I didn’t plan to listen the Eleanor & Park audiobook.
As an author, it can be extremely frustrating to hear someone else read your words. No matter how great the reader is, they can never match what you hear in your head, and it’s just …
So I never listened to the Attachments audiobook, and I wasn’t going to listen to Eleanor & Park.
But people on Twitter kept talking to me about Eleanor and Park, specifically about the performances of the two narrators, Rebecca Lowman and Sunil Malhotra. (Rebecca reads Eleanor’s parts, and Sunil reads Park’s.)
I’d listened to both of these actors during the casting process. Listening Library, who published the E&P audiobook, was amazing to work with. The producers consulted me on casting, and even went looking for Sunil when I said that whoever read Park needed to sound like the kind of guy you could crush on while you were listening. (Mission accomplished.)
But I still didn’t want to listen to these two wonderful actors read my book. I already had Eleanor and Park’s voices in my head. I didn’t want the dissonance.
Then these showed up at my house — the library and retail audiobook editions. And they were so pretty …
Even the inside packaging is pretty:
I decided to listen for just a few minutes, just to get a sense of the production, so that I could have a conversation about it, if I had to …
OH MAN. I LISTENED FOR ALMOST TWO HOURS.
I just loved it.
And not because I was sitting there thinking, “I sure wrote a great book.” (Though Rebecca and Sunil do make it sound pretty good.) It was more like they made me forget that it was my book; I got lost in the story and their performances.
They’re both great. Intensely great. But Rebecca blew me away.
Even though she doesn’t sound exactly like the Eleanor in my head, there is zero dissonance when I’m listening to her. She manages to be tough and sarcastic without posturing, and without losing the vulnerability that runs through everything Eleanor says and does.
When I eventually stopped listening, it was only because I was getting so upset. Rebecca’s Eleanor was breaking my heart. (And Rebecca’s Eleanor was still my Eleanor, which seemed like a miracle.)
SO. I went on a Twitter rant about how great the audiobook is. And then Listening Library was like, We’re so happy you’re talking about this — would you talk about it even more?
And I was like, YES.
So they gave me five copies of the audiobook to give away. If you want one, just comment on this post, and we’ll select a winner, randomly, by Monday, May 20, 2013, at 5 p.m., Central Time.
Maybe in your comment, you could tell me about your favorite audiobook.
OH! And it’s not just me who thinks this audiobook is great. AudioFile Magazine gave it its Earphones Award.
And Publishers Weekly gave the audiobook a starred review, saying:
“Narrators Rebecca Lowman and Sunil Malhotra turn in superb performances in their portrayal of Eleanor and Park. Despite her age, there is nothing sweet or childlike about Eleanor, and Lowman refrains from portraying her that way. Lowman’s voice and tone believably capture the too-mature-too-soon strength of a girl living a hard life. Malhotra has a rich, smooth delivery, and perfectly renders Park as he fluctuates between confidence and insecurity.”
Here! Listen to a sample — then tell me your favorite audiobook, and give me an excuse to send you a free copy of Eleanor & Park.