Just as the outside cover of a book is used to appeal to the reader’s eye, I think the same concept should be applied to books on tape, except that instead of appealing to a reader’s eye, they must appear to the reader’s hearing. I have listened to several books on tape in the past few years and have enjoyed many of them. I have also disliked many of them as well, and some of those in the dislike pile were not because the book itself was poorly written or not intriguing, but the narrator was a bore.
Two examples: the narrator for all the Jen Lancaster books is awesome. She gets into the book and actually makes you think you are listening to what Jen Lancaster would sound like if she read the books herself. They are enjoyable to listen to and I can listen to them more than once without being bored with them. However, the latest book I’m listening to: The Weight Loss Diaries: sucks. And no, it’s not the book as I have read the book itself. Rather it is the narrator, who clearly has no personality and is completely monotone, reminding me of my Advanced Biology professor in high school. This is annoying for the simple fact that I enjoy the book but it’s not enjoyable to listen to, which I like to do while running/walking or even at work sometimes.
I have read that these people do voice screenings before they are employed as narrators and some even take courses on this so I guess some people must like this type of narration but it is not for me. Can’t we save the monotone voices for the nonfiction books, or self-help books, or books I’m not interested in at all…thanks.
Or I’ll just become a narrator myself. That could be fun.