Day Two of Audio Book Week: How to Write Audio Book Reviews

June 22, 2010 Audio Book Week 9


Today’s discussion post from Jen at Devourer of Books asks us to discuss how to write audio book reviews.  Personally, I’ve only reviewed one series of audio books, Lee Child’s Reacher series.  The main format of the review is the same.  I give a summary of the book followed by my review or evaluation.  When it comes to reviewing an audio, I do discuss the narrator, whether his/her voice added or took anything away from the book.  Narrator’s play a very key role; they can make or break the listening experience.

One example: I listened to A Long Stone’s Throw by Alphie McCourt. The author himself was also the narrator. LOVED the book, didn’t like the audio.  Why? McCourt’s voice didn’t really pull me into the book.  There was no excitement or emotion, and the audio seemed to drag on. However, when I read the book, I was interested immediatly and read it in a matter of days.

On the other side of the coin, I think Dick Hill is the perfect narrator for the Reacher books.  His voice IS Reacher.  It’s strong, a bit scratchy, and exactly what I envision Reacher sounds like. It really makes the listening experience positive for me.

So what do you think? Should audio books be reviewed in the same manner as print books? Be sure to link your post to Jen’s blog and you’ll be entered to win one of several fantastic audio books!

9 Responses to “Day Two of Audio Book Week: How to Write Audio Book Reviews”

  1. Beth F
    Twitter: BethFishReads

    I think they should be reviewed the same BUT it’s important to also talk about the audio aspects — narrator, production quality, etc.

  2. Jen Forbus
    Twitter: jenforbus

    I agree with Candace, I review the “book” the same way. I then also address the attributes of the recording.

    Funny that you pointed out Dick Hill. I, too, have listened to several of the Reacher novels on audio and think Hill does a good job and is a good match with the character. However, he also did at least BLACK ICE (Michael Connelly) and I didn’t think he was Bosch at all. Hill read Bosch exactly the same way he read Reacher, and I hear two totally different characters when I read them.

  3. Howard Sherman
    Twitter: howardasherman

    Audio books should be reviewed just like any other book with one addition – the narrator. Just as you said, the narrator can enhance the reading experience or take away from it.

    I’m going through the original James Bond novels by Ian Fleming on audio. Without a shadow of a doubt the reader is an important part of the equation. The reader in Ian Fleming’s novels is always a British male with the upmarket accent we’d expect from a James Bond experience. If the reader were a British bird with a cockney accent the book would have quite a problem.

  4. Jo-Jo

    This is an interesting topic today. I guess I review audiobooks in the same manner but I always make it quite specific that the review is based on the audiobook.

    • Jenn
      Twitter: jennbookshelves

      I agree! I think it would be more important to have a stellar narrator than to hear the book read by the author him/herself.

  5. Carina
    Twitter: readthroughlife

    I think it should definitely be largely the same style of review – because, after all, you’re reviewing the book as a text! That said, I try to talk about the production of the audiobook a bit, too, separately from the story part.