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Main | Audiobook Lexicon »

So, who's the narrator???

I’ve spent much of the last week searching for bloggers who review audiobooks and reading through hundreds of reviews, from about 50 different blogs that were new to me. I’ve found a few good reviewers, quite a few more with potential, and some that just don’t get it, as their “reviews” are shorter than most publisher blurbs and less useful. This leads me to an ongoing pet peeve of mine among blogger/reviewers.

If one is reviewing an audiobook, why wouldn’t they mention the narrator and also evaluate the performance? Sometimes, both elements are missing and the only reason I know it was an audiobook was because it was tagged as such. Sometimes, the narrator is mentioned in the header and no where else. Sometimes, glowing comments are made about the performance, but the narrator’s name is no where to be found.

In the music world, the writer of a song (music or lyrics) usually takes a backseat to the performer. When writing a review of a song, or album, I can’t imagine failing to mention the performer and the performance. Once the audio element is introduced to the written word, the nature of the experience changes. Reading and listening are not the same, even though it is the exact same words. I can’t evaluate listening to a song such as the great Lennon/McCartney penned song “Come Together” without noting whose performance version I was listening to and the quality of the performance. I haven’t done justice to the review by just evaluating the lyrics and sheet music. Was the performance by the Beatles, Aerosmith, Diana Ross, Herbie Mann, Ike & Tina Turner, Kate Bush, Eurythmics, Michael Jackson, Soundgarden, Tom Jones, Elton John, Joe Cocker, Godsmack, or any number of garage and bar bands?

Performance matters in music and in audiobooks. In audiobook reviews, the performer should be clearly identified and the performance should be evaluated relative to the overall reading with ears experience.

I now seem to have a song idea in my head with a working title of “Narrator Blues.” --JEFF

Reader Comments (1)

great insights - thanks !

February 21, 2014 | Unregistered Commenterwriter...

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