Thursday, May 7, 2009

Maybe you CAN teach an old dog new tricks?

I've had a rule my whole life...  and I've been kind of a snob about it.

Condensed/Abridged/Adapted... whatever the word is that indicates this is NOT how it was originally published - I won't buy any of them, I won't read any of them...  I want the REAL story, the whole thing in the way the author intended it to be read.  Including and Especially Les Miserables!  Yes, I know that makes it longer than the Bible... but I love it that way!  (and only feel a little guilty that I've never read the Bible in three days)

BUT - I'm here to admit my snobbery and repent of it.  I could not find an unabridged copy of Little Women to save my life.  Turns out other members of my book club had them at their homes... but I was left with a version that had been "adapted for modern reading".  Granted, the "modern reading" that it was adapted for happened to be watching Barney Miller and Quincy M.E. on television instead of LOST and ER...  but I think I'm glad of it!  (ooh,   "glad of it"  that sounded SO Alcott)

As much as I enjoyed the story - I'm pretty sure that some of what was cut was the little plays they put on for each other and the newspaper articles they wrote together...  and I was skimming those anyway...  (more review here)

So to all the folks out there who make their living by "adapting", "abridging" and "condensing" - if I get a vote your jobs are safe...  unless of course you adapt, abridge, and condense down to the level of the Cliffs Notes... in which case I still harbor a little resentment.

4 comments:

Sue Q said...

Oh, I SO AGREE!!!! My daughter's teacher actually read aloud a CONDENSED version of "A Little Princess" in her 4th grade class, and my daughter brought home her own copy which I read and was HORRIFIED!!!! They left out so much -- parts that were even pivotal to the plot! What kind of education is my tax dollars buying for my kids, I ask you?! Maybe I should just keep them home...

Kristina P. said...

I had no idea that it was abridged. I usually go straight for the Cliff Notes.

T said...

they don't have Cliff's Notes for Twilight do they?

Chelsi said...

T, I have a confession to make. And, I hope you'll still accept me as a friend after this. I made it through AP English (with a great grade, BTW) because of Cliff Notes. Yup, I'm one of THOSE people. However, I have NO desire to read most of those books in their entirety at any time. Too depressing, too descriptive (you're going to spend how many pages describing that one room?), too not worth my time. So, perhaps I'm a neanderthal. Please forgive me. :o)