Tuesday, January 27, 2015

The Collectors: Audiobook

Philip Pullman's The Collectors, is a short story spin off of the His Dark Materials trilogy. Here's the full description in italics, my stuff below it in normal font.

"But the thing is," said Horley, "they didn't know each other at all. Never heard of each other. It wasn't about the makers. Only about the works."
On a dark winter's night in 1970, Horley and Grinstead huddle for warmth in the Senior Common Room of a college in Oxford. Conversation turns to the two impressive works of art that Horley has recently added to his collection. What the two men don't know is that these pieces are connected in mysterious and improbable ways; and they are about to be caught in the cross-fire of a story which has travelled time and worlds.

I had an interesting experience with His Dark Materials. My school library had a copy of The Golden Compass and The Amber Spyglass, but it didn't have The Subtle Knife. Consider my surprise when things didn't make a hell of a lot of sense. Still, I really enjoyed the series once I corrected things. It's a personal favorite. Even the movie. A shame, because I did enjoy the adaptation and wanted to see the production run the full length of the books.

I can't pass up more of that world, and what a way to come back. The narration is from Bill Nighy. Go ahead, give the sample above a listen. That sample is the selling point.

Another nice thing, if you're like me, is that this is a short story. The length of The Collectors runs about half an hour. I remember most audiobooks I first listened to were short stories and could be listened entirely in a day's commute. There's something satisfying about that. 

And it helps that the price reasonable at $2.58 right now. List price is $2.95 which ain't bad.

Ok, ok, we're past the basic descriptions. How is the quality of The Collectors? It's good. I listened to it over two car trips. It was easy to follow along, the sound never got drowned out or went too low, Bill Nighy does a terrific job narrating the story. And this is definitely the kind of original and intriguing storytelling that makes His Dark Materials such a great read. There is mystery and creep, and all of it displayed convincingly by Bill Nighy (Listen to the sample if you don't believe me!). I would go into more, but that would risk spoiling the fun of this short story. 

If you're like me and interested in some more His Dark Materials content, here's the link to Audible.