Fifty Shades of Grey – An Attempt in Audio
By now I’m sure almost everyone has heard of the book Fifty Shades of Grey so I won’t waste any space introducing Anastasia Steele and Christian Grey. What? You aren’t acquainted with them? Then hop on over to the review page at Amazon where over 8,000 people have already expressed their opinions.
From the synopsis I already knew this would not be my type of book; romance is not my genre, but curiosity got the better of me and I wanted to know what all the fuss was about. Once in a while I like something different and outside of my usual range. I read and liked the erotic memoir Nine and a Half Weeks and thought Fifty Shades might be similar. (No. It’s not.)
Not having time to squeeze in another print book I got a copy of the audio version. I made it through a little over one-third of the book before I couldn’t take it anymore. This is not a commentary on the story itself, but is a review of the audio production. I rarely write bad reviews, preferring to say nothing if I didn’t finish the book, but the audio was so awful I felt the need to share. I am always trying to bring new listeners to the wonderful world of audiobooks, and most are well done, but run away from this one.
The narrator’s voice got very annoying after an hour or two. In trying to sound young all I could hear was a “valley girl” type voice that was grating on my ears. The female voices all sounded the same and the narrator could not do a convincing male voice much less a hot, sexy male. Hearing her “Christian” speak was an immediate turn-off. Nothing erotic was coming to mind, I was envisioning a dorky guy. This is a book that needed, no, required, a sexy-voiced male actor to play Christian.
The dialog isn’t very good and the audio version emphasized that enormously. If I had to hear “jeez”, “holy $hit” or how “weird” something was one more time I was going to scream! At almost 20 hours, this is too much for anyone to bear. It probably isn’t as noticeable in print, but in audio format a book can come across differently. You can’t skim boring parts, speed up, or slow down. You are stuck with the pacing of the narrator, and this was too slow.
If you are inclined to read this, I recommend going with a print version. With that awful voice of Christian stuck in my head, I don’t feel any urgency to pick up the book and finish it, but I guarantee I won’t be going back to the audio version.
Perhaps Ellen Degeneres should have agreed to record the book!
Have you listened to the audio of Fifty Shades? Read the book? Intend to read it?
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