Saturday, May 26, 2007

Nothing to do with anything

I know I've mentioned this before, but Lori and I have both become big fans of the Aubrey-Maturin series of historical novels. They didn't strike me as something I'd particularly latch onto, but at some point Lori picked up an audio version of the first book of the series from the library. They've been keeping me company on my long drives down to Cincinnati ever since.

So now I find myself on book sixteen of the series. I particularly enjoy the audio version, because the reader, an actor named Patrick Tull, is probably the best I've come across. He breathes life into each character (and there must have been hundreds of characters by this point), giving them distinct speech patterns and inflections. His deep voice doesn't do female characters well, but he at least makes them distinctive. That's the only criticism I can come up with.

I developed a new appreication for Patrick Tull when Lori happened to bring home the next book in the series, read by someone else. The voices were all wrong. The inflections, the tone, the emphasis and subtlety was way off.

Imagine David Schwimmer taking over the role of Indiana Jones. It just doesn't work.

Thankfully, the new reader, Richard Brown, was not a replacement for Patrick Tull, but a competitor. Apparently more than one audio book publisher had the rights to O'Brian's works.

Now I don't know if this will have the same impact if you're not sixteen books into the series, but I thought I'd give you a couple side-by-side samples, just for fun.

Richard Brown, clip 1
Patrick Tull, clip 1
(The second one got chopped a tiny bit, and I'm too lazy to go back and fix it.)

Richard Brown, clip 2
Patrick Tull, clip 2



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