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The Haggis Line
Apr 10, 2003
It is not uncommon for pretty girls to try and sneak peeks up my kilt.

So I've been listening to a lot of audiobooks lately. I really enjoy them, because they let you basically read a book when your hands are busy. I've just finished some quite good ones, and I was wondering if you wonderful folks had any suggestions on where I could go from here, or if you just wanted to talk about good audiobooks that you've heard.

Recently, I've listened to and enjoyed:

Anathem by Neal Stephenson (excellent)
All 20 of the Aubrey-Maturin series by Patrick O'Brian (excellent books, excellent reader [Patrick Tull, I think])
The first 4 of the Dresden Files, read by James Marsters (also excellent, but they've only got the first 4 books, and the 9th on audiobook)
A few Terry Pratchett books
Collapse by Jared Diamond (well-read and interesting, but some of the science is a bit questionable)

What kind of stuff do you guys listen to, and what have your favorites been? Who are your favorite readers? Is Audible.com worth the money? Share all!

Edit: musician ≠ author

The Haggis Line fucked around with this message at May 14, 2009 around 15:36

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WoG
Jul 13, 2004


I'm listening to DeLillo's 'Falling Man' now, and while I'm enjoying the book, I can't really recommend the audiobook. It could be worse, but the reader is pretty bland.

The best I've listened to recently would probably be a few McCarthy novels. Their pacing and language just fit beautifully with being read aloud, and both Richard Poe ('Blood Meridian') and Tom Stechschulte ('The Road', NCOM) are top class readers.

De Nomolos
Jan 17, 2007

TV rots your brain like it's crack cocaine


I've shared this before and I'll share it over and over: Neil Gaiman's books are all best in audio form. My favorite is Anansi Boys, read by Lenny Henry. He's a really talented Brit actor who can do a wide array of voices (he did some for Coraline the movie recently) and he really makes the book come alive.

The last audio book I got was The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime. It was a good book and the reading was pretty strong. I'd recommend it if you at all enjoy off-kilter leads that you can't help but feel sorry for constantly.

Mk28
Apr 5, 2009


I like listening to factual books on audio. I prefer to read fiction.

TraderStav
May 19, 2006
At least that dreadful man has gone. For now.


45 minute commute each way, plus an hour at the gym 3 times a week let's me absolutely destroy the list of books I've been queuing up to read for the past few years. In the past 3 months I've tackled:

Anathem (holy poo poo this was a lot of work, but worth it!)
Ender Series 1-6 (working on 7 now)
Blink by Malcolm Gladwell

On deck:
Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell
Rest of the Ender Series
The Ascent of Money by Niall Ferguson
Dark Tower 5-7 (read the first 4.5 in text, just can't get back into them)
Snow Crash by Neal Stephenson
Velocity by Dean Koontz

On top of that I also find time to read a paper book when I can. There's just some books that are better to read than listen to. Recently I finished Emergency by Neil Strauss. Audiobooks are just an incredible way to spend your downtime that would be otherwise wasted on top 40 or inanely ignorant podcasts.

Mood
Apr 6, 2009


To those who listen to them regularly: what's your favorite source(s) for audiobooks?

Mk28
Apr 5, 2009


Mood posted:

To those who listen to them regularly: what's your favorite source(s) for audiobooks?

itunes.

TraderStav
May 19, 2006
At least that dreadful man has gone. For now.


Mood posted:

To those who listen to them regularly: what's your favorite source(s) for audiobooks?

doh

TraderStav fucked around with this message at Apr 30, 2009 around 21:43

Charlie Mopps
Jan 27, 2007

Beter twee tetten in de hand dan tien op de vlucht.


Audible is a good source for audiobooks.

Charlie Mopps fucked around with this message at May 1, 2009 around 05:24

Malloreon
Nov 30, 2006


Are most audiobooks abridged?

I have a mental block wherein I'd love to listen to books, but I can't stand wondering if there's content I'm missing by doing so, I'm not interested in someone deciding what's relevant and what can be cut out.

Mood
Apr 6, 2009


Oh yeah, gently caress abridged audiobooks in the rear end.

criptozoid
Jan 3, 2005


Mood posted:

To those who listen to them regularly: what's your favorite source(s) for audiobooks?

The ones at LibriVox are free. Most of the time, the quality of the reading is such as one would expect from amateurs. But there's one notable exception: the audiobooks for Mark Twain's "Life on the Mississipi", "Roughing It" and "Innocents Abroad" are really really good. I recommend them.

stray
Jun 28, 2005

"It's a jet pack, Michael. What could possibly go wrong?"


Audible is pretty good. They have their own studio and are doing a lot of recording of their own.

How about books you would really like to see recorded? I would really like to see some of the old cyberpunk and proto-cyberpunk works recorded, like John Brunner's Stand on Zanzibar or The Sheep Look Up.

The Haggis Line
Apr 10, 2003
It is not uncommon for pretty girls to try and sneak peeks up my kilt.

My girlfriend recommends A Confederacy of Dunces by John Kennedy Toole, saying that the reader is especially good, and so is the story. She also suggests that if you pick up any audiobook read by Sally Darling you should drop it before it gives you ear-herpes.

Baldrik
Apr 18, 2006

I never forget a pushy

I listen to a lot of Bill Bryson books. He's got a bunch of great ones that are educational but incredibly entertaining. I'm currently in the middle of A Short History of Nearly Everything and it's pretty good, kind of like a rush through the history of...everything.

Some other good ones by him are:

Made in America: An Informal History of the English Language in the United States
A Walk In the Woods
Notes From A Small Island
The Lost Continent


There are more, all excellent, informative, entertaining and some even read by himself, but these are the ones I've gotten through at least once each so far.

De Nomolos
Jan 17, 2007

TV rots your brain like it's crack cocaine


Mk28 posted:

I like listening to factual books on audio. I prefer to read fiction.

I will agree with this. The voice actor can kill or sell it. Gaiman is great doing his own stuff, as I said.

If you like history, I listened recently to Write It When I'm Gone by Thomas DeFrank, a book of off-the-record conversations with Gerald Ford. I'm not a fan of Ford so much as this is the perfect place to learn about what it was like to be in the middle of Watergate, the rise of the modern right wing movement during his battles with Reagan, and his behind-the-scenes advising of Clinton.

King Plum the Nth
Oct 16, 2008

The mods are always right


There was a good thread about this somewhat longer ago than I realized:

http://forums.somethingawful.com/sh...4032&highlight=

My recommendations haven't changed. What makes or breaks an audiobook for me is less the book but the performance. Fueled by my recent infatuation by the Dexter books, I tried to listen to them as audibooks but found I couldn't because they aren't read by Michael C. Hall. I am opposed to abridgments but my own new recommendation is, actually and abridgment.

I learned of Jerome K. Jerome's Three Men In A Boat from another thread here in TBB. It's public domain now, so I downloaded it from Project Gutenberg to read on my iPod. Then I found the audiobook on iTunes. Read by Hugh Laurie. MOTHERFUCKING HUGH LAURIE!! Never a more perfect narrator for this material was born and, I believe, he even provided piano accompaniment.

It's abridged but, having read the book and listened to this, I can say I was impressed by the deftness of the abridgment. "Hey, they left out that part where..." was quickly supplanted by "Well. I guess I can see how that was non-essential." And, then, as I was folded into Laurie's engaged reading, I stopped caring altogether.

I could babble more than I already have but suffice to say, I was intrigued by the consideration that went into the abridgment. This book actually has an (apparently famously) split personality which a laymen could look at and dismiss the "obviously" unnecessary portion. This edition doesn't do that but, rather, cuts out excess in each part while maintaining the timber of the original.

I only think that because I've had the unique opportunity to enjoy both versions though. I still don't trust other abridgments to be any good.

e: You know, another one a friend recommended me recently and I've enjoyed is Artemis Fowlwritten by Eoin Colfer and read by Nathaniel Parker. Not sure I'd have read this for myself but the narration is quite good, I thought.

King Plum the Nth fucked around with this message at May 2, 2009 around 17:48

Gay4BluRayz
Oct 6, 2004
I WHITE-KNIGHT FOR MY SOCIOPATHS! OH GOD SUH PLEASE PUT YOUR BALLS IN MY MOUTH!

Over the last year I've driven a total of 30 hours for job interviews and then, once landing a job, drove 30+ hours to move to Phoenix. Over those hours, I have listened to the first 6 Harry Potter books, I Am America and So Can You, and various other books. Basically, on trips where picking music is too much of a pain, I love audiobooks.

augustus gluten
Sep 20, 2005

We have important work to do.

Against the Day by Pynchon has a phenomenal audio recording (unabridged as well). But I hope you have a long trip because it's something like 48 hours of audio, two cd packs. But it's definitely worth it, the narrator's ability to take on each persona in the book is commendable.

Pogo Stick Eagle
May 5, 2004

Strange, yet symbolically compelling.


The first 4 books of the Dark Tower series are read by Frank Miller, and are pretty incredible. He was by far my favorite reader. George Guidall who read the other 3 after Miller's bike accident is also talented but Miller was far better with giving every character its own distinct voice.

Pompous Rhombus
Mar 11, 2007


I've got a job where 90% of the time I'm at a computer, doing mind-numbingly boring work. Audiobooks have been a godsend. It really is a different experience from reading, the narrator does make a big difference. I've read "America: The Book" and listened to the audiobook, and I could recommend experiencing both. With the book you get all the diagrams, pictures, etc; whereas with the audiobook you get all of the word stress, timing, etc that make comedy... comedy.

Virtual Light by William Gibson was one of my favorites. I thought American Gods (Neil Gaiman) had a pretty mediocre narrator though. I tried starting a Haruki Murakami book (I can't remember which, might have been After Dark) and the narrator was so grating that I had to stop 5 minutes in. Richard K Morgan's Takeshi Kovacs trilogy is pretty well done but I skipped through the sex scenes. Robert A Heinlein's The Moon is a Harsh Mistress was somewhat unusual; the book is written in a sort of nadsat-esque clipped prose, which the reader also added a Russian accent to. It sounds annoying and gimmicky but it wasn't (at least for me), I actually enjoyed it a lot.

Not-fiction: Maybe not technically "books", but The Teaching Company's series' are
pretty good. Lewis Black's Me of Little Faith sucked, but that's more a fault of the source material than the format.

Libraries are a great source of audiobooks.

The Machine
Dec 15, 2004
Rage Against / Welcome to

The worst I've come across is a Lord of the Rings CD set from before the movies came out.

It was "acted" by different people with horrible sound effects and music. It was more like a radio drama-type thing, and a lot of it was cut out. Embarrassing...

Yarrbossa
Mar 18, 2008


I thoroughly enjoyed listening to the first 6 Harry Potter books by Stephen Fry. I was never a fan of Jim Dale. I listened to all of them 3-4 times, the story and reader were just that good.

I also listened to Lord of the Rings. I'm not sure who was reading them, but they were awesome.

I loved audiobooks. I never have a reason to listen to them constantly anymore. I used to deliver pizza's, and it was fantastic. They helped me transition into reading actual books, which I wasn't before.

EDIT: ^^ The LOTR version I had was done by one guy who sung the songs in the book. It made a bigger impact than it does when I just read the books.

Charlie Mopps
Jan 27, 2007

Beter twee tetten in de hand dan tien op de vlucht.


Yarrbossa posted:

EDIT: ^^ The LOTR version I had was done by one guy who sung the songs in the book. It made a bigger impact than it does when I just read the books.
That's most likely the one done by Rob Inglis. That one is pretty good yeah, and he also did The Hobbit.

talktapes
Apr 14, 2007

You ever hear of the neutron bomb?


I haven't listened to any audiobooks in years, but Lolita read by Jeremy Irons is pretty awesome.

The Machine
Dec 15, 2004
Rage Against / Welcome to

Roybot posted:

I haven't listened to any audiobooks in years, but Lolita read by Jeremy Irons is pretty awesome.

I don't think I've ever gone from reading a post to Amazon so fast.

Mood
Apr 6, 2009


I forget who it was, but there was an unabriged Neuromancer audiobook that was fantastic.

Edit: Read by Arthur Addison.

Mood fucked around with this message at May 3, 2009 around 02:26

Sympodial
Apr 3, 2009

In some cases non-violence requires more militancy than violence.


The Haggis Line posted:

My girlfriend recommends A Confederacy of Dunces by John Kennedy Toole, saying that the reader is especially good, and so is the story. She also suggests that if you pick up any audiobook read by Sally Darling you should drop it before it gives you ear-herpes.


The audio version of that was superior for me because I liked hearing the dialect instead of reading it, and he nailed it really well.

Dopefish Lives!
Nov 27, 2004

Swim swim hungry


My mother and I love listening to books by David Eddings (we'd read the novels first). Cameron Beierle, who reads the Belgariad series, is one of the best narrators I've ever heard. He's clear, enthusiastic, and came up with absolutely perfect voices and accents for the characters.

Conversely, the narrator for the Malloreon series (at least the version I have) is absolutely terrible. I can't find his name since it appears Beierle re-recorded the audiobooks, but this guy had a really loud nasal Brooklyn accent, which was completely weird.

King Plum the Nth
Oct 16, 2008

The mods are always right


Sympodial posted:

The audio version of that was superior for me because I liked hearing the dialect instead of reading it, and he nailed it really well.

That's funny, that's exactly how I felt about The Yiddish Policeman's Union. Peter Riegert does a great job with the cadence of the Yiddish accent. When you read it, you may sort of "know" what these characters would sound like and the prose queues help but it's a different thing to actually hear it done right.

Gothic Lolita
Jul 26, 2003

Ad astra per alas porci

I started listening to audiobooks instead of music while working in the lab, and I went through many books that I won't have time to read otherwise. I got through all of Terry Pratchett's works in ~3 months, and currently going through some classics that I have not read when I was a kid (just finished Lord of the Rings, going through Hitchhiker's Guide right now)

By the way, Rant by Chuck Palahniuk is much more fun in audiobook form than as a book, probably because the characters are played by a bunch of voice actors, so it is much less confusing.

Lazlow
Nov 30, 2004



Mood posted:

I forget who it was, but there was an unabriged Neuromancer audiobook that was fantastic.

Edit: Read by Arthur Addison.

Try to skip the version read by Gibson himself - unfortunately, his thick South Carolina accent pretty much ruins the atmosphere.

There are a number of sites to get free audio books. All the titles are in the public domain, so it's a great place to load up on classics for free. The only problem is that a lot of them are read by volunteers, sometimes only a chapter or two at a time; they're not too terribly bad, but they're not quite professional. I listened to Burroughs' A Princess of Mars and it was good - except for the couple of readers who thought it would be a good idea to try and read their parts in the narrator's Virginian accent.

Mood
Apr 6, 2009


Lazlow posted:

Try to skip the version read by Gibson himself - unfortunately, his thick South Carolina accent pretty much ruins the atmosphere.

It's also abridged, IIRC.

Agile Sumo
Sep 17, 2004

It could take teams quite a bit of time to master.


World War Z

The book lends itself perfectly to the audio book format. It is basically a collection of interviews following the war. There are different voice actors for each interview.

Izzy Mandelbaum
Dec 5, 2006

It's go time


I hopped on the audiobook bandwagon last week. I've got a job where I'm by myself for 75% of the day and can really sink into a book to pass the time.

I more or less finished all of The Gunslinger today and am working through the whole Dark Tower series.

racecardriver
Apr 27, 2009


Agile Sumo posted:

World War Z

The book lends itself perfectly to the audio book format. It is basically a collection of interviews following the war. There are different voice actors for each interview.


World War Z is a good one. Mark Hamil and Henry Rollins lend their voices. Plus, it's about zombies, which always rocks.

cheerfullydrab
Dec 29, 2006
leading helpless teens astray

Stephen King is definitely a good book reader.

I'd also recommend the recording that William Golding did of Lord of the Flies.

Anything read by George Guidall is great. Especially his reading of the Metamorphosis.

Stick Figure Mafia
Dec 11, 2004

We've run outta retro!

RightHonourableHolt posted:

I've shared this before and I'll share it over and over: Neil Gaiman's books are all best in audio form. My favorite is Anansi Boys, read by Lenny Henry. He's a really talented Brit actor who can do a wide array of voices (he did some for Coraline the movie recently) and he really makes the book come alive.

He does an amazing job. There are so many voices and different dialects in this book and he pulls them all off so well. One of the few audio books I would actually recommend over the real thing.

TraderStav
May 19, 2006
At least that dreadful man has gone. For now.


Once you get the hang of audio books (it was tough for me at first) many audio players will have the option to speed up the playback just slightly so the words are only a tad quicker, but will help you rip through the books even quicker by taking out fractions of seconds.

On a 13 hour book it'll likely take off an hour or so I'd imagine.

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drquasius
Dec 25, 2004


The Haggis Line posted:

Collapse by Neil Diamond (well-read and interesting, but some of the science is a bit questionable)

I believe you meant Jared Diamond.

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