Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Voices #6

Still feeling under the weather but the trend is progressing in a positive direction. I don't have a television so when I don't feel well, I listen to audiobooks. In fact I list to the spoken word on my iPod, or sometimes my computer, quite a lot. Takes the boredom out of long bus rides, and I exercise while listening to a book I've been meaning to read.

Last night, I listened to the "Adventures of Tom Sawyer." The narrator, Patrick Fraley, is a delight to listen to. Every character has a distinctive voice and manner of speaking. He's one of the few readers who can pull off a Southern accent, the voice of a drunk, the voice of a young boy - and amazing enough - sounds natural both as Becky Thatcher and Aunt Polly. Often, audiobook readers just can't do women - but Patrick Fraley can 'do' anyone!

Outside of the ease of integrating reading into other activities, I like audiobooks for other reasons. Stories were really made to be told out loud, maybe around a fire. I know a few families who read together, which becomes more difficult as children get older. But stories are made to be listened to and acted out. In lieu of having a fire and a tribe, I listen to the stories on my own.

The way that people read also give meaning to stories. On the Classic Tales podcast, B.J.Harrison has a beautiful voice which can sound very evil, setting the scene for the remoteness and mystery of the jungle in his reading of The Heart of Darkness.

So, last night, I listened to Tom's telling of the 'dream' he had of Aunt Polly when he, Joe Harper and Huckleberry Finn had hidden on the island, having gone away to play at being pirates. Or Indians. Or boys in their prime.

1 comment:

GMG said...

Hi Chanpheng! Sorry for having taken so long to come back here…
Plenty to read and a lot to hear... ;) I'm not a fan of audio books, but your post raised my curiosity...
The rice fields pic is superb and your booklist quite impressive. I'm reading a lot of books at the same time, but this does not prove so easy as many years ago... ;))
Thanks for your comment on Blogtrotter, where I’m still around Rabat, but preparing to move to Casablanca… ;))
Hope you have a great weekend!