Customer Reviews: The Canterbury Tales in Modern Verse (Hackett Classics)
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Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars16
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on August 15, 2005
I enjoyed two courses in Chaucer with recognized authorities in the field and enjoyed teaching the Prologue and various tales in survey courses almost every semester for forty years. Although I was dubious about the shortened line, I found Glaser's modern verse translation the most enjoyable read of this material I had ever experienced. I think the skill and wit of the translator has made the real Chaucer easily available to any intelligent reader of English. I think this work belongs right beside the Riverside edition of Chaucer's works on the bookshelf of every student of Chaucer and in the hands all who would enjoy this monumental narrative.

Hoyt E. Bowen, Professor Emeritus
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on February 16, 2007
I'm not an English major, or into great literature. I just like to read good books. As part of my search for a good read, I stumbled across this translation of Chaucer, and it caught my interest.

I'm glad it did. I found this translation of Chaucer simply fantastic. This translation is different in that it doesn't constrain itself to using the same number of syllables per line as the original. So instead of forcing things, it used a more modern form that is really fun to read. English has changed, and we don't pronounce words the same any more, and this translation realizes that, and so produces something that is probably closer to the original intent.

Sure, reading the original, or a totally "faithful" translation might seem to be more "pure" to hard core literary folks, but this translation in many ways is more pure to the original spirit of the work. I would imagine that the contemporaries of Chaucer could enjoy the original as much as I enjoyed this translation. And it didn't take lots of effort to read - it was just fun.

So, if you were exposed to Chaucer in high school or college, and just never got it, or hated trying to make sense of the original or translations that tried to follow the original meter exactly, then I think you should re-visit Chaucer with this great translation.

Congratulations to Joseph Glaser for this bold translation that makes Chaucer accessible to the modern reader.
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on March 9, 2006
At this point in my life I'm reading for fun and enjoy a good story telling. This version of the classic is enjoyable to read and moves fast. Read the Authors notes in the beginning. It will truly make you appreciate this translation and Chaucer's original intent. You also get a nice history lesson as a bonus.
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on April 7, 2013
I'm not one of the literati. Shakespeare always leaves me scratching my head, but I do enjoy Walter Scott. This book, on the other hand, is totally understandable, witty, and fun. I read parts of it several times, not because I didn't understand it the first time, because it is entertaining. I'm almost to the end now. I love it and will read parts of it again and again because it's fun. I will read parts of it to my grandchild some day. I will leave other parts for her to read when she is an adult. It's very racy and even crude in parts. I borrowed a more conventional translation from a friend, and I couldn't get through three pages of that.
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on August 21, 2015
It is very accessible and easy to understand. The meanings are clear and there is some explanation of cultural norms of the times.
Mostly, you could get this book for the hilarity of the stories. Funny is funny, raunchy is raunchy, and it is good to know that being able to laugh at the human condition is important in whatever century one may find oneself in. The stories are the experiences of many very different folk, text they all fit together gently as a whole.
If you are too delicate or young to read about special relationships, there is a great deal of value, worth, and interest in the purely spiritual anecdotes and learned information.
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on January 9, 2014
This book arrived yesterday.I have not read it. I ordered it because
in college English course I found it to be a great read. I liked the Miller's tale and several others.
Again , I feel I must say that these reviews are much too often.. .
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on January 27, 2015
It is such a delight to read the Tales and not have to be translating and reading -- this translation is true to the original work in terms of how the stories are told (the language will offend the easily offended and the politically correct), and it really is quite funny. It seems so strange to be reading this classic 50 years after I had to read it as an undergraduate -- I think I will give it to my grand nephew for his 16th birthday -- he will love it and get a leg up on his school work.
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on February 4, 2016
This modern translation captures the experience of hearing Chaucers tałes first-hand. This translation is not like those bookish renditions that are correct yet dry. Instead, it's a visit with pilgrims making the trek from Lambeth to London. Their stories are baudy and funny. Those feelings come across in "Canterbury Tałes in Modern Verse."
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on December 11, 2012
It is very easy to read in the "modern" format. I have tried several times to read the Canterbery Tales in its original verse, and it was almost impossible to understand what they meant.
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on March 18, 2015
Nice quality, served it purpose as required reading for Lit class. I like the ease of getting it through Amazon.
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