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Chris G. Williams Beware: I mix tech and personal interests here.
A funny thing happened on my way to work this morning.

Since I'm on an extended travel gig, I've been listening to a lot of audiobooks. My car stereo can play mp3 and wma files directly from a data disk, so I can usually cram multiple books on a single CD (often giving me 10-12 hours of audio on 1 disk) instead of the usual 6-10 disks of audio tracks.

These audiobooks make the 6 hour drive (each way) a lot more interesting, and I usually get so wrapped up in the story that I also try to listen to them in the morning and evening when driving from the hotel to work and back.

Lately, I've been listening to the Harry Dresden books, which are read by James Marsters (you know him as Spike from Buffy/Angel and Brainiac from Smallville.) He does an excellent job, has an interesting voice and can add the right tone or sense of urgency in all the right spots. (This is especially important in an audiobook with no music or sound effects. The Star Wars books are a good example of audiobooks that feel more like radio plays.)

I'm currently about halfway through Book 4 of The Dresden Files (Summer Knight) and was listening to it this morning on my way from the hotel to the office. A couple minutes into Chapter 16, James screws up.

Normally, this is the sort of thing that would get caught in post-production and edited out. For whatever reason, it was missed. In the middle of the scene, James is speaking in a manner consistent with the main character being choked until he realizes that isn't actually the case, at which point he loudly exclaims "F!CK That's not right, he grabbed the BACK of his neck" and then proceeds to reread the passage with the correct inflection.

It took me a few seconds to realize what happened, and even then I wasn't sure I had heard it right, so I backed it up a few seconds and listened again. Sure enough, it was there.

Now I'll be listening more closely to see if any other "uh ohs" show up. Overall, the quality on these books has been quite good (having listened to well over 40 hours worth so far) so I doubt I'll hear any more, but you never know.

Posted on Wednesday, March 18, 2009 8:39 AM | Back to top

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