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Lost Things audio book

A question for those of you who listen to audio books! Lost Things is moving along in production, and Melissa and I have been asked if we prefer a male or female voice reading it, and what kind of voice.

For The Ravens of Falkenau I went with a female voice, and was very pleased with Arika's work. The main reason for that was that Ravens had a variety of different speakers, ranging from elderly Lydias to gruff Georg to eight year old Natia. I thought it would be more jarring to hear a man reading an eight year old girl than to hear a woman reading Georg.

Lost Things isn't in the first person, and while it's a team book I suppose the main viewpoint character is Lewis Segura, a thirty-something veteran of Hispanic descent. Lewis absolutely does not have an accent, as he has lived in the US all his life, and probably his parents have too, as he's originally from Southern California. I imagine his voice as a fairly light baritone.

My question is -- do you perceive the "voice" in an audio book to be that of the main character or that of the author? Would it make more sense to you to think of it as Lewis speaking, or of me and Melissa speaking? What do you guys think?


( 14 comments — Leave a comment )
(Deleted comment)
Apr. 16th, 2012 03:33 pm (UTC)
Thank you! That's useful!
(Deleted comment)
Apr. 16th, 2012 03:42 pm (UTC)
Great -- thank you! That's helpful!
Apr. 16th, 2012 05:12 pm (UTC)
I'm a big fan of radio dramas and if I'm listening to an audio book I really like the illusion that one of the characters is telling me the story rather than the voice of the author, so I'd rather have a voice that suits one of the characters. This is especially true of story in 'first person'.
Even in the case of a 'team' story there's bound to be one character that is the POV more than the others, so I'd rather hear the voice that is correct for that character.
And in terms of a 'voice'...Michael Shanks is excellent at audio dramas...we all know how good he is at vocal characterisation.
Apr. 16th, 2012 05:33 pm (UTC)
Oh I wish that we could! He's probably way too expensive, but he would be ideal.
Apr. 16th, 2012 07:10 pm (UTC)
Yeah I was thinking the same thing, but he does the SG audio dramas for "BigFinish Productions" so it couldn't hurt to find out.
Apr. 16th, 2012 07:27 pm (UTC)
:) I just sent an email! It never hurts to try to find out. And I think he'd be ideal for this -- Lewis has quite an emotional range.
Apr. 16th, 2012 08:11 pm (UTC)
THAT would be very cool! Good luck!
Apr. 17th, 2012 08:21 pm (UTC)
I lean more towards the "narrator voice is the protagonist's voice" end of the spectrum, although as long as it's not jarringly out of place (accent not appropriate to the book, nasaly or squeaky), it doesn't matter that much. But the Narrator Voice is never the author's voice to me, even if it isn't the main character's voice either. (E.g. Good Omens, in which the narrator voice is obviously posh and British and aware of the fact that it's making fun of itself even as it pretends not to.)
Apr. 17th, 2012 09:50 pm (UTC)
That makes sense. I think this is leaning toward a male narrator, more like Lewis's voice.
Apr. 18th, 2012 04:01 am (UTC)
If the book is in the third person, especially if it's third person omniscient, I perceive the "voice" as being the author. But I think having a narrator who's good is far more important than whether his/her gender matches the author's.

The worst audiobook I ever heard was a woman reading "These Old Shades" by Georgette Heyer; all the narration and male dialogue was done in her normal speaking range, but she used a high-pitched, childish-sounding voice for the female protagonist. It was awful.
Apr. 18th, 2012 03:22 pm (UTC)
Erg, that does sound awful!

It's interesting, because with most of my books the gender of the narrator has also matched the author, so it didn't come up. But Lewis is really the main character, and he's male. So the question!
Apr. 19th, 2012 08:06 pm (UTC)
I think it very much depends on the abilities of the narrator. I personally hate Stephen Fry's audio reading of the Harry Potter books, because all his female characterisations are... ack. Just awful, awful, high camp pantomime voices, I can't bear to listen! I've heard a fair few guys 'do' female voices in a similar, if less obvious, way, and it just makes me break out in hives. A woman narrating and 'doing' a male voice, unless she's a light soprano, is generally far less obtrusive. But again, it all depends on the abilities of the narrator. Michael Shanks is good. Chris Heyerdahl has a great voice and he's another actor with real range, though I've no idea if he's done audiobook work before.
Apr. 19th, 2012 09:22 pm (UTC)
I'm imagining a Michael Shanks kind of voice. I can't quite hear Chris Heyerdahl as Lewis -- he has a much deeper voice, older sounding I think. I could definitely hear him as Fortunato in Lifeboat though! :)
( 14 comments — Leave a comment )