Audiobooks: Multiple Narrators
If you’ve listened to a lot of audiobooks, you’ve almost certainly run into multiple narrators. Sometimes they have one per each character, or sometimes they just break up the scenes from the perspective of male characters and the ones from female characters.
It makes it easy to know when switching from one point-of-view to another. This isn’t usually a big problem anyway. When a book has been written well, but still. It’s an instantaneous notification. Remember that last guy we were just hanging out with? Forget about him. Here’s someone new.
There are some really talented voice actors out there. Certain narrators can make each character sound like a completely different person, instead of one reader with slight variations. To be fair, sometimes one reader with variations is preferable. If it’s a male reader, I don’t want a fake falsetto when reader female lines. Just soften the voice a little. Jim Dale did an excellent job doing just that with the Harry Potter novels.
Some narrators use very different voices for the same characters. I noticed this just last week with one of the Lorien Legacies books. Fall of Five, I think (I’ve been binging the whole series and they’re meshing together.)
Not only did two different readers made the same characters sound really different, but sometimes so character had accents and sometimes they didn’t. Sometimes a guy sounded like a gruff 300-pound tank, and other times a lithe acrobat.
Sometimes it really works. Take Michael Kramer and Kate Reading as an example. They teamed up on the majority of the Wheel of Time audiobooks. I never once noticed anything odd when switching between the two. Everything flowed together as it should have. Obviously, they didn’t use the same voice for common characters, but there wasn’t anything vastly different to make me stand up and take notice.
Though there was a strange thing where from one book to another they started pronouncing Moghedien’s name differently. If I hadn’t already read the books, and listening to the audio for the second run, that would have been really confusing.
Even though there are some serious pitfalls, when done right, multiple narrators can really enhance an audiobook.