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Do You Enjoy Stories Narrated to You via Dramatized Audiobooks?

Audiobook The Blue Bar

An audiobook was an unknown entity in my life a mere decade ago. I had no access, and thought they might send me to sleep. When audiobooks first came to the National Library of Singapore, I ignored them for one whole year, before getting a subscription to Overdrive.

I began listening to an audiobook while cooking one morning, and realized that if I combined my audiobooks with another activity that required almost no thought, like going on a walk, or folding the laundry or gardening, I quite enjoyed it. I began to relish my chores, because sometimes that was the only gap where I could fit in some reading. I wrote about audiobooks here, and spoke of the way they helped me focus, relax, and fit in some reading into my punishing schedule.

In the past few years debates have raged over audiobooks: do they count as reading, or not? I’m firmly on the side of counting audiobooks as reading. It is about consuming a story and when I’m listening, I’m definitely experiencing it.

From that time to now, it has been a long journey. Audiobooks are narrated by some of the best narrator, actors, and unfortunately, also AI narrators. I’m all for using AI for accessibility purposes, and audiobooks have done wonders to make books accessible to the visually impaired, but I firmly believe that a natural human voice can provide nuance and emotion that an AI version cannot.

My USA debut, The Blue Bar, has an audiobook version, narrated by a fabulous reader. Not just that, it is a version that received glowing reviews from both Audiofile Magazine and Library Journal, reputed trade journals consulted by the industry.

This was the review on Audiofile magazine:

“Narrator Sneha Mathan’s strong performance transports listeners to the streets of Mumbai as police Inspector Arnav Singh Rajput is called to investigate a dismembered body, which he soon realizes is the work of a serial killer. As he races to track down the murderer, using any methods available, his past and present converge, bringing new challenges. Mathan’s narration is spot-on. She creates believable male and female characters, in particular clearly differentiating key characters as the plot moves between the present and the past. Her authentic-sounding accents and pronunciation of Indian names and phrases help to set the scene and create the perfect atmosphere for this intriguing mystery.”

The Library Journal review, is of course quoted in the picture above.

The audiobook version of The BlueBar is free on Amazon with Kindle Unlimited. And for readers in Australia and the UK, The Blue Bar is on a Monthly Kindle Deal, which means you can snag it for as little as 99 cents and add a dollar or two in order to add the audio version.

With the trade reviews in Audiofile and Library Journal, libraries would be interested in the book.

For anyone reading this who enjoys a local library, I’d request you to recommend The Blue Bar. Most libraries in the USA, UK and Australia actually carry audiobooks, and I’d be thrilled if your library carried the audio version of The Blue Bar. Libraries have online recommendations forms, and the steps to recommend are here: will take only a minute or two, and it is an absolutely sterling way to support my book.

Here’s how to do make a library request :
1. It can be done online for most libraries. All you have to do is google your library name and the phrase, ‘Suggest a Title’, together.
2. They’ll ask for the book details, which I’m pasting below in a handy list :
ISBN: ‎ 1662503911
Publisher: Thomas & Mercer
Date of publication: 1 January, 2023
Formats: Paperback, eBook, audio
If the form asks for any extra information, you can paste these links:
Starred Review on Publishers Weekly

Huge thanks to everyone who’s already recommended the paperback version to their libraries. I’d be grateful for a recommendation of the audio version.

Do you enjoy stories narrated to you via dramatized audiobooks? When was the last time you listened to an audiobook? Would you like to help me out by recommending my audiobook to your local library?

My crime novel, The Blue Bar is out this year with Thomas & Mercer. Add it to Goodreads or order it to make my day. It is on a Monthly Kindle Deal in the UK and Australia, so now is a good time to pick a kindle copy if you haven’t already.
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Damyanti Biswas

Damyanti Biswas is the author of You Beneath Your Skin and numerous short stories that have been published in magazines and anthologies in the US, the UK, and Asia. She has been shortlisted for Best Small Fictions and Bath Novel Awards and is co-editor of the Forge Literary Magazine. Her literary crime thriller series, the Blue Mumbai, is represented by Lucienne Diver from The Knight Agency. Both The Blue Bar and The Blue Monsoon were published in 2023.

I appreciate comments, and I always visit back. If you're having trouble commenting, let me know via the contact form, or tweet me up @damyantig !

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  • That’s amazing! Congratulations 🙂 I like listening to audio books too. Looking forward to listening to the audio book of The Blue Bar once it is available for me here.

    • Damyanti Biswas says:

      Thanks, Reema. It is available in India already. And it is free with Kindle Unlimited.

  • Vinitha says:

    That’s awesome! Congratulations to you, Damyanti.
    I listen to audiobooks, but not when I do anything, because I just can’t focus properly even if I am just folding clothes. So I listen when I am doing nothing. Yes, I am weird like that. 🙂

    • Damyanti Biswas says:

      Hey Vinitha, thank you! And you’re not weird at all. We all function differently 🙂

  • nope – I space out 😉

    • Damyanti Biswas says:

      That’s exactly what I do if I sit down to listen to a book. I need to be doing something else in order to focus.

  • DutchIl says:

    Thank you for sharing!!.. i am in the beginning/preparation/learning stage of audio books (another reason I purchased the Kindle Fire).. I can see definite advantages of using the audio books in the future… 🙂

    Hope all is well, life is all that you wish for it to be and until we meet again..

    May the road rise to meet you
    May the wind be always at your back
    May the sun shine warm upon your face
    The rains fall soft upon your fields
    May green be the grass you walk on
    May blue be the skies above you
    May pure be the joys that surround you
    May true be the hearts that love you.
    (Irish Saying)

  • Shilpa Gupte says:

    Congrats on the audio book getting good reviews! It would be fun to listen to the story…it’s been so long since I enjoyed such a story-telling session. 🙂

  • hilarymb says:

    Hi Damyanti – if I was commuting I’d enjoy listening to them … and I guess if I had a hobby that allowed me to listen at the same time. The voice is essential too – I can so easily get put off, but equally love some narrators. I’ll try to get your book down at our library … thanks for that prompt – cheers Hilary

    • Damyanti Biswas says:

      Yes, the narrator is crucial. If I can’t stand the narrator’s voice, it’s hard for me to get into the book.

  • Sonia Dogra says:

    I enjoy audio books. Just like you, they make my mundane tasks bearable. Good to see The Blue Bar’s audio version doing well!

    • Damyanti Biswas says:

      Thanks Sonia. And yes, audiobooks are a blessing for chores!

  • Jemima Pett says:

    No… they send me to sleep. Unless I’m on a train, and a journey long enough to complete them. I don’t do that sort of journey any more 🙁
    But I think they’re a good idea.

    • Damyanti Biswas says:

      They send me to sleep too unless I’m on a transport or on a chore. I really wonder why that is.

  • I am a dinosaur. I prefer paper backs and hard backs to e-books and have not yet stepped on the audio book treadmill.. Mind you, when I think of them I also think of a work colleague who had a stroke and lost the ability to read and write. I so hope that she has found audio books.

    • Damyanti Biswas says:

      So good to see you back, Sue! Audiobooks help tremendously with accessibility!

  • I prefer paperbacks or hardbacks and if not available or too expensive I’ll read an e-Book. However, I find that audiobooks take too long to listen to. They are good for the car and I’ve listened to many audiobooks in the car on my way to work. However, I would not listen to an audiobook at home.

    • Damyanti Biswas says:

      I never can listen to an audiobook sitting in a chair doing nothing else. I find audiobooks very useful to keep me entertained while doing chores.

  • vishnupria says:

    I recently started with audiobooks which seem to be handy, in fact I can continue to finish the book I read in physical form through audiobooks. And makes such a convenience while cooking or attending other chores.

    • Damyanti Biswas says:

      Right? It makes chores around the home pleasant, and allows us to fit in some reading.

  • I like your list of chores. I don’t listen to audio books, but that sounds appealing.

    • Damyanti Biswas says:

      Yep. I still fall asleep if I’m listening to audiobooks while I’m sat somewhere. Need a chore, or unthinking movement to make it click.

  • rxena77 says:

    I do most of my reading by listening to audioboks. Long blood runs become exciting because of them … and bad drivers! Robert Rossmann made me sound much better a writer than I am. Sadly, he has become too busy to do any more of my books. The talented Scott O’Dell was taken from me and this life by Hurricane Laura. 🙁 I am now going off to buy your audio book. Happy Sales, Roland

    • Damyanti Biswas says:

      Thanks so much, Ronald. I hear you on the difficulty of finding good narrators, and how much life they breathe into the book.