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Tuesday, September 13, 2011

BBAW: My Interview with The Guilded Earlobe

I was lucky enough to get the wonderful The Guilded Earlobe as my interview partner. I had never "met" him before so this was a great opportunity to get to know another book blogger! So I'd like to give a warm welcome to The Guilded Earlobe.

1. Okay, so I really haven't listened to a lot of audiobooks at all (I think I may be able to count the audiobooks that I've listened to on one hand, seriously!). What draws you to audiobooks? Do you ever read physical books?

Audiobooks started out as a thing of convenience for me. I used to have a job where I worked the third shift, allowing me plenty of down time to read. I would read about 3 books a week. Yet, when I changed positions which required things like walking and driving I discovered reading significantly increased my likelihood of colliding with trees. Well, my sister had recommended audiobooks before, and I discovered Overdrive, which allowed you to download audiobooks for free through the library. Now, I can read without the chance of injuring myself or others. I do still read print, but typically I focus on my large paperback scifi collection, most of which are not available in audio form.

2. While listening to the very few audiobooks that I have delved into, I found myself wondering if the voice the book was read in affected my opinion of the book at all. What are your thoughts? Have you ever come across a story that you really liked but the voice it was read in just didn't do it for you or vice versa?

Narration is the key to a great audiobook. There are some excellent narrators out there that can actually enhance a book. Yet, bad narration can also ruin a book. Casting is key. No matter how good a narrator is, they have to be right for the role. For example, Dan Well's I am Not a Serial Killer is a story about a 15 year old struggling against sociopathic urges. It's a great series but was almost ruined when the narrator of the first novel sounded like Robert Stack from Unsolved Mysteries. Luckily, Kirby Heybourne replaced the Stackesque narrator in the final two audiobooks, and was amazing. On the plus side, Oliver Wyman narrates Tim Dorsey's Serge Storm novels, which I read the first few books. When I switched to audio it was like an epiphany. Wyman was Serge. I can never hear another voice when reading a Serge novel. 

3. Like I said, I haven't listened to a lot of audiobooks. Are there any that you would particularly recommend to me?

Depends on your taste. Some recent ones that are excellent. Tom Perrotta's The Leftovers read by Dennis Boutakaris. It's a secular look at a Rapture like occurrence. Warm Bodies by Isaac Marion is a Zombie novel unlike any other. In essence it is a Romeo and Juliet story of a Zombie who falls in love with the girlfriend of one of his victims. Narrator Kevin Kennerly is simply brilliant in his reading. Ready Player One by Ernie Cline, read by the Wil Wheaton, is the ultimate fanboy novel for those who loved Atari, Family Ties and John Hughes movies. It's all about what you like. I tend to listen to mostly genre novels, yet, audiobooks also allow me to take more risks, and broaden into more "literary" avenues.

4. How did you get into audiobook blogging?

It's really hard to find, comprehensive spoiler free audiobook reviews on the internet, especially for novels that I like. Most of the excellent audiobook blogs focus more on Literary Fiction or Young Adult novels, which is great, but only makes up a tiny percentage of what I read. And places like Amazon do not separate their print reviews from the audio ones, making it frustrating. This is why I decided to blog exclusively about audiobooks. Since becoming an audiobook blogger, I have of course discovered more resources for those looking for Audiobook reviews, particularly Audiobook Jukebox which is an excellent database for Audiobook reviews.

5. You've been at the blogging thing for much longer than me so what has been your most memorable experience as a book blogger?

For me, recognition from authors and narrators, along with other bloggers whom I respect, has been the highlight of my blogging career. Social Networks like Twitter and Facebook have definitely changed the face of book blogging. I think the most recent memorable moment for me was when Wil Wheaton mentioned my review of Ready Player One recently on Google+. Another memorable moment was a blurb of my review of Robert Buettner's Overkill appearing on the back of it's sequel Undercurrents. Both thing were pretty cool in my opinion. 


  1. Great interview!! I heart audio books, and I heart this dude's blog :o)


  2. Great interview! I'm not familiar with his blog, but I like audiobooks... so I should check it out.

  3. Wonderful interview! I love hearing his thoughts on audiobooks, because I too want to do it more but have yet to take the leap!

  4. I love audiobooks and am so happy to have "met" such a strong supporter of them. I agree that the narrator can make or break a book. I always check out unfamiliar narrators on (the offer audio clips) before taking the plunge and deciding to try a certain audiobook. Some narrators make me cringe, while others are just perfect! Great interview!

  5. The Guilded Earlobe is a new-to-me blog and I'm so intrigued by his focus on the blog! After reading more about him and his blog here it's one I'll definitely be adding to my list of daily blogs to read!

  6. Simply great fren...Awesome answering to ur amazing questions..really enjoyed !! Cheers !!
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  7. Thanks for bringing The Guilded Earlobe to my attention!

  8. @rhapsodyinbooks My library is supposed to get Overdrive (an audiobook lending service) for Mac users by the end of the year. I think that will make it a lot easier for me to take the leap!

  9. @Erin Ooo, that's awesome that you can listen to the narrators before you try the whole audiobook!


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