Audio Book Review: Skellig by David Almond

Sometimes we think we should be able to know everything. But we can’t. We have to allow ourselves to see what there is to see, and we have to imagine.”

—David Almond, Skellig

I listen to audiobooks everywhere and doing everything; riding the bus, jogging, cooking. But I started Skellig by David Almond late at night, with my eyes closed and mind focused. This turned out to be the perfect setting to allow this enchanting story to unfold.

Skellig is weirdly wonderful. With lyrical prose, Almond creates believable characters and captivating scenes in a short space. While the plot itself has refreshingly ambiguous elements, the reflections on themes such as family, friendship and the unknown are unmistakable and valuable. Listen to my (accordingly brief) review:

(Please excuse my unskilled delivery, this is my first attempt at something like this. Verbal communication is my weak point, so this was a challenge and learning experience for me. I never knew how harshly I pronounced my ‘s’ and ‘t’s!)

In audio format or print, Skellig will take only a matter of minutes to devour, and is well worth the read, so I won’t reveal any more. Allow Almond to sweep away your imagination and nourish your sense of wonder for an afternoon.

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Skellig plays on Jumbie the Zune. Photo by Gabrielle Nygaard

Skellig was first published in 1998, but I only recently came upon it in a list of Printz honor books. It has since been adapted into a play, opera, and movie (currently available for view on Netflix instant watch. I’m a big Tim Roth fan, so I watched it last night, but don’t recommend it half as highly as the book). In 2010, Almond published a prequel to Skellig, entitled My Name Is Mina.

You can listen to an excerpt of the Skellig audiobook via davidalmond.com.

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One thought on “Audio Book Review: Skellig by David Almond

  1. The boxed pull quote at the top of the post catches my eye and get’s my attention. As I’d expect, the post is well written and informative. Technically, the audio is goo – very clear, no background noise, and a strong signal. You’re right about your narration technique. I think the best thing you could do is slow down a bit. Your reading sounds rushed. You need to pause at commas and periods, and you rush through the title of the book. Relax and slow down. Don’t read the script to me. Instead, tell me about the book, as if I was sitting next to you. The audio writing is quite good, so give it the time and attention it deserves.

    Your Zune is awesome.

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