The thing about audiobooks is, from the moment they start you know the character. When you a reading a book on paper, scanning your eyes over the words, it takes time. You don't find or hear the voice right away. You get to know them through the book. The words are being processed off the paper, into your brain, through your emotions. And after about 3 chapters you have some sense of who they are, who they sound like in your head. And as you go through the book you learn more and the voice deepens and becomes more expressive.
With audiobooks the voice is a given. And the interesting part is that it is just one or two people's interpretation. The actor and the producer decide how the book will sound. All the variations your mind can make in shaping and creating the character....they are gone. Sometimes this is a benefit. Sometimes when I can't get into a book, can't hear it speaking to me I pop the audiobook in and listen for a few tracks. Just to get some idea of how it might sound to someone. Because it isn't sounding anyway to me at all. And while the characters are rigid in your mind in audiobooks, there are advantages to listening.
One of them, ironically, is the rigidity of the character in your mind. There is no confusion about who is talking or what is happening, the voice changes to indicate that. You always know the emotionality of the sentence. Maybe sometimes you disagree with it, but there is more of a hint than when you read on paper.
Whenever I listen to an audiobook I wonder what it looks like on the page. How they show different parts, if it is confusing. Some of the audiobooks I really enjoyed I am not sure I would have enjoyed on paper. Some audiobooks I haven't exactly enjoyed, but there was an accomplishment in enduring them, in finishing the book and appreciating the fact that the audio format was the only reason I had the option.
Two audiobooks I listened to recently were Simon Bloom, The Gravity Keeper and Thirteen Reasons Why . I particularly enjoyed Jay Asher’s genius in regards to storytelling. I think it is the most creative unfolding of a story I have ever read.
Do you enjoy audiobooks? Why or why not? If you enjoy them what are some really good ones you recently listed to?