I have recently completed reading Colleen McCullough's "An Indecent Obsession." A great deal of the book might be classified as telling, that is, if you fail to appreciate that it is a master story teller doing the telling and it is a great novel.
If you tell me that men in a stagecoach are impatient and angry, as L. L'Amour described them in the Lonesome Gods, and I can visualise them, heads moving, bodies swaying with the motion of the coach, expressions changing. If you try to show me by saying, Frankly I tire of excessive rolled eyes and eyebrows raised, I get this fixed motionless image that to me is more telling than showing.
I have no problem listening to a great story teller. The rules of showing and telling blur in the hands of a master and an amateur can end up telling with too many described actions and facial expressions where a one word summery might work better. There isn't a set rule for when to show and when to tell, I think. As readers we can relax and appreciate great writing for what it is and the author's individual way of showing/telling the story.
Thank goodness authors are still individuals with this.
I too love audio books when on the road. I cover long distances across Australia, each year and audio books increase the pleasure of the experience. he focus on a book increases road safety as I stay allert on long drives. I always turn the book off while driving though built up areas to increase my concentration on what might come out of side roads, during that time.
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