14 April 2009

Some books are meant to be read aloud

I have a poll running at the moment in which I ask Do you ever listen to a novel?.
Look for it over in thhe right hand column.
You might like to read the accompanying post at Are novels designed to read not heard?

But there are some books where you have to read them aloud, even if only in your mind.
The book I am currently reading, TEA TIME FOR THE TRADITIONALLY BUILT by Alexander McCall Smith, the 10th in the No 1. Ladies Detective Agency series, is just such a novel. And isn't this cover lovely?

I am convinced McCall Smith names his characters to provide audio pleasures to his readers.
Here is a "product description" for TEA TIME courtesy Amazon:
    It is a troublesome fact on which even Mma Ramotswe and her assistant Mma Makutsi agree: there are things that men know and ladies do not, and vice versa.
    It is unfortunate, for example, when Mma Ramotswe's newest client big-shot Leungo Molofolo, owner of the ailing Kalahari Swoopers, that one thing lady detectives know very little about is football.
    And when the glamorous Violet Sephotho sets her sights on Mma Makutsi's unsuspecting fiance, Phuti Radiphuti, it becomes exasperatingly clear that some men do not know how to recognise a ruthless Jezebel even when she is bouncing up and down on the best bed in the Double Comfort Furniture Shop.

    In her attempt to foster understanding between the sexes and find the traitor on Mr Football's team, Mma Ramotswe ventures into new territory, drinks tea in unfamiliar kitchens and learns to trust in the observational powers of small boys. And, as wise and warm-hearted as his heroine, Alexander McCall Smith reminds us that we must dig deep to uncover the goodness of the human heart.
Of course I don't read it all aloud to myself, just some passages so I can roll the names off my tongue.

Even the titles of the books in the series have that audio interest:
1. The No 1 Ladies' Detective Agency (1998)
2. Tears Of The Giraffe (2000)
3. Morality for Beautiful Girls (2001)
4. The Kalahari Typing School for Men (2002)
5. The Full Cupboard of Life (2003)
6. In the Company of Cheerful Ladies (2004)
7. Blue Shoes and Happiness (2006)
8. The Good Husband of Zebra Drive (2007)
9. The Miracle at Speedy Motors (2008)
10. Tea Time for the Traditionally Built (2009)

Do you agree?
Are there other writers who appeal to your sense of sound?

1 comment:

Bernadette said...

Funnily enough Kerrie I just read Adrian Hyland's DIAMOND DOVE and I found myself reading bits aloud to see how they would sound - some of the phrases just seemed to want to be heard as well as read. In fact a few words I don't think I've ever seen written before - like U-ie - that's a word that has to be sounded out I think :)


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