For the first time in over ten years, I read an audiobook. It was the Great Hunt.
Audiobooks have always been somewhat frustrating for me. I read much faster than spoken word, and I have a lot of books I want to read, so it has always made more sense for me to read a book in a few hours rather than listen to one over the course of several days. I’m also an incredibly poor listener. A single thought can distract me and suddenly I haven’t heard or seen anything going on around me in the last five minutes. An audiobook keeps going during that and suddenly I don’t know what’s going on, but with a book, I don’t (usually) continue turning the pages, so I can jump right in where I left off.
Needless to say, I wasn’t expecting much.
My expectations were BLOWN OUT OF THE WATER!
It was hands down amazing. I’m currently rereading the Wheel of Time in preparation for the final book to come out, so this wasn’t my first time reading the Great Hunt. But it was my favorite time! I think the Wheel of Time actually lends itself quite well to reading on an audiobook (especially if it’s a reread) because it’s so dense. Almost every other sentence foreshadows something (or at least makes a tongue-in-cheek joke about something that will happen later), so I didn’t have a problem with daydreaming – it was interesting enough that it made me want to listen closely so I didn’t miss anything, be it vital to the plot, foreshadowing, or just plain clever wording. I think I actually picked up more from listening to it than reading because it forced me to slow down – as I said, I’m a very fast reader, and when I get excited especially I can’t slow down because I just want to see what happens next, which sometimes it means I just blow by the little details without quite paying as much attention as I should.
For instance, there’s a point where Rand is forced to live through several possible versions of how his life could have gone. It’s not actually that long of a section and you can really fly through it reading in your head (to be honest, I had forgotten all about it until it happened), but hearing it really throws you into each reality and makes you feel the weight of each one. Also, you’ve never read the sentence “I have won again, Lews Therin” until you’ve heard Michael Kramer say it. I’m serious. The way he says that line alone makes the whole thing worth it.
I recommend that EVERYONE try to listen to the book at least once. There are some things you just can’t give justice to in your head.
Also! I noticed another Very Suspicious Activity, so there will be a post on that before we dive into TDR 🙂