Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Audio books

In looking through Beka Cooper: Bloodhound by Tamora Pierce for my last post I was reminded that some books don't make the translation into audio book format quite as well as others. Sometimes that's because there are illustrations which help to tell the story. (As is the case, I think, with Sherman Alexie's The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian.) But there are one or two other reasons for it in the Beka Cooper books as well.

For example, the following quote:

"Is that a Dog thing, to want other opinions Never mind, Beka! Leave that muddling for the scholars!" (195)

The crossed out question is in the audio book, but the listener has no idea that Beka decided to cross it out.

Another example is when, on the last page of Beka's first diary entry, we see feline paw prints on the paper. Of course this doesn't translate well into the audio book, so the listener misses out a little when she writes "Pounce says I am to stop feeling sorry for myself and get to bed, or he will ruin another good page with his inky paws" (6). Sure the listener can figure out what just happened, but that awesome visual is missing.

Finally, there are the times when Beka is exhausted and it shows in her writing. In one entry, as I recall, she actually stops writing mid-word and there is a line leading away from her writing as her quill falls away from the page. That isn't the case in the example I've got here, though.

"I think I mst halt for a time. I've dun done a fearful abont amount of writing. Even in syfer I've writ a lot of pages. Ill write more of yesstrday yesterday, night, after a nap" (416).

Unless my memory fails me, all but the first of the crossed out words are not in the audio recording. (And I've listened to it enough times that I should know!) But even in the audio recording, try conveying the fact that an apostrophe is missing in "Ill."

Despite my criticism I do love the audio books of Beka Cooper. Even though they fail to convey little details the narrator does a wonderful job, and I'll listen to them many more times I'm sure. :)

3 comments:

Toriz said...

For those of us who can't read the print versions though, audiobooks are a wonderful thing. I mean, not all of that could be reproduced in braille either, plus braille books take up so much space (and can sometimes be even more expensive than audiobooks are). Not to mention, more things are produced on audio than in braille. And, personally, I'd take audiobooks over no books any day!

And I'd quite like to listen to the story you're talking about... Have to see if I can get my hands on a copy...

Sarita Rucker said...

I agree, I would take audio books over no audio books any day. Even though I'm speaking as someone with working eyes who doesn't rely on either audio books or braille. But I love my audio books, even if I talk about their shortcomings.

Bloodhound is the second Beka Cooper book, the first one is Terrier. The narrator, Susan Denaker, is a VERY good narrator.

Toriz said...

I'll see if I can get hold of a copy. :)

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