One of the members in the book club I recently joined regularly listens to audio books. I had never tried audio versions before but was keen for a number of reasons. I could give my eyes a rest. I could listen while doing other things like cooking, travelling and housework. All of this would mean getting through books quicker. I decided to give it a go with the next book on the club’s list: The Kind Worth Killing by Peter Swanson. I signed up with Audible through Amazon. This service costs around $15 a month. I’m not sure at this stage how many books I can get for that price but will keep a close eye on it. Kindle versions of books, for instance, are always cheaper than the paper version, even when converted to South African rands. So I’ll compare the books on Audible (which I can cancel at any stage) with Kindle as I go along.
The Kind Worth Killing, it turns out, is full of sex and murder. The main character, Lilly, a calm and collected psychopath was fairly well drawn as a woman by a male author. At first I didn’t like the story, feeling like I’d entered a Gone Girl type tale narrated in American accents. But then the murder aspect became more intriguing and outdid the sex bits. Things were looking up and I found myself listening at every spare moment. The narration switches between two main characters, a writing technique I have come to enjoy as it adds to the tension. The conclusion to the book is quite satisfying if somewhat of a surprise. Appraisal: good for a first audible book experience.
What was a bit disconcerting about the experience, however, was how much I thought other people could hear of my book. I listened to it while travelling to East London by aeroplane and, despite using earphones, found myself self-consciously turning down the volume when the sex and murder heated up. At home I felt much freer. I removed the earphones, turned up the volume and carried my device from room to room. Even there though I wasn’t spared anxiety. We live in a townhouse just about two metres away from the next-door neighbours. “And then we had sex…” blared out from my bathroom too late for me to quieten the offensive words; goodness, I wonder what they thought of me?
Not to be dissuaded, I am pressing on with the audible experience. I look forward to the next one in my library: Catch 22 by Joseph Heller.