Playing Dead

Thoughts plbyjh Playing Dead by Julia Heaberlin, AudioGO 2012, 10.4 Hours

Narrator:  Madeleine Lambert

January BOOKIES Book Club Selection

What it’s ABOUT:  This is a mystery/thriller about a woman who is a child psychologist and former rodeo competitor who discovers she may not be who she thought. With her father recently deceased and her mother in a nursing home suffering Alsheimers, she has no one to ask. Trouble seems to find her and she races through clues and abductions to solve the mystery.

I liked it well enough. Listening to a mystery is not a good idea for me. When I think I’ve missed something a few minutes/pages prior, I don’t have a good way to go find it and work out my confusions. Plot pace was good, characters interesting enough, odd clues finally tied up at the end.

QUESTION:  When you read a book and want to flip back to reread something, are you the kind of person who has a general idea or visual memory of which part of the book and which part of the page to look?  I am. I can usually find what I’m looking for in a physical book but am horrible at it with eBooks and Audiobooks. We had this discussion at “pre-” book club the other day…

Narration was sufficient. POV was from the main character, a girl named Tommie. She had a gentle Texas drawl; I couldn’t tell you if authentic. However, the voices for her young niece and her supposedly hot boyfriend were not good at all. The niece sounded like a goofy three year old rather than a middle schooler and the boyf sounded like a dullard.

Three slices of pie.



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12 thoughts on “Playing Dead

  1. I have the same kind of visual memory. I have a general idea or can visualize it. That may be why I’m pretty terrible at audiobooks too. Good insight. I never thought about that before.

    1. Actually, one reason I started audiobook-ing was to try and improve my listening skills. I think it just depends on the kind of book and how well I am engaged. duh.

  2. Ruthiella

    I often zone out when listening to audio books and have to re-listen to huge chunks to find my place again. Definitely it is easier for me to find something I have missed in the physical book. I usually have a good idea when it happened, in what chapter etc.

    Audiobook narration is tricky. It is rare, I think, when a man does a woman’s voice well and vice versa…and kids…even tougher!

    1. I never seem to zone out during King books! If I do, usually it is something that the 30-second-replay button can fix.

      So true on narration. And I found that the really bad ones are REALLY bad! I have been lucky that most of my audiobooks have been good.

  3. I can never read a mystery for the first time in audio, so I do primarily audio rereads when it comes to mystery. Strangely enough, I don’t seem to have that problem with other genres in audio. I think it’s probably because I can’t flip back to recheck something I think might have been a clue, and then it drives me nuts because I think I might have missed something. I have yet to try King in audio, although I have 11/22/63 waiting for a reread on my iPod.

    1. Yes, I think that is the issue – just no first time mysteries on audio for me! I’m not a re-reader, however, or rather, it’s extremely rare that I re-read something but I know I have wondered about audio as the way to re-read. Anyway. Point: I think 11/22/64 for a re-read but via audio might be awesome!

  4. I only pay attention to audio books when I listen to them on the treadmill. The rest of the time I zone out and get distracted by other things. It’s a work in progress.

  5. I have a visual memory too. I can NEVER go back through an ebook to find what I want, but always know where about on the page a quote or statistic was in a regular book. That’s part of why I don’t do big reviews of audiobooks — I can’t go back through them to find the bits I want to write about.

    1. Yep, for us visual folk, the bookmarks in an audiobook are rather wasted effort, donchathink? Audiobooks are so tough. But I do enjoy them when they are great.

  6. I really enjoyed Playing Dead when I read it.

    In answer to your question, yes, I do tend to remember things like that when reading–the general location of a particular part I want to go back and review.

    I started listening to audio books a couple years ago and while I do not listen to a lot of them, I am trying to listen to more. Like you, I would really like to improve my listening skills. I have learned I shouldn’t listen to nonfiction–I really do better with fiction or books in which remembering every little detail isn’t important. I am a distracted listener and occasionally my mind wonders. I also don’t have a lot of time to listen–or rather I find it hard to make the time.

    1. I have had good luck with nonfiction on audio – but only the memoir type of NF. I recall being torn with a Tom Bissell book about vietnam. I was frustrated that I couldn’t take notes and I knew my review would be awful but I enjoyed the listen anyway.

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