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ConnieAnnKirk
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Registered: ‎06-14-2007
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THE GOLDEN COMPASS -- Audio Book

If anyone else here has listened to, or is currently listening to GC on CD, I'd like to hear from you in this thread. I have a couple of questions for you:

1.) What do you think of the performance of the actress playing Lyra, particularly her voice?

2.) Does Pullman's narration give you any clues to interpretations, or any clarifications of the book?

I'm a little bit bothered by the Lyra voice. She seems to be shouting a lot, even when it doesn't seem warranted. As for Pullman's narration--I have to say it helps me a lot. For example, I sensed Lyra's love for Iorek Byrnison much more vividly when hearing Pullman's voice soften as he reads about them.
~ConnieAnnKirk




[CAK's books , website.]
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Nadine
Posts: 2,456
Registered: ‎10-30-2006
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Re: THE GOLDEN COMPASS -- Audio Book

I really liked the audio CD. Unlike many it was not just a reading of the book but had actors playing all the dialog parts. Jim Dale was able to pull this off in the Harry Potter series because he was very talented in playing many voices. But it is hard for many narrators to pull this off. It does help to have it sound a bit more like an old "radio" show when you can hear the difference and each character has a personality.

I did not realize that Pullman himself was the narrator. I did have a passing thought that he didn't sound as "professional" as the rest of the speakers but that might be a good thing. Unfortunately, I kind of listened to it more for plot while doing other things. I had intended to go back now and read the hard copy book but I might do both. I know there are things in the book I want mark and maybe quote in discussions and this you can't do with the CDs. It is also hard to "reread" sections on a CD. We have a whole month ahead of us so I think I will do both concentrating right now on Part 1.

I will be able to comment better on the individual voices when I do a bit more close listening and reading.

I would recommend this audio book reading:

http://search.barnesandnoble.com/booksearch/isbninquiry.asp?ean=9780739343128&z=y&bnit=H&bnrefer=PPH...

I've already ordered the one for The Subtle Knife as well as the book.
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Nadine
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Registered: ‎10-30-2006
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Re: THE GOLDEN COMPASS -- Audio Book


ConnieK wrote:
If anyone else here has listened to, or is currently listening to GC on CD, I'd like to hear from you in this thread. I have a couple of questions for you:

1.) What do you think of the performance of the actress playing Lyra, particularly her voice?

2.) Does Pullman's narration give you any clues to interpretations, or any clarifications of the book?

I'm a little bit bothered by the Lyra voice. She seems to be shouting a lot, even when it doesn't seem warranted. As for Pullman's narration--I have to say it helps me a lot. For example, I sensed Lyra's love for Iorek Byrnison much more vividly when hearing Pullman's voice soften as he reads about them.




I actually feel that all the voices fit now. I think I've listen to them so much that it would be hard for me to envision them any other way. I was particularly struck by the voice of Mrs. Coulter. Such a sweet and nice woman! She is so kind, considerate and patient even with the kids she is abducting. And her interaction with Lyra is pure interest, inclusion, and kindness--I can see why Lyra was totally captivated by her. There isn't even a hint of superiority or command about her. All just peaches and cream! I think the CD is a great presentation.
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Nadine
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Re: THE GOLDEN COMPASS -- Audio Book

So far I have been very pleased with the audio version--except for when I got to Chapter 17. I'm not sure if it was because the actors were not as expressive as they could be or it was just too much dialog with nothing going on. This was especially true of the very lengthy dialog between Lee Scoresby and Sarafina Pekkala and a bit less so in the following long dialog between Lyra and Sarafina. I think it was mainly due to the unbroken dialog and maybe the actors got pretty bored after awhile as well.
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Nadine
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Re: THE GOLDEN COMPASS -- Audio Book


ConnieK wrote:
If anyone else here has listened to, or is currently listening to GC on CD, I'd like to hear from you in this thread. I have a couple of questions for you:

1.) What do you think of the performance of the actress playing Lyra, particularly her voice?

2.) Does Pullman's narration give you any clues to interpretations, or any clarifications of the book?

I'm a little bit bothered by the Lyra voice. She seems to be shouting a lot, even when it doesn't seem warranted. As for Pullman's narration--I have to say it helps me a lot. For example, I sensed Lyra's love for Iorek Byrnison much more vividly when hearing Pullman's voice soften as he reads about them.




I think my favorite character, and most expressive actor, on the audio is Pan, especially since he is a reflection of what is going on deep inside Lyra. This is where the audio provides more than simply reading the book. He is brave, scared, resourceful and decisive, and can sound very small and timid.

I also agree with you on Pullman's narration. He is sensitive to the feelings and issues he is trying to put across. I think this might be even more helpful in the later books.
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ConnieAnnKirk
Posts: 5,472
Registered: ‎06-14-2007
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Re: THE GOLDEN COMPASS -- Audio Book

Nadine--What do you think of the Lyra performance? I was complaining about it earlier, but I find that I do miss her voice in these sections of Books 3 that I'm currently listening to where she is not so present. I also notice the actress modifying her voice a bit as the books progress and Lyra matures. Do you hear that as well, or am I just imagining things? :smileywink:

~ConnieK
~ConnieAnnKirk




[CAK's books , website.]
Distinguished Bibliophile
Nadine
Posts: 2,456
Registered: ‎10-30-2006
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Re: THE GOLDEN COMPASS -- Audio Book


ConnieK wrote:
Nadine--What do you think of the Lyra performance? I was complaining about it earlier, but I find that I do miss her voice in these sections of Books 3 that I'm currently listening to where she is not so present. I also notice the actress modifying her voice a bit as the books progress and Lyra matures. Do you hear that as well, or am I just imagining things? :smileywink:

~ConnieK




It might also be the nature of the material the actress is working with. In the beginning she was quite a brat and very young. She had no serious problems to deal with in life. Actually, she wasn't that likable character and that might have come through in the reading. She is changing and taking on more and more responsibilities and developing a moral position as the book progresses beyond her early "tribal" morality. She is showing more sensitivity and I think that comes through on the audio. She certainly is a "much in charge" sort of person but with occasional lapses into fear of a still young girl. The most interesting comparison will be between the reading at the end of the last book and the beginning of the first.

Pullman, himself, is getting to be a very strong and expressive reader.
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a_ackerman
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Registered: ‎12-17-2007
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Re: THE GOLDEN COMPASS -- Audio Book

I too was bothered by Lyra's voice, (and others' voices) in addition to the quality of the recording. It was rather distracting to hear the tinny recorded voice of some of the children, and there were parts of the recording that were noticeably louder than others. That was quite distracting from the story. I understand that since there were so many characters, and many places where they do not refer to who is talking and when, they needed to have a variety of voices, but there are TONS of other books that pull this off much better than TGC. I really hope the next two books are recorded better than this one. Although I enjoyed the story, the book was often difficult to listen to because the voices would grind on my nerves.

Just my humble opinion...

A Ackerman
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booksong
Posts: 6
Registered: ‎11-13-2007
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Re: THE GOLDEN COMPASS -- Audio Book

**Potential spoilers for The Subtle Knife**
I loved all three audiobooks of HDM. I felt that most, if not all, of the voices fit very well, and Pullman's narration was very powerful. I love it when author's take the time to narrate the audiobooks of their own stories; that way it can be presented the way they meant it to be. In particular, Iorek's voice gave me chills every time he spoke. The deep, chest-growl rumble sounded just like I imagined an armoured bear would! Mrs. Coulter's voice was amazing too. Another voice I absolutely loved was Will's, though he only comes into play in the 2nd and 3rd books, of course. Whoever did his voice, (I never looked) did such a superb job at making him sound very mature, and at the same time unsure of himself in some situations. He even added small sounds at the beginning and ends of his dialogue, like sighs, chuckles, and frustrated huffs, especially when he was talking to Lyra. His voice broke in all the right places, and I shivered during the scene where he defends the cat from the children in Cittagazze (The Subtle Knife). Definitely some of the best audiobook reading I've listened to!
Books may well be the only true magic.
---Alice Hoffman

SO TRUE!!!
Author
ConnieAnnKirk
Posts: 5,472
Registered: ‎06-14-2007
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Re: THE GOLDEN COMPASS -- Audio Book

Welcome, a_ackerman and booksong! If you've seen the film, how would you compare the voices for Iorek, for example, in the different media? I think I liked the voice performance in the audio book better than the film.

~ConnieK
~ConnieAnnKirk




[CAK's books , website.]
Contributor
booksong
Posts: 6
Registered: ‎11-13-2007
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Re: THE GOLDEN COMPASS -- Audio Book

I did like the voice for Iorek in the audio performence better, simply because whoever portrayed his voice had an uncanny ability to bring his voice to such a low pitch that it hardly sounded human (which, in Iorek's case, was perfect!). He also added an slight accent that sounded very northern, though I couldn't place it exactly, Nordic or Scandanavian perhaps? The voice of Iorek in the movie was deep, but it was just another male voice actor, and still sounded obviously human.
Books may well be the only true magic.
---Alice Hoffman

SO TRUE!!!
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