I’m really chuffed to see there are a few more audiobooks in Bertrand’s audio collection including their first by José Saramago. It’s A Viúva (The widow) which I think it was his first novel and although it’s not his most famous, here’s hoping it’ll be the first of many audio versions to come.
“Psicopatas Portugueses” é um livro de Joana Amaral Dias. Além de ser um livro e um audiolivro, o texto foi lançado como podcast e foi assim que o ouvi. A capa do livro tem uma foto dum rosto escondido por uma máscara de hóquei, tipo Jason Voorhees dos filmes “Sexta-feira 13” , mas não é um desses romances de terror que descrevem crimes de tal forma bizarros e ultrajantes que existe uma espécie de diversão perversa, entrelaçada com o choque de assassinatos tão assustadores. Em vez disso, trata-se de histórias de “crime verídico” mais quotidianas. Os contos abordam casos de pessoas que matam por causa de ciúmes incontroláveis, ou simplesmente por cobiça por dinheiro. Até há pessoas com doenças mentais (sem ser psicopatia) que matam elementos das suas próprias famílias de modo sórdida e nojenta. Acho que os fãs deste género podem gostar desta obra. Já eu, nem por isso. Achei-o ligeiramente deprimente e fiquei aliviado quando cheguei ao fim.
Vidadupla – Sérgio Godinho
Here’s a review of the audiobook of Vidadupla (“Double Life”) by singer, poet, author and rennaissance man Sérgio Godinho. I listened to it on the Bertrand “Biblio” app, but as I mentioned before, it’s a bit unreliable in that it seems to pause itself when the screen dims or… Something… Something isn’t quite right, at least in the Android version, so I had to keep pinging it to wake it up. That’s probably OK at home but it’s a bit annoying if you’re gardening at the same time, as I was. If you haven’t already seen it, there’s a whole page about different sources of Portuguese audiobooks here. Thanks to Patis12 and Dani_Morgenstern for the corrections
Acabei de “ler” este Audiolivro do Sérgio Godinho hoje. É uma coleção de contos e o vocabulário é bastante fácil para um aluno do meu nível. Mas tinha uns problemas.
É que… A narradora tem uma voz hipnótica portanto (estou envergonhado por admitir) dei por mim a ficar repetidamente distraído* pelo ritmo da leitura e logo depois perdi o fio à meada. Rebobinei a gravação várias vezes mas afinal não apreciei o livro tanto quanto merece. Ou talvez sou eu que não mereço livros bons.
Bem, de qualquer maneira, gostei do que ouvi. Nem sequer sabia que o Senhor Godinho tinha escrito livros. Já ouvi várias músicas dele. É óbvio que é um homem que sabe criar coisas bonitas.
The Bertrand Bublio App (mentioned on the Audio Books page) is annoying me. I’ve been listening to Vida Dupla by Sérgio Godinho but it pauses every minute or so and I have to keep tapping the screen to make it move on. I think it’s a bug where it needs permission not to suspend when the screen goes blank or when a notification comes in or… I dunno… Something. Maybe tomorrow’s writing task will be uma carta de reclamação about the issue.
A Casa No Bosque
A Casa No Bosque é parte* dum par de livros escrito por Susana Morais, dona do site “Portuguese Lab”. Este foi escrito para estudantes do nível B2 (intermédio) e o outro é mais básico, de nível A2. Ambos têm áudio e alguns exercícios para estimular a compreensão. É curto (o áudio é quase uma hora), portanto é um conto, não um romance.
Muitas histórias educativas acabam por ser aborrecidas, mas Susana Morais escreve muito bem e a história é engraçada. Contudo, confesso que não prestei atenção o suficiente aos nomes das personagens portanto perdi o fio da meada. Vou ouvir novamente e anotar a nome de cada pessoa à medida que é dita.**
*I tried to day it was “one of a pair” but that’s not a thing, apparently
**And I did and it made a lot more sense in the second pass when I understood why some of the other characters were there. It really is good. I definitely recommend it and the A2 equivalent. I mentioned them in a post a few days back.
I’ve just updated the Textbook page of the blog with a new set of books I’ve heard about.
Susana Morais is the creator of the Portuguese Lab Podcast and Academy and she’s written a couple of story books aimed at portuguese learners: A Casa Na Bosque for intermediate learners (B2) and A Baú das Coisas Perdidas for beginners (A2). They each come with an audio version read by the author and some questions at the end to test your comprehension. I have the B2 version and have listened to the first few minutes. It looks like a really useful addition to the ever-growing list of resources for learners.
Looking out at the landscape today, compared to when I started, when it was pretty much just the Practice Portuguese podcast – and even that was pretty shonky in the early days – there’s really quite a lot of good stuff out there for anyone wanting to ;earn european portuguese.
Anyway, the links above go to the Kobo versions, which is what I’m using, since it allows me to listen to the audio and read all on one device, but you can get a printed version or several other ebook options via her website Storyglot.
Portuguese Audiobooks – A New Chapter?
I’m really chuffed to see Livraria Bertrand now has an audiobook section and an app for ebooks and audiobooks. You can find the page here, and it’s a little underdeveloped at the moment, but so was Audible when I first joined so I’m not giving up on it. The link takes you to the front page of the portuguese audio section, but if you look in the menu on the left-hand side you’ll see there are subheadings for history, science, classics and so on, so you can rummage around and see if anything takes your fancy.
The most annoying aspect of it is that it doesn’t have a preview feature so you can’t find out if the reader is European or Brazilian. Some are obvious, but I picked out a couple that I knew seemed like a good bet – O Vendeador de Passados by José Eduardo Agualusa and Vidadupla by Sérgio Godinho and can confirm that they are both european portuguese. Yippee!!! There are a couple of others by Godinho but as for the rest, I dunno. If you sample any, I’d love it if you could tell me what you thought in the comments. Share the knowledge!
I’ll add these to my Portuguese Audiobooks Page in the few days. In the meantime, if anyone knows anything about any of the other books, I’d love it if you could tell me about it in the comments. Let’s share the knowledge! We learners have to stick together!
New YouTube Channel
If you enjoyed the audiobook post a couple of weeks ago you might also enjoy this new YouTube channel started by Booktuber Silent Wanderer. It’s called Em Voz Alta and it’s looking to release two chapters per week of short stories read by Portuguese readers, many of whom I already know from their own channels. So far, they’ve finished O Principezinho (everyone’s favourite!) and they’re well into The Canterville Ghost.
Don’t forget, you can use the videos as audiobooks even if the screen is off by following the suggestions in my most recent post, Story Hour
One of the things that struck me after posting my list of audiobooks is that there aren’t many that are aimed at younger children, and if you’re a new reader that might be exactly what you need. I did check all the Portuguese children’s stories on Audible but with the exception of O Principezinho they were all Brazilian.
It seems like the best way to listen to stories for children is through videos. There are some on YouTube and some on the RTP Estudo em Casa site under “Hora da Leitura” (Reading Hour).
Here are a few lists you can tap into. If you want to listen to them as audiobooks, with the screen off and your phone in your pocket, there are a couple of settings you need to change on your phone, and I’ll put a video about that down at the bottom if you need it.
- Histórias de uma Quarantena (Contalá)
- Leandro Rei de Heliria (Conta-me um Conto)
- Leitura Terceiro Ciclo (Conta-me um Conto)
- My own YouTube playlist of children’s stories
- This one isn’t a playlist, but you can see the RTP Hora da Leitura videos here. Obviously, these are for home-schooling during pandemic lockdown so there’s a bit of discussion around each. If you’re reading this during a lockdown, consider watching them outside of school hours so as not to add to network traffic.
Obviously, you might be happy just to follow along with the video, especially since some of them show the actual text, or animations that can be good visual clues, but if you want to treat them like normal audiobooks, here’s a video that will explain how to set your phone up to play the audio only, even when the phone screen is off.
The Greatest Stories Ever Heard
As regular readers (hey, stop laughing – I have regular readers! I do!) will know, I am obsessed with audiobooks, so I have been trying for a while now to compile a definitive list of all the european portuguese audiobooks available, so I have been through every single audiobook in Audible and listened to the accent and I’ve wrestled with Kobo’s completely useless search function to bring a few golden nuggets from among the grit. You can find them all here. I’ll add to the list as new ones become available. If you know of any I’ve missed, please let me know. I feel like I’ve been pretty thorough but I’m just one person and it’s a big internet.
There are affiliate links on the page, by the way: I’m hoping my obsession will pay for itself one day.