Audiobook voices

Arya Stark

Philosophizes with Kellhus
#1
Whyyyyyyyyy?!?!

Okay to clarify...as part of the challenge, I started looking for audiobooks and found that I am extremely turned off by the reader's voices and their pronunciations. Does anyone else feel this way? Also, and I hope no one takes offense, but why are all the fantasy books read in English accents? Its a bit...stereotypical. I have nothing against accents, in fact I rather enjoy imitating all types of accents, it just felt played out though. And why are they mostly old men? I was expecting some of them to have younger sounding men because the characters were younger.

I'll just stick to being old fashioned and making up voices and my own way of pronouncing names. I'll have to call that one forfeit on the challenge. There is no way I can listen to an audiobook.
 

fbones24

Journeyed there and back again
#2
I'm listening to "The Prince of Nothing" series right now and the narrator does not use a British accent. In fact, he tends to switch accents depending on which character is speaking in the story. I'm happy with the narration. I do see your concern and I could see a poor narration just ruining a story for me.
 

Alucard

In the name of the Pizza Lord. Charge!
Staff member
#3
Some narrators are English, that's why they read books in English accent. I actually prefer it to American. My ears for some reason like it better.
Two of my favorite narrators are Simon Jones (English) and Steven Pacey (English). I also very much liked Simon Prebble (English as well).
Mr Jones did an amazing job with Bartimaeus trilogy and Mr Pacey did First Law Trilogy, also excellent.

I'm just wondering if you have come across a bad narrator and now I'm curious which book you tried to read?
 

TomTB

Super Moderator
Staff member
#4
I'll be skipping this challenge too, I'm not a fan of audiobooks. Granted I've only listened to part of one (the warded man), but I really really got very annoyed by it.

My ears are for music, my eyes are for books.
 

Alucard

In the name of the Pizza Lord. Charge!
Staff member
#7
Guess so, but I've got about 1500 CDs which I reserve for my earphones!
Wow so many :D
I'm blasting Iron Maiden's Fear of the Dark right now :D Love that album.
 

Arya Stark

Philosophizes with Kellhus
#8
Mr Jones did an amazing job with Bartimaeus trilogy and Mr Pacey did First Law Trilogy, also excellent.
Fist Law is one that I was suggesting to my husband and I thought it was awful. :( He couldn't do it either and he likes audiobooks. I'm actually quite sad because I REALLY want him to experience First Law. It's something that he would enjoy but he doesn't like to read. I guess I just make up the way people should sound in my head. Like Ninefingers should have sounded more....rugged. I don't know. Its hard to explain. I don't think its about the English accent. I just found that to be a little cliche. It's mostly just the sounds of their voices the depth, the scratchiness, the vocal range they are all unpleasant to me. I listened to a few that were American accents and it was the same thing. The SOUNDS are displeasing to me. Not sure if that makes more sense.

To be fair, I guess I never liked listening to teachers read when I was in elementary school either. I would rather read the book myself. My brain just can't get into things that are read aloud I guess.
 

ofer

Journeyed there and back again
#9
I'm blasting Iron Maiden's Fear of the Dark right now :D Love that album.
Holy Cow that is a blast from the past. I had a heavy metal period between the ages of 15-18. Used to drive my parents crazy with a really heavy volume of Megadeth. It ended when Nirvana came out...I sort of switched to what was called back then alternative music.

Anyway I always loved Iron Maiden album art. I think I still have a poster of Stranger in a strange land lying around somewhere. Isn't that also the title of a Robert Heinlin book?
 

TomTB

Super Moderator
Staff member
#11
Keeping on topic of the thread hijack, I have never liked metal, and never liked Iron Maiden. I loved Guns N Roses back in the day though (heavy rock I know, not metal!, But that's as close as it gets).
 

Arya Stark

Philosophizes with Kellhus
#12
LMAO at the thread hijack. I used to listen to metal...but it was black metal. Dimmu Borgir and Cradle of Filth and the likes. The stuff you guys all probably cringe at. And for the record...Cradle of Filth's cover of Hallowed Be Thy Name is by far the heaviest metal version and the best version hands down!
 

Alucard

In the name of the Pizza Lord. Charge!
Staff member
#13
I wasn't and still I ain't a metal girl. :D
Music I usually listen to is punk or alternative rock. My favorite band (Morphine) has no guitar in classical sense on most of their songs, which means I'm not going crazy after a good riff.
My bf on the other hand has always been a metal fan, and he has all these albums laying around. All that aside I really admire Iron Maiden music, lyrics and craftsmanship in general. Fear of the Dark is really good, puts me in halloween mood :)
 

Arya Stark

Philosophizes with Kellhus
#14
I don't listen to it much anymore. I mostly just listen to music my husband likes. When I'm in the car I don't listen to anything if its just me. Mostly because I have a 5 minute drive to work and a 10 minute drive pretty much anywhere I go so I don't bother.

When I'm at home alone doing chores like I am right now though, I blast pretty much EVERYTHING. 90s hiphop, black metal, pop, grunge, punk, pretty much everything I have ever liked ever. I have a rather eclectic music sense. I only really dislike one genre and that's country...uggggh it makes my skin crawl.
 

wakarimasen

Journeyed there and back again
#15
In my youth there was a divide between "metallers" and "ravers" in the student union. A cheery metal fan scrawled on the wall "ravers are all ignorent shits" in huge black marker. A raver, in small blue biro, corrected his spelling.

I was never really a metal fan but as it has a serious fantasy tinge I have no problem in linking to some pretty heavy russian folk metal, with flutes, that I've listened to a bit lately. Makes me smile for some reason.

As for the original topic, I'm just doing first law now on audiobook and I think the reader is doing a great job. I think the English thing is just a something that springs from America being perceived as a "young" nation. It's hard to evoke a forgotten world mystery in a Brooklyn accent. That said, I heard an English guy did Dresden, and that seems a bit weird.
It was a muti national cast in the LOTR films but distinctly anglicised accents. People are just used to it.
 

Fatal Rose

Killed a Balrog
#16
I personally love audiobooks and that's all I do mostly.

Fr me the audiobook is like a movie in my mind. I'm experiencing the story personally in my head.
 
#17
Whyyyyyyyyy?!?!

Okay to clarify...as part of the challenge, I started looking for audiobooks and found that I am extremely turned off by the reader's voices and their pronunciations. Does anyone else feel this way? Also, and I hope no one takes offense, but why are all the fantasy books read in English accents? Its a bit...stereotypical. I have nothing against accents, in fact I rather enjoy imitating all types of accents, it just felt played out though. And why are they mostly old men? I was expecting some of them to have younger sounding men because the characters were younger.

I'll just stick to being old fashioned and making up voices and my own way of pronouncing names. I'll have to call that one forfeit on the challenge. There is no way I can listen to an audiobook.
A few things I've noticed as well.
Personally I prefer to just read the book, like you. But some of the more successful authors I've noticed do the audiobooks themselves, and hire actors for different voices.
Phillip Pullman is one, and it makes His Dark Materials feel like your listening to a movie. I think if more authors that could would do the same, audiobooks would be a lot more appealing to general readers.
 

Axcellence

A farm boy with a sword
#18
Some audiobooks have bad voices. The best way to choose is to read reviews prior to getting a book.

I usually get 4 star plus rated books from audible.com and they've been good for me thus far over 7 years (barring 2-3 narrators).

They've now even started offering exchanges for any books you don't like without questions.

I really want more people to try audiobooks as they've been great for me, while driving cars. I won't sit down to read a book, because with families, reading for pleasure, slips down the priority list.
 

sopranosfan

Journeyed there and back again
#19
With 2 jobs and a family it is kinda hard to read a lot and I have to admit that the reading challenge turned me on to audiobooks. I still prefer to read but I have really learned to enjoy listening to books.
 

HeroineOfCanton

Downed a vial of metals
#20
I listened to a little of Steve Pacey reading Red Country until I had to read faster and bought a hardcopy. But I very much liked his narration.

@Arya Stark if you want a scratchier voice for a scratchy character, I loved Steven Brand reading Blood Song.

Primarily, I listen to a lot of nonfiction, and I just started The Winter King by Thomas Penn today, read by Simon Vance, who is always a joy to listen to. Then again, I don't mind all Brits, all the time on my audiobooks. :pompus:

(Aside--I really like the emoticon selection on this forum.)