UK vs US editions

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Burkshifter

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#1
One strange thing I've noticed with discworld books--along with a lot of other books by non-American authors--is that the editions published in the author's country tend to read better. Being American, I started reading discworld with the American books, but then when I was on a trip to London I picked up a few UK editions. The ones with the Josh Kidby covers.

The difference is huge. Something about Americanizing the spelling, punctuations, and colloquialisms really takes a lot out of the books. I couldn't imagine if, say, Tolkien or Lewis or Dickens were Americanized.

Has anybody else noticed this? Does this stand true for other authors?
 

poohcarrot

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Sep 13, 2009
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#2
Can you give me an example of an American colloquialism in a Discworld book, please?

Apart from using the word "gotten" instead of "got", I don't recall ever seeing one, and I've read a few US editions.

Incidently, I believe Unseen Academicals wasn't altered in any way for the US market. Zero proofs were made available in the US. The US had to accept the British version. :laugh:
 

Tonyblack

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#3
With me going back and fore to America so much, I read a lot of the American versions and have to say that apart from a few small spelling differences and the covers, there's very little difference.

A couple of things I have noticed though are the use of fonts in the UK versions that don't always transfer to the US versions. In Reaper Man, for example, Bill Door's story is written in a slightly different font to the Wizards' story in the UK edition.

The political cartoon is missing in the US version of Monstrous Regiment. As is (I think) the invitation card that Daphne sends to Mau in Nation - although I haven't actually seen the US copy of Nation, I'm told that's the case.
 

poohcarrot

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#4
You woz told wrong, Tony. The only Nation I've read is the US version and the invite was there. 8)

And, I've said it before and I'll say it again, the US covers are complete pants! :laugh:
 

Tonyblack

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#5
Damn! I'll have to shoot my informant now. :laugh:

Another difference is the golems in Feet of Clay - in the UK version their comments are written like this:



It's a different font in the US.

And there's the "Badda Boom" as opposed to the "Boom Boom" comment in Thief of Time.
 
Oct 1, 2009
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#6
poohcarrot said:
And, I've said it before and I'll say it again, the US covers are complete pants! :laugh:
I don't agree very much on things with Pooh, but on this one I totally concur. So much so that when I decided to build my own library of every DW book (except Pyramids, of course :) ), I ended up paying a small king's ransom to get all the Josh Kirby cover paperbacks, which occupy an honored space on my bookshelf.

J-I-B
 
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#7
Tonyblack said:
I never read the US version of (FOC) Feet of Clay. I always loved this font in the UK version because whoever chose it rightly did so to emulate Hebrew lettering. I wonder if Pterry himself suggested this look. If not, the typesetter made a great choice. If the US version doesn't use this style, it TOTALLY misses the allusion.

J-I-B
 

Dotsie

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Jul 28, 2008
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#8
The only book I've read from two different countries wasn't Pratchett, it was L'Etranger by Camus, or The Outsider. The UK version was pants compared with the French one - completely different books.
 
Mar 21, 2010
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#9
english and american 1st

i collect all terrys books in first editions.what i was wondering was are american 1st editions as valuable as british ones
 

Tonyblack

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#11
Re: english and american 1st

king dwarf said:
i collect all terrys books in first editions.what i was wondering was are american 1st editions as valuable as british ones
Welcome to the site, king dwarf. :laugh:
 

Fizz

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Mar 16, 2010
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#12
I live in Canada and when it comes to book covers as well as editions, it's definitely a mixed bag.

Sometimes we get the UK editions and sometimes we get the US editions, and then there are times we get the Canada editions, it's all very confusing and great. It provides more variety.

The first discworld book I picked up has a rather toned down feel to it, similar to how the Harry Potter books were given an "adult cover" treatment.



I have the one on the right. Cheers.
 

Tonyblack

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#13
Those tend to be known as the 'black' covers and, yes, I think they are indeed like the Potter 'adult' covers. The only novel that you can't seem to get in that format is 'Eric' - I think that's because it was originally a novel with illustrations and they used a different publisher. :)
 

Fizz

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#14
Considering how much I'm enjoying Pratchett's first novel, I think I'll continue purchasing in this format. I am sure there are some purists on this board who will insist that it's just not a Discworld novel without the mad covers, but I like the simplicity of it. Cheers.
 
Jul 26, 2008
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#15
No i agree with you Fizz im a purist collector with over 500 in my collection now but i do like the new covers, its just a shame they fall apart so quickly, (theyre not glued very well i think ;) )
 

Fizz

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#17
Cliche as it is, you have to admit that there are some books that really are amazing and should not be judged by their covers.

I've read some brilliant books with some atrocious covers.

I think that fantasy in general though has improved with the types of covers they now use to draw readers in. Cheers.
 

Jan Van Quirm

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#18
As I got CoM and LF around 1983 so when they were first out, there was nothing around like Josh Kirby's coverwork and they really did match the spirit of Terry's writing at a time when SF&F was still v.influenced by heavy duty fantasy. So Discworld needed something as different and innovative as the 'fun' art that Josh was brilliant at - and Terry loved his work anyway and for that reason.

But times change and I can see the attraction of the black covers 'cos they're beautifully photographed but they don't 'match' the tone of Terry's writing that well, although they're visually attractive and look slick on a rack. Terry's work is slick but it's also and more importantly multi-layered and rich in texture of all sorts with the humour threading through - the lovely sea-chest with the coins on top may say a bit about the Luggage and Twoflower with all his dosh, but says nothing about the chaos and naked greed of the Broken Drum burning down or the adventures at Wyrmberg or in the Temple of Belshamaroth. Kirby's illustration of the riot at the Drum caught the spirit of that mayhem and playfulness and because, at the time, it looked fun as well as different and new for that genre, it did the writing justice.

In the US the market is different perhaps so different cover art is needed and that's evidenced by the reaction of some people over here to Unseen Academicals for instance. As 'soccer's' :rolleyes: a minority sport over in the States the nuance and beauty of Paul Kidby's cover is completely lost on most US fans so you get the truly naff (to UK eyes) US version with the arms in the air and the round ball (thankfully they got that right! :p ) which perhaps doesn't do much for them either but at least says something about the content even if not particularly accurate of the gameplay... :twisted:

Horses for courses and times change but for fans who've been there from the start Josh's covers are inextricably linked to the pleasure we all felt when we first discovered Discworld and for that reason he'll always be my favourite Pratchett illustrator :laugh:
 
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#20
Jan Van Quirm said:
In the US the market is different perhaps so different cover art is needed and that's evidenced by the reaction of some people over here to Unseen Academicals for instance. As 'soccer's' :rolleyes: a minority sport over in the States the nuance and beauty of Paul Kidby's cover is completely lost on most US fans so you get the truly naff (to UK eyes) US version with the arms in the air and the round ball (thankfully they got that right! :p )
Well, I'm not much of a fan of the Kidby cover but that's personal opinion and has nothing to do with a Brit/US POV. although it's heads and tails better than the execrable U.S. cover. In fact, the Kidby cover would have probably drawn a lot more "browsing" interest among the un-initiated. It's not like you find a lot of soccer fanatics hovering around the fantasy section of your typical Borders, but everyone in the U.S. is totally famliar with the stiffly posed, sepia-toned team pictures that are a mainstay for every two-bit local paper in America. So who wouldn't be piqued piqued by the sight of a giant orangutan front and center?

In any case, blame the U.S. publisher for going with their horrible covers, rather than the public. Changing covers is not going to increase sales of DW books among the initiated. Better marketing will do it.

J-I-B
 

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