July 25, 2007

STORIES OUGHT TO BE HEARD:

AUDIO INTERVIEW: The Voice of Harry Potter - Jim Dale (Diane Rehm Show, 7/25/07) MP3 Podcast

The award-winning actor describes how he found, created, and kept track of over 200 voices in order to narrate the seven books in the Harry Potter series.

Like Lisette Lecat's rendition of the Ladies Detective Agency series and Simon Vance's readings of Aubrey/Maturin, Mr. Dale's audio presentation is itself a work of art and makes listening to the books an even greater pleasure than reading them.

Posted by Orrin Judd at July 25, 2007 1:50 PM
Comments

Dale's reading doesn't hold a candle to that of Stephen Fry, who reads in the British version. I managed to borrow the first five of Fry's and then for the sixth I heard Dale's. Dale is much better with the evil voices, but the problem is that even the good characters sound evilish. Fry's Luna Lovegood is absolutely priceless, as are the House Elves.

It's kind of funny that there are two readings with British accents, but I guess some of the words were changed in between versions.

Posted by: R. Alex at July 26, 2007 8:36 AM

Ever since my wife became bedridden a few years back, audiobooks have become a constant part of our lives; I now listen to them regularly while doing other things around the house or while working on my computer, something I never could have done with a paper book.

As a consequence, I will testify to the fact that the reader makes all the difference in an audiobook. A bad reader can kill a good book; a good reader can ... well, that might be going a bit too far - but you catch my drift.

Dale is an astonishingly good reader. I'll be interested in seeing what he moves on to now that the Potter series is through.

EDIT: I haven't heard Fry's version; my wife and I have debated getting the U.K. editions of Potter but have always ended up getting the U.S. editions out of laziness/simplicity.

Posted by: Who, Me? at July 26, 2007 9:35 AM
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