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Monday, January 28, 2013

Cold Mountain

So a few months ago, I was listening to the audiobook version of Cold Mountain by Charles Frazier, read by the author on cassette.  Yes, it's outmoded technology in an unpopular format but, man, I love audiobooks, especially with a good reader and Charles Frazier is a good reader.  He's got a gentle voice with a subtle accent and, being the author, a command of the material.  One gets the sense that the recording sessions were only the latest time he's read the work aloud, perhaps for the fiftieth or hundredth time.

But I ran into a problem.  Tape 7, while mechanically sound, was garbled beyond recognition.  In my truck, he sounded like he was speaking another language under water.  In the boom box sitting on my desk, same thing.

No worries, thought I, as I picked up my copy of the book.  I shall read with my own eyes Tape 7's contents, then return to Tape 8.

But when I flipped open the book, I discovered that Charles Frazier, while a gifted author and talented reader, is one of those writers who thinks the rules does not apply to him.  Dialogue was not contained in quotation marks, but rather with hyphens.

There is no way I can tolerate that kind of thing, so I shelved the book and packed up the tapes and re-watched the movie instead.  (The movie, it should be no surprise, is not as good as the book.)

But during an excursion to the thrift store this weekend, I found another copy of the audiobook.  For a moment, I thought about diabolically coming back to switch out Tape 7 --no one would know-- but, hell, it was three bucks, so I picked it up.

I guess I'll use the broken copy for something like this:


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