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Lorna Doone (Abridged): 03/16/08
I don't usually review books twice but I will make an exception for Lorna Doone because this review is for only half the book. I got through BookCrossing a number of years ago a paperback edition of the novel to read after I heard a lovely adaptation of it on Radio 4. Life being what it is, the book got shelved and ignored until I made time to read it because it fit into one of the many challenges I'm participating in this year.
As I was reading the novel it quickly became apparent that the book I was reading was either vastly altered from the Radio 4 version or my memory was playing tricks on me. I remembered the novel being witty, well written and exciting. This version, though claming to be "complete and unabridged" was chopping, confusing and sometimes just weird. A quick search online brought up the Google Books version of Lorna Doone and after comparing a number of pages between my copy and their copy, I realized what was wrong. To get my copy down to 200 pages from the 524 pages, the "editor" had systematically stripped out the last two sentences of every paragraph except for at the ends of chapters.
Other oddities I noticed included huge passages being deleted (like the entire monologue of the author describing his grandson's mocking of his story). The dialogue was rewritten in a strange dialect and the chapters had all been given new titles! How exactly this version from 1993 can count as Lorna Doone by R. D. Blackmore is beyond me.
So rather than try to review the book in this bastardized form, I released the book via BookCrossing and promptly ordered a "new" copy (published in 1880 something) for myself from Alibris. It should arrive any day. Once it does, I will curl up with the real Lorna Doone and write a proper review.