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Customer Discussions > Audio Book forum

Unabridged vs abridged

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Showing 126-150 of 214 posts in this discussion
In reply to an earlier post on Oct 22, 2008, 10:08:32 AM PDT
In the case of Robin Jarvis's books this is NOT the case. Many IMPORTANT bits were removed when abridged.

So I disagree. As most audio books are more expensive than the written form, I want the whole lot. Abridgment of books is a lazy way of listening to it.

I for one will Always choose the unabridged version.

However, you are right in some cases

For instance

Dracular and Hunchback of notre Damn are both books that need abdrigment when put on audio

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 27, 2008, 8:52:01 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Nov 27, 2008, 9:05:11 AM PST
Norrdeke says:
The first novel that caught my interest and turned me into an 'avid' reader was Lawrence Sanders, 'The First Deadly Sin'. My job forces long travel and I was soon 'listening' to my books on audiotape. Years later, I saw 'Sin' on tape and wanted to revisit the book that 'started it all'. At the time I didn't know there were abridgements. I kept waiting for the dark and compelling female character to surface. I felt she was the key catalyst to the killer's motivation or stimulus, not to mention interesting. GONE. The editors decided that she was not part of the story. Since then I read ONLY unabridged audiobooks. If the original edit was good enough for paper, why not for my ear?

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 27, 2008, 9:24:23 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Nov 27, 2008, 9:26:15 PM PST
Katie_Lynne says:
I wholeheartedly agree with 10/15/2008 poster Kate ... "why would anyone want the story to end sooner than it has to?" Why, indeed? I LOVE long, unabridged audiobooks! The longer the better. My all-time favorite is Victor Hugo's The Hunchback of Notre Dame, read by George Guidall. It's over 22 hours long. I've listened to it twice over the past 8 years or so, and have just reserved it at my local library for a third go at it. In addition to listening to books while I'm doing housework, each week I devote a 3-hour block of time to grooming our long-haired dogs. It gives me a great excuse to listen to audiobooks.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 28, 2008, 3:00:13 AM PST
Kelli Derry says:
if you are looking for something new to listen to, and I promise the story is long, try Oulander by Gaboldon. The book, and the ones that follow in the series, are read by Davina Porter and her skills are magical.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 30, 2008, 3:18:33 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Sep 27, 2011, 2:23:25 PM PDT
S. Chan says:
I second Kelli's suggestion. Gaboldon's Outlander series is great, and Davina Porter's reading makes them even better. I've listened to the entire series twice, and am eagerly awaiting the next book, which has been promised for some time in 2009. They are long, engaging, and well-written books.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 30, 2008, 3:18:35 PM PST
S. Chan says:
I second Kelli's suggestion. Gaboldon's Outlander series is great, and Davina Porter's reading makes them even better. I've listened to the entire series twice, and am eagerly awaiting the next book, which has been promised for some time in 2009. The are long, engaging, and well-written books.

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 4, 2008, 6:04:33 AM PST
Anna says:
Where does one find an unabridged copy of Don Quixote recorded by Andre Sachs? I was intrigued when you said he "play it for laughs and did a superb job. As it is supposed to be funny and we usually get dry, I would love to hear this version.

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 13, 2008, 11:49:51 PM PST
I feel that abridgements should be abloished. I know that it says that the abridgement was approved of by the author but I think that the author just gave them the ok to abridge their book. How can you cut down a book from 13 cd's to 5 and still have the same story. I listened to an abridgement of Heat by Stewart Woods. I have also read the book. Who ever did the abridgement cut out more than one character and changed the entire story. They took out the soul of the book. If you want to listen to an audio book then why not listen to the whole thing. I will never buy an audio book that has been abridged, even if that is the olny way that it has been put out.

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 14, 2008, 9:57:02 AM PST
Norrdeke says:

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 16, 2008, 4:07:10 AM PST
Joe Mac says:
I totally agree with you. I stopped using this discussion site because I felt most of the people just gave up on unabridged because they were just too long. Maybe there is an A.D.D. problem going on there. There was a person that said anyone that liked unabridged was most likely a truck driver. Since I read your post I may start to write again. Thank you.

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 15, 2009, 1:36:55 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Jan 15, 2009, 7:09:08 PM PST
I miss W says:
"Every publisher of audiobooks has, on staff or independently, a bevy of very talented abridgers that do this kind of thing for a living so you get the very best story possible without taking anything materially away."

Maybe that's what the *publishers* say, but from bitter experience as a disillusioned reader, I can say abridging books is the worst kind of hackery.

Read any of Terry Pratchett's wonderful Discworld books in the abridged form and you'll be shocked how disorganized and bland they seem. Sometimes I listen to an audiobook version of a book I've already read, and abridged books alway remove elements I thought were best in the original. For example, the abridged version of Gibson's Neuromancer took out one of the best scenes:

"At 12:05:00, the mirror-sheathed nexus of the Sense/Net consortium held just over three thousand employees. At five minutes after midnight, as the Moderns' message ended in a flare of white screen, the Sense/Net Pyramid *screamed*."

Wilbur Smith's works in the abridged form are like enjoying music by listening to every other note, same with Tom Clancy's work and many others I could name.

I'll only buy unabridged works.

Posted on Jan 5, 2010, 10:42:54 AM PST
Harmony K. says:
Personally, I don't buy abridged audiobooks.

I guess it depends on your favorite authors too. For example abridging P.G. Wodehouse is a crime IMO. You have a genius writer who polishes his work a lot, sometimes rewriting it tens of times, until it's absolutely perfect, and then you have this regular person who comes in and cuts the parts he/she likes less. There's no excuse for that. Even if the "regular person" is a very smart person and has a lot of time for it and is a great fan of the author and has read that particular book a few times (mind you, all of these are BIG ifs), the result is still less than the original. Of course, if you're listening to something because you HAVE TO for school, and you don't even like it, then abridging is very convenient. It allows you to claim you've read the book and prove it, while still suffering less.

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 10, 2010, 2:03:38 PM PST
Pat Powell says:
Amen, aevm! I' don't like abridged books at all. Contrary to people who say it makes a "better" book, I say it just makes a FASTER book. Those of us who love true works of art, like LIW's "Little House " books, usually get a little sad when we're nearing the end of the book, and wish it could be even longer! I'm not surprised that today's generation prefers the abridged version of a book- they want an abridged version of EVERYthing- coffee, food, news- you name it! We want everything shorter and faster. Even the microwave is no longer quick enough for most people; now, they want the "make dinner in 8 seconds" machine. But, where does abbreviation end? Classic TV shows like "I love Lucy" are chopped up so badly that Lucy herself once remarked: "In the cut version, the pay-off to the joke makes no sense, because they've butchered the set-up." She was right. I think that the reason for all of this editing is money. Less pages, less scenes, translates into more commercial time; in the abridgment of books, it translates into less paper, (or, in audio, less paid professional reading), which means more money. But where do we draw the line? "Pan and scan" (chopping off the left and right side of a film to make it fit onto the TV screen) in classsic movies like "Ben-Hur" is enough to make a grown woman cry. I see the day coming when we'll see an edited version of "Gone with the Wind", and a "pan and scan" version of Monet's "Water Lillies", which will really be a sad day indeed. Works of art, like Laura's books, should be allowed to stand as they are; when someone decides to abridge, it really is re-editing the book, or, as Scorcese says, "Re-directing the movie". The great artists, like Orson Welles, C.B. DeMille, Billy Wilder, Michaelangelo, and, yes, L.I. Wilder had a specific feeling/vision in mind when they were creating, and who are we to tamper with an artist's timing?

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 10, 2010, 7:47:20 PM PST
S. Chan says:
Of course, Pat, not all books are work of art. Having said that, I must also say that I only listen to unabridged audio books. If a book is worth my time, whether it is a work of art or simply a fun read, I want to hear everything that was in the printed book. If an author can't hold my interest, he or she is not worth my time, no matter if I read his/her book with ear buds or with my eyes.

It seems to me that unabridged books are much more available today then they were a few years ago. Many books come out in audio editions the same day the the hardcover books are available.

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 13, 2010, 7:47:10 PM PST
Nina says:
I just don't believe this great statements approving abridged books. Its just like eating cotton candy. If a book is 12 plus hours long and its converted to 3 or 4 hours you can't tell me alot of the suspense or plot and even the point of the endings have been lost.

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 17, 2010, 9:57:02 AM PST
NMPascoe says:
I suggest you get both versions of the same book and judge for yourself. I will not knowingly read an abridged edition of any book in audio or print.
My parents subscribed to Reader's Digest for many years because we lived in a small rural area and were many miles from a library or book store. When I aquired the full version of one of my favorite books, I was apalled at what I had been missing. NEVER AGAIN!!!

Posted on Jun 25, 2010, 1:59:13 PM PDT
I have never listened to an abridged book. I know there is "stuff" in books that can be passed over when I am reading it for myself but I just don't want someone else choosing what is passed over for me. I don't care whether it's fiction or nonfiction, Dickens or Mary Higgins Clark.

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 26, 2010, 1:13:44 PM PDT
S. Chan says:
I agree with you. Even though I sometimes skim through sections of books when I'm reading them myself, I don't care to listen to an abridged book.

Occasionally, I'll find myself listening to a book that doesn't hold my attention. If an author can't keep my interest, I would rather just not listen to any more of his/her books, rather than listen to abridged versions of their work.

Posted on Jun 27, 2010, 11:29:43 PM PDT
I agree. And like I said in my earlier posts, I abridged my audiobook because the final two poems need to be recorded with Ray Manzarek. It will then be unabridged and worth hearing.

Posted on Jul 30, 2010, 1:29:16 AM PDT
Dr. Rene says:
I purchased a couple of abridged Amelia Peabody audiobooks because they weren't available in their unabridged form. When I finally was able to rent the unabridged book from Recorded Books, I was appalled at how much of the book had been cut out -- whole subplots that were very interesting and that made the story more complete in my estimation. I agree with many others -- No abridged audiobooks for me. Since I can listen and do other things, I only listen to an abridged version if there is absolutely nothing else available.

In reply to an earlier post on Sep 25, 2011, 5:05:34 AM PDT
I have listened to his recording of "On The Road" by Kerouac. Long live Muller!

In reply to an earlier post on Sep 26, 2011, 9:58:05 PM PDT
Sounds good. Pun intended. I downloaded a track of Jack Kerouac reading On the Road from Zune. Pretty cool.

In reply to an earlier post on Sep 27, 2011, 12:18:04 PM PDT
ITA. (I totally agree). I am looking for an unabridged edition of OBAMA'S WARS after having been duped into thinking I had purchased
one. B&N advertised it as such. But I love every verb and adjective and simile. Happy reading.


Posted on Mar 7, 2012, 5:00:58 PM PST
Audiobookstand (on the web) has abridged & unabridged books in CD, mp3 CD plus older titles are available on cassettes. Many books are discounted & they have $10 unabridged books too every month. It's a good site worth checking out. I just wish Amazon discounted audiobooks. If they did I'd buy more from Amazon than I already have.

Posted on Mar 7, 2012, 10:45:24 PM PST
I'd just like to say, RIP Yuri, he was in this discussion group and as many of you might know he was also up for two Grammys this year in the Spoken Word category. And, as I said in my earlier posts, I'm still trying to Unabridge Lost Angel with the Doors. Get one for the Gipper!!!
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Discussion in:  Audio Book forum
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Initial post:  Feb 15, 2007
Latest post:  Aug 10, 2017

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