Hammy and Grammy

Last week the New York Times Book Review did a couple of nice features on audiobooks, an under-reviewed genre. The Times stories “Wired for Sound” and “The Mind’s Ear,” got me to thinking about audio.

I’ve always used audiobooks on car trips, where I dug into things I might not otherwise read in a book book, and I’ve enjoyed audiobooks on the treadmill at the Ashland YMCA (though I exercise harder with music than with books or cable news). And when I had eye surgery, I listened to all 10 disks of David Hajdu’s The Ten-Cent Plague, read by Stefan Rudnicki. Perhaps my New Year’s resolution should be to get more systematic about listening to audiobooks.

So seeing the Times pieces and making my pre-resolution, I was pleasantly surprised to learn that two Blackstone audiobooks were nominated for the 2012 Grammy Awards, in the wordy category “Best Spoken Word Album (Includes Poetry, Audio Books & Story Telling).” I had forgotten there was such a category, but I shouldn’t have: Barack Obama won in 2005 and 2008.

HamletThe three-hour “Hamlet” performance was produced and directed by Ira Burton and based on the 2010 Oregon Shakespeare Festival production directed by Bill Rauch. It’s part of an OSF-Blackstone collaboration which aims to produce audio versions of all of Shakespeare’s plays over the next 17-25 years. The “Hamlet” audio features almost the entire cast of the OSF 2010 production, including Dan Donohue in the lead. It’s great to see the debut production in the running for a Grammy.

And congratulations too on Blackstone’s nomination for “The Mark of Zorro,” read by Val Kilmer. The winners will be announced at the 54th Grammy Award ceremony on February 12, 2012.

About Ed Battistella

Edwin Battistella’s latest book Dangerous Crooked Scoundrels was released by Oxford University Press in March of 2020.
This entry was posted in Ideas and Opinions. Bookmark the permalink.