Friday, June 23, 2006


The Kite Runner, my first audio book

My parents were never so 'cool' to read out books to me when I was a kid. Never in the past has someone read out a book to me, for most of my friends and family members did not know that such a thing ever existed.

So, the first time I heard someone read out a book to me was the audio version of 'The Kite Runner' by Khaled Hosseini. I randomly picked one of Crossword bookstores’ bestsellers and searched for the title on my library homepage when the audio book link appeared. The process thereafter was very simple. Click on the link, download the audio file to my system and start listening. And I did the same, without delay.

The story is about Amir, a wealthy businessman's son and his soulmate and servant Hassan. Amir and Hassan spend their childhood together in Kabul, Afghanistan. Amir, a physically weak boy with no athletic abilities takes pleasure in literature, books, reading and creative writing. Amir adopts a bossy attitude with Hassan, despite the strength of their friendship. Hassan, on the other hand, is loyal, intelligent and strong, whose loyalty for Amir's family is unquestionable. This friendship is torn because of Amir's act of betrayal and his guilt thereof. The war in Afghanistan forces Amir and his father to flee Kabul for a life in the US.

After years of struggle to achieve a comfortable life in the US, Amir goes back to his hometown, now stained with blood and mutilated bodies to redress his wrongdoing and regain his self-esteem. Hosseini's description of Afghanistan from the days of monarchy to the present day of war and destruction serves as an interesting backdrop for the story.

The voice that read out the book expressed appropriate emotions with the lines, lending additional accuracy to the parallel imagination running in my mind. At times, the Urdu words used in the book, like 'jaan' as in 'baba jaan', 'Amir jaan' was pronounced by the reader as 'john' which made me think that Amir's dad's name was John, which didn't make sense to me until I heard the word again in association with another person and understood its right meaning.
There is lack of personal touch when you hear a book, for often I mark the book with my pencils and reread the paragraphs I enjoyed the most before putting the book down. Further, improving our vocabulary with the audio version of a book is far fetched, as you don't feel like pausing the flow of the story to look up a dictionary. Navigating and positioning the file from the point I left it in the previous session is another painful thing to do. In all, I would say, an audio book is a different experience than reading a book but not a better one. May be, I would use an audio book when I want to have read a book, but don't want to read it.

I have never heard an audio book. I think sometimes you want to pause, think some stuff over and then continue. But I am curious about some of the Danielle Steele audio books. How would the person read all the mushy mushy stuff, the crying and above all the love making. I know I know -- naan romba kettu poyitten. But that would be interesting, don't u agree??
Believe me, this thought crossed my mind when I first heard about the audio book thing. I was so sure 'I' would come up with this kinda question here. But, it's you now, after me and before 'I':)

The audio that I heard was narrated by the author himself in an Americanised Urdu/Parsi accent, an accent that needs simultaneous blowing of air from the throat and adequate usage of saliva to produce sounds like Kha, Qua, Gha, Za without drenching the person in front of you. Thanfully, the book didnt contain mushy sequences. The last thing I would have wanted to hear from this kinda voice is a love-making chapter which might have required the author to utter -"Aamir Aaga", "Suraiya Jaan", "Aaaaaahhhh miiiiirrr Aaga" in the rubbles of Afghanistan. I hear you say that must be wild....Nee nejammave kettu poirukka!
Sowmya, casement, both naughty girls. I am going to report this to Ms Birdie.
Or for that matter a porn audio book.
Here we go...'I' never fails me!:)) But, you are getting so predictable:(
dho da.

casement, I thought u were a man. That's why you found me predictable.
enna vinodham idhu!!

i just started reading kite runner!

Lovemaking in audio-books??

idhile "Aaaaaahhhh miiiiirrr Aaga"
nu sound effect vera!!

rombo karuthulla Aaraichi !!

i ran across this book the other day i was told it is very depressing book ..
how is life treating u these days !!!
i have heard the the whole harry potter book !! the last one ..

great when u dont have the time and ur in the car driving to work !!

i think its nice ...
PK, enna thappa nenaikkada. Anda Sowmya daan aaraichi ellam...naan illa!:)

Btw, after you read the book, do share your thoughts on it.

Ujwal, Im doing great. Will catch up with you soon.

You still havent outgrown Harry Potter...Eeeks! I remember the day you sat through the training with the third volume of that stupid book! C'mon da.
lol ... thoses were good old days hehehe
i am waiting for the last one ;)

Keep in touch
I cant get myself to listen to an audio book....too slow for me. tried once but couldn't finish.
This novel was a bit like a Hindi film for me....
Same here, tilo. I could guess the storyline very easily.
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