I have always wondered whether I would enjoy listening to a book as much as reading it, since I am a fast reader and listening seems so much slower.
I had the chance to find out for myself recently. I picked up the Audible version of Elena Ferrante’s The Lying Life of Adults. Having raced through her Neapolitan Novels breathlessly earlier, I thought this book would be a good test.
I found myself instantly captivated by Marisa Tomei’s brilliant narration, switching from crisp tones to hoarse voices, rolling syllables to elongated ones, suave to stressed words. Vivid images were built up in my head and I felt so much closer to Vittoria and Giovanna. I dreamed about them in Tomei’s voice and I was mesmerized quite completely.
I had never imagined how crucial the narrator would be for audio books. Now I know.
But for the discomfort of constant earphones (which means I can’t “read” a book continuously), I’m now a fan.
About the book itself, it starts off with a bang but weakens midway and peters out to an ending that is as anti-climactic and dull as G’s stepping into adulthood. But the writing reminds me of crochet, digging into holes to create more holes, a beautiful pattern forming along the way. Quite lovely.