I have read the story of Jekyll & Hyde so many times since my first read eight years ago that I really cannot just review it like a normal book. Even my first review – my third read-through, and one of my very favorite reviews ever – said absolutely nothing about the book itself. I just love this one. I love its atmosphere, and the cheesy word-play, and the way it gets me giddy-excited about the process of writing.
This last one, actually, is the reason I chose to revisit the book for the half-dozenth (or so) time. NaNoWriMo is coming up very soon, and my brain/heart has just not been in it this year. I’m living in a brand new part of the country, feeling immensely homesick, missing all my fellow Wrimos in San Antonio, knowing absolutely no one around this area, and that’s on top of the fact that moving across the country is stressful and pretty much threw my writing plans for the year out the window. I wasn’t even sure if I would attempt NaNo this year, but decided that I needed to, because it’s pretty much the only way I’m going to meet My People here in the Boston area. Wrimos are My People. At least, they were in San Antonio, and I hope they will be here, too.
The point of that rambly paragraph is that I decided to attempt NaNo, and I needed to read something that got my writing-juices flowing again. Jekyll & Hyde has done that in the past, and so I thought it would be perfect to pair with RIP, and to listen to while I did banal chores around the house. Short audiobook, just over three hours long, half that when listening on double-speed. Perfect, right?
Except I really ought not to have listened to this book.
I am not saying the production was bad. Scott Brick, the narrator, is one of my very favorite audiobook narrators. I have loved his work in the past, and he did a fine job here as well. The problem, instead, lies in the fact that I’ve read this book so many times that it already has an audio soundtrack in my head. These characters have specific voices and inflections already. I usually don’t listen to audiobook productions of books I know well, for this very reason. No matter how good those Harry Potter audiobooks are, I refuse to listen to them. I don’t want my personal mental audio file of Harry Potter changed by someone else’s interpretation. And while this audiobook didn’t necessarily change the way I heard Jekyll & Hyde, it also didn’t capture that same atmospheric, writer-juice-inducing quality that print-reading does. I found myself…tuned out.
Again, the production was good. The narration was good. It was a very solid audiobook, and I would definitely recommend it. Personal circumstance just happened to get in the way for me, and I suppose I’ll need to find some other writer-juice-inducing book to read or listen to before November 1st. *eyes audio and/or print copies of The Night Circus*
Note: In looking for a cover image for this post, I discovered that there are many, many audio versions of this book around, including one read by another of my favorite narrators, Martin Jarvis. This makes me want to do lots of listenings and comparisons…god I’m such a geek.