Jul 22 2010 4:00pm

Audioslice: Olivia Munn’s Suck It, Wonder Woman!

What’s funnier than Olivia Munn’s new book, Suck It, Wonder Woman!? Olivia Munn narrating the audio version herself. Here’s a snippet:

(Er, you might want to lower your sound before you press play. Trust me. No, really. TRUST ME.)

Feeling dubious? Unsure whether that could actually be Her Royal Geekness? Luckily, Olivia shot behind-the-scenes video at the recording studio:

Just curious...does it make a difference to you whether it’s a professional voice actor or the author narrating his/her own work?

Liz is...very, very busy poking around the new Audible iPhone app.

Christopher Key
1. Artanian
As someone who listens to a ton of audiobooks I can say that yes, it does make a difference. As a general rule, you should stay far, far away from an author reading his/her own work. As with everything, there are exceptions, and actors usually manage to do a below-average but at least listenable read. I'd say that actors usually do a good job on their own books on the dialogue parts, but not so well on the narrative parts.
John Massey
2. subwoofer
Yeah, but I check out "Attack of the Show" occasionally on G4TV and I did not see a book coming out of her. Maybe she is on the cover or some such, but sitting down and writing- really?


I did not see that one coming.

David Bishop
3. teancom
Artanian, I would propose Bill Bryson as an exception to that rule. I have listened to nearly all of his books, and I vastly prefer the ones that he read vs. a professional.
Janice in GA
4. Janice in GA
Artanian @ 1: This.

Some authors do a good job reading their work, but I think they're in the minority.

You need somebody who knows what they're doing, IMO. Like Nigel Planer, or Stephen Briggs for Terry Pratchett.

I think Neil Gaiman reads his work well, but for some reason I'm just not crazy about his voice. (You can throw rocks at me if you want.)
Chuck Holt
5. conspiracytheorywackadoodle
I feel like I'm at a restaurant pretending I'm not listening to the one-sided conversation happening at the next table.
Janice in GA
6. lizmaverick
I had no idea I was so particular about voices. After listening to about 20 different audiobooks at this point, I can say it absolutely matters to me. In general, I'd rather have a professional read than a author. In this case, of course, it's more fun to hear Olivia read her own material.
Rachel Hyland
7. RachelHyland
Professional actor, unless the author is British.

The biggest argument against self-narration is seen with humor writers. While stand-up comedians usually do their own books justice (as well they might), humor writers are often -- oddly -- incredibly monotone and dull. For example, David Sedaris's reading of Dress Your Family in Corduroy and Denim is one of the better all-natural cures for insomnia I have ever encountered, yet it is a book that you could happily stay up all night reading yourself.


teancom @ 3

Yeah, Bill Bryson. He's a rare exception.

Janice in GA @ 4

I'll refrain from throwing things, but I don't think there's ANYTHING I dislike about Neil Gaiman.
Brent Longstaff
8. Brentus
It depends on how good the author is at reading. Orson Scott Card has a good reading voice, although pros usually read his work. Neil Gaiman does a decent job too. And there are some books I read on the Kindle because the pro voice actor is awful.
Janice in GA
9. panLoaf
I made it through about half of the sample before I couldn't take anymore. Unfortunately, listening to an entire audiobook with the constant upward inflection at the end of each sentence would drive me crazy... Some authors make a good job of reading their own work, but someone stop Olivia Munn. Please.
I thought Frank Zappa's "Valley Girl" was just a parody...
Janice in GA
10. MarianMoore
For some authors definitely: John LeCarre is the best reader of his books. He does all the accents and you can hear the social strata that you might miss otherwise. I love to hear both Neil Gaiman and Harlan Ellison read their work. All 3 perform with appearing to perform. That said, some authors just mumble. You want to tear the book from their hands and show them how it should be done. (smile)

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