I admit, I saw the movie before I ever read the short story and I wish it had of been the other way around. I enjoy books much more than movies, but the fact was that I enjoyed the movie so much I wanted to read the book. I picked up the audiobook narrated by Ben Stiller for free on amazon which happened to come around by coincidence.
As a few others have mentioned, the fact that it is so short, is exactly the point. It highlights “the wispy nature of one man’s substance along Main Street, America, the story is meant to be here one moment, then gone.”
All of us have daydreamed at one point in time or another, and wished we could live through them. We wish we could perform heroic acts, but tend to quietly go back to our mundane existence. This is a reminder of that, and I enjoyed it quite a bit. The book is short enough that there’s really no excuse not to give it a read or a listen and pay tribute to James Thurber.
4 / 5 stars
In an effort to listen to more audiobooks this year (even one would be an increase over last year) I picked up the latest humble bundle, which just happens to be eight audiobooks. I have only heard of three of the titles before, but at $4 (which was the average at the time that I purchased the bundle) I figured I couldn’t go wrong. I haven’t listened to any of the books yet because I’ve been slowly working my way through Moby Dick, but I did transfer them to my ipod with relative ease.
Some people don’t think audiobooks “count” when it comes to enjoying a book – but I think that they can provide the same relaxation and enjoyment. There are times when it’s just not possible for us to read, we’re often involved in other tasks but we do have the ability to listen. Why not fill these moments with some of our favorite things – books. No matter what their form.
I have to admit, I’ve never really been a fan of audiobooks before. I found them difficult to listen to and they put me to sleep more often than not, no matter what the book was or who the reader. This year I’ve vowed to give them a second chance, and try to get into the audiobook culture a bit more. There’s a few reasons I want to do this but the biggest reason is pretty basic, I can’t always dedicate as much time to reading as I would like. Lets face it, we’ve all got busy lives and while we may be able to fit in some time here and there on a daily basis, is it really enough? Of course not! Instead of listening to the radio all day long while I work at my standing desk, I want to try audiobooks. Will I stick with it? Who knows, but I want to give it a proper effort.
There are lots of places you can get audiobooks these days. Two very popular options I was given are Audible (now owned by amazon) and LibriVox. Of course the hardest part of listening to an audiobook is not finding a book that you want to listen to – but finding a voice who can read the book you want to listen to – well. You want someone who can pronounce names and places, who doesn’t read in a strict monotone, and who you can actually understand. Thankfully Audible lets listeners vote and comment, so you won’t be thrust into a horrible situation unaware. LibriVox is a bit touch and go, especially as all readers are volunteers but there are a lot of gems.
Right now I’ve picked up Moby Dick from LibriVox, since I’ve never read it before. The reader is fantastic, and I’m on chapter 7 so far and haven’t fallen asleep. That’s a good sign for me. I’ve never been much of a podcast listener for the exact same reason.
Have other audiobook suggestions? Any sites or books that you just absolutely fell in love with? Let me know in comments!