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46 of 46 people found the following review helpful
on May 11, 2010
This ebook contains everything known to have been written by the great bard, and as such is worth having on your Kindle so you'll always have the great works of Shakespeare by your side.

That said, however, I am rather disappointed with the formatting of the Kindle edition. It completely lacks diacritical marks (accented characters) and proper justification of text, which makes it difficult if not impossible to glean the proper metrical structure of the lines. For example, if a single line of verse is split across two speakers, then the typical convention is to have the second line pushed out to the right so that its left edge aligns with the previous line's right edge. The editors of this text chose to follow this convention, and even illustrate it in the introduction, but in the actual plays the formatting is lost and it turns out that even in the introduction it was "faked" with an image. Furthermore, line numbers are provided every 5th line, but they are simply tacked on to the end of each 5th line of text instead of being properly right or left justified, and it is extremely distracting to read these line numbers as part of the normal flow of text each fifth line, especially since the lines are formatted in the "ragged right" style.

If you want to have all of Shakespeare's works on your Kindle, this is the best you'll find right now. But due to the above formatting issues I cannot recommend it wholeheartedly.
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83 of 89 people found the following review helpful
on September 23, 2010
Great find!!

Let me start this review by saying I am a huge Shakespeare fan as well as being a huge Kindle fan and I was looking for a Kindle collection that had everything in it from him. Now, I already know all his plays and poems and works, or at least I thought I did. I mean, I wasn't aware of these apocryphal plays. I mean, I've always wondered if the plays that we all know were the only ones he ever wrote, but I'd never really gone to find out. When I read the title and description I just had to see what this was about.

When I downloaded it, I must say I was so happy with this great find!! These additional plays were the first ones I went to look at and already just paging through all these new ones, written at different times in his career, has been so interesting!! I can't wait to get into them for real. I feel like I've gotten a new toy that I can play with!

I highly recommend it!!
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59 of 62 people found the following review helpful
on February 2, 2006
Many reviews below fault this edition for its complete lack of footnotes, indications of what text was used, or any other background material of any kind. They have a point, but I still disagree with their criticism. The edition's lack of these materials does not render it useless. On the contrary. I own several Shakespeare editions (among them Bevington, Riverside, and most of the Ardens), and I have used them to study the works in depth. For me, this edition fills a real need: direct, unmediated access to the text analogous to hearing it read out loud. Having the Bard's complete output in one physically manageable volume (the Riverside is much too big - try putting it in your briefcase to read on the train!) unencumbered by any extraneous writing such as footnotes allows me to focus completely on the text and avoid getting distracted by the footnotes. Reading Shakespeare from this book has really changed my perspective on many of the plays because I can enjoy the uninterrupted flow of the narrative, similar to a reading out loud. One might object that I could simply skip the footnotes of the other editions. But it's not that simple. By their very presence, footnotes have, in my view at least, something disempowering. It's not me encountering the text; rather, it's me respectfully approaching something of which I'm not quite worthy. That's a fine attitude, and I'm all for it when you get to know the plays. But having dug through them, I find it a wonderful experience to encounter the "pure" text (I know that's ultimately an illusion) and enjoy it without someone trying to teach at the same time. If there's a textual crux or a term I can't understand or some historical background I want to brush up on, I can always look it up in one of my annotated editions. This edition, by its very simplicity, has really rekindled my enthusiasm for Shakespeare. Last but not least, having all of Shakespeare's texts in one small volume allows me to flip quickly to another play to look something up or spot cross-connections. That can be very interesting. In short, this admittedly simple and perhaps not completely reliable edition has truly enriched my reading of Shakespeare.
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167 of 186 people found the following review helpful
on December 11, 2010
You get what you pay for, and you can get so much more for just a couple cents more. In this Kindle ebook, stage directions fall right inline with the text, undelimited, hard to distinguish from the dialogue. Also, the speaker's name is not offset. The Mobi edition Complete Works of William Shakespeare. 154 Sonnets, Romeo and Juliet, Othello, Hamlet, Macbeth, Antony and Cleopatra, The Tempest, Julius Caesar, King ... Cressida, The Winter's Tale & more (mobi) is just a few cents more and puts stage directions in brackets and tabs in the speaker's name. Those are subtle differences that actually make a huge difference when reading the play.
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62 of 66 people found the following review helpful
on November 29, 2010
I'll say that this is the greatest collection ever, but I would've like that the dialogs would be easier to read because there's no space between them. Can't blame that the publisher threw the ball outta the park with this one but just a suggestion for the publisher. BTW, this one has a good table of contents =)
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47 of 49 people found the following review helpful
on June 7, 2000
Bevington's The Complete Works of Shakespeare is an excellent place to start or continue one's study of Shakespeare and the Rennaissance Period. This is the book we used in my Shakespeare class in college and I found it extremly helpful in understanding not only Shakespeare, but also Elizabethan England. Bevington includes plenty of pictures to help one see what it looked like in the middle to late 16th Century and early 17th Century. Also, Bevington includes indepth introductions to each of the plays and explanatory notes on words Shakespeare used in a different context from what we use them today. I would recommend this book to anyone who wants to start or continue to study the Bard.
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53 of 56 people found the following review helpful
I'm not sure what the previous reviewer is talking about. This edition has a complete Table of Contents which not only allows you to navigate to each individual play, but also to each act and then each individual scene.

This is EXACTLY what I was looking for in a KINDLE Shakespeare collection. Every other version I've tried has been a terrible waste of money and I wonder how long it's going to be before Amazon starts acting responsibly and deleting the worthless e-text versions of this and other collections or offering trial samples of every book listed so people will stop being ripped off.

The only improvement I could see is for the table of contents and the individual listings to be justified on the right side of the screen next to the Kindle cursor, but the spacing is wide enough between lines that this is really just quibbling. I would like to see every Kindle book with this simple modification.
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52 of 55 people found the following review helpful
This new edition of Oxford's standard anthology of Shakespeare's works has been expanded to include a new general introduction and introduction to each work, an essay on Shakespeare's language, and a new user's guide, among other original features. This favorably reviewed new edition of a classic is a superb way for libraries to provide attractive access to all of Shakespeare's works and introduce these classics to today's readers. (South Texas Library System summary)

For individuals, I'd recommend getting each work in a separate volume, preferably one with more notes on each play. When I studied Shakespeare in college, having an annotated edition really opened up the writing to me.
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117 of 130 people found the following review helpful
on February 18, 2008
To would-be purchasers: At the library or bookstore, see for yourself if you can really deal with all the physical drawbacks of this book, if it will really meet the demands of how you read and for what you intend to use this book. It should hold up okay for occassionaly pulling off the shelf for a point of reference. But if you need to handle it often, if you really want to get into the text, then I don't see how this book can hold up.

The 1 star is for the publisher of this edition. My complaint is to the person (or persons) who gave the go-ahead for the production specs. They are unworthy of the words of Shakespeare and the work of the editors. The production and printing are truly paltry. All the other review negatives are legit -- cumbersome size and weight; toilet paper thin paper, subject to easy tearing; ink bleeding through recto/verso pages (and in my copy, there's an ink splatter on p. 1438 and several splotches throughout); as well as the binding, which is a non-signature fake sewn binding, glued together like a softcover. As such, this book cannot endure much handling, and over time, as we know with such books, no matter how careful we are, the glue will stale, the spine will crack, and pages will dislodge like rotten teeth. This is absolutely not an edition you can hand down the generations; and depending on your use, it may or may not last even a few years. This edition purports to be a study/working edition, but the book as a physical object precludes any of that. I can't imagine a student or actor lugging it to class or the theatre and trying to recite with a nearly 5-lb 3-inch thick book cradled in his/her arm. Let alone making notes in the generous margins -- the low-grade paper causes text on each side of a page to seep through often clearly enough to be read so that would make scribbling notes difficult; and this paper could not possibly properly absorb notes in pen or highlighter (either would mark and indent right though the other side; light pencil or post-its might work though).

After purusing a few essays and notes, I give the editors 3 stars so far. The scholarship may be serious and exemplary (per other reviewers), but I've read better insights and more extensive notes elsewhere (with etymology, cross-refs, annotations). Here, the footnotes are rudimentary (for example, "fearful" is "frightened", "false" is "dishonest, disloyal", "maim" means to "wound, damage") -- perhaps the target audience starts at age 8. Stage directions of sorts are added here and there; they seem to clarify what's already rather obvious in the text proper. The "Key Facts" are easily digestible, but I can only trust that the editors got all their facts and dates correct, as I have yet to come across any sourcing or even a ref list.

But the main thing is that I simply can't get around the physical inadequacies of this book, so I'm returning my copy for a refund. Instead, I'll check out my public library's copy because I still want to know what all the introductory essays have to say.

I have all the works in various single-volume Quatro-based editions, so I thought it would be interesting to have a volume with the Folio-based text intact. Hopefully, the publisher will come to its senses and re-issue this edition based on previous Modern Library editions, that is, dividing the works into 3 or 4 volumes at a paper size and quality that can be used by human hands and read with human eyes -- even at a higher price, that I would purchase and keep. By the way, I own the two-volume 1938 "Complete Greek Drama" (also published by Random House). Those 70-year-old used books have held up far better than this 2007 new complete Shakespeare ever will. Perhaps this Shakespeare edition is a prime indication of the state of the book publishing industry today -- the bottom line served Will ill.
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66 of 71 people found the following review helpful
on January 9, 2011
Perhaps this actually is the complete works of Shakespeare,but with no table of contents, or section headings or anything similar, it is impossible to use. It is one long file starting with the sonnets. NO search capabilities, no way to find King Lear except by beginning on page 1 and going page-by-page till you find it.

Overpriced.
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