Communicator (communicator) wrote,
Communicator
communicator

Voice workers

I've just finished listening to James Ellroy's The Black Dahlia.

I already know the book, but it was a pleasure to have it read to me. I would recommend it to lovers of high class dark thrillers, but it is extremely bloodthirsty in parts. There's a nice partnership between detectives Blanchard and Bleicherd, Fire and Ice, which reminds me of Philip Marlowe and Terry Lennox in 'The Long Goodbye'.

The book was very well read by an American voice artist called Tom Stechschulte. I hadn't noticed before but Ellroy is very descriptive of voices, and each description is a new challenge to the voice artist of course: the Mexican police chief who speaks without a Mexican accent, the fifteen year old girl run away from a Minnesota Slovak family, the policeman who loses his stutter as he becomes drunker. All, all of these, he did very well with one blasted exception. One of the baddies is a rich LA property developer, who speaks with 'a cultivated Scottish accent' and is revealed to have been born in Aberdeen. Oh dear. He made James Doohan sound dangerously authentic.

emeraldsedai and I were discussing how well voice coaching has developed in the last few years, but to be honest it was as if this guy had seen a Scottish accent written down, but never heard one. A shame because every other voice he did was brilliant.

In general all the voice-work I have heard on audible has been really high class, including two novelists reading their own words (Junot Diaz and John Crowley) both were marvellous.

The two exceptions were people who were neither professional voice artists, nor reading their own words. One was a forensic psychiatrist reading a ghost-written autobiography, and the other was David Foster Wallace's widow reading some of his work. Both were almost unlistenable to, although the content was interesting. It's very distracting when the sense of the words, and the use of emphasis, don't match up. It sounds like this

It's very distracting When. The sense of the WORDS. And the useofemphasis don't: match-up.
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