The Untold Story of the Talking Book

CD - unabridged
Audio (9 discs)
Product Number: DD26039
Released: Nov 30, 2016
Business Term: Purchase
ISBN: #9781504743884
Narrator/s: Jim Denison
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Histories of the book often move straight from the codex to the digital screen. Left out of that familiar account is nearly 150 years of audio recordings. Recounting the fascinating history of audio-recorded literature, Matthew Rubery traces the path of innovation from Edison's recitation of "Mary Had a Little Lamb" for his tinfoil phonograph in 1877, to the first novel-length talking books made for blinded World War I veterans, to today's billion-dollar audiobook industry. The Untold Story of the Talking Book focuses on the social impact of audiobooks, not just the technological history, in telling a story of surprising and impassioned conflicts: from controversies over which books the Library of Congress selected to become talking books-yes to Kipling, no to Flaubert-to debates about what defines a reader. Delving into the vexed relationship between spoken and printed texts, Rubery argues that storytelling can be just as engaging with the ears as with the eyes, and that audiobooks deserve to be taken seriously. They are not mere derivatives of printed books but their own form of entertainment. We have come a long way from the era of sound recorded on wax cylinders, when people imagined one day hearing entire novels on mini-phonographs tucked inside their hats. Rubery tells the untold story of this incredible evolution and, in doing so, breaks from convention by treating audiobooks as a distinctively modern art form that has profoundly influenced the way we read.


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The Untold Story of the Talking Book
Product Number: BX00052949
Product Number:DD26039
Product Number:Z100104466

All formats/editions

Author(s): Matthew Rubery
Narrator(s): Jim Denison
Product Number Z100104466
Released: Nov 14, 2016
Business Term: Purchase
ISBN: #9781504743921

Professional reviews

"Jim Denison narrates this audiobook about audiobooks--it doesn't get more meta than that for listeners. Rubery reveals the audiobook's history from its technological emergence in the late nineteenth century to the commercial explosion of audiobooks in the last 50 years. Throughout, he contemplates the many complicated considerations that authors, narrators, producers, and listeners have grappled with, all addressing this question: What does listening to an audiobook mean in terms of reading? Denison delivers the discussion in a straightforward and clear voice that has strong projection and good cadence. He's easy to listen to, for the most part, but it's not always clear when he switches from narrative to quotations--which can be confusing. Overall, he enhances this production, so essential for audiophiles. L.E. © AudioFile 2016, Portland, Maine"

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