Touched by an Audiobook.

Audio One of my favourite stories from the Matt Smith era of Doctor Who is the novel Touched by an Angel by Jonathan Morris. As you'll remember from the review, my experience of the book was incredibly profound. I cried a lot. Much of that had to do with the prose, but it was also because of the strength of the reading because I was listening the actress Claire Corbett read his words as an audiobook. As I said at the time, "I wasn’t prepared for quite how sympathetically she’d bring an entire novel to audio, unafraid to turn the prose into a story told, rather than the rather neutral reading sometimes offered by others", which on reflection rather undervalued her contribution to the experience. Even after all these years I can still feel the tone of her voice as she described the darker moments in the story.

The Guardian has a lengthy piece by Tom Dowling about the process of making audiobooks and the actors and producers within the craft.  Claire Corbett is amongst them, one of the most prolific having leant her voice to over two hundred books.  But I really hadn't considered the emotional stress the readers experience due to the short timescales, having to plough through the text in single takes for as long as possible, skipping back and forth between different voices for the various characters.  But also the fears of producers that in preparation they've failed to notice something important like the revelation that the first person narrator is supposed to be Irish many hours into the process.  It's a fascinating insight and has just made me want to listen to more books (assuming I can fit them in between all the podcasts we're supposed to keep up with).

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