Wednesday, July 25, 2007

driving Miss Dursley

The goal is to finish "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows" before seeing or hearing any spoilers online or over the air. For the past few days I have limited my exposure to live media. It’s been fairly easy to do because I am traveling with my wife and son. I was supposed to read the book as soon as my son finished it. My wife would get it next. That was until she came up with a better idea while we were passing through the small town of Anna, Illinois. If we bought the audio book, we could listen to it in the car while we drove. The first store we saw that we thought would have the discs in stock was Wal-Mart. We eagerly grabbed one of the two CD sets they had on the shelf. It will take 21 hours to listen to the whole book. At least we still have a lot of driving ahead of us. I think we're on chapter 21 right now. I'm not sure because I may have dozed off as it got late tonight. This is my first experience with any of the Potter audio books, all of which have been read by actor Jim Dale.

Dale does a fine job on the narration part. For the dialogue, he takes on a slightly different voice for each of the characters, giving them fairly strong British accents. I like his Hagrid voice best because it sounds most like the actor from the movies. Of course almost anyone can do a decent Hagrid impression. Try saying the line, "You’re a wizard, Harry!" Dale's female voices take some getting used to. As minor characters and wizened old witches, he sounds good. However he makes poor Luna Lovegood sound like she is mentally challenged. Dolores Umbridge sounds like Mrs. Doubtfire. And Hermione gets the worst of it. Obviously she has more lines than any other female. Dale uses a half-whisper with an ever so slight hint of a speech impediment for her voice. There is one particular word that is the most annoying. Unfortunately for the listener, that word happens to be "Harry." The way Dale says it as Hermione, it comes out more like "Haweee!"

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Anonymous bean said...

you know what's weird, frank? i heard that they don't sell the jim dale audio books of 'harry potter' in britain. for some reason actor stephen fry does them over there.

why produce two different versions with two different british guys?

Blogger D.O.M. Dan said...

Well I certainly hope you weren't the one driving as you "may have dozed off"

Blogger Frank Murphy said...

My best guess is that the text is slightly different between the British and American versions, hence the need for separate audio books.

Fortunately for our family, my wife usually does the highway driving. I prefer city driving. Interstates puts me to sleep.


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