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Aesop's Fables (Signet Classics) Mass Market Paperback – October 6, 1992


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Product Details

  • Series: Signet Classics
  • Mass Market Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Signet Classics (October 6, 1992)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0451525655
  • ISBN-13: 978-0451525659
  • Product Dimensions: 6.9 x 4.1 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,496,116 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Aesop probably lived in the middle part of the sixth century BC. A statement in Herodotus gives ground for thinking that he was a slave belonging to a citizen of Samos called Iadmon. Legend says that he was ugly and misshapen. There are many references to Aesop found in the Athenian writers: Aristophanes, Xenophon, Plato, Aristotle and others. It is not known whether he wrote down his Fables himself, nor indeed how many of them are correctly attributed to his invention.

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

19 of 21 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on August 19, 1999
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I loved these short fables. They are full of wit and charm. They also have some serious political overtones, warning us how to survive tyrants and the evil who are so often in power (whether in government or in the office where we work). The illustrations are just right. Kids will love this but adults will be very stimulated to find that these fables apply to their lives also. A wonderful value and the best paperback edition out there!
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Willis G. Regier on July 6, 2006
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Zipes makes it clear that this collection is based on the Victorian translation of Thomas James, first published in 1848. Zipes' changes are extensive, but they are not translations: he remakes James's translations into modern English, shifts their sequence, and adds morals where there were none, or supplies new ones.

Here's a sample of the difference. First, James:

THE WIDOW AND THE HEN

A widow woman kept a Hen that laid an egg every morning. Thought the woman to herself, "If I double my Hen's allowance of barley, she will lay twice a-day." So she tried her plan, and the Hen became so fat and sleek, that she lay off laying at all.

[James' moral] Figures are not always facts.

Now, Zipes:

THE WOMAN AND THE FAT HEN

A woman owned a hen that laid an egg every morning. Since the hen's eggs were of excellent quality, they sold for a good price. So, at one point, the woman thought to herself, "If I double my hen's allowance of barley, she'll lay twice a day." Therefore she put her plan to work, and the hen became so fat and contented that it stopped laying altogether.

[Zipes' moral] Relying on statistics does not always produce results.

In sum, the collection is good, inexpensive, and accompanied by illustrations, but for readers interested in getting as close as they can to the original Aesop, I recommend Laura Gibbs's AESOP'S FABLES from Oxford, which is also inexpensive, and much more complete.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Andre M. on February 18, 2003
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Jack Zipes usually does excellent compliations of children's stories and folklore, and this is no exception. Most of the time-tested stories with morals that will live forever, along with a few that are not for the squeaminsh and "politically correct" characters. The illustrations (some of which are rather grotesque) are from an 1800s edition of "Fables of Fontaine" and add to the mood. However, completists will also want "Aesop-The Complete Fables" from Penguin Books as a companion piece to this in all their politically incorrect gory/glory.
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