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Remakes
#1  pwalker8 09-30-2019, 12:46 PM
There are two parts to an audiobook, the text (i.e. author) and the narrator. There are some classic books that have been recorded more than once, for example both Stephen Fry and Simon Vance have versions of the Complete Sherlock Holmes (I've got both). Some books have English and US versions, such as the Harry Potter series (Jim Dale does the US, Stephen Fry does the UK. I really wish I could get the UK version just to compare).

One thing that I've thought about is that some audiobooks were first recorded way back in the early days of audiobooks. For example, the LOTR series were recorded back in 1990 by Rob Inglis, who came to the producer's attention by doing Tolkien one man shows. Of course, Rob Inglis does a great version, but many techniques and approaches towards audiobooks have changed since he did them almost 30 years ago and his voice can be a bit reedy at times. How would it sound if someone like Simon Vance did it?

So, what books would you like to see re-recorded and who would you like to hear as the narrator?
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#2  ACGAuthor 10-01-2019, 01:18 AM
Pretty much all of the old Pern books. As hard as they have tried, Audible can't fix the fact that many of them were produced in the early 90s, or even before then. You can't even get a copy of Nerilka's Story (at least not legally) and the illegal copies are so horrid as to make it not worth the effort. They sound like they were recorded off an old cassette copy.

And honestly? As skilled a narrator as Simon Vance is, I really wish they hadn't used him for the Kushiel's Scion/Justice/Mercy trilogy by Jacqueline Carey. Imriel is a very young character and Simon Vance's voice is just not right for the character. They needed someone who sounded younger (same with the Kushiel's Dart/Chosen/Avatar trilogy and Naamah's Kiss/Curse/Blessing trilogy, both of which were narrated by Anne Flosnik who sounds so middle-aged, college educated British that she doesn't do Phedre (a young quasi-French courtesan) or Moirin (a young quasi-Celtic girl) any justice whatsoever.)

Great narrators, both of them, but I'd really like to have a word with whoever chose them for that series.
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#3  pwalker8 10-01-2019, 07:41 AM
Quote ACGAuthor
Pretty much all of the old Pern books. As hard as they have tried, Audible can't fix the fact that many of them were produced in the early 90s, or even before then. You can't even get a copy of Nerilka's Story (at least not legally) and the illegal copies are so horrid as to make it not worth the effort. They sound like they were recorded off an old cassette copy.

And honestly? As skilled a narrator as Simon Vance is, I really wish they hadn't used him for the Kushiel's Scion/Justice/Mercy trilogy by Jacqueline Carey. Imriel is a very young character and Simon Vance's voice is just not right for the character. They needed someone who sounded younger (same with the Kushiel's Dart/Chosen/Avatar trilogy and Naamah's Kiss/Curse/Blessing trilogy, both of which were narrated by Anne Flosnik who sounds so middle-aged, college educated British that she doesn't do Phedre (a young quasi-French courtesan) or Moirin (a young quasi-Celtic girl) any justice whatsoever.)

Great narrators, both of them, but I'd really like to have a word with whoever chose them for that series.

Hey, honesty is always the best policy.

Yea, I've got the original Dragonriders series (Dragonflight, Dragonquest, White Dragon) all recorded by Dick Hill. I've also got the Harper Hall series, recorded by Sally Darling. Dragonflight was recorded in 93. The Harper Hall series about a decade later.

I did buy all of them from audible, so perhaps they have been cleaned up a bit. I just listened to a few minutes of it and didn't notice any sound quality issues. The major difference is that Hill reads the book without much in the way of character voices. I seem to recall that a lot of the early narrators took that approach.

I have a couple of Fredrick Forsyth books (Odessa File, Day of the Jackal) and the narrator for those took the same approach. It can be a bit on the dry side and difficult to stay engaged when you are use to the full character actor with unique voices for each character. I would like to hear those with re-recorded.

I suspect that is one reason they re-recorded Mercedes Lackey's Arrows of the Queen series, that and the fact that the original narrator only recorded the first book. I didn't hate her, but really enjoyed the new narrator a lot more.

I haven't listened to the Kushiel series, but yea, even the best narrator can struggle when they don't really match the main character.
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#4  issybird 10-01-2019, 10:36 AM
I haven't run into the age issue with Simon Vance, but I agree it can be a factor even with favorite narrators. I can't remember what book it was, but I know I abandoned a book read by Nadia May, also one of my favorites, because her voice was too old for the story.

The flip side, and it pains me to make a sex-specific condemnation, are narrators who are too young for the story as evidenced by their over-inflection, which just grates. Unfortunately, I've just run into this with women; perhaps it's because I'm not interested in whatever books are being read by young male narrators.
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#5  Catlady 10-01-2019, 11:54 AM
I generally don't care too much about who is narrating a book I want to read. But if I'm borderline about a book, my opinion of the narrator can tip me to one side or the other.

I would love to see a new recording of The Last Unicorn that is not narrated by the author. I also am rather horrified by the recording of Valley of the Dolls by Laverne Cox (someone I never heard of); I bought it simply to revisit such a fun, trashy book. After listening to a sample, though, I'm not sure if I can force myself to listen to the whole thing--the narration hurts my ears, and the Audible reviews suggest I am not alone.
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#6  pwalker8 10-01-2019, 10:04 PM
Quote issybird
I haven't run into the age issue with Simon Vance, but I agree it can be a factor even with favorite narrators. I can't remember what book it was, but I know I abandoned a book read by Nadia May, also one of my favorites, because her voice was too old for the story.

The flip side, and it pains me to make a sex-specific condemnation, are narrators who are too young for the story as evidenced by their over-inflection, which just grates. Unfortunately, I've just run into this with women; perhaps it's because I'm not interested in whatever books are being read by young male narrators.
It could be an experience situation, i.e. they don't have enough experience to know how to read properly. I really like Wil Wheaton, who narrates "Ready, Player One", the first half of Rodger Zelazny's Amber series and a number of John Scalzi's books. Old Man's War and Redshirt are the only Scalzi ebooks that I have, but I have a number of his audiobooks, mostly because Wheaton does the narration. Wheaton is in his mid 40's now, but he's been acting and doing voice work since he was a kid.
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#7  SeaBookGuy 10-09-2019, 01:51 AM
Quote issybird
I haven't run into the age issue with Simon Vance, but I agree it can be a factor even with favorite narrators. I can't remember what book it was, but I know I abandoned a book read by Nadia May, also one of my favorites, because her voice was too old for the story.

The flip side, and it pains me to make a sex-specific condemnation, are narrators who are too young for the story as evidenced by their over-inflection, which just grates. Unfortunately, I've just run into this with women; perhaps it's because I'm not interested in whatever books are being read by young male narrators.
Indeed, I recall one book where I thought "She's outstanding as narrators go, but this one's sadly a serious misfit for her!"
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