Saturday, April 28, 2007

Adult novels for teens

Occasionally we get copies of novels published for the adult market that the audiobook publisher believes has teen appeal/appropriateness. We got a slew of these at the end of last year -- including a horrifying 30+ hours of Collected Stories by William Faulkner -- which has somehow mercifully fallen off our list of 2008 titles. I don't know why and I'm not asking ...

Our chairperson has made listening assignments of these books -- since none of us has leapt forward to volunteer to listen -- and I am stuck with A Scanner Darkly by Philip K. Dick. Have I just spent too little time in the past years reading adult fiction so that I'm finding this to be such a slog? Or is it just a genre I don't care for (futuristic distopia -- is that a subset of sci fi? It's catalogued as sci fi in my library.)? I mean, I had to check the Wikipedia entry [hey, I just figured out how to do that!] in order to confirm that I had an inkling of what was going on.

The reader is Paul Giamatti -- who brings a raspy, world-weary air to the proceedings. He's doing a good job with voicing and even makes women sound like real people. I've got no complaints there. But keeping track of characters, points of view, the split personality of the hero, Bob Arctor/Agent Fred, is proving to be work. I can't be listening to this after I turn the lights out ... I just end up listening to the same tracks come morning.

I think this definitely has teen appeal -- older teen appeal -- but I'm not sure it's appropriate for our list. And Keanu Reeves is just not enough of a draw for those born in the 90s -- I mean, he's over 40!

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