This week over at HTML Giant, David Fishkind writes about his summer job as a farm hand and how he began listening to Blood Meridian by Cormac McCarthy on his iPod in order to deal with the monotony that comes with moving piles of dirt around. Richard Poe (aka Gul Evek in Star Trek: The Next Generation) reads from McCarthy’s novel, Fishkind writes, “slowly in an ambiguous old man accent, altering his voice slightly for different characters. He made The Kid sound inquisitive and defensive and The Judge powerful and funny.” He continues, “Blood Meridian put a lot of things in context for me. When I felt fatigued, at least I’d gotten seven hours of sleep instead of riding a horse through the night to avoid bloodthirsty Apaches.”
Do you ever listen to audiobooks at work, readers? I used to listen to David Sedaris read from his novels, but I could never get any work done, and my constant laughter embarrassed me. Same for Ben Karlin’s essay collection, Things I’ve Learned From Women Who’ve Dumped Me, (e.g., Lesson #43: Don’t Enter a Karaoke Contest Near Smith College: You Will Lose to Lesbians). I’ve also tried Nick Cave reading The Death of Bunny Munroe, which took all the lasciviousness out of it and added some strange element I can’t quite put our finger on. And there’s always the other famous Sedaris, Amy, whose clear, homey delivery on I Like You: Hospitality Under the Influence will always alarm me. What about you, dear reader? What audiobooks do you love? Who was the narrator, and how did the voice or tone alter your appreciation of the work?