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Customer Discussions > Audio Book forum

Unabridged vs abridged

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Showing 1-25 of 189 posts in this discussion
In reply to an earlier post on Jun 25, 2015 12:01:04 PM PDT
Gnomes Rule says:
Thank you Cornwall Man, I've read some written fictional books, that were in need of editing, long drawn out sections that did nothing to the move the story along. I also read some where the main character repeated the same thing over and over to each and every other character he met in the story, boring when you read the same thing three or more times. Now I found a few of those in the abridged version and they removed the telling of the story and just gave us the reaction of the character receiving the information and the book flowed so much better, the story made more sense. So sometimes (Not always) less is better.

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 25, 2015 11:23:09 AM PDT
Cornwall Man says:
There's a market for both formats. I listen to a lot of self-help non fiction and business books in the abridged format. Just give me the facts please. Other times I listen to an abridgement of unknown mystery thriller authors I want to try. BUT if I want to listen to my favorite authors it's Unabridged for me no matter the subject. Some, and I emphasize "some, audiobook companies put a lot of time and effort into abridged titles carefully editing the material and finding a good reader (who might be different from the unabridged reader) and delivering a very good work. It's pure chutzpah to think and believe that every little utterance, aside and adjective of an author is fundamental to the work. Grow up and get your nose out of the air.

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 25, 2015 7:51:44 AM PDT
Gnomes Rule says:
I have found movie versions of a book normally have very little to do with the book.

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 23, 2015 4:58:00 AM PST
Marce says:
Let's also stamp out the evil of DUBBING and force everyone to watch movies in their original language!!!

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 23, 2015 4:45:55 AM PST
Marce says:
What about John Grisham? Abridged or unabridged? I made a mistake on an order for "Sycamore Row" by putting the abridged audio in my shopping cart, but thanks to Pavithra from Customer Service they solved it and now I'll be finally getting the unabridged one, the one I wanted.

In reply to an earlier post on Sep 29, 2014 7:55:28 PM PDT
Laura Macky says:
I just bought Healing Back Pain which went word for word through three chapters and stopped. The actual book had 7 chapters plus an intro and patient interviews at the end. and this was NOT a condensed version but rather 1/3rd of the book. I'm getting my money back from audible bit that is a pathetic abridged version.

In reply to an earlier post on May 11, 2014 8:37:52 AM PDT
Marce says:
I have both the print book and the audio CD (retail edition, the cheaper one of the two)

In reply to an earlier post on May 11, 2014 8:35:46 AM PDT
Marce says:
Wow, "The Innocent Man". I might swing a little extra to buy that. Too bad the narrator (Mr. Frank Muller) is dead now. He would have made millions happy narrating in 2014....

In reply to an earlier post on May 11, 2014 7:02:33 AM PDT
Marce says:
Hmmm... I have purchased the exact same audiobook with its accompanying paperback, but now I think the CDs are all scratched out, so I might need to order new ones through Blackstone's new site,

Posted on Oct 17, 2013 10:55:59 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Oct 17, 2013 11:02:17 AM PDT
Gibbs says:
I prefer to experience a book in it's truest form, as the author intended. So for me, it's unabridged all the way!

My novel. 4-Stars on Amazon
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Posted on May 28, 2013 5:22:18 PM PDT
S. Chan says:
Assume you meant "abridged books lose a lot of the flow" and mistyped. But as someone who has listened to the unabridged versions of Ms. Galbadon's Outlander books, I am appalled to hear that abridgements that contain only about 10% of her books exist. Not only would the listener lose a lot of the plot, he/she would miss some of Ms. Galbadon's best writing -- the little scenes about everyday life.

Posted on May 28, 2013 8:41:44 AM PDT
Catmom says:
Sorry, but I just feel that for the most part unabridged books lose a lot of the flow of the story. I have read some where I kept asking myself "when did that happen" or "who is that person". The worst ever, though are the abridgements or Diane Gabaldon's Outlander series. They took 48 CDs and compressed them into 4. Talk about confusion, they just stopped in the middle of each book and left you hanging. If I had not read the entire series, I would not have had a clue as to what was happening.

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 10, 2013 8:34:14 AM PDT
[Deleted by Amazon on Mar 10, 2013 8:40:48 AM PDT]

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 8, 2013 12:10:53 PM PST
NMPascoe says:
Been there and done that many times, Chris....not sure if my reaction was ever as honest and well spoken as yours...PLP

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 8, 2013 11:48:00 AM PST
Chris says:
I take your point. I did edit that post a couple of minutes after, but it doesn't appear to have updated. It was an angry kneejerk reaction. An honest one, but honing one's honesty into a point and jabbing it into someone's eye isn't very nice. I'll just delete it.

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 8, 2013 11:35:39 AM PST
NMPascoe says:
Chris, my husband and I deliver newspapers from Midnight to Dawn 7 days a week in a rural area where the car radio just can't keep up. We both enjoy reading audio books every night. We agree with you about abridgements for ourselves, but in this country everyone has the right (at least for now) to make his own choice. We absolutely HATE abridgements whether in print or audio, but, others must make their own decisions.

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 8, 2013 11:08:50 AM PST
[Deleted by the author on Mar 8, 2013 11:48:40 AM PST]

Posted on Mar 8, 2013 11:06:47 AM PST
Chris says:
Abridged books are a travesty. Take something like one of Terry Pratchett's Discworld novels. The abridgements are sometimes less than half the length of the unabridged version. Terry's great genius is for character interaction. Who in their right mind would want half of that removed, leaving only those scenes that involve direct references to the plot.

In reply to an earlier post on Sep 5, 2012 5:23:14 AM PDT
Kate M. says:
Part of it depends on why you're reading the book and why you're considering the audiobook. If you're finding the book tedious to read go ahead and get the abridged. On the other hand, you will definitely not be able to join in a discussion of Washington: A Life with people who've read or listened to the entire book. I am one of those people who dislike abridged books, but sometimes I've read books and wished that they were abridged.

Before making a decision, I suggest that you go to and listen to the samples of the two readers. I just did, and if that was any indication I can certainly understand why you're considering the abridged book. I found the level of detail and repetition of sources (we got a description from three different people, all saying about the same thing -- the painter, Stewart, Jefferson and one other I've forgotten) tedious in just the ten minutes I listened to. I also felt that the reader of the unabridged, Scott Brick, although a good reader in general, would be intolerable for 41 hours. I'm not familiar with Edward Herrmann, the reader of the abridged version, but I liked his voice a lot more.

You still own the full length book and can continue to read what's missing from the abridged book but I'd have to ask why not just pick a more interesting biography of Washington? If someone has recommended this book to you there may be some value to the book that I missed in just hearing what was essentially the same passage read by two different readers. Maybe that person really enjoyed the minutia detailed in the book. Maybe try reading the reviews here on Amazon and at Audible. The reviews for the unabridged book (959 of them at this point) are overwhelmingly positive, including kudos for the narration. Only 37 people have taken the time to review the abridgment but again, a very positive review, 4.4 for the unabridged and 4.5 for the abridged. One other thing I noted in the reviews was that although Scott Brick had some unfavorable reviews the response was overwhelmingly positive. Given all that, I'm very curious what your decision will be, and even more so how you will feel at the end of the books about the choice you make. Good luck.

Posted on Sep 5, 2012 5:17:44 AM PDT
Norrdeke says:
Well said.

In reply to an earlier post on Sep 4, 2012 10:11:09 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Sep 4, 2012 10:14:33 PM PDT
Simon says:
Those of us who steer clear of abridged books, would do so for less of an abridgement than the one you mention. We would consider the loss of a third to be too radical an edit for the enjoyment of a book not to be obstructed. In this case it is nearly two thirds! You have to ask yourself what you want to achieve. Do you want to learn what this biographer wanted their readers to hear, or what the publisher wanted to cut in order to sell the book to a wider market? Two thirds of a book is not just grammatical padding. It will be chunks of information...large portions of factual information that a lone editor deemed could be discarded...often without an authors intervention. Another question that I would ask myself is, what would I do once I finished the abridged book...go on to another book? Instead of thinking 41 hours seems like a long time, think of it as 3 shorter books, because it is likely that's what you'll end up reading anyway. Unless you are someone who doesn't like to read or listen to books anyway, tnis is a one off exercise, I personally would be inclined to just read the full book. Even if you did only read on rare occasions, I would encourage you to enjoy the fruits of a well thought out and structured book, complete with everything the author intended to tell you.

Posted on Sep 4, 2012 9:41:37 PM PDT
S. Lipscomb says:
I am hardly into Washington: A Life, and I am debating getting the abridged or unabridged audiobooks to assist in my reading progress. I understand the difference, but am unsure if I will be sacrificing quality in the abridged version. The difference in times is 41hrs to 14hrs. Keep in mind I will be reading daily. Hopefully there are some insights on biographical abridging that can help me make a decision.

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 19, 2012 8:03:45 PM PDT
James Maddox says:
Nothing is taken materially away that won't effect the book. Tell that to Clive Cussler. Seems he sued the producers of the movie Sahara after that totally destroyed the plot of his book. The author spent a lot of time developing the plot of an book and carefully decided each word that was placed in the story. What right does anyone, including the pubisher's talented abridgers, have to destroy an author's work by chopping what they deem unimportant or inconsequential to the story. Just how many abridged versions of any Stephen King novel do you find. Zero, zilch, nada. If you want to see the difference in what an abridgement does to a book. Read Sahara by Clive Cussler, then watch the movie version. Which is more exciting? The book by far. The movie is the same as an abridged version. Anyone who has seen a film version of a book usually states, "The book was much better". Unabridged vs abridged. There is no comparison. As long as abridgements are available, the unabridged version should also be made available. Unfortunately, publishers have decided for us that unabridged versions are obviously too expensive to be made available to the publilc after a while. Some publishers never make the book available to the public for purchase, i.e. The Ice Limit by Preston and Child. Finally was able to get the unabridged version from the library. Says right on the case, "Use of this product is intended for circulation by public libraries to their patrons." Well if you can't buy it you can duplicate it on the computer. After listening to the book, purchase an abridged version? Not on your life. I will NEVER purchase or listen to an abridged version of a book. I personally own over 1000 audio books and currently have more audio books than the local library. I have every Stephen King, Dale Brown, Clive Cussler, Preston and Child, and 87 other authors in my library.

Buy an abridged version of a novel? NEVER!

In reply to an earlier post on May 21, 2012 2:12:50 AM PDT
<< If you are a booklover, you read the book. ... If you don't like it, put it down and find something else. >>

If I respect individual choices, I follow my own pattern.

In reply to an earlier post on May 15, 2012 9:08:38 PM PDT
Seriously, you're critiquing authors on whether they are genius, do you even know what a genius is? You can't even type right or even make sense: "Had we world enough, and time,..." I can't even decipher what you were trying to say there. Why would we listen to you when you can't even recognize a run on sentence: "Had we world enough, and time, the 'abridged' (significantly edited and cut down) version of many audio books would still be the better choice as few authors repay listening to every word, and even those that do may be worth trying for the first time in an abridged version since you may try many before you find the gems." [sic] That should probably be two sentences, three if you are trying to say what I think you are saying. You shouldn't offer advise if you can't even deliver it correctly.
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Discussion in:  Audio Book forum
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Initial post:  Feb 15, 2007
Latest post:  Jun 25, 2015

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