Saturday, June 2, 2007

The nominations are adding up ... but I'm feeling negative

So, I just sent out the monthly update to what we call the Title Table -- the spreadsheet where we track what's come in, who's listened and what they think (the thinking on the spreadsheet is succinct [yes, no, maybe], we are more expansive in the listserv. There are now 202 titles under consideration (although some have just had no votes from listeners and so aren't really under consideration any more), and 20 nominated titles. I've listened to [almost] eight of the nominations -- yikes! I'm hoping to do some catching up while on vacation next month.

But, the last two books I listened to, I really didn't care for. Voices just never took off for me -- I think it was a poor audio choice, and this was exacerbated by the slow, deliberate reading by the narrator. So, I've already related my tape 6 and 7 fiasco -- but it really illustrates why this was not the best novel to make into an audiobook. There were nine tapes (10 hours of listening). It wasn't until the end of the sixth tape (two thirds of the way into the novel) that the story's threads culminated in some sort of plot development. And that plot development -- the revolt of the oppressed society -- seemed to come from a single incident (Orrec telling a story in the public square). Up until this point, it was pretty much all scene setting. Perhaps a narrator who chose to read with a little more varied pacing might have livened up the novel, but the choice to read slowly, with long pauses and little variation in tone (and none for character) was simply deadly. Yawn.

I also voted no on The Day My Mother Left. While professionally narrated, it was not a standout. I don't think this was either the book or the narrator's fault -- the audiobook was workmanlike, it did it's job, there is just no wowing involved.

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