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Old 09-06-2019, 08:42 AM   #121
Timboli
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Sure, but then again, not everyone enjoyed the Game of Thrones mini-series either. I tried reading the book but just couldn't get into it. That doesn't imply that Martin should re-write the book to match my taste.
I agree, GRRM shouldn't, but the situation with the LOTR is totally different.

What exactly would GRRM be removing to make it more suitable to you?

In the case of the LOTR, we are talking about descriptive stuff, that many consider fluff or boring, and they definitely alter the pace of the story, slow down the action etc.

It is a bit like the difference between your average thinker and a deep thinker. Each have merit.

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The LOTR books doesn't really match modern writing. There is no sex, no characters sleeping around, and for the most part very little action per se. The battles tend to last a page or two, with most of that focused on a couple of characters having a discussion in the middle of the battle. That's why I say it's from a different era. It's a book published in the mid 50's written for older sensibilities.
Yep, totally. And you could still improve it for many modern readers, without the need to add sex etc, or even change any of the essential story ... just pare back all the descriptive bits .... make them much shorter, so people can get on with the story.

The story is the important bit, the other elements are just a bonus ... suitable for many of us, but not all.

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Old 09-06-2019, 09:04 AM   #122
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Then they should seek out other books they do love. There's no shortage. Certainly not enough to consider abridging existing books that are already loved.
You do realize I am not suggesting replace the original ... it would still be there, easily available.

How does modifying the book like I am suggesting, hurt anything?

A story is the story, so there is no replacement, whether modified or not. The LOTR still has plenty of merit with the suggested changes, and nothing really compares.

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Probably not all, but it's hard to tell. There may be some. The "moron edition" moniker in my opinion isn't targeted toward those might read such a book, it's targeted toward those who think pre-existing books should be abridged/streamlined/edited so that they can be enjoyed by those whose tastes the original doesn't meet.
That smacks of snobbishness, even arrogance ... far too black & white.
If someone can really enjoy the story with the suggested changes made, what is wrong with that? Clearly it meets their taste after some tweaking.

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As you yourself have already said; it's best if the movies are judged as separate ventures/adaptations. So there's no need to justify the paring down of the story. Very few (if any) movie adaptations of a book could possibly contain every aspect of its source material. Adjusting for time constraints is perfectly normal. The paring-down in a movie adaptation is not just a matter of "taste", but also one of necessity. People can't move into a movie theater for a week to see the unabridged Lord of the Rings.
Clearly you missed my point.
A pared back version can still be worthwhile. Whether that be as a movie, because you don't have any choice, or a book with suitable changes.
What matters in the end, is how much is changed, that is integral.

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There is, however, no similar time constraint when it comes to books. No adaptation needs to take place from book to adapted book for logistical reasons. So any such removal of content would be from a standpoint of pure taste. Not a same-same comparison at all.
Not sure what you are really saying here, that makes a difference.
It is always about taste and choice and circumstance.
If Tolkien had written his story today, editors would have made it significantly different to how it turned out. In many ways it is very much a product of the times.
That's not saying that sex or violence etc need be forced into the story. The story would still be pretty damn good without needing to add any of that, and I am sure many modern editors would agree, though they would certainly be more concerned about pacing, keeping the story flowing etc.

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The book(s) already exists. Those the book's style doesn't appeal to have the movies, and they have tons other books that will fit their requirements. They're not entitled/required to love The Lord of the Rings books. Changing the book to fit the audience (especially if it's not done because of complexity, but merely a want for things to be more "streamlined") would be a moron move. And it probably wouldn't work. A Tolkien Estate approved Readers Digest Condensed version of Lord of the Rings would sell about as many copies as any Readers Digest Condensed version of any book did.

When it comes to beloved books, people want the original book, or they want a different book. The author (or the author's estate) are under no obligation to make their work something other than it is to suit those who wanted a different kind of book. Not when those "different kinds of books" already exist in droves.
Just not the same, as I have already stated, and clearly this is just your own view, and not based on sound fact, just personal bias.

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Old 09-06-2019, 09:23 AM   #123
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How does modifying the book like I am suggesting, hurt anything?
Because the book will be unrecognisable. It would butcher the book just the same as if you take all the "needlessly descriptive stuff" out of a Clancy novel. Too much information. Let's shorten it to: "And there it is, a black helicopter. We all get in and fly off." It is no longer a Clancy novel. Take all the military details of weapons and such out of it, and the story will be really boring.
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Old 09-06-2019, 09:51 AM   #124
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I say that as someone who loved the original The Night Land by William Hope Hodgson, a notoriously difficult book for many to read .... hence the friendlier version that was later released. I loved the archaic language, all the thees and thous etc.
A sad story for me, when reading my paperback of The Night Land.

I got to the end of a perfectly good looking paperback (everything intact), to discover the last 100 or so pages were missing. The story stopped mid sentence. Very clearly a printing error.

Of course, I'd bought the paperback long before I started to read it, and the store I bought it from was no longer in existence.

I hunted high and low to get a replacement so I could finish the story, but all I eventually found, was that edited version, second hand, with all the thees and thous replaced. So I was forced to use that to finish the story .... I was not a happy chappy, but at least I was able to finish the story.

This was long before ebooks and the wonder of the Gutenberg Project, where I later picked up the full original version.

I've had the odd printer issue with books. Just the other day, in The Elfstones Of Shannara, two pages were in the wrong order, midway through the book.

Another one I also remember very well, that had no happy ending, was the second novel (Stone of Farewell) in the Tad Williams trilogy - Memory, Sorrow, and Thorn. I'd just started reading a fight scene, and it stopped mid sentence, with several pages missing from the book. It was brand new book, a Trade paperback version, and every other Trade paperback had the same error. I collected that whole trilogy as Trade paperbacks ... the third and final book being small print, thin pages ... and very very thick. So thick, that the regular paperback version was split into two. Tad Williams fought hard and long to get the version I got (and the hard cover) as a single book.

Of course, I was deep into the Stone of Farewell story at the time, and so elected to keep going. I was very peeved though, and I still don't have a paper replacement ... never read the full fight scene. At least when I get around to a re-read there are other options now, with the advent of ebooks.
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Old 09-06-2019, 09:53 AM   #125
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Because the book will be unrecognisable. It would butcher the book .....
Absolute nonsense.
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Old 09-06-2019, 10:31 AM   #126
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Absolute nonsense.
Not absolute nonsense. To pretend that a shortened book has the same merit as the original is absolute nonsense.
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Old 09-06-2019, 11:03 AM   #127
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A sad story for me, when reading my paperback of The Night Land.

I got to the end of a perfectly good looking paperback (everything intact), to discover the last 100 or so pages were missing...

I hunted high and low to get a replacement so I could finish the story, but all I eventually found, was that edited version, second hand, with all the thees and thous replaced. So I was forced to use that to finish the story .... I was not a happy chappy, but at least I was able to finish the story.
It seems to me that you just explained exactly why a moron edition of LOTR is a bad idea. And I agree, that is a sad story.
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Old 09-06-2019, 11:05 AM   #128
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...I collected that whole trilogy as Trade paperbacks ... the third and final book being small print, thin pages ... and very very thick. So thick, that the regular paperback version was split into two. Tad Williams fought hard and long to get the version I got (and the hard cover) as a single book.
Perhaps it would have been easier to fit the story into a single book if Tad would have just cut out a lot of the fluff...
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Old 09-06-2019, 11:15 AM   #129
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If Tolkien had written his story today, editors would have made it significantly different to how it turned out.
If ... dog ... rabbit. The point is he--and they--didn't.
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Old 09-06-2019, 06:14 PM   #130
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There are enough books out there that there's no need to abridge LOTR. If you find you cannot read it, then find something else you can. It's not hard to do. Either like it enough to finish reading or stop and move on to something else.
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Old 09-06-2019, 08:20 PM   #131
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There are enough books out there that there's no need to abridge LOTR. If you find you cannot read it, then find something else you can. It's not hard to do. Either like it enough to finish reading or stop and move on to something else.

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Old 09-07-2019, 10:35 AM   #132
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It is my opinion that any snobbery and/or conceit lies with those who think they're somehow entitled to have stories that aren't written in a way they prefer to be modified/edited to meet their sensibilities.

What about the Lord of the Rings movie trilogy? Should they all be combined into one movie and pared down to 90 minutes total so that the people who prefer to see stories told in an hour-and-a-half can enjoy it?

What about the people who prefer their books even longer and wordier? Should an edition be released that pads the story even more? Give Tom Bombadil a few more songs to sing? Take longer to solve the "Speak Friend, and Enter" puzzle? Add a few POV chapters for Bill the pony? Surely it wouldn't "hurt" anything?

If it made any sort of sense, and it truly didn't "hurt anything," authors and rights-holders would already be falling all over themselves to have multiple editions of their works out there to maximize the potential to be loved by all. i should think the fact that it's NOT already happening would speak volumes.
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Old 09-07-2019, 12:07 PM   #133
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One of the interesting things about Tolkien's works is that we have a wealth of material put out by Christopher Tolkien that shows various pieces of back story changed over the years. The Hobbit came out in 1937. The LOTR (which was intended to be read as a single volume) came out in 1954. Tolkien spent many years refining those books. His initial manuscript of the Hobbit was actually finished in 1932.

We have examples of the retelling or reworking of many, many different stories. The whole host of Greek myths and legends, The Iliad and The Odyssey. Certainly, prose versions of the Iliad and Odyssey make those stories more accessible to many readers. It's not necessarily a bad thing.

The flip side is that a rework of LOTR/The Hobbit wouldn't be even remotely the same thing. That's the whole story teller thing. Part of what makes LOTR/The Hobbit what they were is Tolkien's constantly reworking them over the space of a long period of time. It's the craftmanship. A violin is a violin, yet a Stradivarius is renown for it's craftsmanship. That craftsmanship is what you lose if you go with a "dumbed down", or abridged version of LOTR.

Certainly I'm one of those people who would like to see some of the Tolkien back story given to a quality author. Perhaps, someone will file the serial numbers off of various pieces of the Tolkien back story and write Beren and Luthien as a stand alone novel, or better yet, the Tolkien estate will license it to a quality author, much like Sanderson finished off the WOT. I think it unlikely, but one never knows.
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Old 09-07-2019, 09:44 PM   #134
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So basically, if the book was a little bit newer, he may have used TeX or LaTeX instead of troff? Should ask him about it.
Maybe. But unless there is unusual formatting, I don't see the point. My local public library doesn't have a copy, so I couldn't check.
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Old 09-08-2019, 06:15 AM   #135
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Not absolute nonsense. To pretend that a shortened book has the same merit as the original is absolute nonsense.
What rot, who said anything about same merit?
It would however, still have enough merit ... certainly for those who struggle with the original.
Or are you saying the removed bits are the only merit?
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