Saturday, January 26, 2013

Reading Roulette: Why I'm Not Finishing The Passage

Justin Cronin's sci-fi/vampire book The Passage was one of the three books that came up in my first Reading Roulette pick, and several friends and colleagues recommended it. I duly requested the audiobook through the library, and found the paperback on the shelves at work. I was pleased to find that the narrator of the audiobook was Edward Herrmann (aka Richard Gilmore from The Gilmore Girls), but I was startled to discover when I switched from the audio version to the print version that there was significantly more to the paper book.

It turns out that the audio version I requested was the abridged version, which clocks in at 12 discs (14.5 hours). The unabridged version consists of 29 discs (37+ hours) and is narrated by Scott Brick instead of Edward Herrmann. Per Nancy Pearl, I read past page 50, but by that point I knew that I didn't want to make myself read/listen to the entire 894-page book. My (grumpy editor) feeling is that if the book can stand to have more than half of its content removed and be marketed as a complete book, it probably needed a lot more revision before publication. I knew my feelings of resentment--about having to stop and start over, and switching narrators from one I loved to one I didn't know, and my unhappiness with the entire concept of abridgment--were going to make it very difficult for me to read with the kind of excitement and energy a book deserves. So I am putting it down (it will go back on my To Be Read list) and returning the library copies.

And I'll be a little more cautious about checking to see whether an audiobook is unabridged before I request it.

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