Saturday, July 24, 2010

The Fall of the House of Usher and...

Ok, so I've been listening to audiobooks from for maybe 6 months now. Almost all of the audiobooks have been pretty great so far.... except this one. The main problem with this audio-story is that it had been "Produced"!

The production involved playing awful music and sound effects in the background that overwhelmed the timid voice of the narrator. Some of the sound effects were copied and/or repeated incessantly - a strange ghostlike scream was replayed several times with almost no rhyme or reason. thunder and lightning sounds were added to the story. the sounds of high winds drowned out the voice of the narrator. I actually couldn't hear or concentrate on the story.

It was frigging awful!

The story is pretty good, I had read it as a teen but I couldn't remember exactly how it went, and I wish I had stuck to a visual format on this one. Hey, at least it was cheap.

I tried to erase this last audiobook out of my mind by immediately starting in on a new one: "Tales of the Occult". As the title explains this is a collection of short stories dealing with the Occult. This book is read by a clear narrator, with a strong voice, british accent, and with absolutely no background sounds. Ahhhh, so refreshing!

The first tale that I am listening to is The Great God Pan by Arthur Machen. I wasn't sure what to expect from this collection of tales but this story is so good that even if all the others are horrible I will still be satisfied with my purchase. I think I will be blogging more about this story when I finish it.


  1. Thanks for this post. I've been meaning to get into audiobooks lately as I think they would hold my attention better and so avoid that re-reading the same paragraph syndrome that seems to befall me, looks like the place to go.

    Stupid sound effects is like saying neither the writer nor the narrator are any good. Sad that they had to ruin the recording that way.

    Now to dig out the mp3 player!

  2. I'm loving my audiobooks! I've been listening to them for a while and this is the first that has disappointed. My two favorite fiction books have been: American Gods by Niel Gaimen and Storm Front by Jim Butcher. American Gods was just a damn good book with great narration; it definitely holds its place among the greatest of all fantasy novels. His integration of all these gods into one story was amazing.

    Storm Front was a lesser novel but it kept me listening all the way through. I really liked the reading by James Marsters, he was the guy who played Spike on Buffy T.V.S... he did a really good job and kept the book interesting for me.

  3. The Great God Pan is an excellent story. Good choice, Rich.

  4. I've got a cassette of The Great Gatsby in the car, I might re-listen to that in light of a certain campaign that I'm involved with.

    Thanks for the recommendations, old sports.