Tag Archive | Audiobook

Haven

by Tom Deady

First time author Tom Deady has penned a solid debut horror story, which is far more than a simple horror novel.  This quite lengthy tale (for me as an audio listen it was almost 15 hours; the paperback is over 500 pages) takes the time to fully develop its many characters and provide the reader great detail into the mystery surrounding old and new disappearances of residents of the Massachusetts town of Haven.  The story begins in the 60s but much of the tale concerns what feels like present day following the release of previously convicted felon Paul Greymore, with remembrances used to flesh out important details.  blog

Every author is a reader and if I were guessing, I’d bet Deady is a Stephen King fan.  His work felt very familiar as I grew up on King, and I noticed the timing of the release of Haven with the renewed interest in the 1986 King book, It, now that a new movie has been made.  I can appreciate stylistic similarities while at the same time enjoying the tale Deady weaves about small town, murders, supernatural possibilities, friendships, etc.

If you read my reviews you know I don’t go into a lot of plot description because I’m not in 5th grade and this isn’t a book report. Because I listened to this via audible.com, my perspective on the book may very well be different than a traditional reader because as a listener, the narrator influences my enjoyment.  I’m now 52 and have been an audio book listener since the 80s when I had to have my mom drive me to the library, peruse in person the cassette books available and be skilled with a pencil to fix the tape malfunctions on that, now generations old, medium. So, I have experience listening and loving narrated books.

There are some narrator voices I cannot tolerate past the sample track on audible.  Won’t even try.  Matt Godfrey, narrator of Haven and about 10 others available at audible, does a nice job of speaking the story.  His voice is soothing and attractive and I would gladly listen to more of his work.

Haven is a difficult tale to narrate because there are so many characters. Like a ton. As an audible book listener, I am different than the paper reader who sits and concentrates on only the story.  I would guess I am not alone in saying when I am listening to a book I am also doing something else.  My house gets cleaned, laundry is folded, errands are run.  When you have a ton of characters in a story, especially one which doesn’t stay in one timeline, and chapters are short, it’s important that the voice be unique for each character.  My only suggestion to Godfrey would have been to mix it up more. But, that is my personal opinion and I have zero experience in production.  Perhaps soothing and calm and not being all over the place with the frequent character changes was by choice.

Haven is a solid experience and I would recommend it.

To please the lawyers, I now say I was given this audio book by the narrator in exchange for an honest review unaffected by the gift.

 

 

 

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Book 6 – Birthmarked

by Caragh M. O’Brien book 6

Before getting into the review of the material, I want to discuss the “controversy” among my friends regarding the medium of audiobooks.  I LOVE audiobooks, and am constantly listening to one.  I am also a very frugal person but have treated myself to a monthly subscription from audible.com; so for those that know me, this shows the depth of my enjoyment in listening to books.  Even as a teen I owned a Walkman and listened to those terrible quality tapes which always seemed to come unwound (remember using a pencil to twist those little round holes?).  Graduating to a huge disc player many years later felt like a lottery win.  Imagine my delight when just two years ago I discovered the invention of a little thing called an iPod Touch and downloadable books!  It was like catapulting from a Flintstone lifestyle right into the Jetsons.

When I talked about both reading and listening to 52 books this year, I was shocked to hear the opinion that listening to an audiobook was not reading, and should not count.  I am still baffled at this belief.  I think both are viable ways in which to become engrossed in a story.  One of the arguments against audiobooks was that since I listen while engaged in other activities (i.e. treadmill, cleaning), I am not fully absorbing and therefore not getting the complete value of the material.  My counter to that was when I read a book I am a very fast reader, and when tested once, I am part of the population which apparently skips little words (in, the, and) but still gets the content.  Also, a narrator sets the pace of an audiobook, versus the reader who (let us all admit) can sometimes skip ahead in either a particularly exciting scene where you just have to know the outcome, or a boring scene that is not keeping your attention.

So, how did this debate of the century conclude: It’s my blog, my rules.  Audiobooks count as reading.

To the story of Birthmarked – it was okay.  I like dystopian fiction, and even as a middle aged Mom, I really enjoy young adult fiction.  There is something nice about knowing that the material is not inappropriate.  I had high hopes for Birthmarked based on the premise of the story – a futuristic society which sounds shockingly like the Middle Ages.  There are two groups in this world, those who live inside or those who live outside the wall.  This is a story about a young midwife from outside the wall, what happens to some of the babies, the haves and have-nots and a twist at the end which gives insight into why the outside babies are meaningful.

Why did I not enjoy the book?  I cannot say.  The story was good, premise was interesting, in this case the narrator painted great pictures with her voice and inflections, but something just didn’t click.  There are two more in the series, and although they’ll remain on my reading list, I am not sure when or if I would pick them up.  Here is an interesting piece of data to use in the audiobook is a book debate – I know that if I were to read the next two books I would not use the audio format.  Why?  I can check out paperbacks from the library and I wouldn’t want to invest anymore  money into this series given my opinion of the first book.

2/5 Stars