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Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars47
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on April 7, 1999
This is a very readable translation of the complete stories of Roman mythology as assembled by Ovid. My favorite is the Romeo and Juliet-esque story of Pyramus and Thisbe.
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on January 11, 2012
This translation is ok, but, as I wrote, I have seen better. Keep in mind, this is my opinion. If you like the style I am about to describe, then by all means get this book.
It is in a more poetic verse, and the author takes some liberties with the translation. He also uses some arcane terms, which, when it was translated, were fine but it gives it this very out-dated feel to it. For example, the use of the word "Gore" as part of a description of the abode of Envy. If you look at the direct Latin, it does not use this word to describe it, but something more related to dilapidated. Basically, this author presents you with much different atmosphere in certain scenes, that seem unrelated to the original text. This was done for style and in an attempt to replicate the original writing, and I acknowledge that a-lot of people like this. In the case of that, I would endorse this translation.
For a more direct translation, I would look into Mary Innes. She did an excellent job translating it and I found it to be more absorbing. Personally, I find the direct translations to be much better than the purposefully stylized ones, they have a more genuine feel to them. Humphries left me feeling bored, to be honest.
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on April 7, 2011
The stars are for the Kindle link, which is bad advertising. (I give Mandelbaum's translation itself 5 stars.)

Amazon's main page for Mandelbaum's translation links to a prose version by Henry T Riley, "literally translated, with notes and explanations" (that's not a misprint, folks). As far as I can tell, there is no Kindle version of Mandelbaum. The Riley text is tedious; footnotes and explanations follow each fable. This might be helpful for academic purposes, but there's no enjoyment in it. Until Mandelbaum shows up for e-reading, get Horace Gregory's translation The Metamorphoses if you want a good, readable verse version for Kindle.
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on March 15, 2012
This book violates one of my primary pet peeves: It claims to be a commentary yet gives little to no help with grammar and syntax. I am sure there are many valuable insights to be had here, but in a text largely aimed at students, there should be much more help offered for translating the text. Only then will the student be able to appreciate any additional insight offered.
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on November 16, 2015
Excellent edition with helpful, unobtrusive notes and clear printing. Used edition very clean.
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on September 14, 2014
Great book! I was able to get it for a great price as well, unfortunately the shipping took a bit longer than anticipated, but when it arrived the book was fine. There was not a scratch in site. So I got still got quality that's always good
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on August 26, 2014
Not the same as in picture. Very misleading. However, usable.
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on August 23, 2014
Excellewnt job in Creative Thinking
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on February 11, 2016
It is in very good condition.
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VINE VOICEon May 25, 2000
The Emperor Augustus did not appreciate Ovid in any large degree. He found Virgil and Horace much more agreeable, as those poets tended to buttress the status quo, whereas Ovid tended to undermine it. Personally I am a great fan of Virgil's. He was one of the greatest poets who ever lived. His Aeneid is just as vital today as the day he wrote it. Horace, on the other hand, has never incited much of a response. He's pretty dry in comparison. Ovid, on the other hand, probably would have been a blast to hang out with. His poetry is ribald, yet informed with a thorough knowledge of the myth and literature that has come before him. He would have been a man who had a vast sense of humor mixed with erudition, in other words. This is generally the sort I would choose for a friend if such were available in our present age. I don't know if this is helpful, but this is how I sometimes tend to classify writers. Some I admire, but wouldn't want to sit across from him/her at a dinner table (Eugene O'Neill, my revered Dostoevsky, Sylvia Plath, the redoubtable Celine - he'd be the last guy I'd want to break bread with- Sartre (what a bummer!), Ibsen, Kierkegard, etc. But I'd love to party with Seutonius, Ovid, Diderot, Voltaire, Moliere, Hugo and either of the Bronte sisters. What a high time that would be! Apart from the rambling, this is an excellent translation of one of the most important works, in terms of influence, in the western cannon. Ovid had a primary impact on every poet who ever picked up a quill or a pen or typed a phrase on a keyboard who came after him. Talk about seminal literature. He made the love poem modern. Everything, apart perhaps from Sappho, had been wooden and stilted before "The Metamorphosis." He was the D H Lawrence of Rome. That is the reason the Imperial censors tried to surpress his work, just as the modern courts tried to surpress Lady Chatterly. Thank posterity neither succeeded.
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