I haven’t been on an 11-hour drive this month or even a 6-7 hour one. These trips had become so common for me there for awhile that I feel I experience time differently now– both without the timeless gaps of driving (that American highways sensibility that Nabokov, of all people, describes so well) and without looking forward to another one of these gaps.

Last year on various drives I listened to the following books:

  • Ellison’s Invisible Man
  • Hurston’s Their Eyes Were Watching God
  • Faulkner’s The Sound and the Fury
  • Joyce’s Ulysses (abridged)
  • Nabokov’s Lolita
  • Snow Flower and the Secret Fan
  • Guns, Germs and Steel
  • Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby

The next driving experience will be later this month, when Eric, Damian, Will and I travel up to the Buffalo Small Press Book Fair to see all our friends.


About Jessica Smith
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4 Responses to Drives

  1. kph says:

    I’ve become addicted to the free audiobooks on LibriVox. I like how the volunteers have different accents, dialects, and reading styles. Sometimes I can’t understand what the hell they are saying, but it’s still charming to listen. And all in all they make the trip between DC and western NY a lot easier.

  2. how did Ulysses work for you on tape? i see it was abridged, but still. i’ve been wanting to tackle Ulysses for awhile and i guess i feel a bit intimidated…i’ve heard so many different things. any advice?

    i love books on tape too : )

    but sometimes i just can’t stand the voice of whose reading ; )

  3. looktouch says:

    Shannon, I highly recommend listening to this recording of Ulysses– maybe even before you tackle the written text. It’s a Naxos recording that has different voices for the different narrators. The people are trained and talented Irish actors. The unabridged Naxos recording is over $100 but this one’s under $10 used and it’s pretty wonderful. Hearing Ulysses is important. The book makes a lot more sense if you listen to it. I find listening to audiobooks always gives me new insights into the text, but this is especially true for Joyce– you almost *have* to listen to it.

    (You can buy it cheap, used, at Amazon)

  4. thanks for the tip, Jessica. listening to it before tackling the text suddenly makes the whole thing seem more doable. and what luck, i *need* to order something else from amazon for mi padres.

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