Gulliver's Travels (Oxford World's Classics Series)

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Gulliver sets sail for adventure and finds a country beyond his wildest dreams. He's certainly never met anyone like the people of Lilliput. But then the people of Lilliput have never met anyone quite like Gulliver...

The voyages of an Englishman carry him to such strange places as Lilliput, where people are six inches tall; Brobdingnag, a land of giants; an island of sorcerers; and a country ruled by horses.

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Overview

Gulliver sets sail for adventure and finds a country beyond his wildest dreams. He's certainly never met anyone like the people of Lilliput. But then the people of Lilliput have never met anyone quite like Gulliver...

The voyages of an Englishman carry him to such strange places as Lilliput, where people are six inches tall; Brobdingnag, a land of giants; an island of sorcerers; and a country ruled by horses.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"An excellent edition...I look forward to adopting it next time I use Gulliver in a course."--Peter Schakel, Hope College

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780192833778
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
  • Publication date: 4/1/1998
  • Series: Oxford World's Classics Series
  • Edition description: Older Edition
  • Pages: 416
  • Lexile: 1210L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 5.00 (w) x 7.60 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Meet the Author

Claude Rawson edited Fielding's Jonathan Wild and is the author of God, Gulliver, and Genocide: Barbarism and the European Imagination 1492-1945. Ian Higgins is Senior Lecturer in English Literature, Australian National University, Canberra. Claude Rawson and Ian Higgins are General Editors of the Cambridge Edition of the Works of Jonathan Swift in 16 volumes.

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Read an Excerpt

A Voyage to Lilliput

Chapter I

The author gives some account of himself and family; his first inducements to travel. He is shipwrecked, and swims for his life, gets safe on shore in the country of Lilliput, is made a prisoner, and carried up the country.

My father had a small estate in Nottinghamshire; I was the third of five sons. He sent me to Emanuel College in Cambridge at fourteen years old, where I resided three years, and applied my self close to my studies: but the charge of maintaining me (although I had a very scanty allowance) being too great for a narrow fortune, I was bound apprentice to Mr. James Bates, an eminent surgeon in London, with whom I continued four years; and my father now and then sending me small sums of money, I laid them out in learning navigation, and other parts of the mathematics, useful to those who intend to travel, as I always believed it would be some time or other my fortune to do. When I left Mr. Bates, I went down to my father; where, by the assistance of him and my uncle John, and some other relations I got forty pounds, and a promise of thirty pounds a year to maintain me at Leyden: there I studied physics two years and seven months, knowing it would be useful in long voyages.

Soon after my return from Leyden, I was recommended, by my good master Mr. Bates, to be surgeon to the Swallow, Captain Abraham Pannell commander; with whom I continued three years and a half, making a voyage or two into the Levant, and some other parts. When I came back, I resolved to settle in London, to which Mr. Bates, my master, encouraged me; and by him I was recommended to several patients. I took part of a small house in the OldJury, and being advised to alter my condition, I married Mrs. Mary Burton, second daughter to Mr. Edmond Burton, hosier, in Newgate Street, with whom I received four hundred pounds for a portion.

But, my good master Bates dying in two years after, and I having few friends, my business began to fail; for my conscience would not suffer me to imitate the bad practice of too many among my brethren. Having therefore consulted with my wife, and some of my acquaintance, I determined to go again to sea. I was surgeon successively in two ships, and made several voyages, for six years, to the East and West Indies, by which I got some addition to my fortune. My hours of leisure I spent in reading the best authors, ancient and modern, being always provided with a good number of books; and when I was ashore, in observing the manners and dispositions of the people, as well as learning their language, wherein I had a great facility by the strength of my memory.

The last of these voyages not proving very fortunate, I grew weary of the sea, and intended to stay at home with my wife and family. I removed from the Old Jury to Fetter Lane, and from thence to Wapping, hoping to get business among the sailors; but it would not turn to account. After three years' expectation that things would mend, I accepted an advantageous offer from Captain William Prichard, master of the Antelope, who was making a voyage to the South Sea. We set sail from Bristol, May 4th, 1699, and our voyage at first was very prosperous.

It would not be proper, for some reasons, to trouble the reader with the particulars of our adventures in those seas: let it suffice to inform him, that in our passage from thence to the East Indies, we were driven by a violent storm to the northwest of Van Diemen's Land. By an observation, we found ourselves in the latitude of 30 degrees 2 minutes south. Twelve of our crew were dead by immoderate labour, and ill food; the rest were in a very weak condition. On the fifth of November, which was the beginning of summer in those parts, the weather being very hazy, the seamen spied a rock, within half a cable's length of the ship; but the wind was so strong, that we were driven directly upon it, and immediately split. Six of the crew, of whom I was one, having let down the boat into the sea, made a shift to get clear of the ship, and the rock. We rowed by my computation about three leagues, till we were able to work no longer, being already spent with labour while we were in the ship. We therefore trusted ourselves to the mercy of the waves; and in about half an hour the boat was overset by a sudden flurry from the north. What became of my companions in the boat, as well as of those who escaped on the rock, or were left in the vessel, I cannot tell; but conclude they were all lost. For my own part, I swam as fortune directed me, and was pushed forward by wind and tide. I often let my legs drop, and could feel no bottom: but when I was almost gone and able to struggle no longer, I found myself within my depth; and by this time the storm was much abated. The declivity was so small, that I walked near a mile before I got to the shore, which I conjectured was about eight o'clock in the evening. I then advanced forward near half a mile, but could not discover any sign of houses or inhabitants; at least I was in so weak a condition, that I did not observe them. I was extremely tired, and with that, and the heat of the weather, and about half a pint of brandy that I drank as I left the ship, I found myself much inclined to sleep. I lay down on the grass, which was very short and soft, where I slept sounder than ever I remember to have done in my life, and, as I reckoned, above nine hours; for when I awaked, it was just daylight. I attempted to rise, but was not able to stir: for as I happened to lie on my back, I found my arms and legs were strongly fastened on each side to the ground; and my hair, which was long and thick, tied down in the same manner. I likewise felt several slender ligatures across my body, from my armpits to my thighs. I could only look upwards; the sun began to grow hot, and the light offended my eyes. I heard a confused noise about me, but, in the posture I lay, could see nothing except the sky. In a little time I felt something alive moving on my left leg, which advancing gently forward over my breast, came almost up to my chin; when, bending my eyes downwards as much as I could, I perceived it to be a human creature not six inches high, with a bow and arrow in his hands, and a quiver at his back. In the mean time, I felt at least forty more of the same kind (as I conjectured) following the first. I was in the utmost astonishment, and roared so loud, that they all ran back in a fright; and some of them, as I was afterwards told, were hurt with the falls they got by leaping from my sides upon the ground. However, they soon returned, and one of them, who ventured so far as to get a full sight of my face, lifting up his hands and eyes by way of admiration, cried out in a shrill, but distinct voice, Hekinah degul: the others repeated the same words several times, but I then knew not what they meant. I lay all this while, as the reader may believe, in great uneasiness: at length, struggling to get loose, I had the fortune to break the strings and wrench out the pegs that fastened my left arm to the ground; for, by lifting it up to my face, I discovered the methods they had taken to bind me; and, at the same time, with a violent pull, which gave me excessive pain, I a little loosened the strings that tied down my hair on the left side, so that I was just able to turn my head about two inches. But the creatures ran off a second time, before I could seize them; whereupon there was a great shout in a very shrill accent, and after it ceased, I heard one of them cry aloud, Tolgo phonac; when in an instant I felt above an hundred arrows discharged on my left hand, which pricked me like so many needles; and besides they shot another flight into the air, as we do bombs in Europe, whereof many, I suppose, fell on my body (though I felt them not) and some on my face, which I immediately covered with my left hand. When this shower of arrows was over, I fell a groaning with grief and pain, and then striving again to get loose, they discharged another volley larger than the first, and some of them attempted with spears to stick me in the sides; but, by good luck, I had on me a buff jerkin, which they could not pierce. I thought it the most prudent method to lie still, and my design was to continue so till night, when, my left hand being already loose, I could easily free myself: and as for the inhabitants, I had reason to believe I might be a match for the greatest armies they could bring against me, if they were all of the same size with him that I saw. But fortune disposed otherwise of me. When the people observed I was quiet, they discharged no more arrows: but by the noise increasing, I knew their numbers were greater; and about four yards from me, over-against my right ear, I heard a knocking for above an hour, like people at work; when, turning my head that way, as well as the pegs and strings would permit me, I saw a stage erected about a foot and a half from the ground, capable of holding four of the inhabitants, with two or three ladders to mount it: from whence one of them, who seemed to be a person of quality, made me a long speech, whereof I understood not one syllable. But I should have mentioned, that before the principal person began his oration, he cried out three times, Langro dehul san: (these words and the former were afterwards repeated and explained to me). Whereupon immediately about fifty of the inhabitants came, and cut the strings that fastened the left side of my head, which gave me the liberty of turning it to the right, and of observing the person and gesture of him who was to speak. He appeared to be of a middle age, and taller than any of the other three who attended him, whereof one was a page who held up his train, and seemed to be somewhat longer than my middle finger; the other two stood one on each side to support him. He acted every part of an orator, and I could observe many periods of threatenings, and others of promises, pity and kindness. I answered in a few words, but in the most submissive manner, lifting up my left hand and both eyes to the sun, as calling him for a witness; and being almost famished with hunger, having not eaten a morsel for some hours before I left the ship, I found the demands of nature so strong upon me, that I could not forbear showing my impatience (perhaps against the strict rules of decency) by putting my finger frequently on my mouth to signify that I wanted food. The Hurgo (for so they call a great lord, as I afterwards learnt) understood me very well. He descended from the stage, and commanded that several ladders should be applied to my sides, on which above an hundred of the inhabitants mounted, and walked towards my mouth, laden with baskets full of meat, which had been provided and sent thither by the King's orders upon the first intelligence he received of me. I observed there was the flesh of several animals, but could not distinguish them by the taste. There were shoulders, legs and loins shaped like those of mutton, and very well dressed, but smaller than the wings of a lark. I ate them by two or three at a mouthful, and took three loaves at a time, about the bigness of musket bullets. They supplied me as fast as they could, showing a thousand marks of wonder and astonishment at my bulk and appetite. I then made another sign that I wanted drink. They found by my eating that a small quantity would not suffice me; and being a most ingenious people, they slung up with great dexterity one of their largest hogsheads, then rolled it towards my hand, and beat out the top; I drank it off at a draught, which I might well do, for it hardly held half a pint, and tasted like a small wine of Burgundy, but much more delicious. They brought me a second hogshead, which I drank in the same manner, and made signs for more, but they had none to give me. When I had performed these wonders, they shouted for joy, and danced upon my breast, repeating several times as they did at first, Hekinah degul. They made me a sign that I should throw down the two hogsheads, but first warned the people below to stand out of the way, crying aloud, Borach mivola; and when they saw the vessels in the air, there was an universal shout of Hekinah degul. I confess I was often tempted, while they were passing backwards and forwards on my body, to seize forty or fifty of the first that came in my reach, and dash them against the ground. But the remembrance of what I had felt, which probably might not be the worst they could do, and the promise of honour I made them, for so I interpreted my submissive behaviour, soon drove out those imaginations. Besides, I now considered my self as bound by the laws of hospitality to a people who had treated me with so much expense and magnificence. However, in my thoughts I could not sufficiently wonder at the intrepidity of these diminutive mortals, who durst venture to mount and walk on my body, while one of my hands was at liberty, without trembling at the very sight of so prodigious a creature as I must appear to them. After some time, when they observed that I made no more demands for meat, there appeared before me a person of high rank from his Imperial Majesty. His Excellency, having mounted on the small of my right leg, advanced forwards up to my face, with about a dozen of his retinue. And producing his credentials under the Signet Royal, which he applied close to my eyes, spoke about ten minutes, without any signs of anger, but with a kind of determinate resolution; often pointing forwards, which, as I afterwards found, was towards the capital city, about half a mile distant, whither it was agreed by his Majesty in council that I must be conveyed. I answered in few words, but to no purpose, and made a sign with my hand that was loose, putting it to the other (but over his Excellency's head, for fear of hurting him or his train) and then to my own head and body, to signify that I desired my liberty. It appeared that he understood me well enough, for he shook his head by way of disapprobation, and held his hand in a posture to show that I must be carried as a prisoner. However, he made other signs to let me understand that I should have meat and drink enough, and very good treatment. Whereupon I once more thought of attempting to break my bonds; but again, when I felt the smart of their arrows upon my face and hands, which were all in blisters, and many of the darts still sticking in them, and observing likewise that the number of my enemies encreased, I gave tokens to let them know that they might do with me what they pleased. Upon this the Hurgo and his train withdrew, with much civility and cheerful countenances. Soon after I heard a general shout, with frequent repetitions of the words, Peplom selan, and I felt great numbers of the people on my left side relaxing the cords to such a degree, that I was able to turn upon my right, and to ease myself with making water; which I very plentifully did, to the great astonishment of the people, who conjecturing by my motions what I was going to do, immediately opened to the right and left on that side to avoid the torrent which fell with such noise and violence from me. But before this, they had daubed my face and both my hands with a sort of ointment very pleasant to the smell, which in a few minutes removed all the smart of their arrows. These circumstances, added to the refreshment I had received by their victuals and drink, which were very nourishing, disposed me to sleep. I slept about eight hours, as I was afterwards assured; and it was no wonder, for the physicians, by the Emperor's order, had mingled a sleeping potion in the hogsheads of wine.

Copyright © 1984 by Jonathan Swift
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Table of Contents

About the Series
About This Volume
Pt. 1 Gulliver's Travels: The Complete Text
Introduction: Biographical and Historical Contexts 3
The Complete Text 27
Pt. 2 Gulliver's Travels: A Case Study in Contemporary Criticism
A Critical History of Gulliver's Travels 269
Feminist Criticism and Gulliver's Travels 305
What Is Feminist Criticism? 305
Feminist Criticism: A Selected Bibliography 312
A Feminist Perspective: Gulliver's Malice: Gender and the Satiric Stance 318
The New Historicism and Gulliver's Travels 335
What Is the New Historicism? 335
The New Historicism: A Selected Bibliography 344
A New Historicist Perspective: History, Narrativity, and Swift's Project to "Mend the World" 348
Deconstruction and Gulliver's Travels 366
What Is Deconstruction? 366
Deconstruction: A Selected Bibliography 375
A Deconstructionist Perspective: Why the Houyhnhnms Don't Write: Swift, Satire, and the Fear of the Text 379
Reader-Response Criticism and Gulliver's Travels 396
What Is Reader-Response Criticism? 396
Reader-Response Criticism: A Selected Bibliography 404
A Reader-Response Perspective: Performance as Response in Swift's Gulliver's Travels 408
Psychoanalytic Criticism and Gulliver's Travels 425
What Is Psychoanalytic Criticism? 425
Psychoanalytic Criticism: A Selected Bibliography 437
A Psychoanalytic Perspective: Violence and the Maternal: Swift, Psychoanalysis, and the 1720s 442
Glossary of Critical and Theoretical Terms 465
About the Contributors 479
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 3.5
( 577 )
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(190)

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(109)

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(104)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 579 Customer Reviews
  • Posted January 8, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Beyond Lilliput

    Forget the cartoon versions of the Lilliputians and read the original. This collection of adventures from four voyages (Lilliput is only the first voyage.) builds in satire and its cutting edge right through the fourth voyage. Although written in such a different time, the book remains biting in wit and thought provoking. A most read for those interested in custom and culture, power and authority, and politics and economics in a shrinking world.

    16 out of 21 people found this review helpful.

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

    Posted July 12, 2006

    Great

    This is a geat classic story. Yes, some of the satire is lost to us now, but it makes wonderful statements about humanity that are still pertinent today. Truly wonderful!

    12 out of 15 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted November 25, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Stories for Children 5 Star Review

    On the eve of a new movie release based on Gulliver's Travels I was asked to review the book being re-released to coincide with the new Jack Black movie. I accepted the challenge fully expecting to receive a modernized, cannibalized carcass of the original work. When the book arrived, I was surprised and delighted to see it's the entire work in its original form. However, now I had a dilemma on my hands: What does one say about a true classic masterwork that has survived for centuries? As I began re-reading the book I hadn't read in better than thirty years, I was still in a quandary as to what this usually less than humble reviewer could say about a brilliant masterwork that hadn't been said hundreds of times before. The fact is, I can't improve on what was said before, but I could remind people of the enjoyment such a book can bring to the reader. In this soundbite world, I imagine few have read and enjoyed the original work. Avid readers know what the rest of the world seems to have forgotten, the pure joy of a brilliant masterwork. Granted, I have enjoyed the many previous movies based on Gulliver's Travels and fully expect to enjoy the new Jack Black movie, but having been on movie sets, and in the cutting room, I know that a movie can rarely do a complete novel justice, unless they want to make a movie six to eight hours long. For time reasons, it simply isn't possible to include everything in a movie that's in a book. I urge everyone that enjoys a great story to both get and enjoy the book version of Gulliver's Travels, and go see the movie, but not necessarily in that order. Enjoy the book for the literary masterwork it is, and the movie for the comedic genius that is Mr. Black.

    8 out of 9 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 1, 2004

    Brilliantly bringing humanity down to size

    A work of incredible genius. Every section provides new insight into human folly and idiocy- and whether one is a Houhnymn or a Yahoo, Big -Ender or Little-Ender one must delight at the human capacity to bring the human down to its proper size. The brilliance of Swift is evident everywhere most poignantly perhaps in those creatures who go on living forever while continuing to physically and mentally age- perhaps modern medicine should have read this section. A remarkable work but not especially for those who love mankind and wish to be optimistic about human life.

    8 out of 9 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 28, 2012

    Classic Satire on Human Folly and Intrigue

    Thought-provoking and still relevant to the political follies of modern times, if you look past the veneer of the entertaining story. It has probably been 40 years since I read this in high school, and wanted to re-read it following a visit to Ireland. The story is based on 4 fantasy voyages to different isolated areas of the globe, outside the known geography of the time it was written, 1726 - it would be set in modern times as different planets, like Star Trek episodes. The allegories and satire appear to elude many of those who are writing 2 line reviews of this story, like -- boring, too many pages, archaic. Those reviewers must be products of the dumbed-down education rubric of today, looking at the story at face value simply for entertainment without trying to understand the author's intent or interest in the story behind the story. Most people are acquainted with the Lilliputians, the tiny people, but are unfamiliar with the rest of the book. Having recently read a novel based on the writings of Roger Williams in the 1600's, this book was highly influenced by the political events of the English Civil War and that of the Protestant/Anglican in-fighting represented by the Big-Endians and Little-Endians, fighting battles over which end to crack open an egg . Some things seem astonishingly prescient that conditions have changed very little in nearly 400 years, such as the Royal Academy scientists of Laputa spending years of research to extract sunshine from cucumbers, or mixing paint by smell, compared to the grant-writing researchers of today, like shrimp on a treadmill. The fourth voyage to the land of the Houyhnhnms described a utopian society, where the dignity and intelligence of the horse-like creatures ruled, without lying or guile, and the inferior human-like Yahoos describes the unfortunate lot of those living in modern society, infested with imperfections, disease, crime, greed, and envy. Remarkable insights can be taken, particularly in this edition, with linked footnotes, an interactive glossary for the archaic terms (there were a few that got missed), and the extras about the various films that have been made over the years. An excellent commentary to be shared and discussed.

    5 out of 8 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 28, 2012

    Terrible ebook format

    The book itself is great. However, this prticuklar ebook is absolutely unreadable. More words are misspelled than are spelled correctly, and it's not just unimportant misspellings either. It's so bad you often cannot even tell what word it was supposed to say.

    4 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 28, 2010

    great book

    awesome book

    4 out of 9 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 27, 2010

    Cannot open book

    Tried to read sample but could not open it.

    4 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 9, 2011

    Book want download

    Book want download

    3 out of 8 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 3, 2011

    MUST READ!

    Gulliver's Travels is a satirical novel written by Jonathan Swift that was first published in 1726. Gulliver's Travels is divided into four parts: A Voyage to Lilliput and Blefuscu, A Voyage to Laputa, A Voyage to Balnibarbi, Luggnagg, Glubbdubdrib, and Japan, and finally A Voyage to the Country of the Houyhnhnms.

    Before reading Gulliver's Travels I knew of the Voyage to Lilliput and the Voyage to Brobdingnag; Lilliput is the home of the tiny people and Brobdingnag the home of the giant people. However I was not aware of the last two voyages; the Voyage to Laputa and the Voyage to the country of the Houyhnhnms. Laputa is a land ruled by philosophers, musicians, artists, mathematicians, and scientists who are so lost in thought they can't see how to apply their knowledge to a practical use. In the Country of the Houyhnhnms, the land is ruled by wise and gentle horses and inhabited by wild, beastly human-like creatures called Yahoos.
    Jonathan Swift satirizes social issues that were important in his time, and still remain important social issues currently such as: politics, religion, gender, science, progress, government, family and our basic ideas of humanity.

    Gulliver's Travels is full of humor and Swift's exploration of imaginary societies and countries is satire at its best.
    Overall, I give Jonathan Swift's Gulliver's Travels a well deserved five stars.

    3 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 3, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    It's a classic for a reason

    I won't lie: I initially read Gulliver's Travels so that I would be justified in hating the Jack Black film for destroying a masterpiece of literature. However, I really got into this wonderful tale!! This edition contains helpful notes that tell you exactly what Jonathan Swift was satirizing (i.e. "Big Endians" and "Little Endians, Laputa, etc.) and you are able to see the brilliance in his ideas. The only reason i didn't give it five stars is that the voyage to Brobdingnag (Book 2) drags a little bit. On the whole, it's a bona fide magnum opus

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 28, 2010

    wont open!

    sample does not work

    3 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 27, 2010

    WILL NOT OPEN

    the sample won't open!

    3 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 27, 2010

    Do not recommend

    Free download sample will not open.

    3 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 30, 2010

    Technical e-reader issues

    Haven't read it yet, but having trouble getting to footnotes and back. Works once but the next footnote goes to some un-related page you can't return from. Also the illustrations are very small sub-thumbnail size.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 23, 2003

    A JOB WELL DONE

    This review is not for this particular title (Gulliver's Travels), but rather Barnes and Noble's creation of this series of books (Barnes & Noble Classics). I just wanted to praise this new series because it provides authentication to the original texts, insights from new and better authors, and it is surprisingly cheaper. Whatever you do, B&N, don't stop with this series, but expand it for it is a job well done.

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 9, 2013

    The first two parts were interesting and adventurous. The second

    The first two parts were interesting and adventurous. The second part was my favorite. But the third and the forth were less exciting and more philosophical. Overall it's a good book but I found the second half of the book to be a bit boring.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 25, 2012

    T

    F

    1 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 6, 2012

    Bad

    Bad format

    1 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted November 17, 2011

    Brilliant.

    Caustic and still highly relevant. Every educated person should read and enjoy this book.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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