Harlequin: Saving Readers From Writers

Harlequin Goes Soft On Hard-Boiled

Remember, our intention was to publish the stories in their original form. But once we immersed ourselves in the text, our eyes grew wide. Our jaws dropped. Social behavior—such as hitting a woman—that would be considered totally unacceptable now was quite common sixty years ago. Scenes of near rape would not sit well with a contemporary audience, we were quite convinced. We therefore decided to make small adjustments to the text, only in cases where we felt scenes or phrases would be offensive to a 2009 readership.

You pack of goddammed super-sensitive morons!

Was “quite common sixty years ago”?!!!? Have you no brains? This is fiction, you idiots, fiction!

I recommended people buy these.

You’ve betrayed my trust, Harlequin.

You are dead to me. I will never run another post about your company again. I will never buy from you. I will point people to this post so they can despise you as much as I do.

May you go out of business, wind up living in cardboard boxes, and starve to death.

12 Responses to Harlequin: Saving Readers From Writers

  1. Moriah Jovan says:

    Got a rash of that “it’s not nice so it shouldn’t be published” bullshit going around these days.

    • mikecane says:

      There will be an absolutely horrible backlash to this crap. The 60s rebelled against the stifling conformity of the 50s. This time it will be even worse.

  2. Social comments and analytics for this post…

    This post was mentioned on Twitter by mikecane: @selfpubreview https://ebooktest.wordpress.com/2009/12/03/harlequin-saving-readers-from-writers/

  3. Penny Ash says:

    Tcha (sound of disgust) Censorship. I might have bought these but for that.

  4. Linda Rader says:

    It’s a shame HQN cleaned up the re-issues. If it’s a classic then it shouldn’t be changed, warts and all. Readers know these are old copyrights, the cover tells that.

    Too much PC in NY I think.

  5. Moriah Jovan says:

    We’ve come a long way, baby.


  6. SonomaLass says:

    It’s a good thing Harlequin wasn’t the original publisher of Huckleberry Finn. Just sayin’.

  7. barbara says:

    I totally agree with you Mike…this is actually dishonest on the part of Harlequin unless they note in large red letters on the cover of each book that it is abridged, edited and bowdlerized!

    This is two, count ’em, fails by Harlequin in the past month.

  8. max says:

    I read books by Laurell K. Hamilton, horror, crime, sex; several other types of genre mixed. Theres more bad stuff in those books than in any James Hadley Chase book. You have to accept the authors verison. How can Harlequin do this? If James Hadley Chase was a best selling writer now; I’m willing to bet no changes would be made.

  9. […] like a fiend. Do you really want such tampering in books? That would be 1984 come to life (see what Harlequin did on its own, without any outside […]

  10. […] like a fiend. Do you really want such tampering in books? That would be 1984 come to life (see what Harlequin did on its own, without any outside pressure!).There is only one reason Amazon has turned to […]

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