Matthew Rubery, professor of modern literature at Queen Mary University of London, will present "Book Audio" as part of The Center for Children's Books (CCB) 2020-2021 Speaker Series.
Abstract: Audiobooks do more than reproduce printed books. Although the audiobook's reliance on sound is sometimes perceived as a liability, there are numerous instances in which the addition of sound effects might be said to enhance the reading experience. This presentation examines recordings that take advantage of the audiobook's affordances to go beyond simply replicating print. Drawing on sources ranging from children's books to celebrity memoirs, it takes up the question: What happens when publishers experiment with sound to create “book audio” instead of audiobooks—that is, recordings whose soundtracks go beyond the verbal description of sounds by using actual sounds?
Matthew Rubery is the author of The Untold Story of the Talking Book (2016) and co-editor of Further Reading (2020) for the series Oxford Twenty-First Century Approaches to Literature.