Monday, September 2, 2013
One DNF and A Couple More Reason to Love Audible
I don't usually write about DNF (did not finish) books on this blog, but must make an exception for TransAtlantic by Colum McCann. Let the Great World Spin, McCann's previous novel, was a favorite in 2010, so I had high hopes for this one. The fact that it recently appeared on the Mann Booker longlist further heightened my expectations.
A few weeks ago, I downloaded the audio version of TransAtlantic from audible.com. McCann's beautiful prose is again apparent from the opening passage. After the first few pages, we are drawn back in time. The structure appears similar to that of Let the Great World Spin - seemingly unrelated stories eventually connect for, what I hoped would be, a fabulous conclusion. Unfortunately, I never got that far.
The first thread of the narrative, set in 1919, tells the story of two aviators attempting the first nonstop flight across the Atlantic Ocean, the second thread (1845-46) focuses on Frederick Douglass in Ireland, and the third features Sen. George Mitchell in 1998. Unfortunately, I did not fully engage with any of the stories. The audiobook narrator, Geraldine Hughes, was perfectly acceptable, so the production itself was not the problem. I borrowed a print copy from the library hoping it would help me become more involved but, after 100 pages, I simply did not care. However, I soldiered on a little longer, rather than "waste" one of my audible credits.
I mentioned my growing disappointment in a Sunday Salon post and received several comments about audible's generous return policy. Basically, you can return a book for any reason up to one year from the purchase date.
Now I've been an audible.com member for a decade, yet have never tried to return a book. In fact, it almost seems wrong to return one for no other reason than "I just couldn't get into it". But audible is committed to providing the best listening experience possible and TransAtlantic was really a double disappointment for me - first in not caring enough to finish a book I expected to love and second for wasting a precious listening credit.
So, I sent an email to customer service and within a couple of hours received both a polite reply and a credit. How's can you not love this company?
This is also a good time to mention that I'm finally experimenting with the new(ish) Whispersync for Voice feature on The Age of Innocence by Edith Wharton. With the Audible App on my iPhone, I listen on the treadmill or while walking the dog, then when I open my kindle to read, it syncs to the spot where I stopped listening. This is ideal for readers like me who enjoy the experience of a read/listen combination.
Audible is currently offering the Whispersync for Voice Classic Collection for just 99 cents. You can download one of 108 free classics to your kindle and then get the audio version 99 cents. This is truly a classics lover's dream!
Have I mentioned how much I love audible.com?