Kage Baker did not care for audiobooks. She loved being read to – by a real, live, present right there to show her the pictures on demand, kind of person. But she didn’t like audiobooks. That was a real regret to her, because she thought she ought to like them; they seemed like a great idea, and she sincerely wished she could enjoy them. But she didn’t. And I just find them annoying.
It’s foolish on my part, and due largely to my bad habit of using books as opiates. I like to get lost in a book, be overwhelmed and transported; I go deaf when I read. If you’re listening to an audiobook while you sew or drive, literature-inspired catatonia is not an optimum reaction. Even on airplanes it disturbs the attendants.
Many of our friends – all veterans of long-distance drives, who know the value of staying awake – recommended them to Kage and me over the years. And we tried several times to get into them. No luck, unless you count howls of outrage and laughter when a chosen reader was clearly unsuited to their task. For example, Tim Curry, who can ordinarily do anything impeccably, was totally inappropriate for the numerous Southern accents he used in reading Anne Rice’s The Witching Hour. Maybe if he hadn’t used such a honeysuckle-soprano-Vivien Leigh-Kyra Sedgewick drawl for the heroine … I almost drove into the California Aqueduct listening to that one, I was laughing so hard.
However, lots of very nice and intelligent people do like audiobooks. And there are undoubtedly lots of them that will not send an unsuspecting listener into catalepsy or hysteria – my good friend Neassa, who is an ardent devotee, has never once driven into the Aqueduct, to my certain knowledge.
Kage got queries constantly about when her books would come out on audio; I have continued to get those queries, usually about once a month, since she died. It just never came about. But at the Nebula Awards last year, I met a pleasant young man who seemed quite serious about it – and now, after all his good work, In The Garden of Iden is finally available as an audio book.
It’s out from Blackstone Audio, unabridged, as an MP3-CD. The reader is one Janan Raouf, about whom I know nothing except that she is an actress. She has done movies, TV and stage productions, though, including some costume drama – which might bode well. I know Blackstone Audio thinks well of her and did not choose her casually.
You can get the audio Iden directly from Blackstone Audio, at: http://www.blackstoneaudio.com/search.cfm?search=IN+THE+GARDEN+
Or you can also find it on Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Garden-Iden-Novel-Company-Novels/dp/1441774343/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1297892953&sr=1-1
I find I cannot bring myself to listen to someone else read this or any other of Kage’s work: not yet. Someday, I am sure, but not yet. I would only hear another voice reading it, and that would be a phantom – not even a respectable ghost, either, but a bad recording in the the out-0f-date sound studio of my mind. And then it would occur to me that I can’t remember how her voice sounded and I would get all soggy and hard to light … Aqueduct time, then.
However, Dear Readers, the first person to listen to this and tell me about it will receive a prize. Some of it will be edible. Some will be collectible. Depending on your proclivities, it may be both. I don’t judge.
But in the meantime, the first Kage Baker audio book is out there now. I hope you enjoy it.