Tuesday, July 15, 2003


I've earlier mentioned my snobbish insistence on only buying unabridged audiobooks. Currently I'm listening to Neal Stephenson's Cryptonomicon, a novel. I was surprised that there were only six tapes, given that I have a borrowed copy of Cryptonomicon (that I've never gotten around to reading) and it looks much longer than that. Then I was confused by the intriguing pacing of the novel, where there are these long pieces of narrative followed by sections that read like quick soap opera summaries that careen the story forward. As it turns out, another look at the tape case reveals that what I have purchased is not the "Unabridged" version, but the "Unabridged Excerpts" version. In other words, they abridged the book the lazy way, by chopping out whole large sections, and then they market it like you are getting something better. It reminds me of when mattress companies took the padding off one side of the mattress and sold it for a higher price as a "flip-free" mattress.

Ugh! It's bad enough that I'm so weak-willed when it comes to books, but to be so gullible as well!

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