Saturday, October 23, 2004

 

Revised and Expanded

As soon as I see this on a new edition of a book that I have read previously I begin to think bad things of the author. Particularly if it has been done to a series of books. When I heard that JK Rowling was going to do this to the Harry Potter books once she had finished them I really wasn't all that surprised. It could be that it is just a rumour but this is definitely one of those instances where it is done for the money. Of course fans are going to buy all the revised editions too.

Why am I talking about this? I'm reading The Gunslinger by Stephen King as part of the group discussion (we are going to go onto the Dark Tower next). I first read this about 10 years ago. I have to be honest, I didn't like it and if it wasn't for the fact that I received book four as a birthday gift (my aunt didn't know that I hadn't read the others) I would have stopped there. I'm glad I didn't. When the last three were coming out the others were brought out as new editions. The first one had been revised and expanded. At first I thought this was the same for all four but only the introduction and forward were new. I was annoyed and if it wasn't for the fact that I couldn't find my copy of the Gunslinger I wouldn't have bought the revised edition (I must have loaned it out to someone).

I read the forward and introduction last night. Normally I don't bother with them but I was curious. Now I feel guilty for having bad thoughts. The Gunslinger was written in the 70's and the last three books weren't started until 2001. That's quite a big gap. When he looked at the first book after he finished the last one he saw a lot of things he didn't like. Obviously he had learned a lot in that time and the plot of his story had changed a little which meant the first one didn't really fit in with the rest. So he made a few changes. Changed some of the language and added a few extra scenes. This is understandable, you can't really blame him for it. So I apologise for my bad thoughts and look forward to reading these changes. Although, as I said earlier it has been ten years since I last read it and while I remember some of it I don't remember much.

I am still reading The Wind-up Bird Chronicle and very much enjoying it. I will probably finish it over the weekend and post some more thoughts on it when I do. For the moment I am at a point where I really don't know how it is going to end or where it is going to go next. A friend of mine bought book notes on it and I think that might be good idea.

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