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Old 04-19-2018, 03:01 PM   #2206
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Are most audiobook memoirs are read by the author?
I've listened to a few memoirs read by the author and a few other (only non-fiction) books as well. I have to say that in each case I thought the author ill-served by the narrator. At this point, I'd have to be really motivated to listen to a book if it were read by the author; it's an automatic turn-off.
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Old 04-19-2018, 04:02 PM   #2207
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Originally Posted by issybird View Post
I've listened to a few memoirs read by the author and a few other (only non-fiction) books as well. I have to say that in each case I thought the author ill-served by the narrator. At this point, I'd have to be really motivated to listen to a book if it were read by the author; it's an automatic turn-off.
I guess I've been very fortunate.
The Stephen Hawking-read lectures aside, "Read by the Author" is still something that I tend to look for because of some great past experiences, with fiction and non-fiction both.

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Old 04-19-2018, 06:00 PM   #2208
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Most are NOT read by the author. The general rule is that authors should stick to authoring, and let narration be performed by professionals. That being said, there are exceptions, obviously.
I agree, there are very few exceptions to that rule. IMHO the exceptions include Bill Bryson, Stephen King and Stephen Fry. All of them add something unique that a third party narrator can't.
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Old 04-19-2018, 06:57 PM   #2209
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I agree, there are very few exceptions to that rule. IMHO the exceptions include Bill Bryson, Stephen King and Stephen Fry. All of them add something unique that a third party narrator can't.
Bryson's on my never again list. Unique, yes. Thank God!
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Old 04-20-2018, 08:00 AM   #2210
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I listened to this the day it came out. I thought Comey showed himself to be an excellent writer, and I was also quite impressed by his reading even though I am usually wary of author narrations.

I might as well go on and say I found Comey to be thoughtful, courageous, and committed to truth over his years of public service. I now have a much better understanding of his pre-election decisions and cannot fault him for them, despite unpalatable consequences.

Also, while the publicity emphasizes the Trump-related portion of the book, that's only the last few chapters. The rest of the book takes us through earlier parts of Comey's life and career, and illuminates the principles that guided him.
This one of those books where people of a particular political persuasion give it a 5 and those of a different political persuasion give it a 1 (mostly because you can't give it a 0).
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Old 04-20-2018, 09:35 AM   #2211
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This one of those books where people of a particular political persuasion give it a 5 and those of a different political persuasion give it a 1 (mostly because you can't give it a 0).
There's enough in the book for Comey to be a target of vitriol on both sides. He is relating his experiences and his decision-making process, and not trying to hit people over the head to make them believe one thing or another. One of the things he talks about is how political considerations should not be allowed to dictate investigations and pervert justice. Apparently both sides need to learn this.

Beyond that, it's a well-written book. Comey has a knack for choosing the right words to convey a precise description and paint a picture. The writing isn't clumsy or overly pedantic; you don't feel that the guy was sitting there with a thesaurus so as to appear erudite.

It's a good book. For anyone who's a political junkie, it's definitely a must-read.
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Old 04-20-2018, 09:39 AM   #2212
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Comedians self-narrate well

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Originally Posted by issybird View Post
I've listened to a few memoirs read by the author and a few other (only non-fiction) books as well. I have to say that in each case I thought the author ill-served by the narrator. At this point, I'd have to be really motivated to listen to a book if it were read by the author; it's an automatic turn-off.
Although I have heard some real stinkers, I have been very lucky to listen to author-read books on tape that were very well-served by the narration. Neil Gaiman has a great voice. Comedians usually do a good job with their autobiographies. I thought Amy Schumer was pretty funny. The hands down, absolute best self-narrated book I ever heard was “Hiding My Candy” read by The Lady Chablis. Sadly, it’s out of print and only available as a cassette. I nearly crashed my car from laughing fits.
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Old 04-20-2018, 06:49 PM   #2213
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Bryson's on my never again list. Unique, yes. Thank God!
Oh? Why is that, if I may be so bold?
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Old 04-21-2018, 07:07 AM   #2214
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Oh? Why is that, if I may be so bold?
I was kidding, but in truth I detested Bryson's reading the one time I tried him, for One Summer. I said this at the time in my Goodreads review:

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Bryson is awful, that prissy, affected voice with weird intonations and the hybrid Midwest/Brit accent.
That was three years ago and it's an impression that's lingered; when I saw your question my thought was, "that prissy and affected voice and trans-Atlantic accent" before I looked at Goodreads.

Bryson's a narrator who gets widely divergent reactions on the love/hate spectrum. I can think of only Scott Brick as engendering similarly disparate responses.
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Old 04-21-2018, 12:31 PM   #2215
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I was kidding, but in truth I detested Bryson's reading the one time I tried him, for One Summer. I said this at the time in my Goodreads review:



That was three years ago and it's an impression that's lingered; when I saw your question my thought was, "that prissy and affected voice and trans-Atlantic accent" before I looked at Goodreads.

Bryson's a narrator who gets widely divergent reactions on the love/hate spectrum. I can think of only Scott Brick as engendering similarly disparate responses.
I've not listened to One Summer but I really enjoyed his narration for Notes from a Small Island and A Walk in the Woods. In fact, I've got to the point where I'm disappointed if he's not reading his own work. I guess it's what in the UK we call a Marmite thing - you either love it or hate it. Not sure you have Marmite in the USA?
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Old 04-21-2018, 01:49 PM   #2216
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They don't do marmite in the U.S. And I confess I've had mixed results with Bryson's readings. I liked Walk, but didn't like another one.
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Old 04-21-2018, 03:07 PM   #2217
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They don't do marmite in the U.S. And I confess I've had mixed results with Bryson's readings. I liked Walk, but didn't like another one.
Simon Winchester may be the author who reads his own books that I like the most. I think that his voice just is a perfect match for his books. He's coming out with a new book in a couple of weeks. I probably wouldn't have noticed if not for this thread.
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