I finished listening to the last book in the Sabriel series yesterday, titled Abhorsen.
The sense of how well-written a book is is often hard to discern from
an audio book of the work; it’s sometimes difficult to determine
whether you’re enjoyment of the book comes from the reading or from
the writing, especially when the reading is done well. I would never
claim, for instance, that I’m knowledgeable about a book like Conrad’s
The Heart of Darkness by listening to even a well-read audio
However, Sci Fi and Fantasy are well-suited to the audio book medium.
Since the writing is more often focused on plot and character, it’s
perhaps a little easier to tell good writing of this sort by listening
than for some other kinds of literature.
In any case, back to the work at hand.
This was an excellently written series (the above caveats admitted).
Characters are well-developed, and the plot is riveting – I could
barely “put it down” (that is to say, take off my headphones). In
addition, it was incredibly well read by Tim
Curry, who performed excellently. I’ll have to look for more
books he’s read.
I’ve determined that this is a great way to spend my commuting hour
each day, although I do sometimes miss NPR, and am certainly
less well-informed than I was when I listened to that twice daily.
Next up: The Golden Compass by Phillip Pullman, read by an
entire cast – a new experience for me.