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Emma: An Audible Original Drama by Jane…

Emma: An Audible Original Drama (edition 2018)

by Jane Austen

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Title:Emma: An Audible Original Drama
Authors:Jane Austen
Info:Audible Studios
Collections:Your library, Read
Tags:classics, audiobook, adaptation, read: 2018

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Emma: An Audible Original Drama by Jane Austen

audible (1) audiobook (2) books (1) drama (1) English (1) fiction (1) literature (1) radio (1)



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Distracted by Foley sound effects & extraneous music until I was Clueless
Review of the Audible Audio Original Drama edition

Fairly early as I began listening to this free Audible Original audiobook, I already decided my review headline based on the irritating squishy walking sounds, singing birds, crackling fires, ticking clocks, random party noises and jolly chamber music that obscures the narration and dialogues of this abridged dramatization adaptation of Jane Austen's classic period comedy of matchmaking.

What it reminded me of was minimalist composer Gavin Bryars' collaboration with sculpture/ performance artist Juan Munoz called "A Man in a Room Gambling." While Munoz's recorded voice describes the secrets behind various card manipulations or cheats, he is accompanied by music played by the Bryars chamber ensemble. The music, although minimalist in melody and effect, is still sufficiently dramatic enough at times that your attention is drawn away by it. After the end of each part (there are 10 in all, each of about 5 minutes duration) you realize that you have no idea how the card trick is actually done because you were too distracted to be able to follow every step of the description.

That was exactly my experience with this dramatization of the Austen classic. It is an abridgement of about 8 hours, so it is about 50% of the approximate 16 hours that is the usual narration time for the novel. You'd expect some subplots to be deleted then of course, but I was unable to follow along with any through plot-line aside from the overall arc of Emma interfering with the love relationships of others until finally finding her own love in the end. There were alternating narration and dialogue passages. It was primarily the dialogues where my attention was constantly drawn away by the Foley artist sounds (Foley is the name for the sound effects used in radio drama or film, named in honour of one of the first practitioners in the early 20th century). This mainly featured ticking clocks and crackling fires to signal indoor scenes and singing birds and walking sounds to signal outdoor scenes. I would constantly wonder how the sounds were being made in the recording studio and what was the point of it. After each dialogue, I was left with only a vague impression of what it was about.

Perhaps this works for some people, but I found it completely impossible to follow the actual book. This was part of Audible Audio's new monthly giveaway of 2 free Audible Originals. I guess I got what I paid for. ( )
  alanteder | Nov 8, 2018 |
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