I was nervous about my audiobook. I’m a bit of a control freak (ask my agent), and what’s more, obsessed with the way my work sounds. I whisper aloud as I type, looking not a little like Jack Nicholson in The Shining. I have musician envy: I try to make my sentences like music. So it was with a sense of trepidation that I first listened to the audiobook of Oola. Michael Crouch’s narration blew me away on multiple fronts. Not only was he keenly attuned to the book’s musicality, but he was funny. Damn funny. I had the uncanny experience of listening to Oola as if I hadn’t written it. I was hooked, waiting to hear what would happen next. Michael re-enchanted the text for me, such that I entered the book in a totally new way, struck by sentences and phrases that, in his careful, textured voice, carried new significance. Certain scenes formed more vividly in my mind’s eye, as if I were watching the film version: Oola smoking on the porch as evening falls, Leif watching from the window, wringing his hands. I also found the sex scenes infinitely more shocking in audio version – I clutched my psychic pearls more than once! In short I found myself an outsider to my own book in the most magical way. I write this in an airport, where I’ve been sitting for the past 2 hours, deeply absorbed in Michael’s aural vision of Oola. As soon as I’m done writing, I’ll plunge right back in. Never have I enjoyed a delayed flight more.
Brittany Newell, 2017
#LoveAudio is an industry-wide initiative that aims to celebrate and shine a light on all things audiobook.
Listen to an extract from OOLA here.
Purchase the OOLA audiobook here.