Top positive review
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Reviewing the book, not the philosophy
on March 5, 2009
I am not qualified to weigh in on the merits of Epicurus' school of philosophy. As Westerners, we've decided over that two thousand years that his thoughts on death and pleasure and pain are profound and provocative.
What's important to the average reader though is whether this is the book you should pick up to learn about him. The short answer is yes, the longer one is that it is not enough.
The book has a fairly weak introduction that doesn't provide much context. The author would have been well-served to have included the entirety of Laertius' essay on Epicurus to which he dedicated a large portion to in his biography of great philosophers.
Otherwise, the translation is good and the organization is helpful. The book is structured like a college reader - no frills, thin paper and a drab cover. It has all of Epicurus' fragments, letters and writings. Unfortunately many of the best ones are cut off or lost so we have to make due with what is left.
A first time reader or student looking to introduce themselves to Epicurus could do worse than starting here. I often refer back to my copy.