Neil Gaiman on Audiobooks

Award-winning author and audiobook narrator Neil Gaiman has long been a champion of the audiobook format. In a recent piece for All Things Considered on NPR News, Neil discusses the audiobook. He plays an excerpt from the earliest audiobook he knows of—Walt Whitman reading his poem America, which you may recognize from a current Levi’s commercial.

An audiobook lover as a child, he rediscovered audiobooks as a parent to supplement his own reading aloud. He was excited when he was allowed to record one of his own books on audio, but was warned it was a dying format because of the impending death of cassettes. Thankfully, that’s not the case!

Read (or listen to!) the interview to learn Gaiman’s thoughts on audio. Also hear him interview author David Sedaris and actor Martin Jarvis on audiobooks, and hear one audiobook director’s woes about “stomach noises” during narration. Be sure to listen to Martin Jarvis’s amusing story about the first audiobook he was hired to record, plus learn how he uses the author’s words to create character’s voices.

Join in the discussion or share your thoughts here on the oft-heard discussion point about audiobooks. Are they the same as books? Critic Harold Bloom writes them off. One commenter points out that a play—whether in print, performed live, or viewed on video—is still a play, so an audiobook is no different. What do you think?

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