By the way, it seems that King is a huge audiobook fan. I listened to a lot of audiobooks a year ago and then began to feel that listening to an audiobook ... well, that it just wasn't the same as reading. And, of course, it isn't! You're not reading it, you're listening to it, but I began to feel that it was somehow lesser. Well, after reading what King has to say about audiobooks, I think that's changed.
Here's an excerpt of an article, Hail to the Spoken Word, King wrote.
There are problems with audiobooks, sure. It's annoying to be on a long road trip when disc 12 of the latest Nelson DeMille has a nervous breakdown (this actually happened to me in North Carolina; somewhere between Nowhere and Nowhere in Particular, the reader, Scott Brick, developed the world's worst stutter). It's more annoying when a bad reader is paired up with a good book (a fate that has befallen every audio junkie at least once). Most annoying is when you have a certain book in mind and can't find it at a retail outlet, a thing that happens a lot. Once you get past the classics, the latest political bloviators, and Agatha Christie, audio pickings are apt to be mighty slim.If you haven't read King's article in its entirety, I'd encourage you to regardless of how you feel about audiobooks. He's one of my favorite authors because of the things he can do with words. An awkward way of putting it, perhaps, but I'm not Stephen King!
But man, when these things are good, they are really good. A Charles Dickens novel read by the late David Case is something you can almost bathe in. A suspense novel is more suspenseful — especially in the hands of a good reader — because your eye can't jump ahead and see what happens next. When I heard Kathy Bates reading The Silence of the Lambs (an abridgment, alas), I was driving at night and had to shut off the CD player, even though I knew how the story went. It was her voice, so low and intimate and somehow knowing. It was flat creeping me out.
I'd like to thank Mary Burkey for her excellent article, Stephen King Narrates The Wind Through The Keyhole, and for the link to King's 2007 article, Hail to the Spoken Word.
"Stephen King reads an excerpt from The Dark Tower," copyright © 2012 Karen Woodward.