Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Audiobook Week: Reviewing Audio Books

Jen of Devourer of Books is hosting Audiobook Week. She has discussion topics for each day this week. And if you link to your posts on audio books, or your reviews of audio books you could win a prize.

Today's discussion topic is How To Write An Audio Book Review (Ideas: What do you include? How do you rate an audio if the narrator is good but the story isn’t (or the other way around). Do you let people know the book was an audio off the bat, or do you surprise them with it at the end, ‘trick’ them into reading the review?)

If I've just read the book and listened to the audio, then usually I'll review them together. I'll discuss the book as I would usually do, then I'll add my thoughts on the audio. As to what I include--I list the basics: the title of the book, author of the book, publisher of the audio, and length of the audio. I would then, of course, discuss the narrator and/or the adaptation if it is an abridged book. I share my reactions to listening to a book.

If it's been a while since I've read the book, then I'll write a review just for the audio. I'll just include a link to the original review, and write up something short that shares my thoughts on the audio book.

If I don't like a narrator, then chances are really good I'll just give up on the audio. Especially since I listen to audio books as a way to "reread" some of the books I've already read and enjoyed. For example, while I love Rick Riordan's Percy Jackson series, the narrator just didn't work for me. So I gave up on listening to these.

© Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews


Beth F 7:20 AM  

Interesting. I use audios for both first reads and re-reads, but I think my reviews are still pretty much the same.

Beth S. 8:31 AM  

I immediately abandoned the Percy Jackson audiobook because the narrator was so terrible. Though I'm one of these strange people, who even after trying to read the book, I couldn't get into it. For some reason, because I was forced in elementary school and college to memorize and take tests on the Greek gods and goddesses I've always had an aversion to Greek mythology.

Rose Marie 9:01 AM  

I'm listening to the Lightning Thief right now and I was thinking the same thing about the narrator! It's good to know I'm not alone in my aversion to him.

Laura H 12:24 PM  

I listened to The Lightning Thief too but did NOT like the narrator too. So glad I'm not the only one. It made me dislike the book

Carina 2:18 PM  

What about for audiobooks that you haven't already read the text version of? Or do you do that?

Jen - Devourer of Books 3:42 PM  

Do you often do read the print and listen to the audio close together?

Becky 3:55 PM  

It's good to know I'm not the only one who didn't like Percy Jackson on audio.

Carina, I don't think I've listened to an audio book lately that I haven't read the text to. But I know that I have in the past. As for how I would review it, I guess I'd just review it like I would a book--summary, reaction to story & characters, overall thoughts--I'd just add towards the end that I listened to it on audio.

Jen, the past few audio books that has been the case. But it isn't *always* the case. Right now I'm listening to a book that I read three or four years ago.

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Review Policy

I am interested in reviewing books and audio books. This blog focuses on books written for middle grade on up (essentially 10 to a 110). I review middle grade fiction and young adult fiction (aka tween and teen).

I also review adult books.

I read in a variety of genres including realistic fiction, historical fiction, mystery, romance, science fiction, fantasy, literary fiction, and chick lit. (I've read one western to date.)

I read a few poetry books, a few short story collections, a few graphic novels, a few nonfiction books.

I am especially fond of:

  • Regency romances (including Austen prequels/sequels)
  • Historical fiction set in the Tudor dynasty
  • Historical fiction and nonfiction set during World War II
  • Jewish fiction/nonfiction
  • dystopias
  • apocalyptic fiction
  • science fiction (especially if it involves time travel and alternate realities)
  • fantasy
  • multicultural books and international books

I am not a fan of:

  • sports books
  • horse books
  • dog books if the dog dies (same goes with most pets actually except maybe fish)
  • westerns (if it's a pioneer story with women and children, then maybe)
  • extremely violent books with blood, blood, and more blood

I am more interested in strong characters, well-written, fleshed-out, human characters. Plot is secondary to me in a way. I have to care about the characters in order to care about the plot. That being said, compelling storytelling is something that I love. I love to become absorbed in what I'm reading.

If you're interested in sending me a review copy of your book, I'm happy to hear from you. Email me at laney_po AT yahoo DOT com.

You should know several things before you contact me:

1) I do not guarantee a review of your book. I am just agreeing to consider it for review.
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4) In all of my reviews I strive for honesty. My reviews are my opinions--so yes, they are subjective--you should know my blog will feature both negative and positive reviews.
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