Echidna Media Organization project S.N.A.L. (emo_snal) wrote,
Echidna Media Organization project S.N.A.L.
emo_snal

Betrayed on Treasure Island

So I recently downloaded this version of Treasure Island on Audible, because, as I mentioned, I having stumbled across some of Robert Louis Stevenson's other writing I thought I should revisit his most classic. From the getgo something seemed a bit off. After awhile I put my finger on the most noticable thing -- there were no "he said" "he growled" "he muttered" prefixes before speech, though this recording used multiple voice actors to make it clear who was speaking clearly the original written form must have noted in text who was speaking. So maybe they just deleted the speech directions as redundant with voice actors, which annoyed me but, okay. But as time went on it still just, seemed a bit off. The writing seemed really uninspired. Keep in mind though I was entirely listening to it as I drove so when most annoyed and suspicious I couldn't investigate. When I tried after arriving at a destination I couldn't pull up the full information on it on my phone. Finally I remembered while at home and googled up the exact version I was listening and sure enough, not prominently displayed but hidden at the end of the summary it does say "Audible Originals UK are excited to announce this reimagination of Stevenson's coming-of-age story that will captivate all of the family." Re-imagining! Y'arrrgh!

So I pulled up another version and made sure it was true to the original and listened to the remainder of the story in that version. What a difference! The re-imagined version kept some of the original speech, but also deleted or simplified a lot, and added a lot more so it could turn more narration into speech as befits a radio-drama which it was more like. It did keep narration but only that which couldn't possibly be turned into dialogue, and generally across the board it simplified the reading level to a much simpler form. Don't get me wrong, as a beloved story of children, I don't fault their decisions to simplify it for a presumed younger audience and adapt it more to radio-play style, I'm just a bit salty that they hadn't made that more clear. As far as reading it as a fan of good literature they had cooked nearly everything good out of their version. It was kind of an interesting exercise though seeing the difference between the writing of a epicly good writer compared to boiled down uninspired writing of the exact same thing.

Tags: book reviews, media reviews
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