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63 of 64 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best portable complete Shakespeare collection
I needed to get a book of complete works of Shakespeare, and portability was of key importance. So I went to a theater bookstore where I compared several different collections, including ones by Arden, Stratford, Pelican, and Gramercy. And this collection by Harper-Collins was hands-down the best in terms of readability and portability (and affordability).
The...
Published on June 10, 2004 by Tivor

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Print size so tiny one needs a magnifier to read it.
The print size is so tiny to fit all this text into one book of this size.
I would have preferred a larger sized book or more pages in the hardcover I purchased in order to have normal size or comfortable reading size letter's.
This would be a perfect book to get for a Kindle or E-Reader device where one can enlarge the print size. The print size on the...
Published 15 months ago by ed


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63 of 64 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best portable complete Shakespeare collection, June 10, 2004
By 
Tivor (Los Angeles, CA, USA) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Complete Works of William Shakespeare: The Alexander Text (Collins Classics) (Paperback)
I needed to get a book of complete works of Shakespeare, and portability was of key importance. So I went to a theater bookstore where I compared several different collections, including ones by Arden, Stratford, Pelican, and Gramercy. And this collection by Harper-Collins was hands-down the best in terms of readability and portability (and affordability).
The Arden and Pelican ones are the most comprehensive in terms of glossary, essays, and other scholarly stuff, but they also are the heaviest and the priciest. The Illustrated Stratford Shakespeare is surprisingly light (especially for a hard cover), but presumably to save page space, it abbreviates the characters' names before their lines (which I hate), and its font is pretty horrible in legibility. Gramercy's "William Shakespeare - The Complete Works" is the worst, being quite heavy while being extremely hard to read (abbreviated names and no indentation).
Harper-Collins' "Complete Works of William Shakespeare: The Alexander Text" is one of the best in terms of readability, with its good paper, font choice, fully spelled character names, and appropriate indentations to help legibility. It also has a decent glossary in the back for hard-to-understand words. I would have loved to have footnotes at the bottom of each pages instead, but hey, you can't have everything, I suppose. In terms of portability, this one is the second lightest of the five books (Stratford is the lightest). And the price is certainly right.
If you need complete Shakespeare on the go, this is the one to pick.
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25 of 26 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Portable Bard, June 24, 2003
By A Customer
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This review is from: Complete Works of William Shakespeare: The Alexander Text (Collins Classics) (Paperback)
This is an edition of the complete works of Shakespeare that I keep next to my bed. No heavier than a large fashion magazine and absolutely readable, it is my favorite. The glossary is useful, the commentary is brief, and the cover folds back for comfortable beach reading. This edition brings Shakespeare into focus as an intimate whose work and life and suffering are not in any way distant from ours. Given the genius of the work, this particular edition encourages an easier relationship because the book itself is so easy to use.(When no one's around, pull it out and read a speech or two aloud) An excellent any-occasion gift that will be used and appreciated, especially by students, because it is so very convenient!
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33 of 37 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good, but incomplete, September 18, 2004
By 
Ian Chadwick (Waterside in Ontario) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Complete Works of William Shakespeare: The Alexander Text (Collins Classics) (Paperback)
While the Harper-Collins edition is nicely laid out and a comfortable size, it is incorrectly called a "complete" collection. It is based on the 1951 Alexander text, which does not include either Edward III or The Two Noble Kinsmen. This edition contains the orthodox canon of yesteryear. With a limited selection of support material included, the reader will have to choose whether it's not worth spending the extra for a more comprehensive edition with expanded notes, glossary and supporting descriptions.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars "The Complete Works Of Shakespeare"., June 30, 2010
By 
M. Mariba "the teacher" (pretoria, south africa) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This is a very reputable one-volume Shakespeare book edited by the late professor Peter Alexander, chosen by the BBC as the basis for its major production of the complete Shakespearian plays. The book has an excellent introduction on William Shakespeare (who he was, his family, his writings & performance of his plays in his life time including the cast in some of his plays)! The book contains all his 36 Plays (catalogued) & 6 Poems (including all his Sonnets), appendix & glossary with 2 500 items (giving meaning to obsolete & difficult words and phrases). Footnote glossary would have been better than the glossary being at the back of the book! The book has been a "gold standard" since its first publication in 1951, a highly recommended reading.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A wonderful collection of all the material written by the great William Shakespeare., June 18, 2013
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I had read all of Shakespeare's works many years ago, but after reading and reviewing the book, How to Teach Shakespeare to your children, I decided to again visit all of material written by the great Bard. This giant 1433 page tomb begins with a biography of Shakespeare written by Germaine Greer, followed by the Shakespeare's theatre by Anthomy Burgess and two introductions; one of them written by Alec Yearling and one written in for the 1951 edition of this book by Peter Alexander.

This volume contains all the plays sonnets and poems written by William Shakespeare. Some of the more popular plays in this selection include the following: The Tempest, The Merry Wives of Windsor, The Comedy of Errors, Much Ado About Nothing, A Midsummer-Nights Dream, The Merchant of Venice, As You Like It, The Taming of the Shrew, The Winter's Tale, King John, King Richard the second, Romeo and Juliet, Julius Caesar, Macbeth, Hamlet, King Lear, Antony and Cleopatra. The Sonnets and Poems in this volume include: Venus and Adonis, the Rape of Lucrece, Sonnets, A Lover's Complaint, The Passionate Pilgrim and the Phoenx and Turtle. This text also has a special transcript by Sir Walter Greg of Shakespeare's contribution to Sir thomas More. There is also a helpful glossary and a bibliography section in this huge text.

In conclusion, the only reason I did not give this great book five stars is because my old eyes had some trouble reading the small print, even with my reading glasses on; however, those with the eyes of youth will find this an excellent volume of the complete works of William Shakespeare.

Rating: 4 Stars. Joseph J. Truncale (Author: Haiku Moments: How to read, write and enjoy haiku)
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5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Tales of the bard, June 15, 2010
Shakespeare requires no introduction -- he is "the Bard," the most imposing playwright and storyteller in the English language. And "William Shakespeare: The Complete Works" brings together every one of his 39 plays, ranging from harrowing tragedies to airy little puffs of comedy -- and even the lesser plays are still brilliant.

The plays basically are divided into comedies, histories and tragedies. The tragedies are pretty much... tragic, the comedies are not always funny but end semi-happily, and the histories... well, dramatizations of history.

And everybody has heard of the greats here -- the Scottish lord who murders his way to kingship, young lovers divided by a feud, a Moorish general who is driven mad with jealousy, an elderly king whose arrogance rips his life apart, a very cleaned-up version of Henry VIII's split from his first wife, the goofy Prince Hal and his growth into a great king. There are feuding fairies, bickering lovers, romantic tangles, Julius Caesar's demise, gender-bending, an exiled duke/magician on his island, and the infamous "pound of flesh" bargain.

But Shakespeare also wrote a bunch of lesser-known plays that often can't be so neatly categorized -- a rotten love affair during the siege of Troy, a Roman general attacking his own city, an Athenian gentleman embittered by humanity, Richard III's Machiavellian plot to become king, two sets of twins separated at birth, a corrupt judge obsessed with a lovely nun, Falstaff's doomed efforts to make money, and so on. Some of these ("Troilus and Cressida") aren't nearly as good as his "main" body of work, but they're still excellent.

For all Shakespeare's plays, it's best to read them AFTER you've seen a good performance. Otherwise, it's like reading a movie script to a movie you haven't seen -- easy to get lost, and the dramatic effects aren't easy to connect to. But if you've seen performances of any/all of Shakespeare's plays, then his vibrant stories and poetry leap off the page.

There are long eloquent speeches, puns, clever linguistic twists, and evocative language that soaks the play in atmosphere ("With sweet musk-roses and with eglantine/There sleeps Titania sometime of the night/Lull'd in these flowers with dances and delight..."). In fact, his plays are diamond mines of quotations -- some are infamous ("To be or not to be") and some of which have floated into public knowledge without labels ("Cowards die many times before their deaths/The valiant never taste of death but once").

And while some of his plays are basically fluff, he manages to weave in moral questions, criticism and explorations of the human soul. And his characters range as far as his plots -- kings and princes, teenage lovers, proud but doomed men, bratty queens, the witty but combative Beatrice and Benedick, and even the puppet-master mage Prospero.

Shakespeare's "Complete Works" is a must-have for anyone who loves the English language -- his writing was unparalleled, and even his lesser plays are a cut above the rest.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great buy!, February 13, 2014
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I've been looking for a complete collection of Shakespeare's works, and I am so far pleased with this copy. It is large, and heavy, but unless you buy a digital version of the book, you're going to get that. The names are not abbreviated, which I am quite happy about. They are abbreviated in the kindle version and it drives me crazy. It's well organized and easy to read with the one downfall that the font is very tiny (think 8pt). Otherwise it's a great addition to my collection, and I am enjoying reading some of his more obscure works.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Print size so tiny one needs a magnifier to read it., July 4, 2013
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The print size is so tiny to fit all this text into one book of this size.
I would have preferred a larger sized book or more pages in the hardcover I purchased in order to have normal size or comfortable reading size letter's.
This would be a perfect book to get for a Kindle or E-Reader device where one can enlarge the print size. The print size on the Hardcover is too uncomfortably small for me to enjoy this edition.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Complete Works of William Shakespeare Collectible, December 17, 2009
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I ordered this book for a Christmas present and just now ordered another one for another friend for a Christmas present as well, because of the excellent response in receiving the book (in two days!) also the packaging was wonderful and the condition of the book absolutely beautiful!! I would highly recommend Kristines book alley and will use them again, well, already did..smile. Claire
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars just what I wanted., January 9, 2013
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I purchased this book as a gift for my daughter. I like the handy size of the book and the fact that even though the book is small, the print is easily readable. The binding appears to be sturdy. My daughter was delighted to gt it.
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Complete Works of William Shakespeare: The Alexander Text (Collins Classics)
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