Book Talk

The Audiobook Experiment

If you’ve followed me for a while, you probably know that I don’t listen to audiobooks. Not that I have something against them, on the contrary. I have a dyslexic friend who didn’t read a single book since high school, but who discovered audiobooks and became an avid reader.

My problem is that I’m a really fast reader, and audiobooks are slooooooow, which makes my mind wander and I lose concentration and have no idea what I’ve listened to. So I’ve stayed away from audiobooks and instead read the old fashioned way: on my e-reader 😁

But we’ve bought a house, and in April I’ll move into a huge house on a huge plot of land with lots and lots of grass that will require mowing. It’s so much grass I’ll have to use one of those mower tractor thingies and that will surely bore me to death if I don’t have anything to do. So my daughter introduced me to podcasts (no, I haven’t listened to podcasts either until a few weeks ago). And when I liked that (she knows me and knew what to recommend), I thought Maybe I should give audiobooks another try?

And since I have a Swedish book subscription service that doesn’t have a lot of M/M romance ebooks, but a good selection of M/M romance audiobooks, I didn’t have to pay extra to try it. So I picked a book I’d downloaded a sample from because I was curious about it, and started listening to it instead.

The book was Tallowwood by N.R. Walker, and while I liked the narrator, Antony Ferguson, at first, he annoyed me after a while. He was fine narrating the mystery part, but not so great when it came to the emotional parts. But when I realized that, I was invested in the book so I bought it as an ebook and finished it that way.

But since it was the narrator that had bugged me and not the audio format, I decided to give it another try. I picked another N.R. Walker book, Taxes and Tardis, that I’d already read. And since it’s narrated by Nick J. Russo, who came highly recommended by my audiobook listening friend, Kris T. Bethke, I decided to give it a try. And he was great! I listened to the book while cleaning the bathroom, laughing out loud so many times my husband eventually stuck his head into the bathroom and asked if I’d taken a sudden and unexpected liking to scrubbing the toilet and if that was why I was so happy.

When I was done with Taxes and Tardis, I moved on to Bishop by A.E. Via, another sample I’d downloaded. And OHMAGAWD the narrator!! His voice!! It’s deep and rumbly and I can feel it in my stomach when I listen to him speaking. Tor Thom is one of those people who could read the phone book (remember those?) out loud and I’d listen to it. And while I ended up liking the book in the end, there was a part that bugged me so much I considered DNF:ing it, but continued listening because I wanted to hear the narrator speak 😁

And finally (for this blog post at least), I listened to Raze by Roan Parrish. It was my first dual narrated book; one of them was the aforementioned Tor Thom and the other Kirt Graves, and this was the best experience by far. I absolutely loved the book (I’ll gush more about it in a separate blog post) and the narration was excellent. I read a lot of reviews where people said they preferred Kirt Graves over Tor Thom and would have liked it better had KG narrated it alone, but I don’t agree. I loved the different voices for the two characters. Tor Thom was a perfect Dane and Kirt Graves an even better Felix. He made me cry. Several times. And I sincerely think that this reading experience was better because of the narration. I’m sure I would’ve loved the book if I’d read it, too, but the narrators added something extra. Something special. Something that made me want to clean the house and do the dishes so I could continue listening. And that was something I never expected.

The conclusion to my experiment (four books in) is that as long as I keep busy doing something else while listening, something that I can do without having to think, audiobooks are great! Which means it’ll be perfect for riding the lawn mower tractor thingy, and if I find more books like Raze, we’ll have the most frequently mowed lawn in the region.

Tell me: do you listen to audiobooks? Do you have a favorite narrator you want to recommend? πŸ™‚