⇒I binged a couple – or three – Audible Originals last week. Let’s see how they stacked up to my usual audiobook reads.⇐
Last week was slower than usual at work (thanks spring break), so I popped in my earbuds and binged a few Audible Original audiobooks to see what all the fuss is about.
What fuss? Audible members now have access to at least two free original audiobooks per month. And we get to choose which two from a variety of genres.
These were my picks last week (three because I’m just now getting around to reading them), and a short review of each.
Author: Bryan Burrough
Narrator: Steve White
(3.32 stars – Goodreads rating)
Genre: Nonfiction / True Crime
Published 2019, by Audible Originals
Length: 2 hrs 45 mins
The small town of Temple, Texas, where Bryan Burrough grew up, had harbored a dark secret. One of his high school classmates, Danny Corwin, was a vicious serial killer who had raped and mutilated six women, murdering three of them. Yet the town had denied all early signs of the radical evil that was growing within Corwin. -Adapted from Goodreads
As a true crime junkie, I was immediately drawn to this title. How much better can a crime story get than when it’s being told from someone close to both the victims and the criminal? Although I enjoyed exploring this story about a serial killer I’ve never heard of before, I think the choice of narrator for the audiobook was a curious one. Steve White’s voice, although perfect for book narration, did not convey the serious and grave tones the subject matter deserved. The story is tragic and graphic at many points, but White’s “Mr. Rogers”-style tone forced me to remove a star from my rating.
Author: John Woolf, Nick Baker
Narrator: Stephen Fry
(3.75 stars – Goodreads rating)
Genre: Nonfiction / History
Published: First published October 20, 2018
Length: 7 hrs 33 mins
Step right up, step right up and don’t be shy—welcome to Victorian Secrets. Over 12 fascinating episodes, Stephen Fry explores the weird and worrying ways of Victorian Britain through true accounts delving deep into a period of time we think we know, to discover an altogether darker reality. –Goodreads description
This book is only available as an audiobook and once you hear it, you’ll understand why. Stellar audio production combined with superbly perfect narration by Stephen Fry make this a book standout effort. And if you’re into spicy British secrets, then this is definitely the book for you! While I found the beginning of the book very intriguing, as it progressed, my interest steadily waned all the way down to the somewhat “unfinished ” ending.
Author: John Scalzi
Narrator: Zachary Quinto
(4.02 stars – Goodreads rating)
Genre: Fiction / Science Fiction
Published: 2019 by Audible Originals (First published October 4, 2016)
Length: 2 hrs 18 mins
Tony Valdez is a Dispatcher – a licensed, bonded professional whose job is to humanely dispatch those whose circumstances put them in death’s crosshairs, so they can have a second chance to avoid the reaper. But when a fellow Dispatcher and former friend is apparently kidnapped, Tony learns that there are some things that are worse than death and that some people are ready to do almost anything to avenge a supposed wrong.
It’s a race against time for Valdez to find his friend before it’s too late…before not even a Dispatcher can save him. -Goodreads description
Easily my favorite of the three audiobooks, The Dispatcher is sufficiently sci-fi enough and thrilling enough to satisfy my reading needs on both fronts. I could easily see the action playing out in my head, and I’d pay for a full-price ticket to see it on the big screen. Plus, let me ask in super-kudos for Quinto’s narration on this one – I’d listen to anything he reads!
Verdict? If you’re an Audible member, give the Originals a try – after all, with everyone else creating original content, why shouldn’t Audible as well? Happy Reading!