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Customer Review

170 of 187 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Illustrations 5, Censorship -5, November 14, 2012
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This review is from: Twas The Night Before Christmas: Edited By Santa Claus for the Benefit of Children of the 21st Century (Kindle Edition)
This is for the version illustrated by Elena Almazova and Vitaly Shvarov

When I saw this book for free today I was so excited. When I saw the quality of Illustrations I squealed. This is one of my favorite Christmas Stories, and my High School Choir would sing it. Then I realized that it had been cut.

Stabbed by the censorship police. I do not proscribe to the thought that ideas that are no longer acceptable or are becoming unacceptable should be ripped from the bookshelves. If I did, I wouldn't own any Mark Twain, or some Agatha Christie. The authors of their times wrote with the ethos of their time, whether it has changed or not does not matter. They took their inspiration and put it to pen. We should respect that and their talent. A Santa Claus with a pipe will not cause millions of children to run out and take up the bowl.

So while I praise the artistry which I found amazing. In fact a couple of the pictures I thought I could just walk into. I cannot approve of censorship in any form.
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Showing 1-10 of 23 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Nov 16, 2012 4:11:34 PM PST
Tim Phillips says:
Completely agree....the artwork is MAGNIFICENT, but as my 10 year old read it I thought it seemed short. I'm glad you said it for me about censorship. I don't take to that at all...if we're a free people these days, no one gets to tell us - or our kids - what we can and can't read.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 17, 2012 12:25:56 PM PST
Thank you for reviewing this item and for the heads up. I will not be getting the free copy of this.

Posted on Dec 12, 2012 1:06:05 PM PST
K. Mcgarry says:
I must agree. Censorship that derails literature and a chance to understand original texts is a misguided idea. As is attributing the book to "Santa" as an author. Children are not without critical thinking skills and can understand the original text in context. Making the text "clean" is a revision and a new text - the author should call it as such and not hide behind the text and what she has done to classic literature/poetry.

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 16, 2012 8:39:46 AM PST
This is not censorship this is editing which has been done in many cases to this poem since 1822. You are free to buy a smoking Santa book and no one including the publisher is saying you can not. This is unfairly harsh treatment.

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 16, 2012 9:12:00 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Dec 16, 2012 9:18:59 AM PST
4Nbahu says:
I am sorry you feel this way. I can understand why you did what you did. I applaud your intent. However, I personally feel that changing the original text is an insult to the person who originally wrote it. I have been working in libraries for over 20 years. I accept that there are many pieces of literature that many people find offense to. That is their opinion and they therefore should not read what offends them. However, I don't like when people want what they perceive as offensive removed or cleaned up, i.e. abridged versions. Authors wrote given their times and mores. Many stories are a snapshot of a particular time and place. Warts and all. I have read of cases where people want to change Mark Twain, Agatha Christie, and many more. But I feel when we try and white wash the past we lose a part of it.

I would like reiterate the illustrations are amazing. Some of the best I have ever seen.

But while I can applaud your intentions and trust me, with two parents who have paid for their smoking habits, I don't believe seeing Santa with a pipe is going to effect the issue. It would be better to use it as a talking point and explain that in the old days no one knew that smoking was bad for them. But now we do.

Looking at the review chart there are 150+ people who disagree with my view and I accept there are many people out there who don't care about what I considered an issue.

I accept that you do not agree with me. Please accept that I do not agree with you on this.

ETA para about reviews.

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 16, 2012 4:56:49 PM PST
No one is telling you which book to buy, this is not censorship no one is burning or banning books or taking anything off shelves but offering a book that addresses the potential harm of showing tobacco use in a positive light. I repeat this is not censorship but we need to offer an edition to people who are offended by tobacco and this was done for them. Please make your own choice and let others do the same.

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 16, 2012 4:58:38 PM PST
No one is hiding as it has been established on the cover that this was an edit. It is not censorship as no one is legislating or banning the original just calling attention to the cultural influences and the potential harm that comes from presenting the most dangerous drug on the planet in a positive way through loving Santa.

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 16, 2012 5:01:18 PM PST
[Customers don't think this post adds to the discussion. Show post anyway. Show all unhelpful posts.]

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 16, 2012 9:19:52 PM PST
4Nbahu says:
Trust me when I say. I know tobacco is wrong. My family has been devastated by it's use. However, I also believe that revisionism, which keeps raising it's head is worse. In today's world everyone knows the dangers of smoking. This tale was first published in 1823 when that information was not available. It is a part of Americana, whether it was written by Clement C. Moore or Henry Livingston Jr.

As to letting people make a choice, people can only make a choice once they have all the information. Obviously there are over 150 reviewers out there that do not share my opinion on revisionism. I am fine with that. My review does not dispute the 150, but does enlighten those readers out there for whom revisionism is worse than a disgusting habit. For those who do not mind revisionism, I agree this is a beautifully illustrated work and stated so.

I am quite sure there are many people, using your logic who would "revise" Sherlock Holmes' stories which depict his use of cocaine, morphine and tobacco. I would appose that just as vehemently.

I repeat, in the early 1800s, when this was written, the author created a spectacular visual poem. He most likely spent hours, days, weeks, trying to get just the right mood. I do not believe two hundred years later we have the right to change his vision to suit our soap boxes.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 22, 2013 4:41:19 PM PST
Baby Boomer says:
In Ray Bradbury's Coda to Fahrenheit 451, he wrote: "There is more than one way to burn a book. And the world is full of people running about with lit matches."
The Language Police, by Diane Ravitch, puts a critical spotlight on censorship--the revisionism you described.
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