Tuesday, June 13, 2017

What mistakes do audiobooks make?, Part II

My current audiobook's narrator keeps pronouncing "cache" as if it had two syllables and were spelled "cachet."

I wonder what scrutiny ebooks get. With manuscripts written and stored on computers, it's easy to go back to the beginning of a book and correct an error that occurs throughout. But I don't know how easy it is to correct misreadings in an audiobook. One book I listened to recently had occasional sections obviously recorded separately from the rest. The insertions were noticeable but unobtrusive, and, assuming they correct mistakes, I'm glad the publishers took the time to make them. I'd have been happier if such an insertion had been made in the case of the reader who confused "cache" and "cachet" or in that of the narrator who read "psychic" for "physic."

© Peter Rozovsky 2017

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Blogger Alan Taylor said...

Often wondered the same thing. Read and listened to Dennis Lehane's latest, 'Since We Fell', and the narrator, who was otherwise excellent, pronounced 'Caleb' alternately as Cay-leb and Cah-leb, often in the same sentence... Careless punch-in editing maybe?

The other one that bugged me so much that I had to stop listening was Roy Dotrice deciding in book 5 of 'A Song of Ice and Fire' that Dany should have an old Irish crone's voice... Listening to the first book again to check I realised he mispronounced, or at least had multiple variations of, several character names.

June 16, 2017  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

Thanks for the comment. I'd love to hear from anyone involved with the production of audiobooks who can explain why such obvious mistakes get through.

I listened to one recent book in which the narrator mispronounced a non-English name for about three-quarters of the book, them began pronouncing it correctly. Was it technically unfeasible to fix the earlier mispronunciation?

Audiobook producers and publishers, your comments are welcome.

June 17, 2017  
Blogger Brian Lindenmuth said...

I've often been curious about the editing process of audio books too.

In one of the George Pelecanos books I listened to, the narrator said "mole skin" notebook. Pulled me right out.

One of my stray, general observations, is that while "said" may be invisible to the eye, it isn't invisible to the ear. When a chain of dialog gets on a "said" kick, every single occurrence lands with a thud. Usually because the narrator is doing different voices/accents or at least different inflections for the characters speaking anyway.

And my favorite bad audio books is one of the Veronica Mars novelizations. But, to be clear, it shouldn't have been a bad audio experience. Veronica Mars is the titular character in the show. The show is shot in a kind of limited third person style, with occasional digressions to see what some of the other main characters are doing (first person in film/TV is almost impossible to do). The book was written in third person. For the audio they hired the actress from the show to be the narrator. So the actress who is the character constantly has to say her own name when reading her own story. VERY disorienting.

June 28, 2017  

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