Earlier in the year I started reading Villette by Charlotte Brontë. After many interruptions and other difficulties (without posting any spoilers here, let's just say Miss Lucy Snowe is a difficult character to become acquainted with) I was a bit disheartened by my slow progress. A colleague offered to read the book with me, but since he struggled with the print he hunted for an audio copy. He finally found one on cassette but unfortunately it was an abridged version. This shorter version contained roughly two thirds of the full text and while I doubt they've removed some chapters completely, quite a few were significantly shorter.
My question is this: If you are struggling with a book or you can find only an abridged version of a book you'd love to read, would you be satisfied that you've heard the whole story after reading it? Do you prefer the shorter version, believing that it is an condensed account of events?
So far (yes, I am giving it a try) the language is still beautifully rich, the descriptions as vivid and the events have as much impact in the shorter version. I'll have to see how I feel once I get to the unknown parts.