Audiobook Spotlight | “Little Women” by Louisa May Alcott, narrated by Andrea Emmes

Posted Tuesday, 4 April, 2017 by jorielov , , , 0 Comments

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Acquired Digital Audiobook by: I am a blog tour hostess with Audiobookworm Promotions wherein I have the opportunity to receive audiobooks for review or adoption (reviews outside of organised blog tours) and host guest features on behalf of authors and narrators alike. Wherein I have become quite happily surprised how much I am now keen on listening to books in lieu of reading them in print. My journey into audiobooks was prompted by a return of my chronic migraines wherein I want to offset my readings with listening to the audio versions.

I received a complimentary audiobook copy of “Little Women” via the publicist at Audiobookworm Promotions (of whom was working directly with the narrator Andrea Emmes and Listen2abook.com) in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.

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Audiobook Spotlight | “Little Women” by Louisa May Alcott, narrated by Andrea EmmesLittle Women
by Louisa May Alcott
Source: Audiobook via Audiobookworm Promotions
Narrator: Andrea Emmes

Little Women by Louisa May Alcott, set in the 19th century follows the lives of four sisters, Meg, Jo, Beth, and Amy March as they live, learn, love, and grow as young pilgrims and blossom into fine little women.

Based on the author’s childhood, Little Women is one of the most beloved stories in American literature. It continues to touch listeners both young and old. Alcott takes you on a prolific journey which will make your heart swell, your soul laugh, and your heart ache as we experience the lives of the March sisters as they endure their lessons, scrapes, castles in the air, their romances, and more.

Places to find the book:

Genres: Children's Literature, Classical Literature, Young Adult Fiction


Published by Listen2abook.com

on 16th August, 2016

Format: Audiobook | Digital

Length: 17 hours 13 minutes (unabridged)

Published By: Listen2abook.com

Converse via: #LouisaMayAlcott, #Classics + #LittleWomen

About Louisa May Alcott

Louisa May Alcott (November 29, 1832 – March 6, 1888) was an American novelist and poet best known as the author of the novel Little Women (1868) and its sequels Little Men (1871) and Jo's Boys (1886).

Raised by her transcendentalist parents, Abigail May and Amos Bronson Alcott in New England, she also grew up among many of the well-known intellectuals of the day such as Ralph Waldo Emerson, Nathaniel Hawthorne, and Henry David Thoreau.

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In lieu of a review of this title I am adding commentary on behalf of the audiobook edition and offering this as a spotlight on the edition itself, as I cannot honestly say this was an enjoyable experience for me overall. Therefore, I’d rather keep my memories of the novel I cherish and simply offer an opinion on how it sounded to me as it was being read by this narrator.

The sad bit for me is I truly love this Classic novel – it has become such a strong part of my life – from enjoying the novel itself (which was given to me as a young girl; a special hardback edition I never forgot opening, as I was so surprised to see such a beautiful copy laying in my lap!) to watching multiple adaptations on the screen; including Katherine Hepburn’s! I can say, I am quite open to interpretations of the Classics, as even in the adaptations on screen there are variants here or there; different ways to infer a phrase or a way to bring out the light of the character’s spirit; however, what I found most frustrating is how there were not enough moments of ‘pace’ and ‘character’ in harmony with each other during this audiobook.

There are times where I kept growing frustrated by the pacing; pacing is so very important and when all the words run into each other and the scene is set at such a clip of a speed to leave you feeling winded, I do not consider it an enjoyable experience. No, to me, this was read a bit too quickly in certain places, whilst off-setting the seminal characters into near caricature status as they were less than themselves in this adaptation. I found the girls’ personalities (for the first time!) to be grating on my nerves; their voices were either too high or they simply came across as being aloof or a cheapened version of themselves. I would not necessarily take them seriously hearing this adaptation; for me personally, it was the wrong fit as a narrator (voice). For these reasons I was very disheartened which is why I decided to curb listening to the entire book and simply offer my takeaways on what remained true to me for the duration of time I staid with it.

specifically in regards to the audiobook:

As I am relatively new to reviewing audiobooks and listening to them with a greater frequency than of the past, I am appreciative of Ms Jess providing a cursory outline of how best to articulate my listening hours on behalf of this audiobook and the others I shall be blogging about or reviewing in future. I’ve modified the suggestions to what I felt were pertinent to respond too on my own behalf as well as keeping to the questions I felt were relevant to share.

About Andrea Emmes

Andrea Emmes

Andrea Emmes started her career performing in musical theater while growing up on the East Coast. This lead to a successful career as a stage performer working for Walt Disney World, Universal Studios, Renaissance Cruises and eventually head lining on the Las Vegas Strip.

Having worked in tv, film and video games, Andrea, a total bibliophile, now enjoys narrating audiobooks at her home studio in San Jose, California. Known as "The Girl with a Thousand Voices", her wide range of character voices and dynamic/emotionally invested performances has reviewers and listeners alike commenting on how she effortlessly pulls listeners in, and has versatility and charisma.

Not only does she have a Bachelor of Science in Game Art and Design, but Andrea gets her inner gamer geek on playing games of all kinds with her husband and their cat, Lucy.

Regards to the Narrator’s Individual Character performances:

I almost preferred this to be narrated in one singular voice rather than trading off individual characters; there were moments where the sisters felt contrite or even less than who the are by page or screen. Being this is a beloved classic of mine, I’ve read and seen a lot of adaptations of the story; in this, I truly did not always feel Ms Emmes embodied the characters in the right manner nor in the right tone.  I vacillated whilst listening to this story how I felt about the impressions Ms Emmes was giving about the girls; Jo came across alright but the rest of her sisters, I don’t know; I have such a strong impression of who they are and how they would sound; this rendition simply didn’t float my boat at all.

How the Novel sounded to me as it was being Read: (theatrical or narrative)

Spoken narrative with bursts of theatrics; in the beginning chapter I felt Ms Emmes was rushing the text a bit too much, as everything was running together at a pace which was not entirely vindictive of the story. It wasn’t until Emmes focused on ‘introducing’ the four sisters, to present them in turn to the listener did I feel the pacing stepped down a notch and felt more at ease with it’s subject. You could warm to this pace of narrative vs the opening pace which felt too hurried and jostled around a bit too much. Yet even moving past these sequences, there simply wasn’t enough for me to ‘hold interest’ to carry myself through 17 hours of the adaptation! I nearly cringed just thinking about listening to all those hours!

Regards to Articulation & Performance of different sections of the novel:

When it came to articulating the novel itself and the different characters’ personalities, I found Ms Emmes fell short of what I love about this story. Somehow everything just felt altered and re-established differently than anything I remember or would hope to find in a new adaptation which still keeps the foundation of the origin story intact. When it came to direct narrative, I found this was her strongest suit (not in individual characters) as you could see how well this might have sounded and by extension transitioned through the chapters as her narrative voice is rather good.

Notes on the Quality of Sound & the Background Ambiance:

The sound quality and ambiance wasn’t in question; I could tell this was a well-made audiobook as you can only distinguish the author and her voice. It’s a crisp copy and one that doesn’t have anything to distract you from what you are listening too as far as the narrative and performance is concerned.

Preference after listening to re-Listen or pick up the book in Print?

I will definitely be re-reading this Classic vs listening to another version. I will go back and enjoy watching film adaptations as well, as this version sort of turnt off the afterglow of wanting to ‘listen’ to the story. I’d rather have my own imagination to play off the text and to re-see the characters as I envision them and inspire to hear them as they speak and move through their world.

In closing, would I seek out another Andrea Emmes audiobook?

At this point in time I am not inclined to seek out another of her narrations.

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 This blog tour is courtesy of Audiobookworm Promotions:

Host badge for Audiobookworm Promotions.

Whilst participating on:

Little Women audiobook tour hosted by Audiobookworm PromotionsFun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

{SOURCES: Cover art of “Little Women (Audible Audiobook version)”, book synopsis, narrator biography, narrator photo,  author biography, Audiobookworm Promotions badge and the audiobook tour badge were all provided by Audiobookworm Promotions and used with permission. Post dividers by Fun Stuff for Your Blog via Pure Imagination. Tweets embedded by codes provided by Twitter. Blog graphics created by Jorie via Canva: Spotlight Banner and the Comment Box Banner.}

Copyright © Jorie Loves A Story, 2017.

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About jorielov

I am self-educated through local libraries and alternative education opportunities. I am a writer by trade and I cured a ten-year writer’s block by the discovery of Nanowrimo in November 2008. The event changed my life by re-establishing my muse and solidifying my path. Five years later whilst exploring the bookish blogosphere I decided to become a book blogger. I am a champion of wordsmiths who evoke a visceral experience in narrative. I write comprehensive book showcases electing to get into the heart of my reading observations. I dance through genres seeking literary enlightenment and enchantment. Starting in Autumn 2013 I became a blog book tour hostess featuring books and authors. I joined The Classics Club in January 2014 to seek out appreciators of the timeless works of literature whose breadth of scope and voice resonate with us all.

“I write my heart out and own my writing after it has spilt out of the pen.” – self quote (Jorie of Jorie Loves A Story)

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Posted Tuesday, 4 April, 2017 by jorielov in Audiobook Narrator Interview, Audiobookworm Promotions, Blog Tour Host & Reviewer, Children's Classics, Children's Literature, Classical Literature, Content Note, Fly in the Ointment, Siblings, Sisters & the Bond Between Them

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