Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Books Read Out Loud

I've been slightly distracted lately by this series of Youtube videos I found... I'm not proud of this.

Alex Reads Twilight

Now let me explain. I love Twilight. I honestly, truly, do but I can get why people want to make fun of it and this guy really does a good job of it. But this entire series of videos really got me thinking. I started wondering how stupid most books would sound if you read them out loud and went it wanting to hate them.

I say this because the way Alex reads these passages is full of mockery. But I've also listened to the Twilight audiobook and the way the woman reads on there makes them sound endearing and truly gives me a voice in my head. This is because of the way they both set out to read them. Alex went in with a lot of prejudices and was looking for reasons to hate Meyer's writing and book so when reading them, especially out loud, the passages sounded stupid. I honestly think that any book you go to read aloud can sound dumb if you want it too. I know for a fact if you were mocking my novel, it would sound stupid. So I don't give too much validity one way or another. Alex has a right to his opinion and I respect it, but I just wanted to point out how interesting two different reader's perspectives can be if they go in with different mindsets.

In a way, this exercise really helped me deal with the rather harsh feedback I got back from one of my beta readers.

I also want to point out that for most novels, the protagonists gender has a lot to do with how others are going to react. Sure, there are plenty of female leads that guy's are going to get behind and there are plenty of male leads that women can enjoy but particularly with the genre, this can have a lot to do with the the enjoyment of a novel. A guy doesn't instantly want to cry when everything isn't going their way but an emotion girl might. I also imagine a guy reading about the way some other guy's lips feel isn't the most comfortable subject either, especially when it's being repeatedly hammered into the novel.

For example, my husband felt basically the same way Alex does about Twilight. Bella's whiny (and she is but I get why) and he didn't like reading about how beautiful Edward Cullen was. But Twilight is essentially a romance. On the other hand, when my husband read The Hunger Games, he mentioned to me how often Katniss was naked in the novel and how he didn't really think much of it. Katniss wasn't really portrayed as a sexual character and The Hunger Games is a book that isn't making you think about love and sex the way Twilight does.

These are just some of the things going through my mind when I was watching these videos-- yes, I watched all of them last night. And yes, some of the reason I watched is because I loved Alex's accent but I digress.

So what do you guys think? I'm interested to hear your opinions. Am I way off base? Guys, you chime in too.

1 comment:

  1. You are so very right. I devoured Twilight when the lady at Walmart mentioned the first movie was coming soon and she had loved the books, so I got it. By tuesday I had read them all. And was stuck on them UNTIL someone mentioned how badly they thought Meyer wrote. Not the story but her technique. And now I can't reread them. I tried. All I can focus on now is they WAY she writes. (which isn't that terrible but its just the way I have been swayed unfortunately) listening to them on Audio fixed that but reading head voice has been tainted. I can't start a book with a negative opinion already implanted on it because that negative review is always there and its like I'm waiting to find out why.


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