Photo from Barnes and Noble
Audio books are my savior. They're great for long roadtrips, especially if you have kids, and, oh! all of the everyday things you can do simultaneously while "reading"!
I tend to enjoy the unabridged versions better, mainly because I'm so paranoid I'll miss some minute detail. Some moms were discussing this in The Book Club group:
bekalynn825: Usually I can't tell that much difference between the two. Sometimes the unabridged version just seems to drag on and on with descriptive details.
pixiesand: I don't think they take out anything really important, but personally, I don't like to listen to abridged. I would always be worried about what I'm missing, even if it's trivial stuff. Also, I sometimes like to read along in the book and I wouldn't be able to if it were abridged. That's just me.
SelaCarsen: I think it depends entirely on who does the editing, as well as the format of the production. For instance, I have a BBC radio production of LOTR. It's only 17 hours long [end sarcasm]. Put together as a play, it's radio theatre rather than the reading of a novel and I'm ok with that. I have no desire to learn Tolkien's tree language. Right now I'm listening to an unabridged, 1-narrator version of Ngaio Marsh's Colour Scheme. I think it's harder to abridge a mystery novel, though. You never know where a clue might show up!
Do you listen to audio books? If so, do you prefer abridged or unabridged?