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Love-hate with audiobooks and “real” books – capping with science fiction

I tried to make it a habit to post my monthly audiobook download. So far I’ve recommended three titles (Stephen Colbert’s I Am America and So Can You, Bob Newhart’s I Shouldn’t Even Be Doing This, and the dramatization of Sweeney Todd and the String of Pearls) in this blog and I by far have accumulated two more credits in the last two months, including this March.

The problem dear reader is that I’ve come to realize that there are some books that are well represented in audio whilst other should be read under the leisure of coffee and a rocking chair (or something that simulates the sensory experience of the latter endeavor). I have not mustered the guts to download, say, the audio version of Shadowdivers as it spans more than ten hours worth of audio and I’ll probably be burnt out long before my iPod battery runs out. But then again I could be wrong.

So it is small strides that I take from two hour audiobooks to … well what is now the five hour spoken word of InterWorlds, one of Neil Gaiman’s newer titles with sci-fi author Michael Reeves (my audible recommendation for this month).

InterWorld AudioBook

With this comes a recent purchase as well – a real live tome of the Dreamsongs anthology by George R. R. Martin. There’s a bit of a story behind this book: I “discovered” Martin back a few years ago with Game of Thrones, which was his debut book for the Song of Fire and Ice series. I’m embarrassed to say however that I never finished the trilogy blaming real life and “work” as culprits to not finishing one of the best works in fantasy literature ever written. I blame old age, or whatever reason I can conjure. I’ve come to terms with the fact that I’m no longer the Jayvee from high school who can finish an epic seven-book Shannara series in one week hiding behind the head of the guy seated in front of me during class (Terry Brooks wrote Shannara – although critics say that it was a Lord of the Rings rip off, I beg to differ for reasons any Brooks fan may give as it had its own theme and was more of an epic historical account that lasted several generations). This is the Jayvee that can’t find the time to read a decent book or sit still for a few hours. Dreamsongs would suffice. At least that one was 9 stories in one whole trilogy. And that’s why I’ve been eyeing the short story compilations of Gaiman as well (Smoke and Mirrors is the only one I have).

George R. R. Martin

I’ve been drawn to Martin’s work because of the great characterization. A basic illustration of how this would work would go something like this: Chapter 1 Hero is introduced Chapter 2 Hero’s character is built on, Chapter 3 Hero dies in battle (there are 23 chapters). The real hero comes in chapter 10. Then dies at 15. You get the picture. There’s a certain human element to Martin’s romantic style of writing that allows readers to empathize so much.

Which is why I’d rather read Dreamsongs and listen to Gaiman. Gaiman writes melodic prose, so his work is wonderful to hear as spoken word. Martin is read to be fallen in love with and cherised with the sensuous turning of every page.

But that’s just me 🙂

By Jayvee Fernandez

Jayvee Fernandez is a tech enthusiast and sitting Techbology Editor for The Philippine STAR.

He is also an EAN certified SCUBA Diver and underwater photographer based in Metro Manila, Philippines. His photos and videos have appeared in various international and local publications including Random House Germany, Discovery Channel Canada, and CNN.

8 replies on “Love-hate with audiobooks and “real” books – capping with science fiction”

One of the joys of this world is snuggling up and reading a book. In like reading … but there is also something positive to be said about listening to a book. Although I listen more to radioplays than to audiobooks. BBC has the Lord of the Rings and the Hobbit radio play. Short stories are often wonderfully rendered in voice.If you think about it is storytelling.

Shanarra! Leah! Leah!


I think there are books that are better read and better heard too. For example, I’m sick neil gaiman’s writing already. I really am. His cutesy flowery way of writing about the simplest things captivated me for a good ten years before I finally ODed on it. But. I would definitely listen to him read one of his books. Hell, I’d love ot just have a conversation with him than read any of his new material.

i see your point — wanted to buy the dreamsongs vol 1 and 2 on audio but i didn’t like the guy reading it. besides that, there is jsut some fantasy i prefer reading than listening to.

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