Customer Reviews for

The Canterbury Tales

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Most Helpful Favorable Review

9 out of 13 people found this review helpful.

A Worthwhile Journey

Writing a "review" of The Canterbury Tales is difficult, not because the book/collection isn't worthy of a review, but because it is so widely variant and has so many nuances to be discussed.

So what do you say in a brief review of The Canterbury Tales?

To start...
Writing a "review" of The Canterbury Tales is difficult, not because the book/collection isn't worthy of a review, but because it is so widely variant and has so many nuances to be discussed.

So what do you say in a brief review of The Canterbury Tales?

To start with, I would suggest you try reading it in the original Middle English. The language/spelling/pronunciation can be a problem, so be sure you get an edition that's glossed (unless you're proficient in Middle English). During the semester, I found a "children's" edition of the tales at my local library. It included Modern English "translations" of a couple of the tales along with some illustrations. It was kind of fun to read, but it lost some of the rhythm and drive of the tales by having them in a modern format.

The writing is fun and clever (once you get through the 'translation' issues with the Middle English). For a common reference, it's like reading Shakespeare, only more archaic by a couple hundred years. The language of the narrative varies depending on the narrator of the particular prologue/tale, but with Chaucer at the helm behind the scenes, the writing is generally very good, descriptive, layered, humorous, inspiring, etc. (except for when he's trying to illustrate 'bad writing', and then it's good in that it's so bad).

The messages presented are widely varied as well. The Knight's Tale was an intriguing tale of romance and chivalry with lots of courtly intrigue...but at times it felt a little dry. The Miller and the Reeve were hilarious tales and introduced me to a new (to me) genre in the fabliau. The Wife of Bath had an interesting prologue and a fun tale, again with a semi-romantic style and an interesting moral. The Nun's Priest gave us a fun little animal fable. The Prioress presented a strange little tale about miracles or anti-semitism or devout love or something else?

Overall, I would definitely recommend having a copy of The Canterbury Tales on your shelf. Some tales are easier to read than others. Some tales are more fun while others are more thought provoking (as stated in one of the prologues, a tale has one of two purposes, to educate or to entertain...and there are examples of each). Once you get your teeth into the language (probably the biggest hurdle) I suspect you'll enjoy these.

posted by theokester on June 15, 2009

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Most Helpful Critical Review

4 out of 5 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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  • Posted December 22, 2012

    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 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.

    4 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 17, 2011

    Stupid book

    Boring

    1 out of 8 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 19, 2015

    SHATTAH FU<_>CKS A TREE BY BOB

    RANDI TURNED INTO A CHOCOLATE BAR! "OMG SHATTER IS FU<_>CKING A TREE!!" RANDI YELLED! SHATER HAS TI<_>TS!! (I MEAT TO SAY TI<_>TS!!) I NAME YOU NI<_>PPLETIT AND BO<_>OBTIT!!! HAHAHAHAHA (GTG NOT GODMODDING I WROTE A BOOK LAWL)

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 19, 2015

    SHATTYCATTY TO REDDYWEDDY

    *HAS KITS* "ME NAME YOU ROCKKIT AND ME NAME YOU STICKKIT FOR DA STICK ME FOUND!!"

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 19, 2015

    SHATTER IS GAY

    IF U HATE FROZEN LOOK UP FOR THE LAST TIME IN FOREVER AND ELSA BREAKS NECK AND LET IT GO FK YOURSELF ON YOUTUBE THEY R SO FUNNY ESPECIALLY FTLTIF!! TELL THE GUARDS TO OPEN UP (LONG PAUSE) THE GAY THE GAY HEY RANDI LETS HAVE SEX! IM GAY! GUARDS: OPEN UP SHATTER AND DEN DAY TAKE HEART OUT AND SHATTER DIES LAWL

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 19, 2015

    Shatter999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999989897&88676578643289744579009999999999999999999889999999999999998999999989898899899888889988888898898899

    *bursts into tears* "GODMODDERS!! UR IGNORING ME!!! WAA!!! WAA!!! WAA!!!" LAWL 250 9's in da title

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 18, 2015

    Oceanshadow

    Wipes his neck off and stands he is frustrated.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 19, 2015

    Shatter

    GTGBB NEXT MONTH I IS ABOUT TO DIE *FALLS OFF A CLIFF AND INTO THE UNDEERWORLD* READ MY POST ABOUT SHATTEH FU<_>CKING A TREE LOL I HAVE THE RADIO ON AND IT SAID GIVE ME SOME SUGAR CUZ IM YA NEIGHBOR LOL I WILL BBT

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 19, 2015

    SHATTYCATTY

    U ALL R IGNORIN MEH SO I IS LEAVIN FOR STARCLAN *DIES AND GOES TO HE<_>LL* "FU<_>CK!IM A BI<_>TCH WHO WENT TO HE<_>LL! HAVE SEX WITH ME RANDI!"

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 18, 2015

    Nyx OOC

    WHY IS EVERYONE SAYING MAH NAAAME!!!!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 8, 2015

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 14, 2015

    Russia(2) - To Russia

    (Russia is obviously a female.)

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 18, 2015

    Russia

    (You're welcome.) ^3^

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 18, 2015

    Russia

    Russia rolled onto her side, her side rising and falling at the steady of her breathing, her ear flattened against the back of her head as she watches the sky.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 19, 2015

    Shatter3

    And I learned how to make paragraphs! LAWL THE TRANSLATER MADE ME LAUGHSO HARD!!!!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 19, 2015

    Shatter2

    IIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMM BBBBBBBBBBBBAAAAAAAAAAAAAACCCCCCCCCCKKKKKKKKKKKKK!!!!!!! <p>

    A tomato: SOMEONE CALL A TRANSLATER!!! <p>

    Translater: She says 'I fell off a cliff and fu<_>cked it.'

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 19, 2015

    Shatter

    [I am SOSOSOSOSOSOSOSO sorry I disappeared! Hi, Randomness, Redd, OUTTIE!]

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 8, 2015

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 16, 2015

    To fake shatter

    You know that you can swear now without those things right? And you can also unlock yourself from a res if you do the same in one res as you did in the other... common knowledge my friend. ;)

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 10, 2015

    Shatt ~ Ren

    RENNY BOOO!!

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