In which I fall hard for audiobooks

Vikas Swarup, Six Suspects (2008)

That’s it, no more work for the rest of the year! Happy holidays everyone! Let me tell you about my latest obsession: audiobooks.

I’ve always known audiobooks are good when you have both hands busy. I always say audiobooks are great when working out, except they can’t make me work out (perhaps in 2013 I won’t hate it?). The result: I only rarely practiced what I preached. In fact, the last audiobook I listened to was 4 years ago when I was breast-feeding my son. And they were on CD. I know, I know, it sounds prehistoric.

I only just recently discovered that my nifty smartphone (don’t go imagining I’m all hi-tech) allows me not only to listen to the radio (I soon grew bored with the stressful chatter) but to read mp3 files, and that it’s not only music. Added bonus: my library has a great shelf of mp3 audiobooks! That’s mere chance that I chose Six Suspects for my first try. I just wanted to see if I could transfer files and read them and manage audiobooks during my commute, the book didn’t matter.

Ahahaha, did you just read this last sentence? Who am I kidding?

I don’t know anything about Indian novels, and I haven’t seen Slumdog Millionaire even though I couldn’t avoid hearing about its huge success. On the audiobook cover I read 14 hours and I shrugged: who has time for 14 hours? I’ve never counted how many hours I spent on a single book, but it sounded huge.

Well, I’ll stop if I don’t like it, said I.

Ahahaha! I started Six Suspects without any preconception but I soon was hooked. With an audiobook you can’t skip pages and have a quick fast-forward. My commute never seemed so short in my life! The 14 hours just flew by. Swarup’s novel provides a myriad of characters and sub-plots, all very entertaining, none of them very subtle or complex, but all perfectly suitable for listening while riding the public transport. Dialogues are short and satirical and I could easily forgive that most characters are rather two-dimensional. I soon got the feeling that Swarup wanted to show every single aspect of contemporary India, an impossible task if you go into details, but for a first approach of India, it was like a gigantic picture book. I suspect that the book on paper wouldn’t have been such a great experience for me because its weaknesses would have been more apparent.

So as soon as my 14 hours of Indian adventures were over, I knew what I had to do: borrow another audiobook!


5 thoughts on “In which I fall hard for audiobooks

  1. I like audiobooks and have discovered some great books via audible. I can’t listen to them unless I’m doing something else (usually driving). But I do enjoy them.

  2. Pingback: Honoré de Balzac, Les Chouans (1829) | Smithereens

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