Samurai Shorstop: Compare and Contrast

>> Friday, September 14, 2007

I just got done with a lot of nitpicky little web site updates to that most repeat visitors wouldn't even notice--but one change I made that is noticeable is the addition of an audio player link to the first chapter of Listening Library's version of Samurai Shortstop, as read by Arthur Morey. If you haven't heard it, it's really fabulous. I listened to the whole thing absolutely spellbound once on a long car trip. (Not because I didn't know what was going to happen of course, but because I couldn't believe how fabulous the reading was!)

So until now the only clip of Samurai I had available on my web site was Chapter Seven--a strange choice for a clip, but the one Listening Library chose for promotion. Then recently the Books on Tape folks--which, if I have this right, are a different division of Random House with their own separate packaging and distribution but exact same product--posted a new clip from Samurai: Chapter One.

I added the new clip to the Media page on my web site, but then Wendi had the bright idea to include it also on the Samurai Shortstop Chapter One excerpt page. It was an easy add, and now you can either listen to Chapter One, read it yourself, or read along as Arthur Morey reads it to you.

Only, it's not the same chapter.

Go there and listen to the clip and read along, and you'll soon start to hear subtle differences. "Koji" in the text is now referred to as "Uncle Koji." And Toyo's father--Sotaro--gets named much sooner.

I didn't listen to the whole thing to hear all the differences, but I know what happened. I used the latest manuscript I had on the computer to post the text, but there is always one more copy-edit after that--the one actually done on the typeset pages! At that point we must have had the discussion about the names.

I had deliberately not introduced Sotaro's name until almost the very last line, because I didn't want readers to be confused by too many Japanese names. I was already throwing Toyo and Koji around, and didn't want to confuse the matter. Then we decided, late in the process, that calling Sotaro "Toyo's father" all the way through the chapter was confusing too. Why didn't he have a name? So we changed that. You can see other minor changes as well--like clarifying that Koji is "Uncle Koji" more often.

If you're interested to see the differences between the last manuscript I sent off and the last round of edits done directly on the typeset manuscript, get yourself over to my web site and have a listen/look. This is a limited time offer, because soon I'll have to fix it!


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