Recent offerings include a novelization of 'Macbeth,' narrated by Scottish actor Alan Cumming; 'META-tropolis,' a multipart science fiction epic set in a future America; 'Gun Church,' a crime novel by Reed Farrel Coleman, and 'The Chopin Manuscript,' a serial thriller written by 15 mystery writers, including Lee Child, Jeffery Deaver and Lisa Scottoline. All were written specifically for audio, rather than originating in print. Audible commissioned sequels for several of the most popular works.
供租赁的品种包括《麦克白》(Macbeth)的一个小说改编版，由苏格兰演员艾伦•卡明(Alan Cumming)朗诵；以未来美国为背景的系列科幻史诗《META都会》(META-tropolis)；里德•法瑞尔•科尔曼(Reed Farrel Coleman)写的犯罪小说《教堂枪声》("Gun Church)；以及李•柴尔德(Lee Child)、杰弗里•迪弗(Jeffery Deaver)和丽莎•斯科特莱恩(Lisa Scottoline)等15位悬疑作家写的系列惊险小说《肖邦手稿》(The Chopin Manuscript)。这些都是专门为有声书写的，而不是先出印刷版再出有声版。针对最流行的作品，Audible委托其中几部的作者写了续集。
Earlier this year, Audible recruited science fiction writer Orson Scott Card to write an elaborate, six-hour dramatization of his best-selling 1985 novel 'Ender's Game.' The story unfolds entirely in dialogue, punctuated by background music and sound effects. The project was recently recorded in Los Angeles by a cast of 28 narrators, including superstar narrator Scott Brick, songwriter Janis Ian and English actress Samantha Eggar. Audible will release 'Ender's Game Alive,' this October, a month before the premiere of a big-budget Hollywood movie based on the novel, starring Asa Butterfield, Harrison Ford, and Hailee Steinfeld.
今年早些时候，Audible邀请科幻作家奥森•斯科特•卡德(Orson Scott Card)为他1985年出版的畅销小说《安德的游戏》(Ender's Game)写了一部精雕细琢、长达六小时的改编剧。故事完全以对白展开，并用背景乐和音效加以渲染。这个项目前不久在洛杉矶录制，朗诵者共28名，有明星播音员斯科特•布里克(Scott Brick)、作曲家亚尼斯•伊恩(Janis Ian)和英国演员萨曼莎•埃加(Samantha Eggar)等。Audible将在今年10月发布《Ender's Game Alive》。在此一个月之后，一部根据这部小说改编、由阿沙•巴特菲尔德(Asa Butterfield)、哈里森•福德(Harrison Ford)、海莉•斯坦菲尔德(Hailee Steinfeld)主演的好莱坞大制作将举行首映。
Mr. Card says the radio play has the same premise as the novel, but consists of entirely new material. Rather than telling the story through an omniscient narrator, from the perspective of the novel's young protagonist, Ender, the plot emerges though dialogue, from multiple points of view.
'It's not a simple adaptation, it is a new telling of the same story,' Mr. Card said.
Some novelists are bypassing print and releasing novels as audio exclusives. This week, British novelist David Hewson released his new mystery, 'The Flood' straight to audio with no print edition. His audio publisher, Whole Story Audiobooks, holds exclusive rights to the material for a year. Mr. Hewson says he hasn't shopped the novel to print publishers yet.
有些小说家绕开印刷版，直接以单纯有声书的形式发布小说。前不久，英国小说家戴维•休森(David Hewso)的新悬疑小说《洪水》(The Flood)就是直接以有声版的形式发布，没有印刷版。发布该书的有声出版商Whole Story Audiobooks享有该书一年的独家权利。休森说，他还没有向印刷书商推销这本小说。
'Until a year or two ago, audio had to come out with print, but audio is kind of its own thing now,' said Mr. Hewson, who has published 22 novels. 'It's become a hot medium.'
Mr. Hewson has already developed something of a following among avid listeners. He's co-wrote four other original audio novels, including novelizations of 'Macbeth' and 'Hamlet,' which he co-wrote with A.J. Hartley, a thriller writer and Shakespeare scholar at the UNC Charlotte. The nine-hour and 45-minute novelization of 'Macbeth,' which paints a much more sympathetic portrait of Shakespeare's power-hungry protagonist, generated more than 1,000 reviews on Audible and drew an average of four stars. Their take on 'Hamlet,' which Audible will release this fall, features a punchier Ophelia, a less gloomy Hamlet, and swaps in snappy dialogue for Hamlet's famous soliloquies.
休森已经在热心听众当中形成了一群粉丝。他与人合写了另外四部原创有声小说，包括《麦克白》和《哈姆雷特》(Hamlet)的小说改编版。这两部书是他和惊悚小说作家、北卡大学夏洛特分校(UNC Charlotte)莎学学者A•J•哈特利(A.J. Hartley)一起写的。《麦克白》小说版共有9小时45分钟，对莎士比亚笔下极度渴望权力的主角做了远远更为同情的描述。它在Audible上面获得了1,000条评论，平均评分有四颗星。他们的《哈姆雷特》小说版将由Audible在今年秋季发布，奥菲莉亚更加强健有力，哈姆雷特也没有莎氏笔下那么忧郁，而哈姆雷特的著名独白也被换成了连珠带炮的对话。
Mr. Hewson has discovered that writing for audio requires different techniques from prose writing. Word repetition becomes glaringly obvious. So do unintentional rhymes. Location changes have to be telegraphed at the beginning of the scene, so that listeners aren't confused.
'Complex sentences, long subordinate clauses -- they don't work, people get bored and confused by them,' he says. 'You're looking for the writing to disappear so that all people hear is the story.'
The rapid rise of audio books has prompted some hand- wringing about how we consume literature. Print purists doubt that listening to a book while multitasking delivers the same experience as sitting down and silently reading. Scientific studies have repeatedly shown that for competent readers, there is virtually no difference between listening to a story and reading it. The format has little bearing on a reader's ability to understand and remember a text. Some scholars argue that listening to a text might even improve understanding, especially for difficult works like Shakespeare, where a narrator's interpretation of the text can help convey the meaning.
Less is known about how well people absorb stories when they are also driving or lifting weights or chopping vegetables. Commuters still account for half of audio book buyers, according to a report from the research firm Bowker, which tracks the book business. Daniel Willingham, a psychology professor at the University of Virginia who has studied reading and listening comprehension, said that multitasking compromises a listener's attention, unless the task is truly automatic. Jogging on a treadmill would probably be fine, but running on a trail might be too distracting to fully absorb the text, he said.
至于人们在开车、提东西或切菜的时候听书吸收效果如何，就不那么清楚了。据跟踪图书行业的研究公司Bowker的一份报告，上班族仍占有声书消费者的一半。弗吉尼亚大学(University of Virginia)心理学教授丹尼尔•威灵厄姆(Daniel Willingham)研究过看书与听书的理解力问题。他说，一心二用会分散听者的注意力，除非他同时做的事情是真正下意识的。他说，在跑步机上慢跑大概没事，但在小道上跑步对注意力的分散，就会让人无法充分理解文本。
Some writers worry that the practice of silent reading could be threatened, as impatient and busy readers no longer take time to concentrate on a text.
'If we come to think reading is this secondary activity we do while doing other stuff, then we lose that deepest and most important kind of reading,' said Nicholas Carr, author of 'The Shallows: What the Internet is Doing to Our Brains.' 'The broader danger is that technology will give us the illusion that everything can be done while multitasking, including reading.'
《浅薄：互联网如何毒化了我们的大脑》(The Shallows: What the Internet is Doing to Our Brains)作者尼古拉斯•卡尔(Nicholas Carr)说：“如果我们慢慢地认为读书是伴随我们做其他事情的次要活动，那么我们就会丢掉最深度、最重要的阅读。更大的危险在于，技术会让我们误以为什么事情都可以在做其他事情的时候做，包括阅读。”
Audible is now funding cognitive research at Rutgers University to study the brain activity of test subjects while they are reading a text, listening to it, reading and listening simultaneously, and switching between the two modes. The research is continuing and has yet to be published, but early results suggest that listening to a narrator may be more emotionally engaging than silent reading, particularly for men, says Guy Story, Audible's chief scientist.
Audible目前正在资助罗格斯大学(Rutgers University)研究被试人员在读文字、听文字、同时听读、以及在听、读两种不同模式之间切换时的大脑活动。这项研究还在进行，尚未发表，但Audible首席科学家盖伊•斯托里(Guy Story)说，初步结果表明，听人朗诵可能会让人在情感上比静默阅读介入更深，这在男性身上体现得尤为明显。
Certain book lovers can't fathom diluting the immersive experience by switching back and forth. 'It's like going to the movies and watching the first half-hour then going home and reading the script,' says Robin Whitten, editor of Audiofile magazine, which reviews audio book narrations.
For others, the distinction between print and narrated works has already evaporated. Michele Harvey, 48, a software developer who lives in Centreville, Va., has a collection of more than 470 audio books, and close to 2,000 ebooks, mostly romances and fantasy. She often buys both an audio book and an e-book so that she can stick with the story while she's doing other things. Throughout the day, she listens to books on her Android phone. She listens in the car on her way to and from work, and while she's making dinner, folding laundry and loading the dishwasher. Then, at night, after her 9-year-old son is in bed, she picks up the story on her Kindle, right where the narration left off, and reads for two or three hours. She says she's often able to recall the parts she listened to better than the passages she read, particularly if the book has a talented narrator.
When people ask her about the best or most memorable book she's read, she often mentions Susanna Clarke's fantasy novel 'Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell.'
当人们问她读过的最好的书或最难忘的书是哪一本时，她常常提起苏姗娜•克拉克(Susanna Clarke)的奇幻小说《Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell》。
'I keep having to remind myself I have never actually read it,' she says. 'I listened to it.'