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Gulliver's Travels (Norton Critical Editions) Paperback – November 2, 2001


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Product Details

  • Series: Norton Critical Editions
  • Paperback: 528 pages
  • Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company; 3rd edition (November 2, 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0393957241
  • ISBN-13: 978-0393957242
  • Product Dimensions: 8.4 x 5.1 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #26,384 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

ALBERT J. RIVERO is Professor of English at Marquette University. He is the author of The Plays of Henry Fielding: A Critical Study of His Dramatic Career, and editor of New Essays on Samuel Richardson, Augustan Subjects: Essays in Honor of Martin C. Battestin and Critical Essays of Henry Fielding.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By majormajormajormajor on November 2, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
While other reviews seem focused on Swift's original novel, it would seem to me that anyone reading the reviews for this particular edition would be far more interested in the quality of the contents of the Norton Critical Edition, rather than the text itself. The text, after all, is a seminal classic satire, and even the worst printing and editing would find it very difficult to obscure it. Swift is brilliant, but that is not the focus of this review. Rather, I will be discussing the merits of this particular critical edition of his work.

This Norton Critical Edition is, as all Norton Critical Editions are, split up into three main parts - an authoritative version of the text with footnotes, a selection of works contemporary with the original text, and a selection of critical works dating from the original release down to the present.

The text is presented in its full form, complete with the original frontispiece, illustrations from the original edition, and footnotes where appropriate. The text is reproduced faithfully, and any decisions made by the editor are duly noted in footnotes. In fact, the editor has remained so true to the original text that he has retained the 18th century convention of capitalizing every single noun. This could, conceivably, be off-putting for some modern readers. Yet, for the scholarly audience doubtless intended for this edition, it seems appropriate that such a level of faithfulness be maintained. Indeed, the intended audience seems to color the entire volume, for, if a novice reader completely new to the text were to pick up the novel for the first time in this edition, the reader might find himself occasionally bewildered. The footnotes added by the editor are judicious, but perhaps too few.
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2 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Kellie on January 14, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book is such a classic and the literary reviews in the book greatly help with understanding the text better
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By Laura on August 18, 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
perfect condition
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2 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Jacques COULARDEAU on January 6, 2004
Format: Paperback
I am rather disappointed by the book that definitely is a classic. Lilliput is just another image of monarchy, but in no way different from what Swift knew. The criticism comes from the scale of the people who are extremely small. Brogdingnag does not change this approach, only the scale of the people who are extremely big, though in this case there is a direct criticism of the exploitation the « grotesque » Gulliver is the object of.

Laputa, Balnibarbi and Luggnagg show a strange floating saucer in a kingdom dominated by unpractical scientists who try to do everything upside down. It is a satire of scientists in general who are so little concerned by the welfare of the community that they can ruin just for the sake of implementing their hypotheses.

Glubbdubdrib is funnier because it enables Gulliver to meet all kinds of people from the past and this leads to remarks about philosophers or politicians or generals that show how small and little and even tiny they were. Japan only shows the extreme anti-christian policy that can be reached there and the extreme self-centeredness of the Dutch, which is probably a criticism of the crown in England.

But the last voyage to the country of the Houyhnhnms is by far the best because here we reach both a severe criticism of the human race reduced to its animal instincts and behaviors, and a utopian society in which evil does not exist because it cannot even be conceived, because it is totally out of reach for these kind reasoning and reasonable horses.
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3 of 14 people found the following review helpful By First Things First on March 27, 2008
Format: Paperback
Our hero Gulliver and his wife could use some counseling. It seems that every time he plops down on the sofa with his better-half and children, Gulliver gets restless and needs to go have another adventure. (Did they have sofas back then? If not, how did people crash out in front of their TV sets?) And he lives in idyllic old England, go figure!

Each time he does this (gets the traveling jones) he hops aboard some ship, tantamount to suicide in those days, eats salted meat and spoiled porridge for a few weeks, months or years, (unless there is a Chili's or Olive Garden nearby along the way--but he always seems to forget his coupons,) generally shipwrecks and sooner or later encounters some bizarre form of intelligent life in whatever fairyland he has found for himself this time, in whatever chapter of the book he happens to be sojourning in at this particular intersection of the time-space continuum.

Usually he is held captive, and then embosomed or exploited by whoever the freaks of nature are this time around, invariably escapes and by a series of miracles eventually finds his way home again, only to discover the same boring wife and children at the hearth waiting patiently despite the years that have passed without so much as a text message.

Along the way we are treated to Swift's amazing writing, great humor, wit and stellar imagination. Highly recommended, but it takes a bit of work to get through the whole thing.
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