20 June 2012

Man. It's been a while since I've not been able to finish an audio. Just remember that I'm no audio expert, but since I'm cataloguing my reading choices, I really can't ignore this one. I can only tell you that I've hit play on this audio twice and... I just don't think I can plod along with it anymore.

The Ten-Cent Plague: The Great Comic-Book Scare and How It Changed America tells the story of how comic books first came about after World War II and before television became mainstream and accessible, and the subsequent hysteria generated by those who felt that comic books were lowering standards and ethics for the youth of the day.

This held so much promise. I love comic books, history, and audio. I wanted to fall in love with this. I started it a couple months ago, and stopped it after one hour because I just couldn't get into the story and wasn't the biggest fan of the narrator's voice.

The second time I started it, this past week, I went much further along with it to around the six-hour mark, but I decided today I needed to just stop. I found my concentration wavered and I was easily distracted.

I might try this one more time...maybe I should try it in the printed version instead? I can say that I am most definitely in the minority on this. The reviewers on Audible.com gave it high marks, so make sure you consider that as well. I'm in no way the final authority.

Audio Notes: I know Stefan Rudnicki has a great fan base and he does have a very nice, soothing voice. Although it is a comforting tone, I felt there wasn't much variation in the characters' voices, or in the overall narration. An Audible.com reviewer also pointed out that he unfortunately pronounces "submariner" as though it's "submarine" with an "r" at the end, like sub-ma-reen-er, but the correct pronunciation is sub-mare-uh-ner. It sort of drove me nuts as well. Click here for the sample at Audible.com.

Publisher: Blackstone Audio
Release Date: 03/18/08
Audio Time: 11 hours, 49 minutes
Narrator: Stefan Rudnicki

About the Author
David Hajdu is the music critic for The New Republic and a professor at the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism. He is the author of three narrative non-fiction books and one collection of essays.

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  1. A mispronounced word or a wrong accent can drive me to distraction so I get what you're saying. This probably isn't the right audiobook for you.

  2. I just went through the exact same thing with an audio book! It was my very first audio book ever and I hate to admit this, but it took me almost 6 months to finally get through! Since it's my first audio book, I'm not completely sure if it just takes some getting used to when listening to audio books, or if it was because I really couldn't stand the narrator!

    Also, the mispronunciation of submariner repeatedly (or any word for that matter), would drive me nutty too! ;)

  3. It seems like you've given this one a fair shot and don't like it - so why waste any more time on it? My opinion is a little biased, though, because I read the print version and didn't love it. This was years ago so I can't offer much detail on why I didn't love it, though I do remember a huge level of frustration with the way that Hajdu would spend half a page describing a comic panel, but never show the panel. For a book that is so concerned with a visual form of storytelling, it makes no sense to not include photos and comics pages.

  4. It's got a great title, though! Or maybe I just think that because I've been immersed in Stephen King for the past couple of weeks.

  5. Maybe The Mysterious Flame of Queen Loana would be better. It was a good audiobook having to do with comics! In Italy, but still...
    I am a fan of Stefan Rudnicki, so in his defense, shouldn't the audiobook editor share part of the blame for the mispronounced word? It does seem like one that should have been looked up. How often does the average person say it, after all? ;)