Therin of Andor wrote:
I have heard some by borrowing from the library. For example, Imzadi was not all that good (IMHO) due to being abridged.
Made in 1992
, when most unabridged
audio novels - of any genre - were made mainly for hearing impaired people. And were extremely expensive for most people, even if you could find them.
Six months ago, I bought an ex-public library unabridged version of "Sarek", narrated by Nick Sullivan. A huge, now fragile, plastic box from Chivers Sound Library containing ten
cassettes. 879 min. Such products were simply not very commercial in 2001 - when I open it, at least five of the ten cassettes fall off their pegs and tumble out - and Simon & Schuster Audioworks didn't attempt to do such unabridged ST novels until CD technology came along. (So far, I've not managed to find 879 spare minutes to listen to it.)
By comparison, the audio book of "Sarek" that S&S put out was 180 mins, in a neat, slim package, narrated by Sarek himself, with an original soundtrack. And I loved it! Several times. Mind you, it was released way back in 1994, before unabridged novels were even popular.
We all know that back in the day it was not so advantageous to put out unabridged version of any book, let alone Star Trek books. The audio cassettes were far too cumbersome; a total pain in the butt to deal with. Of course that could be said as well if someone wanted to buy, say, an anniversary music collection of all Beatles songs or all Motown tunes. Who would want to carry around all those cassettes or deal with the problems that came with doing so? But then the industry progressed and started relying more on CDs and such materials became easier to handle/carry around. And then the industry took another step forward with digital downloads. S&S, as far as Star Trek audio is concerned never appeared to have any desire to adjust to these changes. Even back in the late 90s when CDs had already taken over cassettes, S&S was still mostly relying on cassette tapes for its Star Trek audio presentations. It wasn't even giving consumers a choice between cassettes and CDs.
And going back to your point about how awful the library audiobooks were all I have to say is that library versions were never designed to woo consumers willing to hand over their hard-earned cash. Therefore it isn't fair to compare how the presentation of an audiobook meant for the library would stand against one meant for store shelves for paying customers. It had very little to do with one being abridged and one being unabridged, because when the publishing companies put together unabridged works they looked just as nice and held up just as well as the "Sarek" abridged audio you are referring to.