Abridge Too Far


I have my pet peeves, as do we all.

I was hoping to keep my blog a rant-free zone, I really was. After all, my goal for this site is more to provide entertainment than having it a place to get on my soapbox. However, this particular irritant sort of fits into the writing/literature theme that I have established here.

Now that my rationalization is complete, I will begin.

Last week I was listening to an audiobook (Isaac’s Storm by Erik Larson for those keeping score). I was really enjoying it, but I thought it strange that for such an extensive book it was only five CDs long. With apprehension, I scanned the back of the audiobook’s cover…and there it was. In tiny print, no less. Skulking about the other bits of information, afraid of being discovered.

The audiobook was abridged.


I loathe the abridgement of books/audiobooks (Do you hear me, Reader’s Digest?). Anyone guilty of abridgement should have a dictionary dropped on their head (an unabridged dictionary, of course).

Yes, I do feel passionately about this hot-button issue. It’s just that I feel cheated when I read or listen to a book with parts of it missing. It’s as if I merely skimmed over the text without actually reading the book. Do I even count it as having been read, or do I need to track down an unabridged copy and re-read?

This is especially irksome with nonfiction titles. Now, I like to have my nonfiction be engaging and entertaining and all. If the books tends to drag in places, it gets to be a chore. Yet I want the whole story there. I want all the facts, footnotes, and anecdotes that the author has so laboriously provided in his work, and I’ll risk the boring parts.

Am I the only one bothered by this? Just curious.

Okay, rant over.

Note: The preceding rant expressed by Steven Dexheimer is complete and unabridged.

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