Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Awesome audio book (and narrator): Museum of Thieves


Several weeks ago, I listened to the most awesome audio book: Museum of Thieves by Lian Tanner. Part of the credit for it being so awesome goes to the narrator, Claudia Black, who played the awesome Aeryn Sun on the awesome Farscape. (Hmm, I’m noticing a trend here.) 

The story is entertaining all by itself. It takes place in a dystopian-like land called Jewel, where meekly following the rules without question is exemplary behavior and the children are literally tethered to their parents because of an overblown fear for their safety. The main character, 12-year-old Goldie, doesn't fare too well with those kinds of restrictions. On the day she's supposed to be legally "separated" from her parents, meaning she no longer has to have a leash, Jewel is rocked by a bombing. Goldie takes the opportunity to run away and ends up at the Museum of Dunt. There, she discovers a museum that is actually alive and a group of quirky characters who want her to help them try to overthrow Jewel's tyrannical leader.

Claudia Black has an amazing ability to handle multiple voices, accents and tones. Her range is such that the voices of men sound like real men, rather than the typical girly-girl man voice that most female narrators have no choice but to use. And Tanner's writing is so filled with emotion and energy that you can tell Black is having a blast reading the story. 

I've bookmarked one of my favorite parts and listen to it when I'm frustrated or cranky, cuz it totally cheers me up. It involves an altercation between Goldie and the boy who's eventually her partner in crime. Toadspit (yep, that's his name) has an attitude, and he and Goldie do NOT get along at first. Toadspit is annoyed that he has to teach Goldie the ropes, and Goldie is annoyed that Toadspit is annoyed. Cuz, you know, that's how boys and girls are sometimes.

When one of the adults punishes Goldie and Toadspit by banning them from communicating by talking, they're forced to use "finger talk," or sign language. Thing is, they've learned different versions of finger talk, so what means "follow me" to Toadspit means "hit me" to Goldie. She's no dummy, but she very much enjoys misunderstanding his command. What ensues is a hilarious exchange that devolves into a mud fight and the two laughing hysterically. Black reads the exchange with such dead-on portrayals of two frustrated, stubborn (but oh so lovable) adolescents that I can't help but laugh every time I listen.

This is the first audio book that I restarted from the beginning the minute it ended. I wish Claudia Black would narrate more of these! Perhaps I'll have my people call her people. : ) If only!

What about you? Is there an audio book/print book you've listened to/read more than once because you enjoyed it so much?

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