Audiobook Week: Narration choices

We're celebrating audiobooks all week long, with reviews of recommended audiobooks, discussion of what works (and what doesn't) in audio adaptations, and even a sneak peek at the upcoming From Norvelt to Nowhere audiobook.

Today we're looking at different narration styles and choices in audiobook adaptations. In her article "Audiobooks: Four Styles of Narration" (from the September/October 1996 Horn Book Magazine), librarian Kristi Beavin discusses four narration approaches and their pros and cons. Martha bemoans a "fatal flaw" in the narration of a much-loved book, while Kitty adores a particular read-by-the-author adaptation so much that she's become an evangelist for it.

Which narration style(s) do you prefer in audiobooks? Which narration choices make you crazy? Let us know in the comments!

This post is part of Audiobook Week on Out of the Box. For more, click on the audiobooks tag.

Katie Bircher

Katie Bircher, formerly editor of The Horn Book Guide, is a freelance children’s and YA editor. She's also a former bookseller who holds an MA in children's literature from Simmons University. She served as chair of the 2018 Boston Globe-Horn Book Award committee. Follow Katie on Twitter @lyraelle.

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Rachael Stein

Multi voice recordings are a hard sell for me. It disrupts the illusion that someone is reading aloud to me, which is part of what I love about audiobooks. Accents can make or break a recording as well, as Martha noted in her article. I remember listening to The Da Vinci Code years ago, which is a terrible book to begin with, but the narrator made it even worse with his OUTRRRRRRAGEOUS French accent. Finally, I hate when male narrators voice female characters as if they're doing a Monty Python drag sketch. Female voices have a full range of timbres, you guys.

Posted : Jul 31, 2013 02:00


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