I might listen to it again because Kerouac is my favorite writer... BUT Tom Parker's nasally voice is really hard to take.
I don't know anything about Parker's audiobook resume, but he sounds like he probably is a former sports announcer or something. Nothing against him personally, but how he was selected to read a classic novel such as "Big Sur" is beyond me. He certainly has the dramatic skill, but I found the sound of his voice to be almost unbearable.
There is a part in the middle of the story where he describes the waves of twenty-something hipsters who find him, expecting to see the young Kerouac of yore, but instead meet this ailing, alcoholic middle-aged guy. The emotional impact of this was very strong for me -- Jack's sadness and despair, telling the story from the standpoint of the downward arc of his career, after the peak of his fame during his lifetime. As Natalie Merchant & Rob Buck wrote in the song "Hey Jack Kerouac", he "chose his words from mouths of babes got lost in the wood", and there he was himself wandering around the dark woods near Big Sur.
Replace him with another narrator.
Jack Duluoz, Kerouac's alter ego character, of course.
I'm hoping this is not a trend regarding books on Audible.com, narrators with annoying voices.
If you've ever wondered about Donald Fagan or Steely Dan's origins, this is the book for you! The fact that it is narrated by Fagen himself is a major bonus. While some might not care for the sound of his voice or his laconic manner, I found it to be integral to enjoying the text.
Fagen was born just a few years before me, but the touchpoints of his youth resonated with me. Listening to a transistor radio, transitioning through listening to different styles of music, etc.
As a former performing musician myself, I enjoyed hearing his tales of life on the road -- the good and the bad... well, mostly the bad. But even the bad is funny the way he tells it. Any musician who aspires to be famous enough to tour for a living (or whatever reason) should certainly listen to Fagen's story before getting too excited about what awaits them on the road.
The scope, from youth to Steely Dan reunion tours, and told by the man himself.
I'd only heard his music (recordings, radio, one live concert in 2013) and one radio interview. All great stuff, but don't pass over this audiobook.
I listened while commuting. Most audiobooks are way too long to even contemplate sitting or even listening to for 10-30 hours.
Buy this audiobook!
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