17 September 2010


Totally Random Bit of Randomness

Last year, I got to listen to some samples from the audiobook of one of Karen Marie Moning's Highlander Romances. Like all the books in the series, it is narrated by Phil Gigante, a theatre veteran and award-winning voice actor.

I was just musing that he and I have very different storytelling styles and that I wouldn't have made the hero of that novel sound quite like that, but then again, I don't have a man's ears for men's voices . . . when it came the heroine's turn to talk.

And I couldn't believe my ears! I actually sat up straight and asked aloud: "Is that how we sound to men???"

His heroine sounded flouncy . . . almost fluttery. When I had read the novel to myself, I had made her sound a bit firmer in my head. But I don't know if that was just my interpretation of the character or the fact that I have a woman's ears for women's voices.

(Listen to a sample from Beyond the Highland Mist . . . if you dare. Bwahahahahahahahaha! It's not the best excerpt for the point I'm trying to make, but it has the most dialogue of all the available samples. And since it must be said now: let the record show that I think Gigante read all the excerpts very well.)

* * * * *

Fast forward to a few weeks ago, when I started watching reruns of America's Next Top Model, Cycle 8. (Possibly my favourite Reality show and possibly my favourite season.) One of the challenges was to portray a male character and to share the frame with a male model portraying a female character.

I thought Jaslene Gonzales' "Nautical Boy" picture is amazing. Not only does she really look like a boy, but she also looks kind of hot as a boy. Many of the other girls just looked like women playing dress up. Although they had the clothes and the makeup, they didn't also have the body language.

Only when the episode was over did it occur to me that a man watching the same footage (a straight man, it must be said) might have stared incredulously at the screen and wondered, "Is that how we look to women?" (LOL!!!)

This, at least, is something I can answer. =) Jaslene might look like a "boy," but she's limited to a very specific type of "boy." That is, a skinny male model who was scruffed up for a photo shoot. And the whole effect makes for a pretty picture . . . but that's it. Her "masculine body language range" isn't very wide.

Image Sources: a) Beyond the Highland Mist by Karen Marie Moning, audiobook narrated by Phil Gigante, b) Jaslene Gonzales America's Next Top Model photo


Sullivan McPig said...

Ouch! Now I remember why I do not listen to audiobooks. That was horror!!

Enbrethiliel said...


LOL! I don't listen to audiobooks, either, but a great number of Moning's fans seem to love them. And they absolutely love Gigante's reading.

Someone has observed that introverts prefer traditional reading and extroverts prefer audiobooks. What do you think of that, Sully? Is it true in your case?

Sullivan McPig said...

Hmmm..... I do admit I am more of an introvert than an extrovert, but I'm not sure if that's why I do not like audiobooks.
I do love listening to music and music can be telling a story as well only better than an audiobook.
I mean: I tried listening to Harry Potter read by Stephen Fry and although he has a really great voice I got bored within 5 minutes.

Cozy Book Nook (Lesa) said...

I think it is a hoot that the author's name is 'moning'-- too funny for a romance author!!!

I listened to a bit and cringed as well-- silly to me hearing the male voice doing a female voice. I've never listened to an audiobook but don't think I'd want to listen to a romance one-- kinda icks me for some reason.

E, you know I made myself sick on historical romances more than 10 yrs ago-- well, I picked up a freebie at the library-- premise is different with greek gods in our modern world-- I'm about a 1/4 in and not bored yet.

Interesting about the introvert/extrovert-- my sis in law who is a big fan of audios is a total extrovert. I'm a happy medium between intro/extro and get easily engrossed when I hear clips of tales on NPR ect but just never have chosen to try one-- I think I feel I don't have time and I'd rather read-- or listen to music and dance when I'm cleaning house or driving ect-- yes, I drive and dance.

Enbrethiliel said...


Sully: Well, so far, the theory seems to be holding water! =) I do agree that it's too simple to be the only factor, though.

Lesa: I know! =P From the rave reviews Gigante has received from Moning's die-hard fans, I can tell that Romance audiobooks are quite the voyeuristic experience. LOL!

Hmmmmm. Would that book you're reading now be by Gena Showalter, by any chance?

Cozy Book Nook (Lesa) said...

Had to run a get the book-- No, it is by Sherrilyn Kenyon. I picked it up along with the 3rd percy jackson-- I'm reading both at the same time which is kinda funny. I needed something to read around Emma since the others are reading slow-- I was already up to ch 18 and Tracy was just posting about ch. 2. I just can't help gobbling books!

Enbrethiliel said...


Oh, I forgot that Kenyon is also mining Ancient Greek lore! (Well, I've only read one of her books . . .) How is it going, so far? Would you recommend it?

And as a fellow gobbler, I can totally relate. =) In that Northanger Abbey Read Along I mentioned, the time table gave everyone about five weeks to read the whole novel, but I was done in three days! =P