Listen to The Almost Truth

When is a book not quite a book?

When it’s an eBook or an audiobook.

I have plenty of (second-hand) experience of eBook production watching the work of Claire Morley, author, and the whizz behind I can’t imagine my working and reading life without my Kindle – while nothing beats the look and feel of a ‘real’ book, the immediacy of eBook content and the convenience of being able to take an electronic pile of novels anywhere is fantastic.

Audiobooks, though, are something I know very little about. There was a time when my job required me to drive the length and breadth of County Mayo and I drove miles and miles of lonely roads accompanied by books-on-tape, and later, on CDs. I played the same ones half a dozen times to get the full story – safety first and all that; the forefront of my mind was on the road!

Agatha Christie mysteries, I loved. I remember, too, Maeve Binchy, Patricia Scanlan and a bit later, Marian Keyes. Once, I was so invested in hearing the end of a dramatisation of Barbara Vine’s A Fatal Inversion, I slowed down to let every tractor in the townland honk and pass. (I recently borrowed that from the library and listened on my phone – how technology has changed – and was still hooked).

When I moved to Edinburgh, stopped driving, and got the Kindle, I sort of lost audiobooks. Until my son wanted more bedtimes story than I could read and didn’t like going to sleep in silence, and Audible saved the day. For ages, it was Dog Man and the X-Storey-Treehouse stories – and I dipped in a bit with old favourites on a spectrum from Rebecca to Simon Brett’s Charles Paris series. Now the teenager has a phone of his own and I’m using up the Audible credits with new releases.

One of these will be my very own soon-to-be-published The Almost Truth. Anyone who listens to audiobooks knows the importance of a good narrator, a voice that brings the characters to life, and anyone who has read proofs of The Almost Truth knows what mastery of accents is needed to switch between Irish, Scottish and Bangladeshi characters. Listening to demo tapes was very exciting – as was hearing that the director had cast the brilliant Scottish-Bengali actor Hiftu Quasem (Killing Eve, Ten Per Cent, Endeavour).

Not only has Hiftu done an expert job, she’s an all-round generous and lovely person who took time out to query the odd colloquial-to-Bhola word, offering alternatives that might be more internationally understood. And, she’s patiently replied to my over-effusive Instagram messages.

So, if you’re an audio-book fan, happy listening! I’m settling down now to a few more minutes of Barbara Kingsolver’s Demon Copperhead.

Anne x


Editor, Edited: The Almost Truth
On the Shoulders of Giants


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