A Listening Project: Ali Bacon finds her audio book a bit too relaxing
|Ali Bacon out and about|
Fast forward thirty (ouch!) years and with several of my friends heavily into the audio book habit I think it's time to partake of this forgotten pleasure. On the other hand I'm not sure if it will suit me so rather than taking up the eternal offers from Audible I plump for our public library service which quaintly involves borrowing for a limited period and and having to wait for a copy of a favoured title to become available. These restrictions seem odd but I assume there are licensing issues and hey, it's FREE! It's relatively easy to download the app for my Libraries West account and sign up to audio books.
|Libraries West Audio Book Service|
Back at home I start again in the car and I'm glad to say this goes much better with no falling asleep at the wheel, although short journeys mean I don't get much listening time. Of course my phone is always with me so when Mr B is watching something not to my taste on TV I can get on with my knitting and listen as I click my needles. Even so I had forgotten how long it takes to listen to a book unabridged. I note I still have 6 hours left and when I stupidly put down the knitting and let the Eurovision Song Contest play in the background, the inevitable occurs ... I hear the Netherlands won, but where did this new character spring from in my book? Time to rewind yet again. So yes, listening is relaxing - sometimes too relaxing!
Or is it the book? Dunmore is a favourite author (The Siege and Exposure particularly memorable) and this one is set in my home town of Bristol, but I'm not sure it's doing it for me. The narrator strikes me as efficient rather than engaging and a few chapters in I'm interested but not enthralled. Most of all, the listening experience doesn't let me ignore bits that seem repetitive, or skim over the extracts from pamphlets and newspaper reports which remind us of the historical and political context somewhat at the expense of narrative pace. Of course it's common knowledge amongst writers that reading aloud is a great way to see flaws in your own work, and though it's too early (5 hours to go!) to say this book is flawed, I can see that the audio format is an unforgiving one.
So at this point in my life I have yet to be totally won over by the audio book, but whether or not I finish Birdcage Walk (a sneak peak at reviews suggests I should) I think I will keep one on the go, while remembering all the while to stick to the knitting!
, Ali Bacon's historical novel, is available in paperback and e-book from Linen Press, online stores and all good bookshops.