The Wurst Audiobook Narrator Nominees #1
Narrating an audiobook is hard. I’ve made a lot of mistakes. Embarrassing ones that are out there to torture Audible listeners…forever. Bad accents, squeaky female voices, bad editing, and rushed sentences that result in breathlessness. I’m sorry, I really am!
It’s so much fun though. I love coming home from stand-up comedy only to burn through the witching hours with MORE storytelling. And this time, it’s not MY material!
When my first audiobook narration came out I was scared of getting bad reviews. I hounded Audible for weeks. I’m scared for the new book too.
Listeners remarked how my voices started to sound alike. One character morphed into another. I was reading too slow. My female characters were less than top-notch. There were nice things too, but my flaws had been exposed.
I started searching for low-rated audiobooks. I had to know if I was the worst guy out there. i’m the Wurst, but hopefully not THE worst.
These nominations are with great affection. Like I said, this isn’t easy. Sometimes, my comic-timing will prevail over a bad accent. I’m not actively trying to find books with a lot of accents, I just thought I could manage a couple of minor characters. Real voice actors would shit on me for that. I’m making a mockery of their talent! I have friends that are trained, that can do many accents, (with subtlety!) and are damn good at what they do. Dammit, Joy Nash! Why did you say I’d be good at this?
There are professionals that have been doing this since 1999, with their perfect studios and voice-training. I can’t afford that shit. I’m self-taught with the occasional anonymous YouTube instructor. Very much like stand-up, I just stepped up for the first time and hoped for the best.
Luckily, there are thousands of books out there with NEW AUTHORS that need schmucks like me! They’re getting their footing as well. I’m not getting paid up front for this stuff…not yet. That’s for the good guys. I’m not there yet, but I’m getting better. My recording situation has improved. I have better headphones. I take more notes. I work on perfecting an accent for 10 minutes now, instead of 5. My girlfriend and cat still snore a lot, but I take care of those interruptions quickly. One blast of the air horn and they’re stunned for a good hour.
A comedian shouldn’t have to tell you he’s kidding.
Even the best voice actors get slammed. If you don’t believe me, just look up a forum on Goodreads. There’s a hardcore fan-base of audiobook lovers and they know what they like. And like comedy, it’s completely subjective- the perfect voice.
So this isn’t a slam to those narrators. This is for entertainment purposes. Let’s be honest, this is for cheap LAUGHS. This is not a reflection of the book’s quality either, this series will mostly focus on the narrator. So let’s get on with it!
The first nomination goes to Aaron Harrison for “Don’t Fear The Reaper: The Death Chronicles - Book 1” (YA Fantasy) mostly because I want to stress that I LOVE this sample. It made me laugh…HARD. I had to share it with other friends and it gave me the idea for this series. Aaron seems like a joyous person, and I have to give him points for sheer enthusiasm. There are narrators that are truly unlistenable, but I will go on record and admit I’ve been considering a purchase. I’ve listened to this sample ten times. His performance might be entirely appropriate for this kind of book. One Audible reviewer described him as “an over-enthusiastic high school drama student” One thing’s for sure…Aaron doesn’t reign it in. He’s young. He’s busy. He doesn’t have time to pace himself- if he holds it in for too long he might buh-buh-BURST! Sadly, this is Aaron’s only audiobook. So purchase it, if you like what you hear. Just keep the volume down. On to the sample!