Today is the second day of Audiobook Week 2010. This fabulous event is the dream child of Jen of Devourer of Books. Be sure to read her Audiobook Week information post and the post listing the great prizes available for participants! (I'll be offering one of those prizes on Friday, so be sure to come back!)
For the first four days of Audiobook Week, I plan to post on the daily topic. On Friday, I am going take a different path. I hope you take the time to visit all the participating blogs; you can find them by checking out Jen's blog and clicking on the Mr. Linkys.
Today's topic is all about writing an audiobook review. As with any book review, there is, of course, no right or wrong way, and individual style will play a role.
My personal approach is to write my review in exactly the same manner as I would have had I read the book in print. That is, I start with a summary and then get into the particulars. Finally, add a paragraph about the audio production.
Okay, so that wasn't exactly helpful. Here are some details, listed in random order.
- If I hear a quote that I think I might want to use in my review, I make a note of a couple of keywords.
- I pay attention to how the narrator does accents, if they are needed for the book.
- I listen for sound effects, music, and other aspects of the audio production.
- I pay attention to the narrator's pronunciation of place names and other words.
- I use the "look inside" feature found on many bookstore and publisher's sites to check spellings and other details.
- If I want to quote the author, I use the look inside feature to search for keywords so I can find the passage.
- Whether the emotional tones (or lack thereof) of the narrator's voice fit the plot.
- Whether the narrator's pacing was right for the story.
- Whether the narrator's characterizations added to or took away from the experience.
- Whether the narrator and/or production allowed me to get lost the book or whether there were problems that pulled me out of the story.
I rarely separate my experience with the audiobook from the book itself; unless I've read the book in both print and audio, I wouldn't know how to make such a distinction. On the other hand, if the audio edition is poor and/or distracting I encourage my readers to read the book in print.
The narrator of today's review book, Charm City by Laura Lippman, is Deborah Hazlett. Because I know her only from the first book (Baltimore Blues) in Lippman's Tess Monaghan mystery series, I have now linked Hazlett's voice with the main character. I am happy to see that Hazlett continues with Tess (at least for the next two books). I'm am not a fan of changing narrators partway through a series. It is a disconcerting thing to hear one of your favorite characters speak in a new voice.
Be sure to visit Jen's blog, Devourer of Books, for other posts on today's Audiobook Week topic.