Kimberly (kimberly_a) wrote,

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Audiobooks and Elizabeth Bennett

Just in the last couple days, I've started using OverDrive to download and play audiobooks on my iPhone, and I am so so so impressed! I can easily download quite a few recent and classic novels from our library, though many of them are sadly only available in a file format that only works on a PC.

Up until now, I've been listening to audiobooks as music files, which sometimes caused problems. For example, my iPhone would sometimes decide (I probably hit a button without realizing) to play my books in "shuffle" mode, and not allow me to change it back until I actually resynced the device, which wasn't very convenient when I was away from home. Also, my iPhone only keeps track of my place in one playlist at a time, which meant that if I was in the middle of an audiobook, I couldn't decide to listen to one of my music playlists for a little while without losing my place in the book.

So now I'm using OverDrive, and not only can I listen to an audiobook and save my place while I go listen to a few tunes, but I can save my place in multiple books at once! While listening to music! Whoa! Such luxury! It's the coolest thing ever!

Also, with OverDrive, I can easily pop back 15 seconds (like if a BART train roars overhead and I miss a sentence or two), I can set a timer so my book will play for a certain amount of time and then turn off (like when I'm going to bed), and probably some other neato kean things I haven't learned about yet. It's my exciting new toy.

The book I'm listening to right now is Pride and Prejudice, because Katherine and I were talking the other day, and I said I was looking for something to listen to on audio, and I got the idea that it might be fun to do some Austen. I've read all the books, watched all the movies (well, all of them that I've found), but this would be a totally new way for me to experience her work. I was interested to see what it would be like, especially as her sentence structures are sometimes circuitous.

This particular audiobook for P&P is read by a British actress named Carolyn Seymour (with a pretty crappy career, from what I see under her name on IMDB: primarily low-quality mainstream American tv and voice-overs for video games), and her interpretation of Lizzie is making me grit my teeth. I can tolerate her voices for most of the other characters (though her Bingley is sort of plodding and gruff, not the way I imagine him at all), but her Lizzie is just painfully shrill. It's partly the high pitch into which Seymour shifts when it's time for Lizzie's dialogue, but it's more than that: it's the bitchy intonation, the often rude emphasis, the sheer brattiness that the actress stuffs into every word Lizzie says. I pretty actively dislike her Lizzie, and that definitely takes some doing, because I think the book's Lizzie (or the way I read her) rocks. Sure, she has her flaws -- otherwise the book would be very short -- but this constant shrewishness just isn't one of them in my mind. It's actually been giving me more sympathy for Miss Bingley than I've ever felt before, because compared to Lizzie -- in this presentation -- she seems remarkably restrained in her attitude.

So I'm a bit peeved with Ms. Seymour, making me dislike Lizzie. How dare she? Bitch.
Tags: audiobooks, books, iphone, libraries

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