I would have loved to have had the two volumes of this wonderful work on my Kindle, but ten minutes after downloading them I returned them for credit. They have no Table of Contents and almost no navigation marks for the five-way controller (or whatever the equivalent is on the keyless models), so forget about browsing. Even more disappointing is that the entire poem (not just the quotes in the introduction, which is all you get to see in the sample) has been set with a wide left margin, a huge waste of space that also causes lines to wrap unnecessarily. And when they wrap, they wrap to the same margin, which is just ugly.
Formatting narrative verse for the Kindle is really not difficult: you just create a paragraph style flush-left with a hanging indent. How can Penguin, a large publishing company with many Kindle editions, not know or care?
For that matter, it would make sense to combine the two books into a single e-book, for ease of searching on (for example) the names of the many characters. There's no reason not to do this on a device that never gets fatter. But here, as in so many cases, we get the impression that the Kindle edition is just a careless afterthought.
My rating is for the Kindle edition only. Unlike David Slavitt
, who treats the poem as little more than a silly romp, Reynolds does full justice to its rich textures, not only in her learned yet very readable translation but in her prefaces and notes. The useful apparatus in the printed volumes includes running heads that summarize the action, detailed indexes that give a quick reminder of what the many characters have been up to, and even schematics of some of the battles and jousts. In paperback, this is a five-star production in every way.