ogre downstairs -- behold the crap edition! (lengthy, and spoily)
ferricide at hotmail.com
Mon Apr 15 19:20:39 EDT 2002
yes, i have now officially christened the altered 1996 UK edition of the
ogre downstairs the "crap edition". =)
i finished up last night. it seemed to me that the front of the book was
much heavier on changes than the back. i'll outline here what i found. i may
have missed some things.
to begin with, of course, there's the "classical music" being substituted
for "commercial pop" that's one of the biggest disasters in the crap
edition. ("I think he's frightful," Caspar had said frankly. "And I bet he
listens to classical music. He's bound to, with low eyebrows like that." -
page 4, crap edition)
and of course, the magical transformation of records into tapes, which was
vaguely anachronistic in 1996 -- for the US, anyway. though not being a kid,
i don't know for sure. i'm sure someone like douglas would have a CD player
in the very least, however.
page 6, crap:
"...he was able to reach the electric point which controlled his cassette
player and turn it on. The tape left ready inside began to play. Caspar lay
back to listen to his favourite group."
page 5, new US:
"...he was able to reach the switch that controlled his record player and
turn it on. The LP left ready on the turntable began to revolve. Caspar
dropped the needle into the groove and lay back to listen to his favorite
throughout the book, "LP" is changed over to "album", "record" to "tape",
etc. i shan't bother with every instance. they didn't make any amusing
mistakes in the crap edition. pity. =)
pg 10 (crap):
"Because you're such little monsters," said Malcolm. "And Douglas hasn't got
"That's because he's a big monster," said Caspar. "Beside Douglas, you're
not even a monster. You're just a slimeball."
pg 8 (new US):
"Because you're such little frights," said Malcolm. "And Douglas hasn't got
"That's because he's a big fright," said Caspar. "Beside Douglas, even your
don't ask me why they changed this one. the original is definitely better,
before i do the next one... brace yourself. this is right after the ogre
goes to check on how malcolm's doing with the chemistry set for the first
pg 15 (crap):
The Ogre's sons always called him Father. The Ogre would not let them say
Dad like normal people.
this passage is not even in the new US edition. it always struck me as a
rather odd and obtrusive passage. now i know why. yech.
for the next, i'm not sure if this is a UK/US thing (meaning that it's
actually original in the crap edition) or if it was actually changed. the
crap edition says "face-flannel" where the US says "towel." the reason i
suspect it might be face-flannel in the UK originally is because this book
is the first place i'd ever heard this phrase. it's not said in the US at
all. i inferred it to be the equivalent of US "washcloth" (meant for washing
one's face) as opposed to "towel" (meant for drying oneself) originally,
though. towels make more sense contextually, since they're always being used
to mop up things in the book.
page 31, crap:
"...until Sally said that their landing seemed like a plague-spot to her."
in the US edition, "a plague-spot" is "an affliction." (pg 24)
more tape/record madness. page 47, crap (douglas speaking to caspar):
"I wonder you can bear to listen to these," he said. "They're coated with
fluff and gunk. Hasn't anyone told you to use a cleaning tape? You're
stretching your tapes and ruining your machinery." ... then in the next
paragraph, referring to the 'head cleaner' caspar supposedly lost, "You can
borrow one of mine, if you're careful not to lose it. I've got several."
page 36, US edition:
"I wonder you can hear these," he said. "They're coated with dust. Hasn't
anyone ever told you to keep LP's clean? You're ruining them and your
stylus." here caspar says he's lost his 'cleaner'. "You can borrow mine, if
you're careful with it. I've got one of those attachments now. Thanks,
anyway. I'd better go and give these a clean."
for what it's worth, since i started on tapes as a kid, save for when i was
really tiny -- i was born in 1977 -- i have no clue about anything decent
when it comes to turntables. so "one of those attachments" is meaningless to
me, except to assume it automatically cleans records as they play, or
something. =) so i can understand why they did it -- but that doesn't mean
they should have. it was very easy to infer and i am sure i could've
inferred it just as easily when i was 12. i had no problems with DWJ back
now, i don't see anything until pg 99 but more tape/record switching. i
won't bore you. in fact, i don't see anything else substantial at all. i
remember another "face-flannel" style substitution but i can't recall it at
the moment. also, amusingly, a £5 note becomes a £20 note in the crap
edition. that's inflation for you!
one more thing that i recall is that in the crap edition, douglas says (this
is from my head) "Are you going to lend it me?" and in the new US says, "Are
you going to lend it to me?" Now, they didn't really get rid of any other
anglicisms like that in the new US edition, so i wonder, again, which one
matches the original text. then again, if you're a kid in the US, "are you
going to lend it me?" parses like you're asking if the listener is going to
lend you to his belonging. =) someone in the US would say "are you going to
lend me it?" (or "lend it to me?" as it appears in the new edition.)
and before i forget, "disco club" in the crap is "discotheque" in the US.
neither sounds very contemporary, to my mind. i don't know about british
teenagers in 1996, but US kids would simply go to a "club" or "go clubbing"
in 1996, and even now. i guess "club" would be too vague without the
anyway, that's all i have found. maybe i should write a faq. whew. i'm done.
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