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 Post subject: Changing perceptions after reading hardbacks
PostPosted: 01 Sep 2017, 20:41 
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Apologies if this has been debated before.

Like many people I first read the Armada paperbacks and loved them. Recently I have been privileged to read the majority of the series in its original form. It's only after reading the hardbacks that I see how much 'colour' was lost in the paperbacks.

What strikes me is how different some of my feelings about some of the characters are after reading the hardbacks. For example, Joan Baker seems far more 'common' in the hardback and Vic Coles more obviously male.

The Swiss Joey seems less irritating as some of the other characters seem to get more air time in the hardbacks but these scenes are cut from the paperbacks.

Did anyone else's feelings towards individual characters change after eating the hardbacks?


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 Post subject: Re: Changing perceptions after reading hardbacks
PostPosted: 01 Sep 2017, 21:09 
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:lol: I assume you didn't actually mean "eating" the hardbacks. Freudian slip!

No need to apologise in case things have been discussed before. New discussions are always welcome :D.

I think that both Naomi and Lavender seem more difficult/problematic in the uncut versions of "their" books, and there's a lot missing out of the paperback of Head Girl about Grizel's character development. And, whilst it didn't really affect my feelings about individual characters, Highland Twins and Three Go are like different books in the uncut version. Even small-ish cuts can make a difference. There are things about the Russell family background which are cut out of the pb of New House, and the chapter that's cut out of Exile tells us a lot about Jo and Jack's relationship. And so much of the descriptions of Tyrol, and some of the wartime details about coping with rationing etc, are gone.

I'm very grateful for the Armadas, because they were what was available when I was a child and I'd never have found the CS without them, but I do wish Armada hadn't chopped them up quite so much!

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 Post subject: Re: Changing perceptions after reading hardbacks
PostPosted: 01 Sep 2017, 22:30 
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I couldn't agree more - the full versions are always more worth reading, even if the paperbacks only have 'frequent minor cuts'. ISTR that Eustacia's another one where in the paperback it all looks so much more simple a situation than it actually is, and that kind of thing does a disservice to the readers as well as the characters.

But then, as Alison says, the paperbacks were often all that was available, and not all the later books were cut. An abridged version is better than none at all, as long as you know it is abridged, and you're not necessarily getting the whole story!

Edited for clarity


Last edited by Noreen on 02 Sep 2017, 07:21, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Changing perceptions after reading hardbacks
PostPosted: 01 Sep 2017, 22:45 
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I've definitely not been eating the hardbacks! If I had, I wouldn't dare to announce it here.

I loved the Armada versions and reading them when I was a kid accepted them for what they were and didn't think about the impact of the cuts, if I even knew about them at the time. Reading the hardbacks now makes me feel as though I've entered a strange parallel universe where everything is in technicolour. I'd read about the cuts subsequently, particularly those to Exile and Twins, but the frequent small cuts in some of the other books can really change the tone.


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 Post subject: Re: Changing perceptions after reading hardbacks
PostPosted: 02 Sep 2017, 07:25 
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There is a sort of 'phantom cut' supposition in places, though, where you feel there must have been a fuller explanation that's been cut - except that it hasn't (well, unless cut by EMBD before it went to the publisher). Clem's parents dying, Jo and Jack's wedding...


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 Post subject: Re: Changing perceptions after reading hardbacks
PostPosted: 02 Sep 2017, 08:22 
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Phil Maynard's polio! I always feel like I've missed something there. And Biddy going to Australia.

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 Post subject: Re: Changing perceptions after reading hardbacks
PostPosted: 02 Sep 2017, 09:19 
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I recently managed to read a hardback copy of School At after having the paperback version for over 20 years and the difference in feel was amazing. Knowing the paperback so well, the cuts were obviously minor (no missing chapters here) but they added such a charm and a feeling of place and time. I remember trying to work out when the book were set as a child and finding it difficult; I didn't know about publishing dates on the front page then and had none of the wartime books

The other book I only recently read in hardback after having the paperback from childhood was Trials, and that really does feel like a different book. Namoi does come across as a much more difficult character and a lot of little scenes which either help to understand her or just give little touches of school life were missing in the cut version. Perhaps because it was one of the first books I had as a child, the religious aspect of the book didn't bother me too much, although I'm agnostic myself and would normally hate someone to be so obviously "wrong" in a book for being that. But I know I just blindly accepted books as a child and often still do; I hate being jarred out of a story because something is so obviously out of character or just plain wrong.


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 Post subject: Re: Changing perceptions after reading hardbacks
PostPosted: 02 Sep 2017, 09:38 
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Highland Twins was a revelation when I finally got it in HB. So much had been cut from the PB that it really read like a different book. I'd never rated it much before but my opinion totally changed after reading the uncut version.

Trials was another one. The back of my PB mentioned a flood and I was like 'What flood?' Lo and behold, there it was in the uncut version.

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 Post subject: Re: Changing perceptions after reading hardbacks
PostPosted: 02 Sep 2017, 13:17 
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I've got a mixture of hardbacks, Armadas and GGB. A lot of interesting little details cut from the Armadas. I remember particularly Marie's comment in the uncut Exile about Jo being more womanly since her marriage.

I had an Armada version of Coming of Age originally then bought a GGB version. Without checking, am I right in thinking the whole of the celebratory weekend - surely the main point of the book - was cut from the Armada version?


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 Post subject: Re: Changing perceptions after reading hardbacks
PostPosted: 02 Sep 2017, 15:48 
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I haven't read the hardback version of trials but will need to hunt it down.

I fully understand what you mean about the abridged versions losing some of the charm. Thinking about it though I wonder if I would have enjoyed the unabridged versions when I was younger as much of the lost colour is about the adult characters and 'historical' details which I was less interested in.


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 Post subject: Re: Changing perceptions after reading hardbacks
PostPosted: 02 Sep 2017, 16:08 
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I've only recently managed to get a paperback copy of Highland Twins and enjoyed it. I hadn't realised it was badly cut. Now waiting eagerly for GGB to publish it. :D


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 Post subject: Re: Changing perceptions after reading hardbacks
PostPosted: 02 Sep 2017, 20:40 
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They did Highland Twins in 2003, it's now out of print but probably used copies around.


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 Post subject: Re: Changing perceptions after reading hardbacks
PostPosted: 03 Sep 2017, 17:05 
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I had an Armada version of Coming of Age originally then bought a GGB version. Without checking, am I right in thinking the whole of the celebratory weekend - surely the main point of the book - was cut from the Armada version?[/quote]


Out of curiosity my friend and I compared the paperback with the hardback.There were cuts in a few of the chapters.It also appears that part of the chapter 'The Sale' is cut out, especially regarding Miss Bubbs collapse.The next chapter in the HB,titled 'And Afterwards', is combined in a shortened fashion with that chapter in the PB so there is quite a big chunk missing.


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 Post subject: Re: Changing perceptions after reading hardbacks
PostPosted: 03 Sep 2017, 17:25 
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Terry go, i've just read the hardback version of Coming of Age and agree. Much of the reunion weekend was missing from the Armada, the prefect's trip to the Tiernsee seemed to be the focal point.


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 Post subject: Re: Changing perceptions after reading hardbacks
PostPosted: 03 Sep 2017, 17:57 
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I've got a bone to pick with Armada over that :lol:. I inadvertently made an EBD-ism (Alison-ism?) in a drabble because I didn't have access to some info about an Old Girl which they chopped out of the pb of Coming of Age!

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 Post subject: Re: Changing perceptions after reading hardbacks
PostPosted: 04 Sep 2017, 07:31 
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To us that is a huge loss. But I think one of the aims of the Armada reprints was to make each book more 'stand alone'. to appreciate the Miss Bubb incident, you need to know her backstory in terms of the CS. A line or two of explanation would not have been able to give over the depth of what had happened. Equally, extensive lines about Old Girls, were a great update for those who knew them, but probably boring to readers who had just picked up this book, and had no idea who all these other characters were.

Especially given the rather random order of the Armada reprints, it was important that each book was a cohesive unit in itself, not relying too heavily on prior aquaintance with characters and events.

But I agree, to those of us who do know the CS by heart, we regret those losses.

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 Post subject: Re: Changing perceptions after reading hardbacks
PostPosted: 05 Sep 2017, 02:54 
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I've only been able to read Highland Twins in paperback, and it's top of my list to buy (at a reasonable price) if a GGBP book becomes available. Apparently all the Elisaveta sub-plot was removed, and I've no idea (apart from mentioned in other books) what it was about.

I've been buying all the GGBP books that are readily available, but Highland Twins seems to be too long ago for me to find a copy.

I've got a full set of Armadas (and CS goes to it and CS in the Oberland in hardback) so GGBP is the only way for me to find out what was cut out of the Armada editions.


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 Post subject: Re: Changing perceptions after reading hardbacks
PostPosted: 05 Sep 2017, 09:26 
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bythebrook wrote:
I've got a full set of Armadas (and CS goes to it and CS in the Oberland in hardback) so GGBP is the only way for me to find out what was cut out of the Armada editions.
Except that it's sometimes easier to find the hardbacks (some of which, notably the Tyrol books, had huge print runs) than the GGBP ones... if you prefer to collect the GGBP editions, that's another matter, of course. I know that a lot of people prefer to collect a series of uniform appearance, if nothing else.


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 Post subject: Re: Changing perceptions after reading hardbacks
PostPosted: 05 Sep 2017, 09:43 
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Noreen wrote:
bythebrook wrote:
I've got a full set of Armadas (and CS goes to it and CS in the Oberland in hardback) so GGBP is the only way for me to find out what was cut out of the Armada editions.
Except that it's sometimes easier to find the hardbacks (some of which, notably the Tyrol books, had huge print runs) than the GGBP ones... if you prefer to collect the GGBP editions, that's another matter, of course. I know that a lot of people prefer to collect a series of uniform appearance, if nothing else.


Highland Twins isn't one of them, unfortunately, or at least it wasn't a few years ago. It may be different now, but it certainly wasn't freely available in HB when I was looking for it unless you were willing to pay ridiculous money for it. It took a lot of eBay stalking and a bit of luck before I finally got it at a remotely affordable price, and it's still one of the most expensive I've bought - I think only Bride tops it in my collection price-wise.

ETA fixed a typo

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Last edited by Aquabird on 05 Sep 2017, 10:04, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Changing perceptions after reading hardbacks
PostPosted: 05 Sep 2017, 09:51 
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I was out of work some years ago, and when I saw somebody selling paperback Chalet books for 20p each (!) at a car boot sale, I snagged the lot and then sold them on ebay.

I knew some of them would go for a fair amount, but was amazed at how much the listing for Highland Twins just went up and up. It was a standard Armada copy, in good enough condition, and it went for almost fifty pounds.


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