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Little Women (Penguin Classics) [Unabridged] [Paperback]

Louisa May Alcott , Elaine Showalter , Siobhan Kilfeather , Vinca Showalter
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (871 customer reviews)

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Book Description

January 1, 1989 0140390693 978-0140390698 Reprint
Little Women is one of the best loved books of all time. Lovely Meg, talented Jo, frail Beth, spoiled Amy: these are hard lessons of poverty and of growing up in New England during the Civil War. Through their dreams, plays, pranks, letters, illnesses, and courtships, women of all ages have become a part of this remarkable family and have felt the deep sadness when Meg leaves the circle of sisters to be married at the end of Part I. Part II, chronicles Meg's joys and mishaps as a young wife and mother, Jo's struggle to become a writer, Beth's tragedy, and Amy's artistic pursuits and unexpected romance. Based on Louisa May Alcott's childhood, this lively portrait of nineteenth- century family life possesses a lasting vitality that has endeared it to generations of readers.

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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Grade 7-12-Louisa May Alcott's story about the four March sisters who learn the hard lessons of poverty and of growing up in New England during the Civil War.
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Library Journal

How would one describe this latest recording of the classic story from Alcott (Little Men, Audio Reviews, LJ 11/15/96)? The answer must be, clear, competent, and unexciting. Laura Grafton is a precise reader, but her voice lacks expressiveness, and she makes little attempt to vocally differentiate (and/or animate) the characters. The result is an inoffensive and slightly dull rendering. There's nothing wrong; the tapes just won't grab the attention of the casual listener. The producer has made a praiseworthy attempt to reduce costs by having each cassette side carry double text. At $22.95, this tape set is an excellent value. Unfortunately, this double-track format requires a stereo cassette player with a fully functioning balance control. Most portable cassette players and some car stereo systems do not have this feature. Since, at least anecdotally, a large percentage of recreational audiocassette library borrowers are commuters or exercisers, one should consider whether this format would be used by patrons. Libraries purchasing this format might also consider purchasing (and lending) the associated headphone adaptor plugs. Recommended for libraries with limited audiobook budgets and/or appropriate user populations.AI. Pour-El, Iowa State Univ., Ames
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Product Details

  • Series: Penguin Classics
  • Paperback: 544 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin Classics; Reprint edition (January 1, 1989)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0140390693
  • ISBN-13: 978-0140390698
  • Product Dimensions: 7.7 x 5.2 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (871 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #714,319 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
221 of 232 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "Little Women," - The Original October 18, 2009
Format:Kindle Edition
Like the previous reviewer, I was surprised to find that he book I had been occasionally rereading for over 50 years was NOT the original novel. My own copy, much loved and well thumbed, has been with me since I was a ten year old. I bought the Kindle version just to have it in my portable library, since I thought I knew it almost by heart. To my surprise, when I started looking it over, I found that the book was not the same at all. My original copy must have been "modernized" at some point. All of the familiar passages were there, but there was a great deal that I didn't remember reading before. Some of that was a specifically Victorian kind of moralizing, but there was also some expansion of the story.. I'm not sure that I would have appreciated it all when I was younger, but I found it a delight to read now, as an example of a book of its times. Now I'm going to download the rest of the Alcott catalogue and see how it compares to the books I thought were the originals when I read them many years ago. This was still an exemplary book. It will always be one of the classics.
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132 of 141 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An American classic. March 15, 2009
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I am a 14-year-old girl and just got around to reading Little Women about a year ago. It is a great American classic written by Louisa May Alcott. It is about the four March sisters: Meg, Jo, Beth and Amy. They live in New England during the Civil War. They are poor, but they try to make the best of it as they grow and learn. We follow them through good times and bad as they, with help from Marmee and Laurie (their next-door neighbor), bear their own unique burdens. Meg's is poverty, Jo's is her temper, Beth's burden is not being able to play on a piano, and Amy's is her unaristocratic nose. (as funny as that sounds) You'll fall in love with Jo's oddities just as much as with Beth's gentil manners. It is a great book that everyone should read!
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48 of 49 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars NOT Unabridged!!! January 16, 2010
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Please don't misunderstand me...I am NOT disparaging the original story of Little Women. The one star rating is for this particular edition of the book. I have loved this book all my life and having worn out my childhood copy, was hoping to get a new one. An UNABRIDGED copy!! This is not the original...words and whole phrases have been changed and added to this copy! If you, like I was, are looking for an original, untouched, UNABRIDGED copy of Little Women then bypass this edition!! I cannot even begin to tell you how disappointed I was!! I will be returning this copy and continue my search for a REAL copy of Little Women that hasn't had words changed, modernized, or "dumbed down"!!
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248 of 275 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Whole Story edition is only half a story - I'm shocked! September 16, 2005
Format:Hardcover
I was so, so looking forward to reading "Little Women" to my daughter, so she could be caught up in it as I was at an early age. I particularly chose the "Whole Story" edition because of its broad margins, easy-to-scan pages, and charming illustrations and margin notes that add historical texture to the story.

Imagine my shock to discover that at the end of THIS edition, Jo has not written a book, Amy has not gone off to Europe, Professor Baer has not made an appearance of any kind and....you'll never believe this....Beth is still carrying on a conversation (I'm trying not to spoil the plot of the real thing here).

That's because, apparently, "Little Women" was initially published in two parts ("Little Women" and "Good Wives"), which are generally published as the same book. Whole Story has chosen to stop at the half-way point, so much of the story you remember, loved, cried, and laughed over is just not here.

Imagine getting only the first half of Tom Sawyer...leave him stranded on the island forever!

I feel completely conned. It's a five-star story - make that maybe even a seven-star story - but it's a one-star edition.
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87 of 96 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars From "Little Women" to "Good Wives" August 22, 2004
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Louisa May Alcott wrote many books, but "Little Women" retains a special place in the heart of American literature. Her warmly realistic stories, sense of comedy and tragedy, and insights into human nature make the romance, humor and sweet stories of "Little Women" come alive.

The four March girls -- practical Meg, rambunctious Jo, sweet Beth and childish artist Amy -- live in genteel poverty with their mother Marmee; their father is away in the Civil War. Despite having little money, the girls keep their spirits up with writing, gardening, homemade plays, and the occasional romp with wealthier pals. Their pal, "poor little rich boy" Laurie, joins in and becomes their adoptive brother, as the girls deal with Meg's first romance, Beth's life-threatening illness, and fears for their father's safety.

The second half of the book opens with Meg's wedding (if not to the man of her dreams, then to the man she loves). Things rapidly go awry after the wedding, when Laurie admits his true feelings to Jo -- only to be rejected. Distraught, he leaves; Amy also leaves on a trip to Europe with a picky old relative. Despite the deterioration of Beth's health, Jo makes her way into a job as a governess, seeking to put her treasured writing into print -- and finds her destiny as well.

There's a clearly autobiographical tone to "Little Women." Not surprising -- the March girls really are like the girls next door. Alcott wrote them with flaws and strengths, and their misadventures -- like Amy's embarrassing problem with her huge lobster -- have the feeling of authenticity. How much of it is real? A passage late in the book portrays Alcott -- in the form of Jo -- "scribbling" down the book itself, and getting it published because it feels so real and true.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
One of my favorites ever since I was a young girl!
Published 1 day ago by MAUREEN L. ARENTS
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
Good story but I kept thinking "couldn't this be shorter?"
Published 4 days ago by Kat
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Thank you!
Published 4 days ago by Denise Lareau
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Great book.
Published 5 days ago by Tanya
4.0 out of 5 stars great classic
I enjoyed the Classic, but it was long. I think that Little Women should be required reading for all young ladies , starting at age 12' or early teens.
Published 6 days ago by Lu Schulz
5.0 out of 5 stars Better than either one of the movies
I've never read the book before. I don't know why I thought it would be the same as the movies. The book was much better. Read more
Published 14 days ago by Dee Dee
5.0 out of 5 stars Classic
I had never read Little Women before. I wished I had. I loved the story of the March's and look forward to reading Jo's boys. Read more
Published 17 days ago by clr
5.0 out of 5 stars For Summer reading
For my daughter for required summer reading. She has read it before and loves it. She wanted her own copy.
Published 23 days ago by Grace Meyers
5.0 out of 5 stars Classic!
Love this classic story!! Takes you back to a time when values were different. Life was family. Life was about helping others.
Published 24 days ago by crease
5.0 out of 5 stars Great American Novel
A wonderful coming of age story that is inspiring and well written. The story is a reminder of the value of family and faith. A must read!
Published 1 month ago by cheapterbythedozen
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looking for a book from my childhood
My mother was looking for this book today too! We finally found it, and it's called The Magic Friend-Maker, by Gladys Baker Bond. Amazon isn't selling it, but you can look at the cover.

http://www.amazon.com/Magic-Friend-Maker-Whitman-Small-Library/dp/0307636828/ref=cm_cmu_pg__h...
Sep 17, 2010 by Bailey K. Chong |  See all 3 posts
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