Monday, February 21, 2011

YA Audio Books: Or, Driving Miss Zombie

For the last couple days, I've been driving Miss Zombie.

Listening to Carrie Ryan's The Forest of Hands and Teeth while driving has been like being transported into her fictional world after the zombie apocalypse, her village guarded by The Sisters and The Guardians.

The book is written in first person, with more introspection and description than dialogue, and as I change lanes and take exits, I almost find myself entering the mind of the protagonist, Mary. At every red light, I'm half expecting to see a fence with the hands of the 'unconsecrated' upon it.

Any piece of literature can transport the reader into a new world - fantasy and speculative fiction is of course particularly about entering new worlds. But listening to such a novel on audio book intensifies the readerly experience.

I never thought I was someone who would read zombie literature. But, after reading Cherie Priest's The Boneshaker, I realized I could hang, at least sometimes, with those on team zombie. In fact, despite the genre, Ryan's prose is lyrical and literary, her writing both spare and vivid. Vane Million's reading, though sometimes oddly accented, is eerie and haunting. As her voice and Ryan's words fills my car, my ears, my imagination, I find myself not just transported, but transformed - almost a character in the book myself, another villager.

Which makes me wonder, are certain sorts of books better heard on tape than others? What are your favorite audio books? 


  1. I haven't "heard" many audio books. (My...ahem, has a tape deck! YOU try to find books on TAPE these days!) Anyway...I learned the hard way not to listen to Janet Evanovich books as audio. Just. Doesn't. Work. The comedy aspect gets lost in translation somehow.

  2. I'm now officially obsessed with Forest of Hands and Teeth. Listening to it at home now too with headphones off laptop. Zombie literariness at its best... :)