I have been waiting for an opportunity to officially voice my opinion on this subject so here goes.
I get so frustrated when I can only find a book that is abridged and will only purchase or rent an abridgment if I have no other options. It is hard enough to find the book that you want in audio but the field really narrows when so many are only offered abridged.
I realize that some people might not have time or just want a general overview but that is not me so please give me a choice!
There is one site that offers unabridged versions when no one else will but I do not have $100 a pop for books.
I tried to listen to abridgments when I first got hooked on audiobooks but soon found that they always left me wanting. I agree with Julie above concerning television.
There are so many choices on television that you could not possibly watch everything. But who would want to consider most of it is trash.
Please listen to those of us who are not placated with any cheap, base entertainment that gets put in front of our faces. We want the whole story!
I think some of the controversies about “abridged” vs “unabridged” audiobooks are inherent to the intrinsic difference between listening to a book and reading a book.
Audiobooks at their best can be a spellbinding performance of the written book, and abridged versions can certainly work at this level, just as masterful screen adaptations of literature can be as rewarding in their own way as the written version.
That said, I definitely prefer to listen to unabridged audiobooks. Just as a terrible screen adaptation can spoil a great book forever, a poor abridgment can cut the soul right out of a story. If the unabridged version drags, it is not usually improved by listening to an abridgment.
Here’s what my friend says:
My wife and I only listen to unabridged books. The one time we accidentally got an abridged version of a novel, we were really bitter. The book didn’t feel like it was chopped up, we still enjoyed it, but afterward, we were thinking, but if only we had listened to the *full* book, we’d have enjoyed it even more.
On a more direct note, I’ve noticed a number of titles here on Simply Audio Books where the unabridged version is available for purchase, but only the abridged version is available for rental. Why does that happen? Couldn’t you just break the shrink wrap on one of the copies on the “For Sale” shelf, and put it into circulation?
Another suggestion: I would really love to have a checkbox preference, which would hide all abridged titles from me, for any view, anywhere on the site. I never need to see them. Seriously.