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Coming Of Conan The Cimmerian Audio Disappointing Narrator

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#1 RJMooreII


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Posted 19 April 2012 - 01:39 PM

I recently purchased the audio of The Coming of Conan the Cimmerian. The content is great, and the narrator, Todd McLaren has a good suspensful voice but I don't think he reflects the semi-poetic sentence structure of Howard's stories. His Conan voice is nothing special, either.

I am specifically thinking here of the audio version of Robertson Dean's reading of Bran Mak Morn: The Last King. His rhythmic and brutal delivery was perfect for a Howard S&S tale, and he really made the fight scenes compelling and tense.
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#2 Russell12


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Posted 17 September 2012 - 02:50 PM

I had already reserved The Coming of Conan the Cimmerian prior to reading this post. I agree with the above - the narrator's voices are slighted and forced.

"The process of delving into the black abyss is to me the keenest form of fascination."

#3 Boot



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Posted 17 September 2012 - 11:30 PM

They're not easy to find, but I like audio books with a narrator that does not read dialogue. Instead, different voice actors play different parts, and the tale is pumped up with sound effects.

The text is the same, but the presentation is more like hearing an audio play than it is someone reading a book to you.

I'd love to hear Conan done this way.

#4 Halfdane



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Posted 18 September 2012 - 08:59 AM

I enjoy the Todd McLaren recordings, and think he does an OK Conan voice. The hard part for me (aside from cringing every time I hear Simmeria) is listening to his female voices.

Yeah, I agree that hearing Conan as an audio drama would be fantastic. Even without the sound effects & music audio dramas often employ, I think Conan would be amazing to hear read by an ensemble cast.

Especially if you could find all sorts of interesting (and maybe unplaceable) accents for all the exotic characters. I have a friend that's an audio engineer that has encouraged me to take that project on for fun...but, you know: life.

I did try tinkering with the audio when I was joining the tracks into chapters, and found that I could convincingly tweak the pitch of voices to actually give the impression of an ensemble. Doing different pushs and pulls on the already great range of voices presented rendered a convincing cast of individuals. Except the female voices. It just totally fell apart for the female voices so I gave up. Raising the pitch on female voices created the effect of a forty-something year old smoker masquerading as a woman.

Oh, and the other problem with the official audiobooks is that they give you almost enough to honestly say they haven't abridged the volumes (including some of the drafts & fragments), but for some reason they don't give you Nestor, Yaralet, Shumballa, or The Hyborian Age (as well as a few other extras).

#5 Aza9



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Posted 21 September 2012 - 03:04 PM

I recently had to do six months with two 3.5 hour drives each week and these recordings were great entertainment to occupy the miles.

Overall I think McLaren's performance is very good. I would also agree that the female voices are one of the weaker points but I'm not sure what else McLaren could have done without these recordings being a full-blown audio drama with different voice actors. But I can disregard this minor criticism because all the other voices are so good, especially Conan. Great accents and intensity!

However, these recordings were my introduction to audio books so I have a limited amount of experience with such things and maybe others are better. I have since listened to some HPL audio books and I still liked McLaren's Conan readings more.

But, really. Can you ever go wrong with some REH Conan? :D
I woulda kept Thothmekri for awhile. He could come in handy.

#6 1980conanfan


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Posted 06 October 2012 - 04:45 AM

I got bloody crown by mclaren. It's okay. I give it a 6 out of 10. It is great for long drives every few years!

btw i have listened to TONS of audiobooks.