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Elsie Venner Hardcover – January 1, 2003


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Hardcover, January 1, 2003
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 440 pages
  • Publisher: North Books (January 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1582872341
  • ISBN-13: 978-1582872346
  • Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 5.8 x 1.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Kenneth A. Pfeifer on July 8, 2010
Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
It has been nearly a year since I read this strange "tail." I came across it by reading an equally strange but interesting book called "Venomous Women," which concerns stories of women who were, by their very natures or through unfortunate circumstances, venomous. Mentioned in that previous book were the woman sent to poison Alexander the Great, Keats' "Lamia," and this book. In the case of this book, poor Elsie is poisoned while still in the womb when her mother is bitten by a rattlesnake. Elsie evidences characteristics of a rattlesnake early in childhood and, if my memory serves me correctly, actually kills her brother by kissing him. The story concerns the coming to town of a young man, who falls in love with Elsie, quite hopelessly in several respects. This encounter eventually leads to a quite chilling encounter on a snake-infested cliff that overhangs Elsie's house. This was a great read, and as it is a signet classic, comes with a perceptive introduction.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This is Oliver Wendel Holmes Sr's first novel - not exactly a page-turner IMHO, but a charming artifact of its time. It has a quasi-medical theme, but is mainly a fictionalized extension of Holmes' essays and dissertations on what people are like (specifically, into what classes they fall and what can be expected of them) through the eyes of an experienced medical doctor. From the time when MDs didn't know a lot, partly knew what they didn't know, and filled in with profound (as it seemed to them, and maybe to us) experience of human nature. Holmes talks horses the way we talk cars.

The romance element is a bit purple (Victorian, after all) and the "action" element a bit implausible (OWH Jr saw the elephant, not sure Sr ever did). On the whole one was happy to get through it, though there were some pleasant - even memorable - passages.

This specific free edition is, unfortunately, marred by typos. They are limited to what cannot be controlled by a spell-checker, specifically proper names; it is quite annoying that about half the times it appears, the name "Venner" is misspelled "Veener" - sometimes in the same sentence as a correct spelling. Perhaps worst is, at the very end, a final poignant detail is rendered puzzling by rendering "E.V." as "E.Y." - watch out for it, it's on the last page. If someone has the ability to correct this free edition, search-and-replace "Veener" with "Venner" and fix that last puzzler!
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This is definitely a novel from a different time and way of speaking. What put me off the most was the constant long winded diversions and the convoluted action line! I read it because it was written by Holmes, but I really didn't care for it! Anyone studying literature of the time might enjoy reading it.
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By tarheel on January 20, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Elsie Venner- where can I start,ok she is strange almost to being scary but very beautiful who can stare you to tears,she is in with a cast of characters that you will love to read about. A bittersweet story of love and misunderstanding in a setting that you will also love. A small town next to a mountain that houes rattlesnakes and their connection to Elsie that you will not believe,wonderful people and a wonderful story set in a beautiful place that you remember for a long time,read and enjoy.
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