Friday, July 19, 2013

Sinatra and Me: The Very Good Years, by Tony Consiglio and Franz Douskey (narrated by Norman Dietz)

Sinatra and Me
The Very Good Years
Authors: Tony Consiglio and Franz Douskey
Audiobook Narrator: Norman Dietz
Publisher: Tantor Media
Publication Date: November 13, 2012
Buy Now on paperback kindle audio
Buy Now on paperback kindle audio 
The best and worst thing about an audiobook is that the narration very much affects your enjoyment of the book. And the best and worst thing about a review of an audiobook is that it very much takes the narration into account when discussing the book. Some books are only made better by great narration. Sadly, my experience has been that this is rare. Usually the best an audiobook can hope for is to not ruin the book for the listener with narration that is uneven, filled with weird accent choices, delivered too fast or too slow, read at an odd pitch, or just otherwise odd. This, in my experience, is far too common.

Take, for example, the case of Sinatra and Me: The Very Good Years, by Tony Consiglio and Franz Douskey. It's plenty interesting. It's a memoir of Sinatra's life as told by one of his oldest and closest friends, Tony Consiglio. It's also an audiobook narrated by Norman Dietz. It's the last bit that's the problem.

There's a fine line between bringing a story to life by imitating the voice and cadence of the author (or the subject), and turning your narration into a stereotyped-filled caricature. Actually it's not that fine a line. I felt like I was listening to Jackie Mason as Rabbi Krustofski.
Rabbi Hyman Krustofsky from The Simpsons

Disclaimer: I received a digital copy of this audiobook free from Tantor Media through Edelweiss. I was asked to write an honest review, though not necessarily a favourable one. The opinions expressed are strictly my own.

The Holy or the Broken 
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