Thread: Audio books
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Old October 7 2012, 11:53 PM   #21
NKemp3
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Re: Audio books

Christopher wrote: View Post
JWolf wrote: View Post
But who has the right to give me a story that's incomplete and expect me to like it?
Ummm, anyone who's ever made a movie based on a novel? Those invariably trim out huge amounts of content, because adapting a full book would take a whole miniseries' worth of time. (Even Peter Jackson's extended cuts of Lord of the Rings leave out a bunch of stuff from the books.)

Bad example because movies and books are entirely different genres. The average book will take far more time to finish than watching a movie based upon the book. But books and audiobooks are in the same genre, just different subcategories. All the audiobook is supposed to be is the spoken version of the written word. And if one wanted to enjoy the entirety of a particular written word, the abridged version was a poor route to go. As a result people tended to avoid them entirely.

There's also Reader's Digest and other publications over the generations that have presented condensed versions of novels and stories. Those have been very popular for a long time.
A lot of people want shorter versions of stories becaus


Since when? That excerpted format is not much of a draw. Yes, people want short stories which is why there is still a short story market out there for all sorts of genre. I have a monthly subscription to one of those mags that provide short stories from mystery writers. But there isn't much clamoring these days for shortened versions of actual novels. You only see some of that in a select magazine as a way of enticing readers to go out and get the complete version.


Abridged was awful and I never bothered with the Star Trek audiobooks because S&S didn't care enough to do it right.
You're forgetting, this was before digital audio, and you could only fit a finite amount of content on a cassette tape. It's the same reason movie soundtrack album releases back then were incomplete -- there just wasn't room to be comprehensive. They weren't cheating anyone out of anything, because it wasn't practical to do an unabridged version in the first place; it would've filled up too many cassettes and been too expensive. It didn't really become a practical idea until the age of digital media and downloads. S&S did the best they could given the technology and the market of the era.
Respectfully disagree. Working at a book store in the late 90s I couldn't understand when I saw untested work such as the first Harry Potter novel get released with both abridged and unabridged audiobooks. This is before anyone could be sure that HP would sell well in the States. Meanwhile Star Trek, at its height in popularity thanks to TNG, was putting books on the NY Times Bestsellers list and yet for the most part its audio versions were unabridged. Sure it is possible that unabridged versions of ST books could have been huge disasters financially, but S&S never really tried to go for it and find out.

Twice I can recall customers asking me if there was an unabridged version of these books; one lady asked because she was going to be travelling by car throughout the weekend and wanted something to listen to. These folks had no interest in the abridged versions because those only lasted two to three hours which meant most of the story would have been lost. Let me also say that I'm comparing S&S to what was being done with the Star Wars audiobooks. There was a big difference. SW had its share of abridged of course but it also provided full cast audio versions with a dozen or so actors on each reading dialogue of the various main characters. The SW books tended to put more money in background sound effects and music too. And of course it had its share of unabridged audio too. Trek audio books never seemed to get that type of carefully crafted handling.
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Last edited by NKemp3; October 8 2012 at 04:40 AM.
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