The Tanglewood Terror is the first book of mine to be produced as an audiobook (although a Mudville production is now underway). I was anxious about hearing my own words read back to me. Maybe prose that looks fine on a page would be clunky in a narration. Maybe I wouldn’t like the narrator. Maybe it would just be weird to have somebody else reading my book aloud.
I didn’t need to worry. I love the recording. Everette Plen strikes the perfect tone for Eric Parrish — he’s an articulate young man and a good actor, and being an actual kid, his voice is authentic. He’s got good timing for the funny parts and the proper sense of awe and wonderment for the weird parts and sounds sensitive for the emotional parts.
There’s one scene in the book that I was especially nervous about hearing — it’s my favorite scene of this book (maybe any book), and it’s full of both action and feeling. I was tempted to skip ahead to the scene, but made myself start at the beginning. When the scene it came, it was done perfectly, and I didn’t even realize right away “hey, this is the scene!” because the narration had pulled me in and I was just listening to a story instead of worrying about it as an author.
I’m going to share this terrific audiobook with someone. just leave a comment naming your favorite read-aloud book — either one you remember as a kid, one you read to your own kids, or one you shared with students if you’re a teacher. It can also be a recording you listened to on a road trip or on a commute. I’ll pick one commenter (maybe two or three, if enough people comment) to get a copy.