If There’s Going to Be A Voice in My Head, I’d Prefer It To Be A Woman’s
I’ve been listening to a ton of audiobooks recently — when you spend 1-2 hours on the road every day, you’ve got to find something to take away the sting of being perpetually cut off by assholes that also helps you resist the urge to tailgate in retaliation. I’ve also discovered that I like to listen to audiobooks while I cook, go for walks, or take long epsom-salt baths after doing something stupid that’s probably going to hurt the next day.
I’ve always loved Nora Roberts’ MacKade Brothers series, and I thought I’d dip into the Audible version as a kind of lazy research. (A look behind the curtain: I’m writing the first of a series of novels right now that centers on three sisters and their family farm, so I wanted to see how Roberts handles character development for characters who will be featured in future books, as well as how much family history to spring on the reader and when to do it.)
The Return of Rafe MacKade has always been a particular favorite of mine–the final scene (highlight here for spoilers) has always struck me as a balance of the inherit romance of The Gift of the Magi with a Grease-esque makeover and just hits all the right notes. Imagine my surprise, then, when I got about 1/3 of the way through the book and had to turn it off. Maybe I wasn’t in the mood for a romance novel, maybe I just wasn’t feeling it.
Or maybe the narrator’s voice in my head just really didn’t do it for me.
Since I stopped listening to the book, I’ve realized that the narrator’s voice–deep and masculine, a little harsh when speaking Rafe’s lines–just felt wrong in my head. I didn’t buy his narration of women’s voices, and I didn’t enjoy the way he spoke the men’s voices.
Listen to this* and tell me it’s not just wrong:
I think it’s because, for me, the women’s voices in romance novels just NEED to ring true. If it doesn’t feel like the women’s voices are honest, it’s a huge ladyboner killer for me. (I’m sure I’m giving Men’s Rights’ Activists just one more thing to bitch about, but it’s true.)
Anyway, I guess what I’m trying to say is, if I’m tailgating you, it’s BrillianceAudio’s fault.
* If you actually enjoy the narrator’s voice and want to listen to the whole book, please actually buy it and don’t just listen to this video. I couldn’t find a 30-second snippet but I’m not a fan of pirating books.