Audiobooks discussion

183 views
Archives > How much have the narrators affected your Goodreads ratings?

Comments Showing 1-50 of 52 (52 new)    post a comment »
« previous 1

message 1: by S.G (new)

S.G | 39 comments I’ve wrestled with this question for myself for quite some time, actually long before Goodreads. In the end would it then mean that if you actually had “read” the work, you might have felt different and rated it different?



message 2: by julie (new)

julie (maguire708) | 7 comments I try to balance my rating... for example Augusten Burroughs read his "Running with Scissors" and he was terrible, but I liked some of the book despite his narration so I marked it a star higher here than I did at audible, and explained my rating in each case.


message 3: by Beth (new)

Beth (bibliocat4) The narrators do affect my ratings/feelings about books I have listened to both in positive & negative ways. There are some books I liked but wouldn't have enjoyed near as much reading it to myself so the narrators raise my ratings. But I don't feel my ratings are affected more than a star either way.


message 4: by Katie (new)

Katie | 4 comments I'd say narrators affect my ratings quite a bit. My like or dislike of a narrator can be influenced by my previous attitude toward that narrator, whether or not the author narrates their own book, if I like their voice or not. When reading a book, I have an imagined voice in my head that is based on all kinds of things: the words themselves, my own attitudes and biases. I can hate a narrator in a novel too. I think with audiobooks it is totally fair to let your feelings about the narrator influence your feeling about the material. It's just another editorial choice that the publisher makes, like the font on the book, the artwork, even editorial choices within the work.


message 5: by Susan (new)

Susan (susieq69) | 14 comments Katie, I totally agree that it's one more editorial choice, and I am strongly influenced by my like or dislike of a narrator. Sometimes, when I start out not pleased by a narrator, I gradually come around and get used to that person or the story really grabs me despite the narrator, but sometimes I just can't. It doesn't happen very often, but the narrator's tone, pitch, diction, etc., sometimes are issues that I just either cannot or will not get over.


message 6: by S.G (new)

S.G | 39 comments One wish that Goodreads had a rating option available for the narration as well, something for the future I hope. What is really the point to differentiate with all the different kinds of printed volumes? If you read it you read it. Until then I still rate the narration on my excel sheet. Rare but interesting to note is the work that I rated less than the narration itself.

Barbara Caruso, Holter Graham, Robert Harby and Barbara Rosenblat are a few that always pull it of. Joe Mantegna made some good narration of some pretty dodgy work


message 7: by S.G (new)

S.G | 39 comments I have a strange feeling that if I had read 'The Heart is a Lonely Hunter' by Carson McCullers it would have been a long and draggy book. The narrator Cherry Jones is on par with Jim Dale here.


message 8: by S.G (last edited Jul 13, 2008 10:19AM) (new)

S.G | 39 comments I'm lucky to live within 10 min of 5 different thrift stores, and 2 libraries, so when visiting there I always look for sellouts of audio books or actual books of favorites. So I noticed that after listening a second or third time to some favorites I gone in and actually had the audacity to change my ratings!

I always felt the ratings are for me and I’m glad if others found simular taste if not so be it. It has gone both way up and down. Still I would not sign on to half points that is such a popular request on
Infamous ToDo List

Narrator 1-5 points evaluation is what is needed. Audiobook fans please help support this idea. If you agree please post on that group to make your voice heard.



message 9: by Janice (new)

Janice (jamasc) | 1175 comments When I am rating an audiobook for Goodreads, I try very hard to evaluate the content and story of the book without bias of the narrator. I will, however, comment on the narrator as part of my review.

Currently, I'm listening to Beloved I find the story fascinating and may someday pick up the book and read it for a different experience. The problem is the narrator, author Toni Morrison. I will add a paragraph to my review to discuss her breathlessness, ackward pausing and failure to put inflection or emotion into her voice.

When I do my review on Audible.com, my rating will be affected by the narrator because I think the focus there is more the audiobook, the complete package.


message 10: by Stef (new)

Stef (firecat) | 43 comments On Goodreads, narrators don't affect what star rating I give to a book, but I usually comment on the quality of the narration in my review.


message 11: by Grumpus, Hearing aide (new)

Grumpus | 473 comments Janice wrote: "When I am rating an audiobook for Goodreads, I try very hard to evaluate the content and story of the book without bias of the narrator. I will, however, comment on the narrator as part of my revi..."

I do the same thing, Janice. My ratings here at Goodreads is as much as possible limited to content. Audible is where I would evaluate the narration.


message 12: by Joanna (new)

Joanna (walker) | 33 comments I actually rate the content and the narration both. I figure I'm reviewing the specific edition, so it's legitimate to count the narration. In fact, when looking at audiobooks, I often filter the reviews to just the edition I'm considering to try to see what people thouught of the audiobook specifically.

I also try to comment on the narrator in the text of my review.


message 13: by Christine US (new)

Christine US (christineus) | 8 comments Narrators do not affect my rating on GR. They can certainly make a story more enjoyable to hear if it's done well, but ultimately they don't change the text. If something is poorly written, it's just poorly written - no matter who is reading it.


message 14: by Joanna (new)

Joanna (walker) | 33 comments Christine US wrote: "Narrators do not affect my rating on GR. They can certainly make a story more enjoyable to hear if it's done well, but ultimately they don't change the text. If something is poorly written, it's ..."

I agree with that -- a narrator usually can't save a poorly written book. But I do think a narrator can ruin a book that would be good if read in print. And a really good narrator can make a poorly written book go from one star to two stars for me -- e.g., I would have hated the book if I'd been reading it in print, but found it okay as an audio.


message 15: by Stacy (new)

Stacy (stacybinnj) | 2 comments The narrator makes the story! I've listened to all 8 of the Sookie Stackhouse books and the narrator really draws you in the story.

Right now I'm listening to the Dexter series. I'm on the last book... in this book, Dexter Is Delicious, a new narrator tells the story. I had gotten so used to the narrator for the first 4 books that I was very disappointed when I started this book. It's harder to get into it.


message 16: by Heidi (new)

Heidi | 1546 comments Stacy I really dislike when they switch narrators mid series as well. They did that with my beloved Georgia Nicholson series and I think it made me like the books less because of the new narator (who happened to be the author).


message 17: by Ships (new)

Ships (shipswheel) | 4 comments I think if you listen to a narrator you don't like, it can't help but alter the way you feel about a book. I just switch to a reading copy instead & do not listen to the audio book with that narrator again. but it works the other way to, if I really enjoy the narrator I will only listen to the series with the narrator & not bother reading a hard copy.
I both read & listen, can't get enough books into my day, so I guess yes sometimes it can alter my ratings, but I try not to let it.


message 18: by Scott (new)

Scott | 6 comments For the most part I do not let the narrator bias my opinion of a book. Some are better than others but for the most part it is the story itself that makes it or breaks it for me.

I do agree with Heidi about getting thrown off a little bit when the narrator of a series changes. A few Nelson DeMille books were narrated by Scott Brick and then for some reason he was gone. The new narrator messed me up a bit since I had already associated Brick's voice with the main character.

I have listened to most of John Sandfords "Prey" series, which are narrated by Richard Ferrone. If they changed narrators I would still enjoy the books but not hearing the voice I now associate with Lucas Davenport would be confusing.


message 19: by MissSusie (last edited Dec 17, 2010 09:46AM) (new)

MissSusie | 2054 comments Scott wrote: "For the most part I do not let the narrator bias my opinion of a book. Some are better than others but for the most part it is the story itself that makes it or breaks it for me.

I do agree wit..."


I agree Scott if John Sandford's books changed narrators I'd be mad same with Jonathan Kellerman John Rubenstein is Alex Delaware for me!


Cassi aka Snow White Haggard | 8 comments It really really effects my ratings. Since I usually only listen to a book (I know some people read the same books they listen to) I have no way of knowing how I'd feel about the printed version. I always shelf my books as audiobooks and say upfront in the review that I listened to the book.

The only way I could truly give my reviews just on the content is to read the book instead of listening to it.


message 21: by Alice (new)

Alice (thegoodqueen) | 45 comments Single White Vampire by Lynsay Sands Argeneau Vampires #3 Narrated by Jeffrey Cummings.
I didn't think narrators influenced me but I guess they do. I read the ebook first & gave it a 3. I chuckled, but no LOL. I found I had it on Audio so I listened. Mr Cummings irritated me at first with exagerated accents & ridiculous voices (or so I thought). Shortly into the recording it dawned on me that his execution was similar to the same kind of timing & exageration as that of early movies like Arsenic and Old Lace with Cary Grant. So I had to give the AudioBook a 4 because I LOL & frankly there were a couple of snorts involved.


message 22: by Vic (new)

Vic (vicaet) | 49 comments Narrators definitely affect my ratings. When I first joined I wasn't careful with the edition of the book I added to my shelves. Then I started switching my ratings of audiobooks to the correct edition (and became a GoodReads librarian so I could clean up details on audio editions). I try to state in review if the rating was down due to the narration. If I have read the book as well, I'll also rate that edition of the book.


message 23: by Post Hypnotic (last edited Apr 23, 2011 07:36PM) (new)

Post Hypnotic Press (posthypnoticpress) | 33 comments As the owner of an emerging audiobook company (Post Hypnotic Press), I find this discussion really interesting. Even if you can judge the book separately from the narrator, the narrator can make or break the experience of the audiobook. And while one might finish listening to a book even if not overly thrilled with the narrator, it can be tough to slog through a voice you're just not enjoying. I would think it would be very hard not to have that reflect on the book itself and one's subsequent rating of the book.

On the other hand, you really can't please all the people all the time. A few years ago, audible.com ran a contest pitting two narrators reading the same book against each other. I followed it quite a bit, although not religiously, and I noted, at least for the results I saw, that most contests were split 60/40. I found that very interesting. Forty percent of those who voted always seemed to like the alternative reader to the "winning" pick.

So what's the producer of audiobooks to do? Have a listen to the books I've got online so far and let me know how I'm doing in terms of picking narrators. Love to have some feedback. www.posthypnoticpress.com


message 24: by Bxrlover (last edited Apr 24, 2011 01:28PM) (new)

Bxrlover | 109 comments I am not sure how to reply to this intersting question. In some instances I have slogged through terrible narration because the story was so riveting. "The Poisonwood Bible" is the best example of this that I can think of. If there is ever a Q & A with Barbara Kingsolver on GR my first question for her would be WHY on earth she allowed that narrator to be the one to read her novel. "A Mercy" by Toni Morrison is another good example. I am with Janice on the author's narration. It is awkward and unpleasant, but I stuck it out.

Other books, though interesting, had such terrible narrators ( The World According to Garp, Look Me in the Eye) that I quit very early on. It was like nails on a chalk board to me.

There are also some books that I think I would listen to purely for the pleasure of hearing favourite narrators voices, whether the subject appealed to me or not. Neil Gaiman and Myla Goldberg have such wodnerful voices that I could listen to them read me just about anything.

Nena, have you read "Wickett's Remedy" by Myla Goldberg? It is exactly like an old radio show, which is a big part of the reason I loved it so much. I wish others would follow her lead.

Joanna, how do I use a filter to get ratings for only audiobooks? That would be great!

Post, I have always been curious about who makes the decison about which narrator is chosen. The author? Publisher? I am off to check out your site


message 25: by Post Hypnotic (last edited Apr 24, 2011 02:48PM) (new)

Post Hypnotic Press (posthypnoticpress) | 33 comments Bxrlover wrote: "I'm off to check out your site..."

I'm looking forward to your feedback. We still have far to go, but I'm enjoying the adventure. Currently, we have several non-fiction titles, but we'll be adding fiction over this next year. I'm publishing several of Anthony Buckeridge's Jennings books (with the fabulous Simon Vance reading them - he is soooo fantastic, I'm a huge fan and thrilled to have him narrating these books). We're talking to a few publishers now about other fiction, but it's too early yet to announce.

As for who makes the decision, that depends on the agreement. As a new publisher, I've offered the publisher's I'm working with veto rights, but within reason. I felt that was reasonable, as I was confident that my choices wouldn't be vetoed (or at least, not often!). So, for the most part, I'm making the decisions, but in collaboration with others I'm working with. Like filmmaking, audiobook production is a collaborative art that takes several people to get to an end product, and one wants the input of several people in order to produce the best product one can.


message 26: by Lady of the Lake (new)

Lady of the Lake | 59 comments I think I would like to think I was above rating a book poorly for a poor and or annoying narrator... But...I try to separate the two. However I can't say that I will even continue with a book if I can't stand the narrator. Since these are audio it would behoove the publishers to make a proper call on a good narrator but we all have our likes and dislikes so what's good for one is not good for another. So what I'm saying is I think after all this blather is I dont know of any audio book I've finished to be able
To rate for the story part only the fact that I didn't like the narrator choice.


message 27: by Janice (new)

Janice (jamasc) | 1175 comments Elizabeth wrote: "I think I would like to think I was above rating a book poorly for a poor and or annoying narrator... But...I try to separate the two. However I can't say that I will even continue with a book if I..."

I quit listening to Island Beneath the Sea because the narration was so poor. I'm going to read the book instead. I think the narration was the problem, not the novel itself.

I'm currently listening to Peony in Love and the narration is lackluster, but I think I can perserve with it.


message 28: by John, Moderator (new)

John | 3736 comments I try to give the actual rating based on the merits of the book itself, commenting on the narration if it either boosted the experience, or dragged it down.


message 29: by Joanna (new)

Joanna (walker) | 33 comments Bxrlover wrote: "Joanna, how do I use a filter to get ratings for only audiobooks? That would be great! ..."

I don't know how to filter for just audiobooks, but you can filter for "this edition" when you're on the audiobook edition that you have (or the one that has the most ratings).

When you scroll down below the friend reviews to the "community reviews" section of the book page, click on/hover over the word "filter." This will allow you to select "this edition" instead of the default "all editions."


message 30: by Mackenzie (new)

Mackenzie Stanley (crigger5) when rating on audible I account for the narrator, but when rating the book on good reads I only rate on the merit of the book.


message 31: by aprilla (last edited Apr 27, 2011 04:01AM) (new)

aprilla | 247 comments Katie wrote: "I'd say narrators affect my ratings quite a bit. My like or dislike of a narrator can be influenced by my previous attitude toward that narrator, whether or not the author narrates their own book, if I like their voice or not. It's just another editorial choice that the publisher makes, like the font on the book, the artwork, even editorial choices within the work...."

Totally agree.
They affect my rating in whatever way they affected my listening or enjoyment of the book. Whoever decides the narrator is responsible for that.

But more, it isn't just a matter of liking or disliking specific narrators. I have listened to narrators just perfect for one book reading another and find I can't separate the other book from the new, or they just don't work with the new. That's actually a tough one for me to deal with.


message 32: by Lady of the Lake (new)

Lady of the Lake | 59 comments aprilla wrote: "Katie wrote: "I'd say narrators affect my ratings quite a bit. My like or dislike of a narrator can be influenced by my previous attitude toward that narrator, whether or not the author narrates th..."
I can't separate the other book from the new, or they just don't work with the new. That's actually a tough one for me to deal with.

I find that as well. If a narrator is SO GOOD I will always think of them as THAT character (like being type cast in film) I could love a narrator for one particular work but that same narrator may be not a good fit for something
else. Also I find I need to separate works read by the same narrator Or it gets boring or all blends into one work.
À


message 33: by Lee (new)

Lee (lionstone) | 3 comments I often find narration superior to the book that they're reading. There are some narrators who are so good I'd listen to almost anything that they've read. I often find certain audiobook publishers nearly always put out superior recordings. That said, my ratings are mostly based on the book not the narration, it's possible for a very good narration to improve my opinion of the book.


message 34: by Lady of the Lake (new)

Lady of the Lake | 59 comments Lee wrote: "I often find narration superior to the book that they're reading. There are some narrators who are so good I'd listen to almost anything that they've read. I often find certain audiobook publishers..."

I totally agree! A great narrator goes a long way to fix a novel that may have some flaws! That also I fear goes the other way as well sadly! A good book can be ruined by a poor choice of narrator. (that's when I need to pick up the paper copy)
Just lately I have been thinking and would like to ask all of you do you find there can be over usage of a narrator? I know I need to switch up my books between different narrators as they tend to run the stories together if
I listen to one (even if a favorite) narrator to many times in a row.


message 35: by Heidi (new)

Heidi | 1546 comments I never give a negative review for a book based only on the narrator; however, I have upped my ratings for books for great narration, but I always note that in my review.


Cassi aka Snow White Haggard | 8 comments Heidi (the original) wrote: "I never give a negative review for a book based only on the narrator; however, I have upped my ratings for books for great narration, but I always note that in my review."

Heidi pretty much said what I think. (Why am I not surprised by this).


message 37: by Heidi (new)

Heidi | 1546 comments Great minds Cassi!


message 38: by Vic (new)

Vic (vicaet) | 49 comments I've had times when the narrator was annoying and that brought out issues I had with writing style that I probably wouldn't have noticed in the book itself. I also note that in the review. In those cases, I know it's affected my rating.


message 39: by Dacia (new)

Dacia | 59 comments Bxrlover wrote: "I am not sure how to reply to this intersting question. In some instances I have slogged through terrible narration because the story was so riveting. "The Poisonwood Bible" is the best example of ..."

I find it very odd you picked two of the books you did. I actually don't find the narrator of "The Poisonwood Bible" that awful, she's not GREAT, but not awful. The story itself, however, is another matter. I got absolutely nowhere with it in print, and I am having to force myself to listen in audio. If I ever got a meeting with her, I'd ask her why she didn't find the need to include a story line or make any of her characters even vaguely tolerable.

On the other hand, I thought "Look Me In the Eye" was quite a good book but that the narrator wasn't very convincing...


message 40: by Karen (new)

Karen White (karenwhiteaudiobooknarrator) | 175 comments Elizabeth wrote: "aprilla wrote: "Katie wrote: "I'd say narrators affect my ratings quite a bit. My like or dislike of a narrator can be influenced by my previous attitude toward that narrator, whether or not the au..."
As a narrator, I have to say that I appreciate the thoughtfulness of all these comments - especially what Elizabeth and Katie are saying, as I hadn't thought of a listener getting attached to a narrator's voice for certain kinds of books. We don't have a lot of choice in casting, but I do try to lobby for books that I know I will connect with emotionally, especially if I have worked with the author before.
It is challenging for us to hear negative feedback - I am sure that there are many listeners out there who just don't like the sound of my voice (and there are limits to how I can change that!) - but I know I am always trying to make my work better, so thanks for your willingness to listen and give feedback!


message 41: by Chris (new)

Chris Stanley (christinelstanley) One of the things I like most about audible, is the opportunity to listen to a sample before you purchase. That way you can avoid voices that "grate". It's odd that some people love, and others hate the same voice and/or accent.


message 42: by Lady of the Lake (new)

Lady of the Lake | 59 comments Chris wrote: "One of the things I like most about audible, is the opportunity to listen to a sample before you purchase. That way you can avoid voices that "grate". It's odd that some people love, and others hat..."

I guess it is the same with everything we all have our likes and dislikes. It's like life one mans trash is Another mans treasure they say! LOL if we all liked and disliked the same things life would get dull quickly!


message 43: by John, Moderator (new)

John | 3736 comments Karen wrote: "Elizabeth wrote: "aprilla wrote: "Katie wrote: "I'd say narrators affect my ratings quite a bit. My like or dislike of a narrator can be influenced by my previous attitude toward that narrator, whe..."

Welcome to the group, Karen! You can't vary it much more than going from Miss Julia to Korean defector stories! Nothing to Envy: Ordinary Lives in North Korea is probably the best use of an Audible credit I've made since I joined them years ago (yes, I gave the author credit for writing a terrific book as well).
I hope you'll be available (at least occasionally) for comments from a narrator's perspective to points raised here.


message 44: by Karen (new)

Karen White (karenwhiteaudiobooknarrator) | 175 comments John wrote: "Karen wrote: "Elizabeth wrote: "aprilla wrote: "Katie wrote: "I'd say narrators affect my ratings quite a bit. My like or dislike of a narrator can be influenced by my previous attitude toward that..."
Thanks, John! Nothing to Envy was an eye opening book for me. Its hard to believe that a whole country has been living in such horror so far from the public eye. The author, Barbara Demick, also wrote some engaging pieces for the LA Times in the weeks following the recent earthquake/tsunami disaster in Japan. She is an inspiring woman.
I will definitely stay in this conversation! Lots for me to learn, and I'm a fan, too!


message 45: by aprilla (new)

aprilla | 247 comments "Lee wrote: "Just lately I have been thinking and would like to ask all of you do you find there can be over usage of a narrator? I know I need to switch up my books between different narrators as they tend to run the stories together if I listen to one (even if a favorite) narrator to many times in a row..."

This is something I've wondered about also, but I'm not sure what I think... you can't deny a good narrator work, or their audience, so... I dunno, what can be done??
I have put off a listen because the narrator was too fresh (or recognisable) from something else. But maybe that should be my problem and I should just pace books. Non series books anyway?


message 46: by Carolyn F. (new)

Carolyn F. | 224 comments I've stopped books because the narrator didn't fit the book. So many people love Phil Gigante but in two books I've listened to his female voices were just so awful that I had to stop. I also listened to one of Jayne Castle's books and the narrator made a young woman sound like Mrs. Thurston Howell, III on Gilligan's Island. Who knows where she thought that was a good idea.


message 47: by aprilla (last edited Apr 29, 2011 03:55PM) (new)

aprilla | 247 comments Carolyn F. wrote: "I've stopped books because the narrator didn't fit the book. So many people love Phil Gigante but in two books I've listened to his female voices were just so awful that I had to stop. I also listened to one of Jayne Castle's books and the narrator made a young woman sound like Mrs. Thurston Howell, III on Gilligan's Island..."

You made me laugh!!! I use the Gilligans Island theme tune for a ring tone - love it!
I was really looking forward to listening to The Pawn, it sounded right up my alley, but the 'bad-guy' voice reminded me so much of 'the wicked witch of the west' (only my discription/opinion) I couldn't listen to it. I had to stop and put it on indefinite hold. In truth I'll probably never get back to it.

ps In this case the book gets no rating from me, it's unread.


message 48: by Carolyn F. (new)

Carolyn F. | 224 comments I do the same thing aprilla - if I don't finish it then I don't feel right leaving a rating. I put them in a "Couldn't finish" category.


message 49: by Jess (new)

Jess (jessmonster) I always figure that if I'm rating the audio edition, the narrator should factor into my evaluation, since that's what really separates the audio edition from the print edition. Most of the time, I don't think the narrator really changes my rating too much, but like others I like to comment on the narration in my review. If I really dislike a narrator, I'll switch to the print version.


message 50: by Vic (new)

Vic (vicaet) | 49 comments Jess wrote: "I always figure that if I'm rating the audio edition, the narrator should factor into my evaluation, since that's what really separates the audio edition from the print edition. Most of the time, ..."

I also switch to the print version of a book if the story seems interesting but the narrator is killing the enjoyment for me.


« previous 1
back to top