Goodreads Librarians Group discussion

Questions > audiobooks - abridged vs. unabridged

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message 1: by Greg (new)

Greg | 1 comments I'm a new librarian and I'm wondering if there's an accepted convention for denoting abridged vs. unabridged audiobooks. I've seen it in the title (like [UNABRIDGED]) and I've also seen it noted in the publisher field. It looks like Amazon puts it in the publisher field.

message 2: by rivka, Librarian Moderator (new)

rivka | 41017 comments Mod
In the publisher field? How odd. I would expect to see it in either the title or binding fields.

Seems to me that it makes the most sense to have it in the binding field, something like "Audiobook [Abridged]". Then again, I don't listen to audiobooks, so feedback from those who do might be helpful.

message 3: by John (new)

John | 73 comments I'm a heavy audiobook user and agree with Rivka that it likely should go in the binding, if not description. I haven't made a distinction yet as my books to date have all been unabridged.

message 4: by rivka, Librarian Moderator (new)

rivka | 41017 comments Mod
It is presumably only a useful distinction when both an abridged and an unabridged version exist for the same book. But I'm pretty sure I have seen that for some.

message 5: by Paul (new)

Paul (kemitix) | 5 comments Rivka,

As a listener of audio books, I'd ask that an abridged version be clearly indicated. Whether there exists an unabridged version or not. An abridgment is a change to the body of the book (whether audio or printed), and I think should be indicated.

Personally I avoid abridgments like the plague. I want the book the author wrote.

message 6: by rivka, Librarian Moderator (new)

rivka | 41017 comments Mod
That makes sense.

I don't know -- when audio book records get imported from Amazon (or wherever), do they usually indicate if they are abridged?

message 7: by John (new)

John | 73 comments Usually the Amazon header will say which version goes with that ISBN.

It's not that uncommon to have both versions available for the same book. However, I've only seen a couple of instances ever where the abridged one has been "distilled" (excerpted selections) from an unabridged recording. The abridged ones are generaly done by "mainstream" houses (e.g. Random House) with known actors (Blair Brown for example) as narrator; the unabridged version will be from one of the big audiobook companies (e.g. Recorded Books) using one of their professional [staff] readers. So, for Godreads purposes, it'd make a difference for me to know which one a reviewer had heard.

Lisa  (not getting friends updates) Vegan (lisavegan) | 2409 comments For you audio book readers out there: Just fyi:

I don't normally read audio books but I had a book I had to read recently that I thought would be really hard to get through, so I got both the hardcover book and the unabridged audio version. I read the book as I was listening to the audio.

They were not exactly the same. They weren't abridged. But every so often there was a different word, a different phrase, or the sentences were mixed up, or the paragraphs were mixed up. Anyway, it surprised me a lot as I assumed the audio would be word for word with the book. It was not.

If you care about reading a book as the author wrote it, the audio version might be a bit of a change.

message 9: by Paul (new)

Paul (kemitix) | 5 comments I haven't seen that very often. I usually assume that it's because there were additional edits done to the print version after recording of the audio book has started.

I've even noticed this even when it was the author doing the reading.

Compared to the scale of changes in an abridgment, these are very minor.

Lisa  (not getting friends updates) Vegan (lisavegan) | 2409 comments Well, I agree with that. The modifications are minor and nothing as distorting as an abridgment. I'd go for unabridged every time, whether it be the print book or audio book.

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