Thursday, December 2, 2010

accio audio

I can't imagine how I am ever going to follow up a blog post like Zoe's. (See below -- it is 1) epic and 2) ridiculous, much like the woman herself.) I think I probably have to resign myself to the fact that I'm just not as funny as Ms. Z, and you should probably resign yourself to that too. Of course, if you're reading in backwards chronological order, my post will come before Zoe's, and you will read my semi-nerdy post and maybe smile a tiny bit, and then you will read Zoe's magnum opus and in your gales of laughter you will fall out of your chair, or off of your couch, or out of your seat on the T. Oh well. So it goes.


Audiobooks are not really my thing, unless they're read by the author, who in my opinion is the only one who really knows how to read the writing. But I have one exception to this, and that is the brilliance that is Jim Dale reading the Harry Potter series.

Major nerd confession -- I listen to Harry Potter on audio every night as I fall asleep. I started about three years ago, when a certain person with whom I was sharing my sleeping space introduced me to the joys of Jim Dale, and I've never looked back. Of course, by now I've listened to all the books multiple times, and I have my favorite parts of each one. I don't go in chronological order; rather, I just pick what I'm in the mood for -- a Quidditch game? Action and adventure? Quiet times at the Burrow? (Man, I just nerded all over myself.) My default if I can't think of anything else is usually Chapter 22, Book 4, in which Harry asks Cho to the Yule Ball. He's so gawky and awkward and I can identify. (I asked out my date to the senior prom by passing him a note in precalculus. COME ON.)

So anyway, Jim Dale is pretty much a genius. His voices are absolutely perfect for the characters, and it's sometimes surprising to remember that it really is only one guy doing all the voices. Take his high-pitched, feathery Dolores Umbridge voice, for example, and compare it to his gravelly, rough Hagrid voice -- they sound nothing alike. But I suppose that's why Jim Dale's been winning Grammys for all of these albums, pretty much -- because they are absolute vocal brilliance. AND he's British, which earns him ten bonus points (at least in my book).

So the main side effect of having listened to Harry Potter on audio as I fall asleep every night for the past three-and-a-bit years is that I am the biggest Harry Potter trivia nerd ever. I mean ever. I can't recite passages, but you can ask me the tiniest detail about the most trivial scene, and I can tell you. It must be a subconscious thing, because I'm never really paying attention to the audio as I fall asleep.

I'm not really sure where this post is going...I suppose I should just conclude with a general recommendation of Harry Potter audiobooks, mostly because Jim Dale is an absolutely wonderful voice actor and I guarantee that if you like Harry Potter you will like the audiobooks. (And maybe you'll join in on the listening-to-Harry-at-night bandwagon -- let's start a trend, people!)

No comments: