Thursday, March 18, 2004

Heard Any Good Books Lately?

I'm midway through book 1 of The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy right now, on the audio version, read by Douglas Adams. It's always interesting to hear how an author reads his or her own work, and compare it with what you have in your own head. He reads it well, but I find that the inflection is often quite different from what I would have used. Of course, this is a book I know very well, so I have a very particular way I like to hear it in my head. (Rather more Monty-Pythonesque. It's a pity those guys never did a H2G2 movie.) Similarly, I don't think I could ever listen to an audio version of any of the Mapp & Lucia books without constantly comparing it to Mom's reading of them, which is rather ingrained as the definitive version in my memory. But it's still fun to hear different approaches to familiar books.

The original BBC radio series of Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy was a lot of fun, too. It covered a lot of what was later to go into the first book, but with some changes and some completely new bits, and with some parts of the second book in it as well. I thought Peter Jones did a great job reading the part of the Guide, and then of course you get all the different character voices and sound effects and whatnot. Definitely recommended listening for Douglas Adams fans.

So anyway, all this (plus my new iPod) has inspired me to start trying out some other audio books. I'm not convinced yet that I'll take to them as much as regular books, but I'm starting to think they're worth a shot. And I definitely like the idea of being able to download them instantly off the web, without having to kill any trees to get them. Eric got me an invitation to which means I have a free month's subscription (=2 books). So that will be good for trying it out and seeing how I like listening to my reading. It looks like something I could easily get hooked into. We'll see.

No comments: