Hiya peeps! I’ve got another audiobook review to share with you today, and this one is pretty darn cool! It’s a modern narration of a classic collection of tales, all about dragons! Check out my review, an interview I had with the narrator, and an audio excerpt!
The Book of Dragons
The Book of Dragons, Books 1-8
~Author: E. Nesbit
~Narrator: Karen Krause
~Released: January 26, 2017
~Length: 4 hours, 53 minutes
~Genre: Classic Fantasy
Edith (E.) Nesbit was a master at weaving imagination and real life into timeless fairy tales, with fantastic mythical creatures, princes and princesses, magic, and just the right touch of silliness. This is a collection of nine of her fairy tales with a common theme – Dragons! For children from five to 95, these stories are not to be taken seriously. Let your imagination run wild!
Edith (E.) Nesbit was a master at weaving imagination and real life into timeless fairy tales, with fantastic mythical creatures, princes and princesses, magic, and just the right touch of silliness.
In “A Woman of Passion: The Life of E. Nesbit, 1858-1924”, Julia Briggs labeled Edith Nesbit Bland as the “first modern writer for children” and credits Nesbit with having invented the children’s adventure story. Some of her best known stories are The Railway Children, Five Children and It and her Bastable family stories, The Story of the Treasure Seekers and The Wouldbegoods. Her stories combined realistic children in real-world settings with magical objects and adventure, including travel to fantastical lands. She has influenced such writers as P.L. Travers (Mary Poppins), Edward Eager (Tales of Magic) and J.K. Rowling and several of her stories have been adapted for film and television.
Nesbit was a free thinker, a political activist, and co-founder of the Fabian Society. A young Noel Coward, who was a great admirer of hers, once said she was “the most genuine Bohemian I had ever seen”.
Karen grew up in a musical family and started singing with her daddy’s band when she was knee-high to a grasshopper, as they say in her native Ozark Mountains. She’s been performing ever since, playing to anyone who would sit still long enough. When she wasn’t demanding to be the center of attention, she was high in her backyard tree reading just about anything she could get her hands on. Her love of theatre and the stage grew from school plays and backyard shows to a college degree and regional theatre. And her love of literature grew as well. She discovered the world of audiobooks when they really were books on tape and has been an avid fan ever since. About five years ago, she had an epiphany (why it took her so long is a mystery). She could combine her love of performing with her love of the spoken word. She recorded her first audiobook in 2012 and hasn’t looked back. She just finished her 39th book and it will be released on Audible in June.
Click the “Excerpt” button above, or this link to listen to an audio excerpt!
Who doesn’t love a classic?
The idea of turning a collection of classic fantasy stories into an audiobook is genius! I remember reading these as a kid, and listening to them now brought back wonderful memories.
These stories are quick to read, and to listen to. Each one is full of beautiful imagery, carrying the reader through a few fantastic hours of imaginary fun. The different depictions of dragons is awesome, each story standing out from the others. They were put together in a way where they flow smoothly, making the changes from one story to the next easy and natural.
The narrator did a fantastic job. Not only did she keep the stories light and full of wonder, she brought a new kind of life to them, making the experience fresh. For anyone who’s read these in the past, the audiobook would be a wonderful experience. For new readers, I would highly recommend experiencing E. Nesbit’s stories, as they hold a unique kind of magic.
*I received a complimentary audiobook edition of this title, from the publisher via Audiobookworm Promotions, to read in exchange for an honest review.
~ Interview ~
With narrator Karen Krause
What is the first book that made you cry?
The first book I read that I remember making me cry was when I was around 8 or 10. I don’t remember the name of the book, but it was about a family in Germany during World War II. They escaped from Germany, but they had to leave their dog behind. As an 8 year old, it was heart-wrenching for me when the author described the poor dog sitting and watching the train leave without him.
As a narrator, I think the first and only time I’ve cried while recording was during Steam, the last of the Legends Series by Stacey Rourke. Crying is definitely not good for narrators. It constricts the throat so it’s hard to get the words out. And it plugs you up and makes your nose run at the same time. It takes awhile to get rid of the residual effects.
What is your favorite childhood book?
I read so many books while I was growing up, easily four or five a week. I can’t pick out one in particular. I liked the mystery and adventure stories best. I was always very put out that I was a girl. Girls never got to do anything in adventure stories. Boys had all the fun.
Have you ever gotten reader’s block?
You know, I don’t think so, but I have gotten tongue cramps. Those are not helpful at all.
Do you believe in writer’s block?
Yes, I do. I think it’s often self-inflicted, however, by stress and pressure. The mind needs a clear energy flow to create, and stress will interrupt that flow.
Does narrating energize or exhaust you?
Yes. When I’m really into the “scene”, the creative energy is flowing and that energizes. But the energy I put into the story isn’t infinite, it has to be refueled, so I can be quite exhausted for a time after.
What is your favorite part about narrating books?
I get to play all the parts!!! Young, old, male, female, evil, good, smart, dumb, drunk, vicious, supernatural . . . . Every actor’s dream.
What is the most difficult part of your artistic process?
Getting started. I’m a procrastinator, so I have to schedule myself. It it’s on the calendar, I have to do it.
How long does it generally take for you to finish a narrating project?
Because books are all different lengths, we generally talk in terms of per finished hour. My husband is my engineer and editor and we usually do all the editing and mastering, as well as the recording. It takes an average of 8 to 10 hours to complete one finished hour of audiobook. That takes into account my prep work, actual recording time, proofing, and editing/mastering. We both have other jobs as well, so we can complete about two finished hours a week if we press it. So a 10-hour book will take about 6 to 8 weeks.
What was your favorite part of this book?
I love the whole thing, but I think my favorite story is The Last of the Dragons. I like the heroine’s spunk.
What was your hardest scene to do?
I think the scene in The Ice Dragon with the sealskin dwarfs. I chose a voice for them that was hard for me to sustain, so I kept having to stop and rest my throat. I learned from that one: try out the voices for a few minutes first to make sure you can keep it up.
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