I think it’s time for a retro blog, and I choose this particular one because First Time, Forever is my first audio book and has been released from Audible.com. Audio books have different issues, as I discovered a year ago Thanksgiving when we drove back to Toronto from Florida to visit family & friends.
Whenever we take long road trips, we get books on CD, preferably unabridged. *Note: we now use Audible.com for traveling.
One of the ones we purchased for this road trip (and I’m not going to divulge title or author, but it wasn’t from any of my wonderful publishers) was a mystery of sorts, but in the style of Carl Hiaasen or Tim Dorsey. I believe it was set (not written) in the seventies, and not just because of the entire chapter devoted to the detective’s acid trip.
Let me digress for a moment to talk about copyright. Getting approval to place song lyrics in books is horrific and expensive. So, when I come across lyrics in a book, I assume the author has made all the lyrics up and then I promptly skip over them without reading. Sorry, but there it is. I just don’t care. Unless it’s a limerick with a clue to a treasure, I’m not interested. The same goes for poetry.
Now, back to our audio book. This particular book had EIGHT full length, presumably original, songs in it. Let me say that again — EIGHT. Not only is it difficult to skip over small bits in an audio book (at least with the car stereo controls), the beleaguered actor who’s doing the reading has to SING THEM… unabridged, remember?
It was excruciating. Partly because I think the poor bastard had to make up a tune to go with each one. So, authors… if your stuff might be going to audio… just think for a moment how it’s all going to sound in the end.
The story in this one was decent, but I will never buy a book from that author again because I’m so scarred. If you really, really must include your song lyrics, take pity on us and make them an appendix, please!
Also, we discovered that plot devices are particularly obvious in audio format. So, author, beware!