Audible Adjectives, or, why Big Finish Productions may have been too awesome as to spoil my audio book expectancy.

The Eighth Doctor

Yes. The Eighth Doctor. Image © BBC/Fox. Used without permission.

I’m taking a little break from the synopsis. And by “little break,” I mean, “just long enough for me to work on a blog and change over the laundry, then back to the grind.”

Lately I’ve been listening to audio dramas. I drove to Manchester two weeks ago to visit my sister, brother-in-law, and clone niece, all while I was following The Doctor and Charley on their first collection of escapades. It was then that I discovered that Paul McGann is actually a decent actor, with a great accent (similar to David Tennant, my second-favourite Doctor of all time thus far). So, TV movie by Fox aside, I’m now hunting down the second collection. In the interim, I picked up another audio drama, this one, another Doctor Who called “Hive of Horror” (this one with my favourite Doctor of all time, no exceptions, Tom Baker), a much shorter adventure but still very good.

Hey, I’m liking this audio thing. I can listen to a story and do stuff, like draw, or bake, or knit, or write or other forms of working.  So I pick up an audiobook: Terry Goodkind’s The Omen Machine, simply because it was science-fiction/fantasy, an audiobook, and an author that I like. And the Waterville Public Library had a slim picking without hitting the interlibrary loan, but that’s my own fault for not wishing to wait.

I think I might have listened to the whole first disc. I’m not entirely certain. All I know is that the TARDIS on my favourite mug is sort of halfway faded on both sides and my tea’s gotten a little bitter. I don’t even remember what flavour this is–oh, Tazo’s “Awake.” Black tea, then. I don’t even remember prepping it, but I digress.

The Omen Machine is probably a decent read. It sounds very lyrical and enthralling in theory. But I have seriously have no freakin’ clue what in the name of Combat Hero Optimus Prime Battling Apocalypse on Gallifrey just happened after the two main characters talk to the boy. There was a blind woman — and she most definitely was blind, because it was mentioned many times in the span of three minutes. And someone hesitated for just a moment…but isn’t that…redundant? And then there was a half hour of discussing the castle.  I think. I changed over the laundry at that point: I went into the cellar, put the jeans from the washer to the dryer, then shirts to the washer, then went back upstairs and…the gentleman was still talking about the castle.

Granted, this is a book I really want to read. Physically read. But to listen…it seems very long-winded.

There’s a point to this, I promise.

Tonight’s thought experiment: where’s the line between writing a story in which sounds great, both in one’s head and in one’s ear, and writing sensory porn? (I use “porn” in a sensual desire, not sexual. Kind of like Christian bodice rippers. I’m still trying to contemplate that concept. Nope, not working. Yep, that digression bit again.) Certainly, describing an old woman with “silvery hair braided down her back” is a great visual, and even “her hair, spun silver plaited elegantly, brushed the floor as she sat in lotus position” is flowery and pretty, but reminding us her hair is silver, long and braided ever two minutes–not just one descriptive word, like “her hair caught the light of the sun”, or “she shook her head, her braid accidentally smacking a customer across the face”, but “her long, silver braid…”. Again, it’s a reading versus listening opinion.

And with that, the dryer just buzzed.


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