Unabridged audio books - equivalent of having read the book?

Discussion in 'NON PRATCHETT BOOK DISCUSSIONS' started by Hsing, Aug 26, 2008.

  1. Hsing Moderator

    If you've listened to an unabridged audio book, does it feel the same to you as having read the book? Would you think of it the same of it as if you'd consumed it with the eyes after having consumed it via your ears instead?

    I'm not quite sure. I can't clearly point out any disadvantages hearing the unabridged book over having read it - except I was raised to value reading so much that I wouldn't say of myself I know a book, I'd just say I listened to the audio version, as if it was somehow inferior. Old fashioned thinking?
  2. Maljonic Administrator

    I think it leaves more to the imagination than watching a film, but it still impedes the mind a little to hear someone else's voice externally, figuring out what they are saying, rather than reading to yourself and attaching different voices and sounds to everything in your imagination.
  3. DEATHOFRATS New Member

  4. Hsing Moderator

    I think what Mal wrote makes sense, and I prefer reading to listening; listening it is nice when I am too sick to read, or doing housework, but I still feel the urge to actually read the thing. I just find I have more and more friends and relatives who discuss books with me, only to "confess" half way through the discussion that they listened to the book instead of having read it.
  5. DEATHOFRATS New Member

    Anyway, quite a lot of the jokes and stuff in the books are visual, for example, someone speaking in a gravelly voice is not the same as seeing Death's voice written down in small capitals, and some of the jokes which rely on instant recognisation of his voice don't work otherwise.
  6. Buzzfloyd Spelling Bee

    Good point, DoR. A lot of the books contain typographical jokes which are very hard to translate into speech. For example, one of the first two or three contains a joke that goes something along the lines of; '"****!" one of them exclaimed - although it's very hard to pronounce.' Well, quite. How do you translate a joke like that into actual speech?

    I definitely don't feel the same way about hearing a book as reading it myself, because the interpretation has been put into someone else's hands.
  7. Joculator The 'Old' Fool

    I suppose the same can be said for the dramatized versions of Discworld, including the TV films. You have the advantage(?) of seeing the scene enacted but you are still relying on the actors translation of the text.

    Enjoyable to see, but still not as good as putting your own imagination to use and defining your own interpretations fo the work.
  8. randywine Member

    I agree.

    I like Audio books and listen to them sometimes when I am driving but there is an indefinable quality of reading and having your own imagination enact what is being transferred from the page.

    In 'On Writing' Stephen King (and I paraphrase) describes the link between the writer and the reader as the only true form of telepathy.

    I agree with him too. :smile:

  9. Buzzfloyd Spelling Bee

    A really great book! Although I disagree with him about the notion that, as a writer, you basically have it or you don't - I believe that, like most skills, good writing can be learned. And for those learning, the techniques he dismisses (such as plotting) are helpful.
  10. randywine Member

    Buzzfloyd, it is a great book and I would recommend it to anyone who is interested in the craft of writing.

    It is a book that you can take good stuff away from without having to buy into everything that he says.

    I learned a lot from it. Maybe one day I will commit to text, that which I have in my head...

    Being a Technical Author doesn't really help. (King disses Tech Authors in the book as well).



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