April/May 2012

Discover the World of Audiobooks

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In Memoriam Yuri Rasovsky Yuri and Lorna Raver Yuri Rasovsky In January of this year, the audiobook world lost one of its bright lights, director and producer Yuri Rasovsky. It was also a very personal loss for us here at AudioFile—Yuri wrote sometimes scathing, always smart and articulate audiobook reviews for the magazine for many years, and longtime read- ers will remember his funny and curmudgeonly "Yurika!" columns about all things audiobooks. Yuri loved audio drama, and he wrote, directed, and produced many, including Sweeney Todd and the String of Pearls, The Maltese Falcon, and The Mark of Zorro. He won Peabody, Audie, Grammy, and Earphones Awards for his work, and he was honored with the Norman Corwin Award for Excellence in Audio Theatre by the National Audio Theatre Festivals last fall. In 2006, he wrote, "One has to love audio drama idola- trously, develop a veritable addiction to this work, to eke a career out of it. We deluded few who have done and continue to do so are zealots. We believe that the sonic theater can move and evoke like no other dramatic medium. And we also believe—know, rather—that when you listeners play the best of our works and give them a fair listen—whether on your car radio or home stereo or iPod— you invariably come to the same conclusion." His final project, a satirical full-cast audio drama called Die, Snow White! Die, Damn You!, comes out from Blackstone Audio in May. 10 s AudioFile/ Tony Harris Joseph A. (Tony) Harris, MD Last fall, AudioFile lost another longtime contributor to the magazine, Dr. Joseph A. Harris. Tony reviewed hundreds of audiobooks for the magazine under the initials J.A.H., many of them history titles. He had a passion for WWII in particular and for audiobooks in general—so much so that he created his own database to keep track of his listening. "For thrill seekers, history can be better than fiction when it comes to excitement," Tony wrote in 2003. "I recommend three WWII audiobooks as compelling and tense as any fabrication: Free as a Running Fox by T.D. Calnan, Assault in Norway by Thomas Gallagher (Books on Tape), and Pursuit by Ludovic Kennedy (AudioGO). These are action- packed and will keep you listening in your car for 20 minutes after you get there." In addition to his reviewing work, Tony was a technology early adopter and an ardent patron and supporter of AudioFile. He gifted us with our very first iPods in 2002, and over the years, he kept us updated with all the latest tips and tricks he'd figured out for listening to digital audiobooks. Tony was also an avid and talented photographer, and we loved seeing the photographs he shared from his homes in San Diego and Mexico City and of his pet parrot, Pancho.

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