“The audiobook becomes a part of your journey.” Clive Catterall on audiobooks in the car

In Where We Listen, Iambik’s community of narrators, proof-listeners, friends, and and fans share memorable audiobook-listening experiences.  Do you have an anecdote to share?  Where do you listen to your audiobooks?  Email Miette and tell us about it.

Here, Iambik narrator Clive Catterall tours New Zealand’s south island to The Light Princess and P.G. Wodehouse:

Like many people, I often listen to audiobooks in my car. But there can be problems. If the book gets too involved either your driving suffers or you miss chunks of the story. When I took a road trip last year I had to stop four or five times after busy road junctions to rewind Ian Richardson’s excellent reading of The Prince by Machiavelli. When it first came out, I bought Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone and worked through the cassettes in the car. You have to time your journey just right, though. I arrived at a business meeting on time but had to stay in the car to listen to the end of a chapter. I wasn’t outrageously late…
But the best bit about listening to an audiobook in the car is when the audiobook becomes a part of your journey. I loaded up two mp3 players before our family took a month to tour round the south island of New Zealand. There are big distances between the towns of this achingly beautiful landscape and, even though the views are spectacular, I knew that the long journeys were going to test the patience of our youngest two children. So we listened to stories.

These stories are now part of my memories of that journey. The drive through the Canterbury Plains was made to George MacDonald’s story The Light Princess. We visited Hanmer Springs to the tale of Dr Doolittle. We arrived at Lake Te Anau and The Princess and the Goblin was just finishing. By the time we had circled back up to Nelson we had progressed to Mike by P.G. Wodehouse.

That trip was four years ago. Recently, I listened to the start of The Light Princess for the first time since then. After the first few paragraphs I could remember the smell of the inside of the car: orange peel, sun cream and sea salt.

About Clive Catterall: Clive has always been interested in storytelling, and has recorded audiobooks for LibriVox and Iambik. As well as recording audiobooks , Clive writes and illustrates non-fiction for children.  He has narrated two titles for Iambik to-date: In the Shadow of Swords by Val Gunn (published in print by Errant Press) and Space Captain Smith by Toby Frost (published in print by Myrmidon), in addition to several public domain titles for Librivox including The Light Princess.

Read Clive’s interview with Space Captain Smith author Toby Frost, or learn more about Clive.