Sunday, June 17, 2007

How long does it take YOU to listen to an audiobook?

Finally I have finished listening to A Dangerous Mourning by Anne Perry, no thanks to Apple or DRM law or whatever is responsible for the fact that I cannot listen to this audiobook on my iPod. This means I have to listen on my laptop which doesn't have decent speakers so I really have to be sitting right next to it. I've gotten a lot of knitting done, but it wouldn't have taken me nearly as long to get through the book if I could have listened while walking to and from work like I originally planned.

I actually looked into some ways to convert the files so they could be played on my iPod, but the fact that my library's eAudiobook collection is so crappy isn't really putting the needed fire under my butt to get going on this. Recently I discovered that the Boston Public Library has a much better collection, so this may be the motivation I need. Incidentally - because I do generally like to be on the good side of the law - I looked into purchasing eAudiobooks from iTunes. Guess how much they cost? Right around $25 each. Isn't that just the craziest thing you ever heard? So I may buy a program like this one to copy audiobooks into a DRM-free version that can be played on my iPod, since they claim it isn't actually illegal, but instead takes advantage of loopholes. I'm all about loopholes.

I enjoyed the book quite a bit, though I'm not a great judge of mysteries since I don't read many of them. A Dangerous Mourning was the second in a series, the first of which I read for my book group. These are not like the few other mysteries I've read - they're neither cozy nor humorous. In fact, in this book Perry actually allowed an innocent man to be sent to the gallows before the real culprits were caught. That just pains me. (And is one of many reasons why capital punishment is wrong. There, I said it.) I've really enjoyed both books in the series so far. The characters are complex and developed enough to be believable, and there's a great sense of history as well.

I must admit that I was drawn to Anne Perry for reasons I am loathe to admit. I'd like to say that it's because I heard she was a great author, but's because she was convicted of murder herself. The movie Heavenly Creatures is kind of an embellished version of the story but you can read all the relevant documents from the case at the Christchurch City Libraries website (and I have - all of them). It's really fascinating. The only reason that she was not executed is because she was only 15 at the time of the crime, and then she went on to become a very talented author. I think her life and her success represents another argument against the death penalty. But it's bizarre that she chose murder mysteries to write about, isn't it?

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