I think I've mentioned here that I love Jane Austen. Have I mentioned that I also love audio books? Well combine the two and I'm in a little corner of heaven.
Over the past few years I've collected most of the Jane Austen books on audio tape or CD, but there has been one version that I was never happy with. I had a version of Pride and Prejudice that was read by a woman with a deep and gravely voice. At first listen I thought, oh this will be fun, she can do all the men's voices as well as the women's, but the overall effect was ... well, in a word, awful. Horrible. Icky, even.
The voice and the dramatic ability of the reader is SO important with audio books. Especially with something in a period piece like the Jane Austen works. Now, maybe I'm a bit spoiled having listened to Jim Dale do all the Harry Potter books, but honestly, if you're going to have somebody read through a whole book, unabridged, it ought to be somebody who is pleasant to listen to. It doesn't even have to be Jim Dale quality for me, but it does need to be pleasant, and not overly singsong (don't get me started on having Michael York
reading ruining The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe from the Chronicles of Narnia boxed set I got -- although I have to say the bad experience was nicely balanced by the heaven of listening to Jeremy Northam reading The Silver Chair - oh yummy yummy, I could just eat him up!)
Fate rescued me! One of the tapes broke. All gucked up in the tape player! Whoohoo!! I was free to order a new copy without guilt.
Shopping with no ability to preview the voice of the reader is majorly frustrating! That's worth an email complaint or two. But I'm here to tell you that the new CD version has arrived and is splendid, mahvelous, so soothing to the ear it's brought me back to my full state of bliss, in my little corner of heaven here, with Jane Austen and Pride and Prejudice (read by golden throated Irene Sutcliffe!)
Color me happy!