Several weeks ago in a blog post about the book The Invention of Hugo Cabret -- which I LOVE -- I asked people whose first experience with this story was as an audio book to report back what they thought. We've received a response back via our Mock Newbery Discussion Board. You can read the entire post, and respond with your own comments, but here is a brief excerpt from someone who experienced the book first as an audio book rather than as a book of bound paper.
What did I think of the story? I loved it. It was great. Yes, I cared deeply for Hugo and the struggles he was in. I was hoping the automaton would give him that message from dad. On and on, I can say that I thought the story was gripping and echo all of the positive comments others have already posted about the book.
I really did not feel that I missed out on anything by not having pictures. The story felt very complete in its text.
Is there anything special to note about the audio version? There is some use of sound effects, though not a lot. The sound of the train and the clicking of heels stands out. The author states in his interview that he used sound effects similarly to the way they were used in silent films. He says he used the sound effects to move the story along in the same way he used the illustrations in the print version. However, in the book there are A LOT of illustrations, while I don't feel the audio used a great deal of sound effects.
Thanks, JLB! We really appreciate your comments!