I haven’t been gracing Melbourne’s public transport options with such frequency of late. This is because I am trying to get fitter. It's possible some people will argue with me but I find getting fitter is not as much fun as eating whatever you want, drinking whatever you want and lolling on the couch or by the fire at a bar. However, getting fitter is what I am doing and that involves more walking.
To ease the pain of getting fitter I have been listening to lots of things like the radio, some new albums and some old favourite podcasts like TAL. However, last week I got terribly excited and downloaded an audio book. Treasure Island I chose, having not read it and liking the idea of being transported by a swashbuckling island based adventure as I reluctantly tramped my way over the glum winter footpaths of Melbourne.
TI cost me around $14 and I had to download all the chapters in parts – which took some time. But that was okay cos this was going to be great.
It was not great. To my utmost disappointment (I believe I let out a howl as I walked across the Eastern Freeway footbridge) I had not selected my version carefully enough and it was voiced by a synthesiser. Unlistenable, it sounded like that song "Fitter Happier" from Radiohead’s OK Computer or track 10 on the first Phoenix Foundation album that everyone fast forwards. Robert Louis Stevenson would be pirouetting in his grave if he heard this travesty. And I wasted a hard earned $14 which feels like a lot in iTunes world.
The only moral of this cautionary tale, dear reader, is to ensure your audio book download is VOICED BY A REAL HUMAN BEING. Preferably someone like Martin Shaw, Stephen Fry or Helen Mirren. But anyone human is better.