Good or Evil: Abridged editions.

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I came across an abridged edition of Wuthering Heights, and it made me realise that a simple line or two can change the entire setting of a book.
The explaination of "WALK IN" as meaning "go to hell"(paraphrased) was removed. This open Heathcliff as a likeable, if a bit stiff, man who may have had a rough time earlier in life. Whereas leaving it in makes it plain from the start that he's an aweful bastard in many ways.

Have you come across instances where an abridged edition was shorter(duh) without being significantly different?

PS i know my punctiation and often gramar are terrible. Bad habit. i wuit smoking, so LET ME HAVE THIS PLEASE!!!! j/k.

Moisture G Mess (The GZeus), Monday, 19 February 2007 17:24 (fourteen years ago) link

I can't say I have come across a successful abridged edition, mostly because I refuse to read them. I can't imagine reading a book and purposefully selecting a copy that was not the whole thing... it would be like watching a film in fullscreen rather than letterbox, where so much of the picture is missing. In film the story is not the only important thing; there is also cinematography, art direction, etc. Likewise with books; there is language and structure and metaphor. I wouldn't be willing to rob myself of any of it.

August C. Bourre (August), Tuesday, 20 February 2007 19:01 (fourteen years ago) link

I never read abridged versions of books, but I've been seriously wondering about my sanity because I am maybe a quarter of the way through Les Miserables... and have been for years. Maybe I should go to the abridged and then see if I can make my way back into the unabridged. Hmmm.

Sara Robinson-Coolidge (Sara R-C), Wednesday, 21 February 2007 05:34 (fourteen years ago) link

I once did, in high school, cause the book itself didn't really appeal to me. (Can't remember the title nor author. Something about South Africa.) I had higher grades than the girl who read the non-abridged book. Now I can't even watch a movie on a plane (which is always shortened, no?). Pisses me off.

nathalie (stevienixed), Wednesday, 21 February 2007 14:01 (fourteen years ago) link


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