Shipping books with tone

I was catching up with Phil yesterday, notionally about the Community Power Compass, though inevitably it became about many other things too.

One of those things was the difference between the book version of The Dawn of Everything and the audiobook. I listened to the audiobook first, then bought the physical copy. Phil just has the paper book.

What I find different is that I have that voice in my head when dipping back into the book. It helps me orientate myself as to how the words flow. It makes it easier to understand, I think.

It helps that the narrator makes it sound like the book is actually read by ‘The Book’ in The Hitch-Hikers Guide to the Galaxy.

I looked up the audiobook narrator, his name is Malk Williams. Which makes it hilarious to search for, because the top entry for “who is the narrator of The Dawn of Everything” is this…

British actor Mark Williams seems sadly miscast as narrator for this provocative re-examination of the last 30,000 years of human history, which has drawn wide attention for upending many established notions about competition and social hierarchy…. Williams’s distinctive voice borders on the eccentric, with a hard beat at the end of each phrase. This jaunty, comfortably tweedy tone, which is right for a Harry Potter character, is too distinctive, and too far off the tone of this particular narrative.

Yes, it’s an American review which seems to think the book is read by Fast Show and Harry Potter alumni Mark Williams. Which is nice.


I think all books should provide the option of ‘shipping tone’ – giving you just enough of the audiobook to listen to it and get that voice into your head.

One other thing Phil and I talked about was a return to quick blogging about things. No featured images, just text. Which is what this is.