I’ve always hated the fact that finding unabridged audiobooks is like looking for a needle in a haystack. What really pisses me off is they don’t always say they’re abridged, you pay an arm and a leg for them, and after you’re done reading the book, you listen to the credits and the dreaded words are spoken. “abridgement by so and so.”
I always wondered what in Christ they were cutting out, but I thought well I must be getting the gist of the story. But one particularly bad abridgement made me realize that I can barely call it even that.
I got the short version of the Da Vinci code for Christmas. I read it and thought, well it’s sort of controversial, but it’s nothing that should really upset anyone. But I should have known something was wrong when the copy I had was 4 CD’s long, and I found out the unabridged version was 13 CD’s long. Um, by my calculations, that means the abridged version was a little under a third of the story!
I just got my hands on the unabridged version, and holy crap! There’s a lot more there, and the story actually makes sense! The abridged version never explained why Silas was so, well, crazily obsessed with doing God’s work, how truly manipulative Leigh Teabing was, it left out a lot of the references to the oppression of women that are in the book, and a ton of the controversial and really deep stuff. It also left out what makes last year’s lawsuit completely and utterly ridiculous. Michael Baigent and Richard Leigh, authors of “Holy Blood, Holy Grail”, claim that Dan Brown stole ideas from their book to make his own novel and never gave them credit. Before I read the unabridged version, I was right behind them. Now that I got the whole story, I’ve got one problem, assholes. The name of your fucking book is planted squarely in the damn novel! Even the year it is written is also mentioned, and does anyone notice that Leigh and Teabing looks eerily like Leigh and Baigent? It’s an annagram, which I think is pretty awesome credit considering that annagrams are written throughout the book. Even the authors noticed that little gem, but failed to see it as,um, credit. Dan Brown never claimed in the novel that this was his idea. He clearly mentions several times that historians have been saying this for years. So these two can shut up and be thankful their book was even mentioned in a novel. it’s not often that references are found in fiction. I’m glad the judge agrees with me, although I pity how far he would have had to sift to find that little passage.
What makes me sad is some books, when they are converted to audio don’t get made into the abridged and unabridged form. All you get is the short version, and some of these don’t even make it into the CNIB library so I can have a crack at getting an unabridged version there. So, unless I want to get the print copy, scan it and hope that I can get an intelligible scan, the quick and dirty abridged audio is all I’ll be able to read. Ahem, audiobook publishers, maybe, if you’re going to give me a third of the story, you should charge a third of the price! Otherwise, you’re ripping me off!