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19 August 2009 @ 03:49 pm
monstrous listening  
I am hard at work on my VOYA audiobook review column today (about 75% there). I am writing about audiobooks from novels that contain some rather intense content. One of the audios, the one I just finished listening to in the car yesterday, is TENDER MORSELS by Margo Lanagan. The audio is from Brilliance, and I must admit to being a little nervous about how this book would translate into an audio format. I asked Margo Lanagan at ALA what she thought of the audio. She said she had listened to just a short snippet, but she was quite pleased. I concur.

The two narrators do a remarkable job of bringing the reader through some of the darkest scenes in YA in this bleak landscape that is Liga's life. Two daughters: one conceived from incest and the other through a brutal gang rape. Yet somehow the brutality, though still present, is somehow "softer." That is not quite the word I am searching for here. But sometimes words fail. When I told the resident of the back bedroom that I was going to listen to this one in the car, she almost shuddered. It was one of the rare books that she handed back to me last year. It was too much for her. I understood. And I told her that I did not have to listen to the book while she was in the car. She muttered something to the effect that she could always plug into her iPod, so I began the audio. I finished it yesterday while she was not in the car. She asked me today of the ending was happy or at least almost happy. It seems she got caught up in Liga and Urrda and Branza and their story even through the screen of her music.

So, for this column I am writing about audios from book that deal with some tough issues and topics. Is it easier to read these as books or listen to them as audio? No real answer from me, but an interesting question, I think.

Now back to the column...

Current Location: home again
Current Mood: calmer
(Anonymous) on August 21st, 2009 12:24 am (UTC)
I had a similar reaction listening to The Road, by Cormac McCarthy. I think I would have given up on that book if I had been reading it; listening to it was hard, but I did get through to the end. Somehow the harshness of the story is mitigated by the human voice.