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The Twilight Tapes
Twilight (Audio CD)
Member Name: eilidhcatriona
Twilight (Audio CD)
Advantages: Great story, pretty box, generally well read
Disadvantages: Dodgy way of saying Bella
Stephanie Meyer's bestselling Twilight is the story of Bella Swan and Edward Cullen. Bella moves to the town of Forks, and there she meets the mysterious Edward. She falls for him, and then learns he and his family are vampires. But the pair fall deeply in love, despite the danger to her and the temptation her blood presents to him, even as a "vegetarian" vampire who only drinks the blood of animals. Of course, associating with vampires brings dangers, and Bella soon finds herself the target of another vampire desperate for her blood.
This is specifically a review of the audiobook form of the novel, however some review of the story is necessary. I've been hooked on Twilight and the following books since the first time I read it. The story is absorbing and compelling, an addictive love story with plenty of excitement. Yet despite the romance and action, my favourite sections are always those in which you learn more about the vampires and their lives. I particularly enjoy reading the histories of each character, and how they became vampires.
The audiobook of Twilight is on 11 CDs, and is unabridged. It is presented in a very nice card box, with each CD having its own sleeve. Each CD has a number of tracks on it, varying in length, which I found useful for finding my place again when going back to the book.
The novel is read by Ilyana Kadushin, an American lady, which is appropriate given the story is narrated in first person by an American girl. Kadushin's reading is well paced, never too rushed but also not too slow - the story goes along at a nice rate. It is easy to keep up with what is going on without getting bored and wishing she would speed up.
When I first started listening to the Twilight audiobook, I found Kadushin's voice a bit odd, and unexpected. There is nothing wrong with her voice at all, but I think by this time I was used to Kirsten Stewart being the voice of Bella, as she plays the part in the movies. Kadushin's voice is quite different, gentler and more rounded. Bella almost comes across as a different kind of person in her voice, although the words and story are obviously identical.
However, I soon got used to Kadushin's voice as Bella. There was one thing about her reading that continued to jar with me though - her pronunciation of the name Bella. Pronunciation perhaps isn't the right word though, it's more her way of saying it. She seems to draw it out, particularly the Ls. She says it slowly, "Belllla", and quite softly yet emphatically. At first I thought it was to emphasise her name the first time it was said by various characters, and also as an emphasis when Bella corrects people on her first day at Forks High School who call her Isabella. But it continues, and I noticed it every time. I wondered if it was the American way of saying the name, then I realised this was not present in the films. It's really only a small thing, one name, but it felt like it disrupted the flow of the story.
Despite this annoyance, I can't really fault the Twilight audiobook. It's not perfect, but the story is the same Twilight I know and love. As it turned out, audiobooks aren't really for me, and I haven't continued my collection of the Twilight series, but it is a good audiobook for anyone who likes to listen to novels, and of course especially for Twilight fans.
Summary: A great story read out loud
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