Top critical review
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Kindle version makes author's remains rotate?
on 24 August 2011
This seemed to be the only Wodehouse book on Kindle that didn't have horrendous gaps between the paragraphs and lazy digital punctuation, and whose layout actually looked readable, so it seemed a good purchase for a holiday read. But whilst I would give the book's original content 5 stars in a heart beat - this was a wonderfully funny book, charming and clever to the nth degree - there were some serious formatting and production flaws that marred the experience and made me return the download and buy the hardback instead when I got home. (Amazon have a 7 day policy.)
The publishers of P G Wodehouse really need to take note. They are curators for the work of the greatest English prose comic of all time. Wodehouse's eBooks deserve to be editions the company is proud of. I would have spent hundreds of pounds on downloading them by now if they weren't so awfully badly produced. He has a huge back catalogue, exceptionally strong, and there is obvious scope for pricing his dozens of books affordably enough to hook people into a lifelong love affair with some of the best and most uplifting literature of the past 100 years. They are very moreish. And if the publishers were clever, they would be accurate and attractive and affordable. Even one out of three would be something.
But at the moment, even this one which has escaped the stupidly huge paragraph breaks and digital punctuation, was indisputably not proofread. It got so bad that by page 50 I decided to highlight any errors I happened to spot from then on till the end. Not counting every single chapter starting with its first letter floating up above the line (a failed drop-cap?) and without going out of my way, I came across no fewer than 71. Missing speech marks, joined up words, longer words that had obviously been hyphenated over a line break in the original but which had no need for hyphenation now, the letter 'I' repeatedly replaced with '1' ... Small things, perhaps, but all sloppy, all noticeable, all frequent, and all adding up to make the reading experience unnecessarily inferior.
The book was scanned, well formatted (unlike every other Wodehouse eBook from the same publishers), but not proofread. At all.
Readers deserve better. But so does the legacy of so great a writer. I really do hope the publishers see sense. They are missing out on an awful lot of money and, I suspect, making an awful lot of readers miserable. As it stands, I think Amazon would be better off preventing Kindle books with such low production standards from being sold in their store.
The sad thing is that this is by far and away the best produced Wodehouse eBook that I have found.