David Mitchell’s Cloud Atlas is a popular choice for book groups around the world. But it turns out that American readers may be enjoying a rather different experience to those in Britain, after an academic uncovered “astonishing” differences between the US and UK editions of the award-winning novel.
Professor Martin Paul Eve of Birkbeck, University of London was writing a paper on Cloud Atlas, working from the UK paperback published by Sceptre, and from a Kindle edition of the novel, when he realised he was unable to find phrases in the ebook that he could distinctly remember from the paperback. He compared the US and UK editions of the book, and realised they were “quite different to one another”.
Yes, I think a lot of people would be surprised to know how the publishing industry handles editing across countries. I know an author whose books are published in original editions in three countries – United Kingdom, United States, and Canada – and they all get edited separately. And, in some cases, the titles are different from one country to another.