Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Audiobook Week: So You Want to Review Audiobooks ...

Discuss the essentials of audiobook reviewing. What do you make sure to include? What do you want to see when you read other people’s reviews?

The essential of audiobook reviewing is a discussion of the narration (duh!).  When this is just a sentence at the end of a review or a blog post (and I see this more often than I like), that’s not a review of the audiobook.  For my own posts, I always include a (hopefully, sometimes I get carried away, particularly with books I’ve enjoyed) brief synopsis that doesn’t give away the story, with a little bit about how and why I liked (or didn’t) the book.  Then, I address the particulars of the narration – how the reader’s voice sounds, does s/he create characters and how successful are they, are there any glaring errors, what else does the reader bring to the story, like a sense of tension or genuine emotions or singing (love the singing!).  I also like to at least mention any other aspects (good and bad) of the production that contribute to its audio-ness -- like sound effects, incidental music, author or narrator commentary/interview, or anything that acknowledges that you are listening and not reading the book.

I also view my posts as essays (which may bore everyone but me), so I like to find links  and illustrations (that’s also the librarian in me, as I must cite my sources) that augment the experience.  I also will discuss any personal background that I bring to that particular book (again, this is probably just interesting to me).  This makes my posts occasionally somewhat lengthy, and since I don’t thoroughly read nearly as many blog posts as I scan, I have no problem knowing my readers just scan mine.

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