Audiobook Week: Current Audiobooks

Audiobook Week

Current/most recent audiobook: 

I’m currently listening to Does the Noise in My Head Bother You? (the memoir from the lead singer of Aerosmith, Steven Tyler and David Dalton; narrated by Jeremy Davidson.) The ghostwriting and the narrator temper the free-form/stream-of-consciousness scat of Steven Tyler; but the spirit of the book, of the singer, come through. Not for the prudish, the memoir covers the drugs, sex and, alcohol abuses of a hard core rock ‘n’ roll band as well as some of the personal triumphs. There are really no surprises for those who have been along for the ride these past four decades and yet, there is a certain fascination in hearing this unapologetic recounting of the excesses.

Impressions: 

Would it have been better had Steven Tyler narrated? I would have thought the audiobook publishers would have wanted Steven Tyler to narrate; but then I thought again! Trying to tie him to a script, even if it was his own, would have been impossible! His style is so free-form and ad lib, I don’t think he could have delivered the book verbatim! On the other hand, I heard that the book was actually transcribed from interview tapes, David Dalton doing some minor organization of the text. I would have personally paid to listen to the original transcript tapes, regardless of the quality! That said, Jeremy Davidson does an admirable job of trying to get out of his own way. He has a distinctive, non-Tyler voice and yet, it’s Steven Tyler’s voice we really hear.

Current favorite audiobook

These are the titles, in alphabetical order,  that have made my personal Pantheon of All-Time Great Audiobooks: 

  • 1984 (by George Orwell; narrated by Simon Prebble)
  • The Dead Trilogy (by Adrian McKinty; narrated by Gerard Doyle)
  • A Happy Marriage (by Rafael Yglesias; narrated by Grover Gardner)
  • In Cold Blood (by Truman Capote; narrated by Scott Brick)
  • Life of Pi (by Yaan Martel; narrated by Jeff Woodman)
  • Matterhorn (by Karl Marlantes; narrated by Bronson Pinchot)
  • The Millennium Trilogy (by Stieg Larsson; narrated by Simon Vance)
  • Shantaram (by Gregory David Roberts; narrated by Humphrey Bower)
  • The Thirteenth Tale (by Diane Setterfeld; narrated by Bianca Amato and Jill Tanner)
  • To Kill a Mockingbird (by Harper Lee; narrated by Sissy Spacek)

Genre you most often choose to listen to: 

My tastes are extremely eclectic; but in looking over my lists of audiobooks that I’ve listened to, many are mysteries. This, by virtue of the fact that I belong to a Yahoo! group called, Sounds Like a Mystery (SLAM.) It’s a group dedicated to listening to mysteries in the audiobook format. I’m a big believer in genre-busting though so this year I’ve making a point of searching out titles that aren’t usually represented in my listening experience: Westerns (e.g. True Grit by Charles Portis; narrated by Donna Tarrt,)  non-fiction (Columbine by Dave Cullen; narrated by Don Leslie,) Autobiography/Memoir (Does the Noise in My Head Bother You? by Steven Tyler and David Dalton; narrated by Jeremy Davidson)… I also deliberately tried a couple of titles that were previously taboo to me, books that featured a child killer. The idea was that I needed to stop playing it safe in my listening selections. If I’m always going to play it safe, I might as well just stick to the mass market paperbacks at my local supermarket. I like to think that I’m capable of forging ahead through my prejudices.To that end I listened to A Quiet Belief in Angels (by R.J. Ellory; narrated by Mark Bramhall) and I have to be honest, it about did me in!

 If given the choice, you will always choose audio/print when: 

If I start a series in audio, I like to continue the series in audio (and the same with print.) If the narrator changes mid-series, I’m more likely to choose to go to print, just to keep the same voice in my head. At other times, print wins out over audio if it’s a matter of time  as I read faster than I listen.


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