The impact of hearing a novel
My dad came to my elementary school when I was in second grade, and he told us a story. This was a story that my sister and I had heard many times before, but the day my father came to speak to us burns brightly in my memory.
In thinking of the day my dad told us this story, I am reminded of how all tales used to be passed down ' an oral tradition that we often forget about. Even though I knew what was going to happen, I leaned forward to hear what he was saying as if there was a chance the story would change this time. Similarly, I wonder how the audience of "Aeneid" reacted when they heard the epic tale from the lips of Vergil himself or of another storyteller. How did the narrative telling differ from reading it on paper today?
With text you have to come up with voices'sometimes pronouncing things like Hermione's name wrong for seven books (my bad) ' and pay attention to the cadence and delivery of words at the same time you're establishing the story in your head.
Listening to books is a completely different framework than looking at varying ways to read text. Audiobooks are a distinctive way to experience literature; a narrator conveys the story within the framework of the text. Having a good narrator is the key to appreciating the story.
I was talking with one friend this past week who was describing her experience listening to an audiobook of "John Adams,"originally written by David McCullough. The novel is around 752 pages in the paperback edition, and it made sense when she told me, 'it was the only way I would have read the book.' It is hard to find time to read books when we're in class, on the road, running errands ' living everyday life. We don't have too much time to stop and read for pleasure; but, we can listen.
My friend told me, 'When you're driving down the road, it comes to life.' The audiobook added another dimension for her. She spoke of the fact that during a long, 16-hour drive, she listened to over half of the audiobook, saying the time passed quickly; it was like a friend was sitting next to her, telling her a story as she drove.
Audiobooks capture your mind with stories in a way the text cannot. Voice is important, and long novels, especially, are strengthened by the voice of a skilled narrator. They are the one dictating the story, and a good or bad narrator can effect the way an audience perceives a text. Nelson Runger,who narrated "John Adams,"pronounces the French correctly, and reads in a conversational tone that keeps the reader engaged.
Here are some audiobooks that I recommend:
"John Adams"written by David McCullough, narrated by Nelson Runger.
2. "Fahrenheit 451" written by Ray Bradbury, narrated by Tim Robbins. Robbins is definitely an engaging narrator. One of the reviews is even titled: 'Can Tim Robbins read me all of my books?'
3. "The Book Thief" written by Markus Zusak, narrated by Allan Corduner.
4." The Girl on the Train" written by Paula Hawkins, narrated by Clare Corbett, Louise Brealey and India Fisher.