|Thanks, I think I'll stick with the original version. I never, EVER read an abridged version of a book. Go big or go home, right?
Absolutely valid philosophy. But, speaking as an English teacher, an English major, and one of the biggest lovers of literature you will EVER meet...it *is* okay to read an abridged version, especially of books from THAT era. Victor Hugo is one of my favorite writers of all time for example, and Les Miserables may well be my favorite book, but god ALMIGHTY. The man was paid by the word, and it SHOWS. Ninety frigging pages of completely irrelevant convent history that has NOTHING to do with the plot! It doesn't even add atmosphere or textual flavor, it was just Hugo making himself a paycheck. Dickens and Cervantes have a lot of that sort of thing too.
I've gotten to the point where I expect and don't mind/skip those sections, but I know a lot of people have been put off of those books and authors by that sort of thing. A shorter, "all-story/no BS" abridged version can really be a lifesaver. I'm not particularly advocating that, but please don't ever think there's shame in a *good* abridgment. (Just do your homework on which version is best first.)