To Abridge or Not t…Whatever…

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September 15, 2011 by Tiffany A. Robbins

I’ve just finished the extremely abridged, kids version of Herman Melville’s Moby Dick. I read it in about an hour and a half. Sad…I’m such a slow reader.

I was kicking myself for reading that particular version, which I actually purchased for my little 6 month old niece Elsie until I realized that I would not read any other version of the book.

Yes, I have ventured into the depths of the unabridged version. It was painful.

I find that sometimes, I just have to read an abridged version to truly sate my love for a story. Today, I was looking at a T.N. Tobias’s blog (which I just put on my links page), and I came across an entry that emphasizes simplicity and clarity of writing.

Honestly, it made me feel a lot better.

Here are a few quotes that are shared there:

“The road to hell is paved with adverbs.” – Stephen King
“My aim is to put down on paper what I see and what I feel in the best and simplest way.” – Ernest Hemingway

I realize that by promoting these abridged “abominations”, I may be taking something away from my writing peers and for such folly I apologize. However, I love a brief, simple story at times; and these are the times that I would otherwise not enjoy the story at all if I had to plow through paragraphs of blubber which is fact when facing the depths of Melville’s white whale.


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