Readers might recall some of the concerns and criticisms last month about the release of the lack of recorded end notes in the Infinite Jest audio book (not forgetting pdf end notes are included - see my related post back in April, Why I Cannot Recommend the Infinite Jest Audio Book) even though the quality of the reading by Sean Pratt has been acclaimed.
Things have taken an interesting turn - I had a particularly interesting conversation with the Hachette Book Group's Vice President of audio, Anthony Goff, last week, and to get to the point, the audio endnotes are on the way.
Anthony Goff was very keen to make it known that the Hachette Book Group have heard the concerns of fans and listeners, and understand that having recorded end notes are essential to Infinite Jest.
By way of explanation it was made clear that current audio book technologies (both in file size support by digital delivery, and sheer file management if end notes are recorded as individual files make it very difficult to do things exactly as they would like. i.e. 450-ish files if the content was produced in order to allow readers to skip end notes - though why you'd want to skip them when the first 350 pages are already dizzying is another question - the novel trains the reader to cope...
The Audible UK version of the original audio book will become available for purchase around September (pdf end notes), and the 6 hours of recorded end notes are expected to be available in the summer for everyone (for an additional, smaller, cost).
The end notes will not be integrated, but it does sound like Hachette Books have long term plans for making this work as the technology allows it. Maybe some enterprising person (or Hachette Books...) will take note of where each end note occurs so people who've purchased the whole text can integrate them somehow.
Most importantly Anthony Goff has made it clear Hachette Books are VERY interested in feedback and ideas from listeners and fans. So please leave any in the comments below, or post them to me here, and I'll make sure they get to Anthony ASAP.
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