I'm generally not a big fan of audio books because I'm a person who gets distracted easily. I have to be a captive audience to actually be able to finish one, which means the only place I can listen to them is in my car. Currently I'm listening to Stephen King's The Gingerbread Girl, read by Mare Winningham and am enjoying it. On the way home from Montgomery this weekend, I tried to listen to Jeffrey Archer's A Prisoner of Birth and just could not get into it. I don't know if it was the story or the reader. Here's my hands-down pick for favorite audio book:
The Tin Roof Blowdown: James Lee Burke, read by Will Patton: Everything comes together in this reading of a Dave Robicheaux novel set in South Louisiana during and immediately after Hurricanes Katrina and Rita devastate the Gulf Coast. The story is well told and the mystery is satisfying. Burke's anger over what happened in the aftermath of those storms is an underlying subtext of the story and is palpable in his descriptions of New Orleans after the storms. Will Patton picks up on this anger and translates it well. His reading of the novel and his rendition of the characters feels authentic -- from Dave's New Iberia accent, to Clete Purcell's harsher New Orleans one, to the softer South Carolina accent of one of the villains, Ronald Bledsoe. It took me forever to listen to this novel because it's 14 discs and I only listened to it in the car and I didn't take any long trips, but ultimately I'm glad I took the time to listen to it. It struck me again that with audio books, it's essential to have the right reader, and Will Patton was the perfect one for The Tin Roof Blowdown.
I'm going on vacation starting Monday and won't be back to work for three weeks. Yay! I cannot wait. I'm going to be in South Carolina for a few days and I hope to be at the beach for a week.