Last night during my dinner at work I tried to take a stab at Tolkien’s The Silmarillion, which we’ll discuss a good deal of during Tolkien Month in September. It was as hard as ever, but for some reason the thought that kept jumping into my head was, “Oh man this would be so awful on audio.”
I won’t go into that much except to say that there would be way too many things to pay attention to in an audio narrative. Picture yourself trying to memorize a voice sonorously droning on about an elaborate family tree/Bible/succession of Kings/history up the wazoo all on the fly as you tried not to get hit by all the idiotic drivers on the road.
Good luck with that.
But the idea of books that would make the worst audiobooks made me smile. I spent the rest of the evening making a list of the books I thought would be the most poorly suited for listening. They’re not all bad books, but I know that I would not get much out of them on audio. And yes, some on the list were simply bad books regardless of format.
So that’s today’s challenge. What are the worst potential audiobooks you can think of? Of course, if you’ve listened to some really bad ones that actually exist, feel free to list those as well. I listened to about 10 minutes of Maxx Barry’s otherwise decent Company before getting so annoyed with the reader that I couldn’t continue.
- Just about any college textbook
- The Old Farmer’s Alamanac
- Infinite Jest (there’s just too much going on to not be able to turn the pages back–or forward–and recheck things)
- Wealth Of Nations
- The DSM IV
- The Faerie Queen
- Any book that only contains pictures
- Watchmen and most graphic novels
- House Of Leaves (Just not sure how they could do it when it’s not in the purer narrative sections of the Navidson Record or Johnny Truant’s story)
- The Fruits of Solitude (Maxims and aphorisms, not audio-friendly in large doses)
- Call It Sleep (I just hate this book)
Okay, I’ll leave it there. Stretch the annoyed parts of your imagination and fill in this wretched list with other dismal suspects.
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