I always enjoy it when he talks about process. Screen shot 2016-07-14 at 4.28.39 PM

~ by Servetus on July 14, 2016.

29 Responses to “Discuss.”

  1. Da ist er dann vollständig in seinem Element.

  2. I wouldn’t be surprised if this is true. I certainly craft my prose with an ear for how it sounds as the final arbiter in wording debates.

    • My initial reaction was that this is a platitude, and my second reaction was that it doesn’t really apply to me. With all respect to those who do, and to him for doing them, I don’t enjoy audiobooks all that much. In general I would rather read, and I’ve formed all the real emotional connections I have to prose through reading, mostly because it allows easy rereading, which is really central to me. I think how I hear something inside my head might be different than how it sounds.

      That said, he definitely has a good shot at forgiving an emotional connection to words to me, but mostly because I am attached to his voice.

      • My first thought was – “eh, truism? That’s exactly what poetry is about. We don’t really need Audible to research that…” But well, if they can put some statistics on it, all the better…

        • I assume this is why we read little kids stories. Although there again I would say that a big piece of that for me was who was reading. It would be interesting to know what their research actually said.

          • That’s it – it’s a great teaser for whatever Audible has found out. I could be completely wrong with my initial reaction…

  3. I haven’t listened to an audio book yet so I have nothing to base an opinion on. But, if someone is interpreting how something or someone ‘sounds’ for me, I don’t know if I would have a stronger emotional connection than if my own imagination sounds it/them out for me. Is RA in his statement saying ‘sound’ literally, as in a reader, or how the word sounds in your head?

    • yeah, it’s a little bit like the problem of imagining a character a certain way and then seeing the film and the character doesn’t look like s/he did in your imagination.

      I totally agree re: distinction you’re making about “sound”.

  4. in relation to audio books, I don’t enjoy them. one reason is b/c I’m horrible at multi-tasking. I give my full attention to whatever I may be doing, even if that’s just talking on the telephone. the second reason is that I much prefer “hearing” it in my head b/c so few readers give it the same infliction or read at the same speed that I would, which makes it highly distracting to me. voices in general though, I do agree that we can have an emotional connection to. I’ll recognize an actor in a movie by their voice long before I recognize their face. I gain much insight into emotion by listening to the speakers voice vs their facial movements; someone may have a “poker face” but they rarely have a “poker voice”.

    • totally agree re: multitasking — although there was a phase when I’d listen to the Heyer novels while I was grading.

  5. I’ve been an avid reader since I was a child and still greatly appreciate the written word, letting my imagination do the work in interpreting what I’m reading. I still love to sit and read but now that I have to sleep on my back I find reading in bed almost impossible, so audio books are a godsend for me. I also love knitting so this is another time when audio books can really be enjoyed – usually with my earbuds in! 🙂

  6. I originally had a hard time transitioning from hard copy books to audiobooks or books on an e-reader. I love the feel of a book, turning pages and reading the various fonts of the written word. However, as I listen to a book read to me by a beautiful voice, I am transported to a place different from my own imagination. One example, having NOTHING to do with RA, was when my family was on a road trip years ago. The kids were very young and we were listening to The Tale of Despereaux by Kate DiCamillo. It was narrated artistically. Each character was defined in a voice that was unique. So much so, that we looked forward to hearing the mom, who was prone to fainting. It was exceptional art. My kids are now 10 years older and still have the fondest memories of that trip. The sound created emotion for us. Fast forward to when we saw the movie, and we were so disappointed with the voices, not to mention the butchering of a great story.
    Anyway, I always listen to an audiobook as well as read the words in a hardcopy at the same time. It helps me focus, but I can enjoy the voice. I would rather read on my own if it is not an artful narrator, but many of the narrators of children’s books are beautifully selected…I know this from years of experience in the classroom. As for adult reading, I need to like the narrator as well. Richard is exceptional. No mistake. Any book I’ve heard him read, I don’t think I could do a better job. Not so with other books, though there are a few exceptions. I’m still in love with the printed word and treasure my own imagination while reading, but I would really love to read this research, as I tend to agree.

  7. I think it depends on how a person processes external information. I take in info much more easily if I’m reading it and become more emotionally involved that way. I read a lot and prefer “real” books to e-books (much to my husband’s dismay at the piles of books!). BUT… My very first audiobook ever was Copperfield (which I hadn’t read and hadn’t formed impressions of) and I loved it and became emotionally involved with the characters. Likely because of the wonderful voicing by RA. Recently I listened to Alan Cumming read his book Not My Father’s Son. There’s a definite emotional response from me as the listener because the narrator is emotionally involved in what he is reading.

    • I can totally see if you didn’t have a history with the book that Armitage could make it great — all the characters and so on.

  8. I like it too. I can’t exactly name it but RA certainly has some kind of talent for that. Imagine he plays the meteorologist instead of school teacher in ITS…

  9. It’s a double-edged sword. Powerful potential to enhance or ruin the experience, depending on the narrator.

  10. See, I’m just not an audiobook lover… not even RA ones. I love that he does them, but so far I have not had the patience to listen to one of his all the way through, as delicious as his voice is. Hearing someone else interpret the words somehow spoils my enjoyment of a story, it mostly interferes with my own imaginings. For me poetry can be the exception, I do like a well-read poem (even though I’m not a huge poetry fan).
    I just prefer reading on my own, or more drastically seeing it in actual images in a movie. Maybe I haven’t found the right audiobook to enjoy yet. So far, I have always thought that if I’d really enjoy any audiobook, it would be one read by Patrick Stewart… but I haven’t tried that yet. Not even sure he’s made any.
    The other day my husband was playing Jeff Lyne’s 1978 album “War of the Worlds” which was narrated by Richard Burton. Now that narration I loved! Richard Burton sure had a great voice and his narration, even when things get exciting, is somehow calm and measured. But maybe I liked it so much because it was interspersed with great music?

    • The earlier ones are better (so far, I find), but my position is obviously prejudiced by my relationship with the classics, e.g., there’s nothing wrong with Hamlet and he adds something to it but i the end I’d still rather hear the play or better, watch it.

  11. I haven’t been able to listen to an audio book without my mind drifting. It’s been a problem my whole adult life. When someone is speaking I have a tendency to zone them out. My father did a lot of lecturing and I trained myself to look like I was paying attention without listening to a word. It was a real problem in college especially the lecture style classes.

    I love to read and use my Kindle every day. Even Richard’s voice isn’t enough to get me to listen to an audio book. I barely got through the Love Poems😉

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