Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief (audiobook)

5 03 2010

After work, I stopped by my home, then drove about four and a half hours to my parents’ house.  I decided to listen to my newest audiobook since it was the audiobook in my library I’ve heard the fewest times (about 2 and a third):  Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief.

I have very mixed feelings about this book.  I have only exprienced it as an audiobook, and I find much to dislike about it.  While I generally love audiobooks as a form, and do not mind experiencing stories in this form alone, I find myself regretting not reading a hard copy of Percy Jackson prior to listening to it.  I’m convinced there is a lot to like in this book (though there is certainly much to critique as well).

Unfortunately, I find it hard to identify with Percy and get invested in the story largely because of the way the reader expresses the book.  I don’t want to say he’s a bad reader, especially because I feel audiobook reading is a very intricate, difficult, and variable art.  His intonation choices and expression of his interpretations of the characters are just not pleasing to me.  More accurately, when listening closely, I’m pretty sure I would interpret the characters’ words and actions differently in my head while reading the book than this reader does to the point where my interpretations of characters’ attitudes and emotions could actually change quite a bit.

I don’t want to spoil the story for anyone, so I will stop here because I don’t think I can describe my experience in more detail without giving specific examples.  Suffice it to say, I would recommend reading the first Percy Jackson book from a hard copy before listening to the audiobook.  If you’re anything like me, I think you will find it much more enjoyable of a read than a listen.