[DWJ] Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell [the audiobook]

Colin Fine colin at fine.me.uk
Sat May 9 20:07:30 EDT 2009

Helen Schinske wrote:
> ----- Original Message ----- From: "Kait Bessing" 
> <kait.bessing at comhem.se>
> To: "Diana Wynne Jones discussion" <dwj at suberic.net>
> Sent: Friday, May 08, 2009 12:37 PM
> Subject: Re: [DWJ] Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell [the audiobook]
>> Helen Schinske wrote:
>>> I could
>>> *maybe* see this kind of thing being let >go when it's a volunteer
>>> reading for Books for the Blind or >something like that.
>> And why should blind people be expected to put up with lower 
>> standards of reading?
> They shouldn't -- but the charity I'm thinking of couldn't possibly 
> afford to pay professional readers, so the clients put up with lower 
> production standards in order to get a vastly wider selection of 
> materials than would otherwise be available. I do know at least one 
> volunteer who used to read for them who has a very charming voice -- I 
> could listen to her all day. She was in my mother's writers' group, 
> and the other women used to joke that Mary shouldn't get to read her 
> own stuff aloud, as it made her sound so much better than the rest of 
> them that it was harder to figure out what to critique.
> Talking books are so much more popular these days that I imagine there 
> is a much better commercial selection, so that volunteers may be less 
> needed. I am only guessing there, though.
> Helen Schinske
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Don't confuse talking books with audio books. When I was working on a 
research project with a number of associations and libraries for the 
blind in different countries about 15 years ago, I was told that the 
requirements were different: users of talking books generally preferred 
them to be read tonelessly rather than acted or dramatised, and often 
preferred them to be faster than most people would find comfortable.


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