First Audiobooks

Back in January I announced I was trying something new: audiobooks. I started with A Confederacy Of Dunces and noted that I really liked the book, so much so that at times I wished I was reading it so I could really savor it.

Since then I've listened to two other audiobooks.

Les Miserables (Abridged) - I've seen the broadway production a few times and my wife read the book years ago and told me it was good. I've been meaning to read it for years. It seemed like it would be good to listen to (during my commute), and it was. The story is involved enough to make it interesting, but not so complex that it was difficult to keep it straight from day to day. And the story is excellent, truly a classic. And the writing was surprisingly vibrant and relate-able (I saw surprising because it's an old book, 1862). The themes are universal, yet personal and meaningful. This really is a book everyone should read. And it works well as an audiobook. (It has no US copyright, so you can read it for free, although it's unabridged and very long. I recommend an abridged version.)

A Walk In The Woods - This is the third Bill Bryson book I've read (1, 2). He has such an easy-going, conversational style I was pretty sure this would be good as an audiobook. And it was fantastic. I laughed at least once almost every drive. It's the amusing story story of hiking the Appalachian Trail. Bryson does his homework - the book is peppered with facts and historical details. It gets weaker toward the end, but still very much worthwhile.

Presently I'm listening to Peace Like A River. Some of the subject matter seems odd, but I'm enthralled by the splendid writing. I'm torn - I should read this book so I can really soak it up, but I'm into the story now and look forward to it each drive.


Ski Bike Junkie said...

I read the unabridged Les Miserables. It took me an entire summer when I was in college. Way, way long, but totally worth it.

Another Bryson you'd probably enjoy is "The Life and Times of the Thunderbolt Kid." You'll get introduced to his walk in the woods companion as a child, but that's only one of the treats.

My word verification is "prosper." May it be so for you and your readers.

KanyonKris said...

The abridged Les Miserables audiobook was 6 CDs and took about 2 weeks of commutes. The story moved along at a good pace and kept my interest. I'd heard the unabridged has many tangents: French history, side stories, one-time characters. I have so many good books on my list, I'd rather read 3-5 books in the time it would take me to read the full Les Miserable.

Thunderbolt Kid has been on my list for a while. If it wasn't checked out I would have selected it over A Walk In The Woods. Looking forward to learning more about Katz.

dug said...

i LOVED peace like a river. the story is a bit weird, but the writing is magically delicious.

i'm plowing through anna karenina. 29 dense cds. but you have to read the big four russian novels sometimes, right?

KanyonKris said...

I guess, but 29 CDs! That's at least 2 months of commutes for me. I applaud your stamina.

Out of curiosity I checked and unabridged Les Miserables is 46 CDs!

bikemike said...

i've yet to try books on cd. i live 2 1/2 miles from work and if i catch the lights just right, it takes about 3 minutes.
how long would it take me to get through anna k. at that rate?
i'm reading stephen hunter's bob lee swagger sniper series, right now.