Neil Gaiman, the prolific, charming, hunky author and sometimes narrator of his own work on audio, offered up a wonderful love letter to the audiobook this morning [11/30/2009] on the "Open Mic" segment of NPR's Morning Edition. If you missed it, you can listen to the story online as well as hear extended segments not included in this morning's broadcast.
In the course of the piece, Gaiman speaks with author (and narrator of his own works) David Sedaris, veteran narrator Martin Jarvis, and Don Katz, founder of Audible.com. Sedaris, as usual, is hilarious in his send-up of the type of narrator that he doesn't much care for.
Gaiman asks if listening to audiobooks is the same thing as reading, and concludes that it's not. "An audiobook," he says, "is its own thing, a unique medium that goes in through the ear."
An aspect of the story to which I personally related was Gaiman's reminiscence of the audiobooks of his childhood, including the 1954 Caedmon recording of Dylan Thomas narrating Under Milkwood. Stuff like that loomed very large in my own childhood.
By the way, Playaway currently offers two Neil Gaiman titles: M is for Magic (narrated by the author) and Interworld (written with Michael Reaves and narrated by Christopher Evan Welch). And you'll find three more Gaiman books on Playaway, available from Recorded Books.
Posted by David Perrotta, MLIS
Playaway Sr. Manager for Content Strategy