Why You Should Try Audiobooks

Posted May 20, 2016 by Stephanie B in General / 5 Comments

I’m always hunting for new audiobooks. I will try just about any audiobook if it has a high probability of containing rockin’ narration. I will browse Audible day after day and look at the same books over and over again until my heart’s content. With this new found love, I wanted to take a moment to talk about these lovely contraptions.

Multiple Narrators

By no means am I a fan of the Alien movie or book. This is basically my first real encounter with it. What I have here is an original drama produced by Audible Studios. The cover caught my eye some time ago but I didn’t listen to the sample until this past Wednesday. I bought it immediately after the sample finished. I listened to this drama almost nonstop from the moment I started it and only paused it when I had to.

When someone asks me for a recommendation, this will be one of the first on my list simply because of the top performance. I am a huge fan of audiobooks with multiple narrators (although Alien here is not an audiobook). It makes a story more real and involved. This is one of the reasons why I loved Illuminae so much. (It’s also why I’m not going to jump on the Gemina boat until it’s available on Audible. I refuse to consume that story in any other manner unless forced.)

Some stories are best consumed as audiobooks. Although I haven’t read Illuminae myself, I firmly believe it falls into this category right alongside Alien. In fact, these two productions are prime examples of how an author’s work can be made all the more extraordinary with an exemplary performance.

Narrators have the power to bring life to a story that can otherwise be dull and boring. I can’t imagine how difficult it must be to select multiple narrators for one project.

P.S. I imagine listening to Illuminae is like what a movie adaptation for it would be like. It was amazing.


What about audiobooks with just one narrator? They’re certainly more common. In my experience, these are a bit more tricky to get right. You have one person portraying every character in an 10 hour novel (sometimes shorter or longer), and that can’t be easy. However, I’ve been lucky enough to find some incredible narration (once again) on Audible.

SIDE NOTE: I will recommend a membership with Audible all day long. It’s one of the best decisions I made when it came to how I chose to start consuming books last year.

I’ve tried to read Frankentstein by Mary Shelly before and I got about 50 pages in. I was bored. I felt like the author was missing opportunities to make the story more interesting, so I stopped reading it. It’s still on my TBR list though simply because: it’s a classic and I want to mark it off on the list.

This may sound wrong or cheesy or *insert adjective here*, but I don’t feel like I can really call myself a sci-ci/fantasy blogger, without having read Frankenstein in some way shape or form. Plus, I want to know and understand the appeal behind the novel.


I’ve told myself I was going to finally read it more than once but couldn’t get myself to pick it up. So, as often happens with Audible, I decided to try the audiobook. I could listen to it while I was at work and eventually mark it off my list. Even if I hated it, I’d get it done. What I didn’t expect though was for the narration to change everything.

I purchased an edition performed by Dan Stevens after listening to the sample. For the first time, I was excited to “read” Frankenstein. Stevens can channel self-hatred and remorse like no other. His narration has given meaning to passages I thought served no purpose. I was so bored reading the novel myself, that I couldn’t see beyond that boredom. Stevens is the perfect narrator for this story.

This all just brings me to my point: a narrator can make or break an audiobook. The stakes are even higher when you have just one narrator, which means that publishers have an extraordinary responsibility to make sure the perfect person is chosen. I can think a story is only so-so but because I liked an audiobook, I am more willing to try an author’s other novels. Of course, on the flip side, this also means that if I don’t like narration for a story that sounds interesting, I may not get the audiobook, but it doesn’t stop me for picking the book up myself. It doesn’t ruin the book for me. That’s extraordinary if you ask me.

I have a great appreciation for audiobooks and I’m looking forward to finding more gems and highlighting them here for you guys.

What has been your experience with audiobooks?

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5 responses to “Why You Should Try Audiobooks

  1. Theresa Snyder

    I also do a majority of my reading via audio books!!! I can’t imagine life without them! I started listening to cassettes then CD’s when they came out and now I just download them!

    There are a couple narrators that I don’t care for, though I still listen anyway.

    I download just about all from my library and my only complaint with that is I can’t speed up the narration like I can with the audible app.
    I have an older mp3 player so maybe you can with newer ones?

    This was great to read as I don’t come across many that listen to audio books!

  2. I totally agree with you about the narrator thing!
    I once listened to Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde on audio…it was literally the dullest thing ever. I loved the story, but the narrator actually put me to sleep. It was the first (and only) time I have ever fallen asleep while listening to an audiobook.
    And there have been other times where the narrator has made me want to pull my hair out because their voice was so annoying.

    On the other hand, the narrators for Maggie Stiefvater’s books are AMAZING! The Shiver books have multiple narrators, and the voice for one of the POVs changes between book 1 and book 2 (the second one was way better). The Raven Boys ones have one narrator, but he is the PERFECT narrator for those books.

    As for Illuminae, I’ve heard that the audiobook is great, but the actual book had pictures and stuff…it would be interesting to see how it would translate.

    Great post 🙂

    • Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde sounds like it could be so good! That’s too bad it wasn’t good. I’ve definitely heard the annoying narrator before. I returned the audiobook…

      Ooooooo. Really? I need to get at least the first book read. I’m going to have to check out Stiefvater’s series. ILLUMINAE is SO GOOD. I didn’t know that the book had pictures! I’m going to have to admire it next time I’m at B&N.

      Thanks for reading! I’m really glad you liked it!

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