Today’s audiobook week topic is special productions of audiobooks: Those with special effects, those with multiple narrators, full dramatizations, and so on. Are these distractions from the story or helpful to the experience?
I’ve never listened to a multiple narrator production where it was a problem for me. On the other hand, when a book switches point of view, I find it very useful to have an easy audio cue– not just when the change happens, but if I stop and pick it up again later, so I have a clue who is speaking.
I haven’t run into many audiobooks that use special effects. I think some of the early books I listened to used them, and I vaguely remember being annoyed. The only book where effects have made an impression recently is Feed by M.T. Anderson. I really think they were used well there, when they were used in the bits showing the craziness of a Feed (Internet connection) directly into the brain.
What I have had some issues with is the use of music. Luckily, this isn’t common either. If it’s at the beginning and end of a chapter or other division within a book, then I usually ignore it. However, one book I listened to had it randomly scattered, probably at what would have been the CD breaks (sometimes mid-conversation!). The thing is, I was listening to a version from Audible.com that did not have breaks at those points!
How about you? How do these special productions affect your listening?