Customer Reviews for

Canterbury Tales (Volume 4)

Average Rating 3.5
( 82 )
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(33)

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(12)

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Most Helpful Favorable Review

9 out of 12 people found this review helpful.

A fantastic translation of a classic

I got an advance copy of this and have read the first few tales -- what an amazing translation. It's accessible and will be perfect for classroom studies or just catching up on a classic.

posted by MattW on October 9, 2008

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Most Helpful Critical Review

3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

All translations are NOT created equal. I am brushing up on Chau

All translations are NOT created equal. I am brushing up on Chaucer for a credit-by-exam option for my degree and wanted to make sure I was working off of the same translation as the professor. The translation he desired was Nevill Coghill's, Penguin's translation. That...
All translations are NOT created equal. I am brushing up on Chaucer for a credit-by-exam option for my degree and wanted to make sure I was working off of the same translation as the professor. The translation he desired was Nevill Coghill's, Penguin's translation. That is the paperback version listed on the page. That is what I wanted. That is what I needed.

When I saw that there was a nook version available in that edition I was ecstatic. Often it is difficult to find correct translations for many of my texts. I immediately previewed the version to double check and noticed, to my disgust, that the nook book version is just the B&N edition, NOT the penguin translation by Coghill. This is NOT clear on the page as the nook book is listed as an equivalent for the Penguin edition. I then also noticed that the "overview" section is also praising a different translator, not Coghill. As someone who is actually concerned about using accurate translations for academic purposes this is a problem. Varying editions of Chaucer can be VERY different. For example, I have a Bantam Classics, side-by-side translation that omits a number of the tales. Other translations change words and syntax to the point that it is unrecognizable and loses all of Chaucer's distinct tone. For people who actually read these classics for academics, it is a shame and a disgrace that a reputed bookseller would be careless enough to not pay credit to the correct translation and understand that there ARE in fact differences.

posted by DaniK on December 22, 2012

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 21, 2007

    Worst book ever

    This book sucks. All it is is a waste of time. I had to read it for high school. I would rather shoot myself than to read a gay book like this. Reading this book is like liveing hell.

    0 out of 16 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 15, 2006

    A great addition to a classic lit collection

    I am sorry that the last reviewer did not like this text, but perhaps she did not understand it. The first time I read Chaucer was in high school some years ago and the whole class enjoyed it then. I found it quite funny (esp. the Wife of Bath) and I look forward to reading it again. The style of English that it was written in made it a little difficult to read at first, but once we got used to it, we were able to read it more easily. I recommend it to any high school literature student, or just anyone interested in English Classics.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 3, 2005

    Highly Dissapointing

    I really wanted to read this book, because I have heard that it was really good. I generally love classics and poetry is pretty good. But this book was horrid! All the stories were just alike, for the most part, and they were extremely depressing. If not for the fact that I had to read the book for school, I would have put it down after the first story. There wasn't even one story that I half-way enjoyed. The rhyming lines really irratated me. I was very dissapointed, and I can not comprehend why this book is so highly acclaimed.

    0 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 23, 2005

    great work

    In Chaucer's work, 'The Canterbury Tales', perhaps the greatest of English literary works from the period of the language known as Middle English, there is one particular piece that have always stood out for me.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 3, 2004

    Dull, dull, even more dull

    i understand that Chaucer is a great English poet, but why would i waste my time reading about a creepy friar, and nun with attitude, and a miller who opens doors by ramming them with his head? i had to read it for school, for goodness sake, i'm only 12! take my advice-please don't check this out of the library!

    0 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 6, 2004

    Far From Your Everyday Classic Novel

    A friend of mine gave me this book after she read it in high school. Although the introduction is mind-numbingly dull, one cant he but enjoy the clever stories the Chaucer has created. I would recommend this book to any high school student of a higher reading level. While readed make an attempt to note the critzisms that Chaucer includes about the state of the catholic church of the middle ages. Theses are most clear in his discription of the monk. Enjoy!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 5, 2004

    A subjective review of a seminal masterwork

    I was taught Chaucer including the Canterbury Tales at Harpur College State University of New York by Professor Bernard Huppe. Professor Huppe was the most prominent exponent along with Prof.Robertson of the Christian interpretation of Chaucer. In other words the entire Canterbury Tales were seen as the work of a believing Christian whose anti - clerical passages were a true exposure of the faults of a society of sinners. The high comedy and low were according to Prof. Huppe a way of reenforcing this ideal Christian message. For most readers I suspect the pleasure of Chaucer is less however in the ideology than in the realistic and humorous depiction of character. And there are great characters, often drawn only in a few lines in the prologue .The Wife of Bath is perhaps the most outstanding and memorable of these, but the whole cast taken together provide a kind of typological picture of medieval mankind as a whole. The low laughter, the farce of the Miller's tale, the romantic chivalry of the Knight's tale I must admit never really charmed me. But what I loved in Chaucer and I can hear today Prof . Huppe's rich and deep enunciation was the sound of the lyric and the rich poetry .The music of Chaucer, the swift telling of a character and a story in a few lines, the realistic look at human pretension and foible make the work feel true . One reservation and here my claim has been roundly denied by Chaucerian scholars including the formidable Professor Lawrence Besserman is that the Parson Nun's tale does promote the 'blood libel'. Sophisticated readers however contend that I in reading it this way miss the subtlety of Chaucer's broad humanism. Would that they are right. In any case the delight and disaster of much of human life is in this great work.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 8, 2003

    I love this book

    I read this in high school and I have read it again since. I love chaucer's descriptions of the characters. My favorite was the Miller's Tale. This book is a must for any fan of great literature :-D

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 30, 2003

    I loved the different characters

    My sister, who's a senior, (I'm in Jr. High)came home with this book saying that she had to read it for school. Once I got a closer look at it, I realized that the author of the book was a name in a favorite movie of mine, 'A Knight's Tale'-If you've seen it, you know what I mean. Anyway, she told me to check it out, and I really enjoyed it. I really liked how there were so many backgrounds of people that came together and told their own tales. It's absolutely fascinating.

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    Posted December 29, 2009

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