Abridge Too Far


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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.

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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