He Said, She Said.

I’m a huge fan of audio books and can’t drive in the car without one.  My commute is about 85 minutes round-trip and listening to a book helps pass the time.  I know some people (my husband, mom, sister) can’t listen to books and drive, but I can’t drive without a book.  Though I have a car adaptor for my iPhone, I rarely listen to music and never listen to the radio unless I’m desperate for a traffic report or the Yankees are playing. 

Recently, I found myself on a long ride with only one audio book in the car (I usually have a spare!).  The book, Stone Cold by Robert B. Parker, is one of series about a detective in Massachusetts.  I’d never read any of the other books before and my local library has a paltry selection of audio books, so I grabbed this one in desperation.  I got through about three minutes of the first CD before it spiraled out of control. 

The dialog went loosely like this:

  • Blah, blah, blah, Jesse said.
  • Tra, la, la, Marcy said.
  • Sis boom bah, Jesse said.
  • Do, do, dah, Marcy said.
  • Fa la la, Jesse said.

I was so distracted by the author’s overuse of SAID that I skipped back to the start of the track to actually COUNT the number of times he used the word.  (17 times in two minutes)  Now, I’m not a math major or anything, but by my calculations the author used the word SAID once every 7 seconds for 2 minutes.  Blood started to trickle from my ears and I had to suppress the strong urge to drive my car into a mailbox.

Later, I played 120 seconds of the CD for my husband, just to make sure I wasn’t being overly dramatic or irrational.  He seconded my assessment that’s how I quit an audio book for the first time ever!

15 Comments

  • At 2009.12.16 09:03, Kathy said:

    Too bad. I’m listening to David Sedaris’s new audio and it’s hilarious, if you like his work. You could listen to the whole thing in one day.
    .-= Kathy´s last blog ..Wondrous Words Wednesday =-.

    • At 2009.12.16 12:01, Meg said:

      I would totally break up with an audio book for that reason, too! “Said” is often so totally unnecessary!
      .-= Meg´s last blog ..Why I’m a hopeless romantic, vol. 1: Craigslist’s ‘Missed Connections’ =-.

      • At 2009.12.16 15:50, Kim (Sophisticated Dorkiness) said:

        Yikes, that sounds terrible! I listened to a bunch of audiobooks this summer and, luckily, didn’t run into any that I just couldn’t listen to. I didn’t have a spare, so I’m not sure what I would have done…
        .-= Kim (Sophisticated Dorkiness)´s last blog ..Audiobook Review: The Zookeeper’s Wife =-.

        • At 2009.12.16 16:10, Alita said:

          Wow, that would drive me nuts, too! Glad you didn’t drive into any mailboxes, though!
          .-= Alita´s last blog ..Book Blogger Holiday Swap! =-.

          • At 2009.12.16 16:39, Hayden Tompkins said:

            That is HILARIOUS.

            I know as a writer (ha!) I have to watch my vocabulary. I can easily abuse awesome, sometimes, something, and phrases like “at the end of the day”. I try to keep and eye out but I don’t think anything I’ve ever written was that heinous.

            Besides, it’s “said” the laziest way to manage conversation. You want descriptive speaking. I’m sure someone, somewhere teaches that in an English class.
            .-= Hayden Tompkins´s last blog ..Stop Apologizing and Start Rocking Your Self-Esteem! =-.

            • At 2009.12.16 16:41, Hayden Tompkins said:

              Gah! I love how I spend time harping on someone else’s technical acumen but the comment itself is a hot mess. Whoops!
              .-= Hayden Tompkins´s last blog ..Stop Apologizing and Start Rocking Your Self-Esteem! =-.

              • At 2009.12.16 17:29, vivienne said:

                I just can’t do audio books. I cannot concentrate on them. My mind goes loopy trying to listen to them. I have to keep rewinding them as I forget what has happpened.
                .-= vivienne´s last blog ..Breakfast At Tiffany’s by Truman Capote =-.

                • At 2009.12.16 19:56, Ti said:

                  To me, all that he said she said stuff makes the author sounds like an amateur. I can’t stand that.

                  I have a hard time driving with an audiobook playing in the background unless it’s really fast paced. Must be that Los Angeles grid-lock. I need to be on the edge of my seat at all times.

                  • At 2009.12.16 21:22, softdrink said:

                    I have a hard time listening to fiction on audio books. This one would have driven me nuts!

                    • At 2009.12.17 20:37, Jenners said:

                      Yikes!!! I wonder if it would bother you while reading the book too?
                      .-= Jenners´s last blog ..Review: Unaccustomed Earth by Jhumpa Lahiri =-.

                      • At 2009.12.18 20:35, Lisa said:

                        Oh dear! I have several Robert Parker books that my parents have read and passed on to me. I may just have to pretend that I’ve read them and pass them back.
                        .-= Lisa´s last blog ..Friday Favorite – December 18 =-.

                        • At 2009.12.18 22:08, Lu said:

                          UGH. That’s what listening to The Turnaround was like, I feel your pain, my friend. 😉
                          .-= Lu´s last blog ..CONGRATULATIONS Beth Revis!! =-.

                          • At 2009.12.19 10:00, Beth F said:

                            That would totally kill an audio for me. Ugh.
                            .-= Beth F´s last blog ..Weekend Cooking: Caribbean Black Bean Dinner =-.

                            • At 2009.12.23 14:07, g said:

                              ugh i hate that. that’s what killed the twilight books for me – i tried, i swear! but the ‘he said, seductively – she responded, hesitantly’ crap was out of control.

                              • At 2009.12.30 00:30, Rebecca said:

                                Wow. I have read a Robert B. Parker book before and don’t remember reading he said, she said so much. Was his editor out to lunch? That would be totally annoying. I think that the narrator for The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Steig Larsson is by far my favorite. He even gave everyone a different voice. Loved it.
                                .-= Rebecca´s last blog ..New Year Read-a-thon!! =-.

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