I am not a huge audio book buff, but I have become addicted to certain types of books on tape. For example, although I have already read the Harry Potter books several times over, I have recently been making my way through the audio versions. While I could never recommend audio books over text, the audio versions of HP are a completely different experience than the written ones and make a great extension (i.e. I would never “listen” to them before “reading” them). The narrator, Jim Dale, is a mastermind of voices and performs remarkable renditions of the characters. In fact, he is so proficient; he could give Sally Field a run for her money. I find myself in the car getting chills down my spine in certain parts and laughing out loud in yet others.
I also found that listening to the Queer Eye for the Straight Guy book was so enjoyable that I can’t imagine actually reading this book. Since it was narrated by the Queer Eyes themselves, the book was equally entertaining as it was informative.
David Sedaris’ new book, Dress Your Family in Corduroy and Denim, is waiting for me at the library in audio form. I did check out the written book, but I think Sedaris’ writing style lends itself to narration – in print, he comes across as very dry. He is amusing, but I have heard his audio books are superior to his written ones and I can’t wait to find out.
So, while I don’t think I could ever get “all up into that” with audio books, I do think in the future I will be selecting certain types of book solely for listening – in particular, humorists, some non-fiction, and a few pieces of children’s lit that I have been wanting to re-read.