Monday, April 27, 2015

Magic

After many months and many car miles, the girls and I have just finished listening to Jim Dale's recitation of the Harry Potter series.  I feel, in a word, bereft.  What now? Is it all downhill from here? Has Jim Dale RUINED audio books for us?

This man? A genius.
How could one person have done all those voices so convincingly, anyway? With the exception of Luna Lovegood, each and every one of them was spot on, even during those confusing scenes, when everyone is talking at once.  I can't help imagining Mr. Dale, at age 6 or 7, as one of those little boys who irritated the heck out of his parents and his teachers because he never shut up.  Keep THAT in mind next time you want to put a silencing charm on one of your kids, right?

Except teens, when they are complaining about how hard their lives are - then it might be a good idea...

So, now we have to choose a new audio book (although I am tempted to simply listen to the whole Harry Potter series over again). The reader has to be REALLY GOOD and preferably British (because - let's face it - those folks could be reading the phone book and make it sound interesting). The material has to be suitable for a 10-year-old, yet bearable for an adult. 

We've already done The Chronicles of Narnia umpteen times.  The Little House books, for some inexplicable reason, were read by someone who doesn't use proper inflection for her sentences and whose voice therefore grates on my ears, so we've never been able to listen to those.  The Little Princess and The Secret Garden - done and done. The Railway Children - done. I tried The Once and Future King (LOVE that book), but the girls condemned it after the first chapter as "boring."

Any ideas?  And can anyone tell me when I will finally stop calling these things "books on tape"?





[Jim Dale image: Jim Dale]

15 comments:

  1. I love a good novel via audio book. We're totally getting Harry Potter for our Yellowstone trip this summer. Thanks for the review! I like YA novels on CD. The Battle of the Books always has great recommendations for titles.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Swallows and Amazons, perhaps. British. Maybe the Benedict Society. Not a British narrator, though.

    ReplyDelete
  3. While I have no suggestions, I heartily concur with your assessment of Jim Dale's Harry Potter series. I did the entire series in the car trekking in to work and back. In fact there was one day I missed two exits because he had me so enthralled.

    ReplyDelete
  4. BBC Radio presents Winnie the Pooh...and the British version of Harry Potter, read by Stephen Fry.

    ReplyDelete
  5. I totally agree with you regarding Jim Dale! He is amazing. Our family had trouble finding a book to compare to the Harry Potter series. One that I highly recommend is Pirates! by Celia Rees. My kids loved it and it is great for adults too!

    ReplyDelete
  6. I had no idea he was so handsome!

    ReplyDelete
  7. I loved The night circus, which Dale narrates, but it's more for adults. My kids liked the Benedict society too, although the narrator isn't as good as Jim.We've listened to Harry Potter over and over though. Wait. Just thought of a series! The Ghallager girl series, boarding school where they are taught to be spies. Really fun writing and safe for kids. Starts with "I'd tell you I love you but then I'd have to kill you." I think.

    ReplyDelete
  8. I usually do all the reading aloud for my kids, and we were very sad to get to the end of the Harry Potter series as well. We're enjoying The Golden Compass, though. Don't know if the audio version is any good, but the book is.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Out of Africa. Meryl Streep reads, I think.

    ReplyDelete
  10. I think that the term 'audio book' could enter your lexicon quite nicely. I'd love to hear more suggestions, too. We have a family trip coming up this summer.

    ReplyDelete
  11. This is an easy one. The Peter and the Starcatchers series (5 books, first 4 are good, last one is meh). Also read by Jim Dale.

    ReplyDelete
  12. We enjoyed The Sisters Grimm and Origami Yoda series.

    ReplyDelete
  13. We loved listening to Harry Potter in the car!
    We did enjoy The Restaurant at the End of the Universe a few weeks ago but it's probably not younger-kid friendly (our baby is 15 years old). Have you listened to any of the Hank the Cow Dog books yet?

    ReplyDelete
  14. I really enjoyed Charlie Higson's Young James Bond series- though the action might be a bit intense for younger kids. Have the kids all read Susan Cooper's The Dark is Rising series? That one I read, but it would be a great audio experience, I think.

    ReplyDelete
  15. The audio book I'm listening to, I keep hitting skip, so that's probably not a good one for you ;)

    ReplyDelete

LinkWithin

Blog Widget by LinkWithin