I was shocked. Almost immediately I found it hilarious…then outrageous…then both. It is definitely clever. But it raises many questions. E-books can be manipulated at will by the purveyors of the downloadable software. Here is a classic work of fiction (some claim it is the greatest novel every written) used for a sophomoric and/or commercial prank. What else might be changed in an e-book? Fears of manipulation for economic, political, religious, or other ideological ends come to mind. It makes one wary of the integrity of any digital version of not only War and Peace…but any e-book.
I’m trying to imagine every occurrence of the word “penguin” being replaced with “harper” in books published by Harper Collins. And I can’t. But this is pretty much what Barnes and Noble did here.