A problem for Kindle - or just one book?

Posted by Guy Pringle, 12th September 2011

Given that William Goldman wrote the screenplays for 3 of my all time top 10 films - All the President's Men, Butch Cassidy & the Sundance Kid and The Princess Bride -  I indulged my shiney new Kindle with a download of his novel, Magic. This, too, has been made into a film starring Anthony Hopkins, although I haven't seen it.


I'm pleased to have ticked the book off my to be read list, but don't feel obliged to track down the DVD. Corky is 'overtaken' by the character of the unpleasant and foul-mouthed ventriloquist's dummy he builds into his magician's act. It all ends badly and is neatly tied up but not quite the calibre of the three pieces of work aforementioned.


However, my main gripe, and perhaps the reason why I've damned this book with such faint praise was the unsettling effect of having to intuit so much of the text. It was as if the original book had been scanned by a pirated version of Optical Character Recognition (OCR) software to turn it into electronic ink. The result was that something like >>I'll<< came out as >>1111<<.


Our reviewers often comment on the errors that slip through in the printed versions of their assignments but this was of a different magnitude entirely. Once or twice would have been acceptable but on virtually page and often more than once a page? I'd find it more understandable if this had been a free download of an out of copyright classic but I paid a fiver for Magic - which is why I've sent Amazon a strongly worded complaint. Whether I get any where remains to be seen - I'll let you know if I do. In the meantime, I'd love to hear of any other readers who have come across similarly trashed books.




Marjorie Neilson said...

Dare I say it, but maybe you have to say abracadabra to your Kindle before the book transforms itself into a readable version. Sorry, a bit trite. I am sure Amazon will come up with a readable version, although it may be a printed copy!. I am undertaking an English Literature course and one of the ladies bought a copy of Othello (admitedly not Kindle) from Amazon and it has 11 pages missing - A Shakespearean tragedy on both counts.

Posted on Mon 12 Sep 2011 @ 11:57

Clare said...

Out of curiosity (okay, nosiness!) I downloaded the Kindle sample of this book. I didn't get the same >>

Posted on Sat 17 Sep 2011 @ 13:16

Mandy Jenkinson said...

Bit of a discussion going on about this on ReadItSwapIt at the moment - http://forums.readitswapit.co.uk/forums/t/97942.aspx
It certainly seems to be a problem with quite a few books. I'm reading Les Miserables at the moment and there's some very strange formatting! Sometimes the line breaks are all over the place!

Posted on Mon 24 Oct 2011 @ 21:36

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