Audiobooks discussion

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The longest audio book

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Chad Yost | 2 comments What is the longest book you've ever listened to?

I just finished Atlas Shrugged and that clocked at 63 hours. Amazing read highly recommend by the way.


Jason (JasonCT) | 64 comments That's about what The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich is, and I have this as an assigned review so I'll be digging into it shortly.

I read the book some years ago, but I look forward to the audio adventure.


message 3: by John, Moderator (new)

John | 3025 comments Mod
Dombey and Son by Charles Dickens, which I believe was 37 parts/39 hours.


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Everything above 70 hours on Audible is a bible.


Chad Yost | 2 comments Atlas Shrugged is probably as close to the bible as I'll ever get on audible lol


Heidi *Listen. I'll just keep talking anyway. * | 1361 comments Wow you all have a lot of patience. I refuse to check our an audiobook that is too long. I think The Help at 15 CD's is one on the longest audiobooks I have listened to. I was going to try the Outlander series on audiobook, but was too long (28 CD's)!


message 7: by John, Moderator (new)

John | 3025 comments Mod
Why do you feel compelled to listen to all 28 parts at once? I'd have to pause that book at least twice to listen to something else, as 10 parts is about my ADD limit.


Jason (JasonCT) | 64 comments @Heidi - I agree with John. Many of these titles lend themselves to being broken up.


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I never read only one paper or electronic book at a time, so why read only one audiobook at a time?


Stanley's Mom | 58 comments The longest I've listened to is Matthiessen's Shadow Country which was 40 hours (highly recommended!)


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I'd listen to the bible, but I'd want it to be a good translation.


Dero "The Worst Journey in the World" which was 18 discs. It was an excellent listen.


Heidi *Listen. I'll just keep talking anyway. * | 1361 comments I have to finish an audiobook once I start it. It is a personality defect I guess. Also, I would forget what was going on if I stopped and started listening because I can't remember my own name sometimes. Thanks for the suggestion though :)


Carol (icicarol) Shoshanapnw wrote: "I'd listen to the bible, but I'd want it to be a good translation."

Shoshanapnw, I can highly recommend The Bible Experience: Old Testament (my longest listen, over 66 hours!). You can check out some audio samples here: http://www.inspiredby.com/audio.shtml
I am not a religious person, but I really wanted to read the Old Testatment and it did take me over 6 months to listen to it, but I found parts of it absolutely riveting. Even the boring bits were made tolerable by the awesome narrators (many famous black American actors) and excellent sound quality. They did everything right in this production. I havent' yet listened to The New Testament by this company: http://www.audible.com/pd/ref=sr_1_1?... but I would imagine it is just as excellent.


message 15: by Grumpus, Hearing aide (new)

Grumpus | 329 comments Mod
Great question! I like to listen to the long books via Audible for two reasons. First, I feel I'm REALLY getting my money's worth and second, reading a thick book is kind of discouraging as I can constantly see how much more I have to go to finish. In these cases, I prefer that someone else read it to me. I certainly spend enough time commuting during the week to listen and doing yard work at home on weekends to listen then as well. It makes the long books go by very quickly.

My longer books (between 35-45 hours) include: Alexander Hamilton, Mellon, Pillars of the Earth, World Without End, New York: The Novel, and the Outlander series with Drums of Autumn coming in the longest at 44 hours and 46 minutes.


Cathy | 76 comments Grumpus wrote: "Great question! I like to listen to the long books via Audible for two reasons. First, I feel I'm REALLY getting my money's worth and second, reading a thick book is kind of discouraging as I can..."

Yes, it's funny when I buy books on Audible that the book's length is a factor. I just don't feel I got good value for anything less that 8-9 hours.


message 17: by John, Moderator (new)

John | 3025 comments Mod
I get a bit frustrated at books that are just under $10, when my credits cost about $11 each; as far as length goes, aren't most books under 8 hours also (relatively) proportionately cheaper?


Ernestine | 7 comments One of the longest I have listened to is Pillars of the Earth (41 hrs) by Ken Follett. I do not remember the narrator but he was good. If you count the second book which is the second part of the book, it was a lot longer.


Stef (firecat) | 59 comments The free book I got from Audible when I joined was War & Peace read by Frederick Davidson/David Case, over 62 hours.

I keep a copy of my Audible wish list on my computer and for a while I was somewhat obsessively calculating the price per hour of each book.


Dacia | 102 comments I think the longest I've done is in the 40 hour range, but I've never paid close attention to lengths. I've listened to Pillars of the Earth, as mentioned above. Also, I've listened to all of the currently available A Song of Ice and Fire installments, and each of those was pretty darn long. Some of the Wheel of Time books get up there in length too, but I think most are between 30 & 40 hours.


Richhenz | 7 comments A narrator's perspective:

The longest book I've recorded thus far has been Mark Twain's A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court, which was 13 and a half hours. I recorded (and mixed and edited) the entire book once, listened to it for a couple of months, then started all over from the beginning; I could clearly see that there were many chapters which could have been done better.

I recorded Pudd'nhead Wilson three times before felt like I got it right.

What I learned, from a narrator's perspective, is that the hardest part is to maintain a consistent and subtle narrator throughout, and to support the natural peaks and valleys that can be found in any good novel, and certainly in Mark Twain's writing. I'm currently working on Life on the Mississippi, which is going to run around fifteen hours.


Barbara | 250 comments Richhenz, thank you for posting about this. It never occurred to me that narrating an audiobook would extend over months. Do you work with a production company? How pressing are the deadlines?


Addie (addiemon) | 7 comments 63 hours of audiobook is mindblowing! I'm just starting part two of the Green Mile, which is about 6.5 hours (the first half was about 7), and I think that's the longest one I've done so far.

But I'm relatively new to audiobooks...I started picking them up when I started jogging, back in June.


Brenda Addie wrote: "63 hours of audiobook is mindblowing!"

I agree but am also fairly new to audiobooks. I tend to get a few hours in during the day but not longer stretches at a time. I certainly have enjoyed the ones that I have tried thus far.


Barbara | 250 comments I actually like long ones if I'm really enjoying them. It means I don't need to leave it as soon.


Christine (ckspores) When I was commuting 3 hours a day I had no problem knocking off Ayn Rand or a good, juicy, Stephen King Novel. Now that my commute is much shorter I prefer shorter audio titles otherwise it would take me months to finish as I listen mostly to/from work.

My longest was also Atlas Shrugged at 63 hours. I downloaded it off my library's audio database and it took up a ton of space on my MP3.


Dacia | 102 comments Ok now, if we're going to start talking about the longest SERIES of books we've read, well, then... probably Wheel of Time with about 400 hours! I have one on my MP3 player at all times. Since I've read them a bunch, they're great "falling asleep" reading, since it doesn't matter if I forget to turn off the player. I don't have to rewind since I know where the story picks up anyway.


Susan (SusieQ69) | 16 comments Longest series for me is the Outlander series by Diana Gabaldon. Read Atlas Shrugged, but I bet Shogun is pretty close. That was excellent.


Richard (richhenz) | 16 comments Actually, Barbara, I have a unique situation, as I am truly a one man show, so I can make (and change) my own deadlines. My Mark Twain audiobook library is an outgrowth of my forty years of touring with my solo show "Mark Twain In Person." Having spent a lifetime with this one author gives me a leg up on interpreting his books, but also makes me hypercritical of the interpretation, hence it sometimes takes a while to get it right. I have a little studio in what was my house's coal bin seventy-five years ago or so, where I record my books at my own pace, without deadlines and with the luxury of re-recording not only entire chapters but entire books. Narrators who record for the major labels don't get to pick and choose the takes they like the best, but I do. I spent three years off and on working on Pudd'nhead Wilson, and over a year on Connecticut Yankee. By contrast, I was one of over two hundred actors voicing characters for The Word Of Promise Audio Bible (90 hours)--that took the producers a couple of years to finish, but of course I only spent a few hours in the studio.

My longest audiobook, now in production, Life on the Mississippi will probably come out at around 15 hours; I expect to have it finished by October. Please visit my website for more information: richardhenzel.com


Addie (addiemon) | 7 comments Richard wrote: "Actually, Barbara, I have a unique situation, as I am truly a one man show, so I can make (and change) my own deadlines. My Mark Twain audiobook library is an outgrowth of my forty years of touring..."

That's fantastic! Do you plan to do an audiobook someday of Twain's Joan of Arc? Stumbled on it by accident a year or so ago and absolutely loved it.


Barbara | 250 comments Richard, this is fascinating. Thanks for the information and the link to your website. Do you, by any chance, know Kent Rasmussen? I know him through another online book club and he has been involved with books about Twain.


Barbara | 250 comments By the way, Richard, I read about half of Twain's Innocents Abroad this summer while I was traveling in Europe. It was delightful to view things through his eyes.


message 33: by Sara ♥ (last edited Aug 26, 2010 11:39PM) (new)

Sara ♥ (saranicole) | 334 comments My longest audiobook was The Count of Monte Cristo, which was 35 CDs/43 hours long... I probably never would have listened to something that HUGE, but the hubby and I were driving to/from Las Vegas (23 hours away), so we were looking for something that could fill the time and that both of us might enjoy... It was FANTASTIC!

I can listen to something lengthy as long as it's interesting and well-read. I listened to The Help (15 hrs) in about 4 days... and I think I blew through The Host (23.5 hrs) in a weekend... I've done The Three Musketeers, the entire Millennium trilogy in a month, the Robert Langdon trilogy, the Inkheart trilogy... etc, etc. Length isn't a terribly important factor to me. I listen to a lot of YA fiction also, and those tend to hover around 4-7 discs. *shrugs* Just depends on what I'm in the mood for...


Richhenz | 7 comments Barbara wrote: "By the way, Richard, I read about half of Twain's Innocents Abroad this summer while I was traveling in Europe. It was delightful to view things through his eyes."
I know what you mean--my wife and I read Roughing It while travelling out west, and I once performed on a cruise ship with Kevin McCarthy and William Windom, each of us doing our solo shows (McCarthy did "Give 'Em Hell, Harry" and Windom his "James Thurber") and I was Mark Twain, of course. I used a lot of material from the The Innocents Abroad--the hilarious sea sickness passage and other cruise ship stories--to great effect. To the audience, it seemed as though Mark Twain were commenting on things that had happened right there on the ship!


Richhenz | 7 comments Barbara wrote: "Richard, this is fascinating. Thanks for the information and the link to your website. Do you, by any chance, know Kent Rasmussen? I know him through another online book club and he has been inv..."
Yes, I do know who Kent Rasmussen is--I have several of his excellent books--his Mark Twain A to Z has been very helpful in my work. I have only met him in person once, at the Mark Twain Conference in Elmira, almost exactly a year ago to the day.


Richhenz | 7 comments Addie wrote: "Richard wrote: "Actually, Barbara, I have a unique situation, as I am truly a one man show, so I can make (and change) my own deadlines. My Mark Twain audiobook library is an outgrowth of my forty ..."
Yes, I will record that one, soon. You might find it interesting that whenever Mark Twain was asked to name his favorite work, he would name Joan of Arc, which he said was a biography of his wife, Olivia Langdon Clemens...


message 37: by John, Moderator (last edited Aug 27, 2010 08:39AM) (new)

John | 3025 comments Mod
I bought A History of Christianity: The First Three Thousand Years, 46 hours for a single Audible credit - not a bad investment, although the narrator speaks a bit fast.


Sara ♥ (saranicole) | 334 comments Gee whiz! I don't know if I could do a nonfiction that long. Lincoln: A Life of Purpose and Power (15.5 hours) almost killed me. Of course, that may have been a combination of Dick Hill and the REALLY BAD production. (The volume difference between the regular narration and the direct quotes within the text (of which there were MANY) was HORRIBLE! The quotes were nearly PAINFUL, they were so loud. I hate having to adjust the volume all the time when I'm listening!)


Addie (addiemon) | 7 comments Richhenz wrote: "Addie wrote: "Richard wrote: "Actually, Barbara, I have a unique situation, as I am truly a one man show, so I can make (and change) my own deadlines. My Mark Twain audiobook library is an outgrowt..."

That's fascinating, thanks! I vaguely recall that he had mentioned that Twain said Joan was his only historical hero, but taking into account what you've said I suppose that makes his wife his only hero, at least in his lifetime. That's wonderful.


Heidi *Listen. I'll just keep talking anyway. * | 1361 comments Well if we are talking audiobook series, I own all of the Harry Potter books on audio and have listened to them more than once. I have also listened to the entire Millenium series and am currently in the middle the Bloody Jack series on audio (it is excellent). All three series are fairly lengthy :)


Jolie (JolieGirl) | 15 comments Mine was The Mists of Avalon, separated in to 4 books/Cd sets, it was 50+ hours.


Clif Hostetler (Clif_) | 27 comments I recently finished Tolstoy's War and Peace (61 hrs 44 mins). I listened to the recording published by Naxos Audio Books narrated by Neville Jason. I got it in two volumes from Audible.com . The total list price for the two volumes is $196.68 ($137.66 member price) which is way too much for a sane person to pay. I got for it for about $20.00 for both volumes by opening a Platinum Account. Of course, by opening the account I've committed to purchasing 24 books within a year. That's not a problem for me since my wish list is much longer than that. My biggest problem is checking to make sure that I limit my purchases from Audible.com to only those audio books that are not available from the library.

My review of War and Peace is at:
http://www.goodreads.com/review/show/...


Javasapien | 264 comments My longest (not counting the Inspired by the media group Old and New Testament which I read last year and am doing again this year) was also Atlas Shrugged. Next was Gone with the Wind at 49 hrs. The first four of the Outlander series, Pillars of the Earth and World Without End are other long ones I've read. All of these except Atlas Shrugged are in my top 10 books. I did enjoy Atlas Shrugged too, (all except for the 3 hour radio speech by John Gault which I found uninteresting and annoying since it merely repeated the concepts that the rest of the book had already expressed well enough), but wouldn't necessarily place in my top 10.

Another great series of long books I'm enjoying is Sara Donati's "Into the wilderness".


Alans | 7 comments I'm currently into my longest audio book New York: A novel by Edward Rutherford. It's thirty discs and I'm
on disc twenty-four. This has been such a long listen that it feels like there was snow on the ground when I started it. I am hoping to finish it soon but I will
avoid something this long the next time.


message 45: by Grumpus, Hearing aide (new)

Grumpus | 329 comments Mod
I'm currently listening to Washington: A Life by Ron Chernow. It is 42 hours long and it is thus far equally great as their last team effort-- Alexander Hamilton--which was one of my all-time favorites. I highly recommend either of these for any of the history buffs like myself.


Linda J (lajacobs) | 62 comments Stef wrote: "I keep a copy of my Audible wish list on my computer and for a while I was somewhat obsessively calculating the price per hour of each book. "

Stef: that's amusing, and I mean that in a good way. What was the lowest price per hour (not including the free book)?


Betsy (betsybb3) Stef wrote: "I keep a copy of my Audible wish list on my computer and for a while I was somewhat obsessively calculating the price per hour of each book. "

I wish I hadn't seen this, it looks like too much fun. It could be a new obsession. Although I already have a problem using an Audible credit for any book under 10 hrs., no matter how much I want to read it.


Stef (firecat) | 59 comments Linda, one of the lowest per hour was Thackeray's Vanity Fair. At 28+ hours and $32 member's price it worked out to about $1.10 per hour. My membership credits are worth about $9.60 each, so purchased with a credit it wound up being about 33 cents per hour. (The member's price has dropped; it's now $20.)

I've stopped calculating price per hour for most books, but I am still careful to buy books that are less than $10 with cash rather than a credit. And I balk at buying short stories that are more than $3 per hour.


Linda J (lajacobs) | 62 comments Stef wrote: "Linda, one of the lowest per hour was Thackeray's Vanity Fair. At 28+ hours and $32 member's price it worked out to about $1.10 per hour. My membership credits are worth about $9.60 each, so purcha..."

Steph, you've got a good way of looking at it! Thanks, Linda


Joe (joewig) | 19 comments While the 43 hours I did listening to Shantaram was worth it, I couldn't listen to a book that long again for a long while because (1) it was riveting, but I found I couldn't listen to or read any other book until I finished this one. I like to alternate my readings (like during my college days); (2) the narrator, while giving the listener an overwhelmingly good sensory experience that compares to none, is much slower than reading it myself and (3) my ears give out after a while, but I find that I can't rest until I finish listening to the book. It's better than any movie could possibly be.

So I guess there's good and bad to the “long read” scenario.


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