[LMB] OT: ISO Calibrated Book Recommendations

Rachel Ganz rachel at compromise.fsnet.co.uk
Thu Aug 30 14:47:29 BST 2007

 --- Rachel Ganz <rachel at compromise.fsnet.co.uk> wrote:
 > I have read all of Heyer, it is still among my favoured chicken soup reading, but:
 > when I got one of her books out on tape (Venetia), I found it embarrassingly bad to listen to.
 Really?  I am astounded. Mostly because I love that book; was it the cadence, the subject matter,
 or something else that was a problem?  are you sure it wasn't just a bad reading?

[RG] I loved the book, but the reading pointed out what a mannered piece of froth it was. In the same way that  Heyer's views on class can be happily ignored while you're in the book, reading allowed bumped it into reality, and I realised that it didn't have quite the depth of character to support the froth. A bit like a beautifully painted stage set, but the reading aloud made it painfully obvious that it was merely painted wood, rather than a real building.
 > The silent voices inside my head did not survive a real person.
 Was it the contrast, then?
[RG] I suppose it's because I read so fast that I don't notice a lot of the inherent absurdities, but when you listen, you listen at a different pace, and you have time to think about it all.

 > Have any other listees suffered disillusionment through reading aloud (another example of this
 > for me is Armistead Maupin).
 Not with the book per se, but I've been appalled by some of the really bad readings I've come
 across.  And these people do it professionally!  The worst was Dorothy Dunnett's "Dolly and the
 Bird of Paradise", in which the narrator/protagonist is from Glasgow, with a local accent; and the
 reader had an accent that sounded to me like New Jersey.  And never the twain shall meet.
 But the fault was definitely not in the book. I was disillusioned about audio books and those who
 read them, not the original prose.

[RG} Several people have recommended Dunnett to me (if you like Heyer, you'll love...) and I never managed to persist long enough

Brevity, clarity and cups of tea

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