Saturday, January 12, 2008

Driving Around With The Dream King

I got all excited today about going to use the library for the first time today in 2008! After my last post, I had a few suggestions that I read something shorter to break the monotony of this chunkster that I'm in the middle of. Then I read this wonderful review of The Diaries of Adam and Eve by Mark Twain that Becky wrote, so I was going to go get it at my library. Then I started thinking of other stuff I wanted to check out ;) Oh yes...this could just as much of a hindrance to my TBR shelf as the bookstore, but at least I'm not adding permanently to the TBR shelf. I was also going to check out Alice in Sunderland since I've been dying to read it since Nymeth's review and I've been wanting to listen to Neil Gaiman's American Gods on Audiobook for ages, so I was going to get that too! Well needless to say, I'm so disappointed with our library system here. We have 12 libraries in our parish...yes 12 libraries that I can use my card at!! Not a single one of them carries any of those three items...not even the Mark Twain book! I searched the online catalog and I called. No luck. It makes me so mad!

Well after that, I had a craving for American Gods on audiobook and I just happen to have a brand new shiny iPod that I treated myself to last weekend ;) So I went to iTunes, and of course they don't carry it. But I did find the author's preffered, complete unabridged text of Neverwhere read by Neil Gaiman and bought it! It's an audio book, so it's fair game. It's not taking up shelf room and I listen to it while I drive or walk, so it's not cutting into other reading time :p I am in love with this thing so far and I'm only 2 chapters in! I've always loved Neverwhere. It's my favorite of Gaiman's after American Gods. I've never really been sold on audio books before, but now I see how they can work. To hear an author read their own work is truly an amazing experience. I didn't want to get out of my car. It's wonderful to hear the story exactly as Gaiman intended it, exactly as he saw the scenes and created the characters. And I could just listen to Gaiman's voice for hours....as I will be because it's nearly 13 hours long. Seriously, this man has a voice that is meant for reading things aloud and you can hear his passion for his work in his voice. It makes me appreciate his work that much more. Carl has been plugging this one for quite some time and I don't know why it took me so long to buy it, but I'm so glad I did. I add my recommendation. Neverwhere is an incredibly unique, dark, eerie, quirky story and the audiobook adds a whole new dimension to it...and it's great to revisit the story again.

23 comments:

Quixotic said...

Such a shame the libraries didn't have what you wanted. :(

I have all the Neil Gaiman audiobooks of his novels on my wishlist. I already have his short story CDs, which I love, and the audiobook of Coraline. I feel exactly the same about his readings - totally awesome.

Stormfilled said...

Do they have an ordering system? When I raided libraries a few years ago I found a lack of things I wanted, wrote out a list, and voila! Within two weeks they had every single book that I'd asked for.

I adore libraries, and could happily live in one. It was a choice for me a few years ago, librarian or teacher. Sometimes I think I made the wrong decision, but I can always take the other route now if I wish. Sadly though in the last ten years they have closed two of the four libraries in our town. Grr. Both of them were my childhood libraries! How big is a Parish? Might have to move to America if you get twelve... ;)

Nymeth said...

That's disappointing, but you could always try an interlibrary loan. The only problem is that it would take some time for the books to become available.

The Neverwhere audiobook sounds awesome! He definitely has the best reading voice. I'm not sure how far into it you are, but have you noticed what the differences between this author's preferred version and the book are? I'm curious about that.

PS: I love the title of this post :D

jenclair said...

I love my library and often find myself surprised and pleased at what I find there...but as soon as a new resolution to limit-book-buying
comes into play, the library will not have what I want. Never fails.

Robin said...

I loved listening to Gaiman reading Coraline, and I've been wanting to listen to him read more of his books. I agree, he has an awesome voice for it, and I absolutely love listening to an author read their own work. It puts it all into another dimension!

Our library here has an ordering system, too. You can request a title, and they'll buy it and let you know when it comes in. Also, if you're looking for audiobooks that the library doesn't have or can't get for you, check out http://audiobooks.com/. They carry quite a few of Neil Gaiman's books for purchase, download, or as rentals.

Debi said...

Even though I just read American Gods, I'm dying to get that on audio to listen to. I finally decided to give the whole audio thing another shot, and picked up Gossamer at the library on Friday. (I tried an audio book once before, but it was a non-fiction book about something I was unfamiliar with and really wanted to learn, so I had to keep rewinding. I just kept thinking how much easier it would have been to read the book.) Anyway, I'm sorry you couldn't get anything you wanted at the library! Wonder how the library system is in Austin?

Becky said...

How frustrating! I hate it when the library doesn't have what I want. You could always try requesting they purchase something or interlibrary loan though.

Sometimes it just takes the right audio book to make something click. The right voice can make a great book even greater :)

Chris said...

Quix, I know! I was so mad. I had never heard one of his audiobooks before :/ Isn't that horrible. I had heard him read a few things that he had linked to on his blog, but this is just so cool. Definitely get this one when you can. I was just grinning from ear to ear while listening to it and I'm sure I got some odd looks from other drivers while driving. Especially when Door first called Richard "Richardrichardmayhewdick". I love hearing Gaiman read scenes like that.

Stormfilled, They do have an ordering system, but I just assumed that it wouldn't work! Well gods be damned, maybe it will! I'll try it out. That would be great if they shelved them all because of me and then others could enjoy them too. I think you'd make a WONDERFUL librarian (comical sidenote...I first wrote a typo saying you'd make a wonderful library, which of course, you wouldn't)! Louisiana is the only state in America that has parishes, so you'd have to move here to get them ;) But I live in Jefferson Parish and it's fairly large...it consists of probably about 15 small cities and 2 or 3 large ones. Jefferson Parish takes up probably about 1/5 of Southeast Louisiana. Still not a bad deal. I have 4 libraries that are within 10 minutes driving distance of me and one of those is within 2 minutes of me and I can walk to it! It just happens to be the biggest one too ;)

Nymeth, I thought about doing that too. At first I just said, "I'll just by the damn things!" But then I said "No, Chris...remember the resolution, only if they're CHALLENGE books and the library doesn't have them" and these aren't challenge books, so I can't :p I may use the loan system though! The Neverwhere book is so good!! I haven't noticed any differences yet, but I've been paying attention. From what I understand and from what I've read, it has an additional 12,000 words added to the text and I think they're towards the end, though I could be wrong. Though there was some description of the history of London that Richard was giving at the beginning that I didn't quite remember before, but I guess you can't remember everything. I'm sure Carl will have the answer for us ;)

Jenclair, You know...to be honest with you, I wasn't surprised because it was my first day using the library for my resolution! Like you said, it never fails! I love the library too :) I used to use it all the time, but fell out of it and I didn't go once all last year!! That's so sad. Here's to a better relationship with the library!

Robin, It certainly does put everything into another dimension. Do get some more Gaiman audiobooks when you can :) This one is awesome! I'd love to get him reading Coraline, I bet that one was really good too. I was going to say that you can play that one for your kids, but it would probably scare the pants off of second graders! I'm definitely going to look into the ordering system at the library! Like I told Stormfilled, I had just assumed that it wouldn't work...you know what they say "when you assume, you make an ass out of u and me" :p I'm excited that I may get my books now! And I'll definitely check out audiobooks.com. Thanks for the link, Robin!

Debi, I'm sure the library system is awesome in Austin! Everything is! :p I've just had bad luck with audiobooks all together in the past. Example: I bought Ender's Game on audio book and hated it! One of my favorite books! I really think it all depends on who's reading it. Now if Orson Scott Card was reading Ender's Game, I'm sure I would've loved it. I'm sticking with my theory...I think that hearing the author read their work is what makes an audio book! And I'm dying more than ever now to get American Gods on audiobook after hearing some of Neverwhere. I've been wanting American Gods for ages. I think I'll download it next if I can find it when I'm done with Neverwhere. Hope Gossamer is good! I've been wanting to read that one for awhile and it's so short! I should've gotten that one at the library! Dammit! ;)

Becky, Frustrating it was!! I am going to try to request it...we'll see what happens. It would be great if they ordered the book for me! And I certainly agree with audiobooks. It really depends on who the reader is. I've read authors in fact who have sworn off doing future audio productions because they've hated their readers! That's bad!

Eva said...

Bad library! hehe

I have Anansi Boys on CD, and while it's not Gaiman reading it, it's an awesome, awesome voice. I can't imagine just reading the book without the narrator bring things alive! I really want some Gaiman audiobooks now...my library doesn't have any either. :(

Chris said...

Eva, Bad library indeed! :p My library has a few of his books..they have Coraline, Fragile Things, and Anansi Boys, so I may check out Anansi Boys when I'm done Neverwhere. I think that Gaiman either rereleased Anansi Boys with him reading it or he's working on it. Either way, I'd love to hear an audio version of it! His books seem to be meant to be read aloud. Such great story telling.

DesLily said...

with that sort of luck you surely are my son! LOL LOL.. poor baby boy!

Chris said...

Deslily, Seriously..12 libraries and not a single thing that I wanted!!! What's up with that???

Rhinoa said...

I keep meaning to try out audio books but am having issues linking my iPod to the pc at the moment grr. It must be great hearing the author read their own novel, but it must have taken ages to record.

Chris said...

Rhinoa, I keep thinking of how long it must have taken to record and how much it must have ached his throat! It's almost 13 hours long...What a hell of a lot of reading! Imagine recording the Lord of the Rings trilogy :p

Stephanie said...

Sorry your library didn't have anything you wanted!! My library is really small, but the network of libraries in the Inter-Library system here is huge!! So I can usually get anything I want. Just have to wait a few days...none of that instant gratification!!

You know...I don't think I've ever listened to a book on cd. I just haven't had the inclination.....though Carl has been pushing some of the Gaiman stuff since he reads most of it himself. Guess I'll have to see what I can find!

Bellezza said...

I've often debated purchasing audio books for my iPod. I'm wondering if the soothing quality of an excellent voice would make me fall asleep...however, I love listenint to a good reader reading out loud, especially if its his own work. I've heard marvelous things of the British person (Can I remember his name? No.) who reads the Harry Potter books on audio. I'd love to try those, too.

Be careful, Chris, that though they're not taking up space they may still be taking up money. :P

I'm sorry your library stinks. Ours is awesome, but they don't like it when you touch the books. I've never seen so many crabby ladies in my life...

Chris said...

Stephanie, I must look into this interlibrary loan thing that everyone's talking about! I really want these books! Gaiman's audiobook is great so far. You should really check one of them out. He has the best reading voice! You're really in for a treat with Neverwhere when you read it. I had forgotten how good it was :)

Bellezza, There's something about a British person's voice reading that's just the best thing, isn't there? When it's Neil Gaiman's British voice reading his own book, it just doesn't get any better! I think it would be hard to fall asleep listening to Neverwhere ;) Oh they're definitely taking up money, lol...though it should last me awhile...hopefully. I'm only about 3 hours into this one, so I still have 10 hours left to go! And I think I'll need an audiobook break after this one. I hope librarians don't read this, but there seem to be so many crabby librarians, don't there?! Don't get me wrong, there are some amazing ones out there too...there are bound to be, book lovers and all...but geez...some of them are just snobby!

Carl V. said...

It is too bad that you couldn't get what you wanted from the library. Do those libraries do interlibrary loan with any other library systems?

I am about 4 chapters into that version of Neverwhere and it is great to hear him read it. I've said many a time that I love hearing Neil read his stories. Oddly enough, however, I think the guy who does Anansi Boys is fantastic and I'm not sure I would want Neil reading it over him. I feel the same way about American Gods. The guys does voices so well and gives such uniqueness to Neil's creation that I love it. If you can ever get ahold of it, you should check it out. I saw it on MP3 CD on ebay for less than $20 if that helps you at all.

Chris said...

Carl, I'm sure they do the interlibrary loan thing...I'm going to have to check that out. I was just frustrated, so I didn't even bother :p I'm on chapter 4 of Neverwhere right now too and it really is great. Eva said that the Anansi Boys guy is really good too! I can't wait to hear it now! And I'm really looking forward to American Gods....like I said, I've been looking for that one for months now. Thanks for the ebay tip!

Carl V. said...

Just fyi, I saw this link for a free Robin Hobb download:

http://fantasyhotlist.blogspot.com/2008/01/download-robin-hobbs-shamans-crossing.html

Darla D said...

Oh, I'm annoyed on your behalf. And also feel bad about all my library hyping to you! I have to chime in about the interlibrary loan option, as Stormfilled and Carl and others suggested. I looked on WorldCat and there are literally hundreds of libraries out there that have it, so they should be able to get it to you fairly easily. It can be a pain to do an interlibrary loan, so sometimes librarians don't offer it unless you ask (not me, though, of course!) :-) Think of it as when you have to special order a book from the book store. Only it costs less!

Chris said...

Darla, Don't feel bad :p Not your fault and I know that if I had you as a librarian, I'd have all the help I needed :) I'll try mine out though and see if they'll go the distance for me! And don't worry, I'm by no means giving up on the library!

Darla D said...

I'm glad to hear it, Chris! Keep us posted on how it works out (now there's a terrible pun - sorry!).