So, considering I had to sit in the car for two days, I knew I’d go nuts just listening to music, so I signed up for Audible and got a couple of audiobooks to pass the time.
This isn’t the first time I’ve had Audible; the last time I had a road trip, I tried the free 30-day sample, but I’m just not that into audiobooks in general. This time, though, they were a necessity.
Just in case anyone wanted to know how the audio version of these books went, here’s a short review for you. I listened to: The Adventures of Tom Stranger, Interdimensional Insurance Agent; Pawn of Prophecy; and Monster Hunter: International.
First, if you ever decide to get the Audible app on your phone, be absolutely sure you get the latest version. Because I’m not a regular audiobook listener, I usually deactivate the app on my phone (can’t uninstall it; it’s one of the automatically pre-installed ones on most Android devices), so when I re-activated it at the start of my road trip, little did I know how much trouble it was going to be.
I was toodling along, listening to the book, when I stopped at a rest stop in Louisiana, went back to my phone’s home screen before leaving the car, and then got back into my car fully expecting to just press play and get back to the entertaining audiobook.
“Invalid username or password.” So I wasted a half-hour of driving time trying to call the help desk and get it to work again. Turns out, even with resetting the password, that it didn’t recognize my username and password at all, even though it had been working five minutes before. So, I had to switch back to music until I got to a truck stop with free WiFi, download the latest update to the freaking app, and start over.
Eventually, though, I managed it, and listened to all of Tom Stranger.
That is probably the funniest thing I’ve heard in a long time. Take Larry Correia’s snark extraordinaire, and listen to it in Adam Baldwin’s voice, and you’re all set. If you happen to actually work in insurance, it’s that much funnier. Technically, I suppose Tom Stranger is more of an insurance adjustor rather than an agent, but agent sounds better, anyway. I was laughing so hard, I have a feeling that the other drivers on I-20 were looking at me like:
But it was totally worth it. If you have two hours, sit down and listen to that story. It’s the most fun I’ve had in a while.
Next up was Monster Hunter: International. Now, don’t get me wrong, I love MHI. I’ve read that book probably four times, that’s how much I love it.
I just couldn’t get into the audiobook.
The reader was so freaking SLOW I was tempted to try and hit fast forward and listen to him in chipmunk mode, but apparently, that option wasn’t available. Even the hilarious one-liners that make Larry’s stuff so much fun were deadpan and boring with that guy reading it. So, I’d stick with the print version of your choice, either eBook or paperback or hardback, and leave the audio alone.
Unless, of course, we can somehow convince Adam Baldwin to redo all the MHI audiobooks?
Who knows? Stranger things have happened.
I know, I know, bad pun.
Last up was Pawn of Prophecy, which is the first book in the Belgariad series by David Eddings. This is another book that I’ve read over and over again, and I was really looking forward to listening to it instead.
Fortunately, this narrator read at a much more natural pace than the guy doing MHI, so that helped. About my only complaint was his pronunciation of the fantasy-style names, as well as his accents. When he pronounced the name of the country “Cherek” as “Kerr-ick,” and not “Chair-ek,” as I’d always heard it in my head, I was a bit confused. And, the accents that the various characters use (being from different countries) seemed to alter as the author went on. I’m not very good with accents myself, but it was a bit disconcerting to hear Silk’s accent change from what sounded like a proper British to a near-Scotish halfway through the book.
Even with those minor nitpicks, I enjoyed the book almost as much as I did when I read it myself. If I have to go on another road trip, I’ll probably download book two and listen to it.
So, definitely pick up Tom Stranger if you have to go on a road trip. You won’t be disappointed.