Customer Reviews: The Works of Edgar Allan Poe - Volume 1 (The Raven Edition)
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VINE VOICEon May 2, 2010
I write blog reviews for The Kindle Blog Report, and am branching out into reviewing books available for Kindle.

Since the publishers of this ebook don't list its contents I'll list them for you here (The book itelf does have the TOC hotlinked):

Edgar Allan Poe (bio)
Death of Edgar Allan Poe (bio)
The Unparalleled Adventures of one Hans Peall
The Gold Bug
Four Beasts in one - the homo-camel-leopard
The Murders in the Rue Morgue
THe Mystery of Marie Roget
THe Baloon-Hoax
Ms Found in a Bottle
The Oval Portrait
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on August 26, 2010
Perhaps unfortunately, Amazon associates reviews for a book with many of the different versions of the book available. When you're looking to buy a copy of "The Works of Edgar Allan Poe Volume 1", check the edition and publisher carefully.

The version of "The Works of Edgar Allan Poe Volume 1" published by General Books LLC is a poor quality, automated reproduction with no index, no illustrations and quite a number of typos. The one star review applies to this edition only. Note that the poor quality comment does NOT apply to the Kindle edition (different publisher) or to Nabu Press / Dodo Press, who have reprinted Facsimile Versions rather than the OCR Scan that General Books LLC uses.

To quote a few specifics from the General Books LLC web site:
"We created your book using OCR software that includes an automated spell check. Our OCR software is 99 percent accurate if the book is in good condition. However, with up to 3,500 characters per page, even one percent can be an annoying number of typos....

After we re-typeset and designed your book, the page numbers change so the old index and table of contents no longer work. Therefore, we usually remove them. Since many of our books only sell a couple of copies, manually creating a new index and table of contents could add more than a hundred dollars to the cover price....

Our OCR software can't distinguish between an illustration and a smudge or library stamp so it ignores everything except type. We would really like to manually scan and add the illustrations. But many of our books only sell a couple of copies....

We created your book using a robot who turned and photographed each page. Our robot is 99 percent accurate. But sometimes two pages stick together. And sometimes a page may even be missing from our copy of the book. We would really like to manually scan each page and buy multiple copies of each original. But many of our books only sell a couple of copies....."

The owners of General Books LLC, VDM Publishing, are flooding Amazon with these low quality publications (450,000 listed under General Books LLC) and, unfortunately, many of them have the reviews associated with the original or with better quality imprints associated with them. While the price is at least reasonable, the product description is totally misleading for the buyer that's not aware of this publisher.

IMHO this is unethical marketing.

Jason - in reponse to your comment (sorry, Amazon has never restored my ability to Comment and hasn't replied to my requests so I've given up on that one): check the General Books LLC website - it's the same wording as Books LLC / LLC Books and if you recall some of the early Alphascript Product Descriptions, they talked about the "Million Books Club" thing and "free content update" - seems far to close to be a coincidence. The General Books LLC / Books LLC websites contain absolutely NO info about the Publisher and I haven't been able to ttack ANYTHING on them down. Right now, I'm working the the assumption that, based on the modus operandi and the wording used, it's VDM Publishing, or at least the same people.

And to J. Pendris, thx for the kind words. However, you may wish to pay a little more attention to detail before launching insults at people. The PAPER version from General Books LLC, which is what my review was about, costs real money. The Kindle version's are from different publishers. The paperback reprints are from 2 different publishers, General Books LLC and Nabu Press (another Print on Demand Publisher) and the Hardback reprint is from yet another Publisher (Benediction Classics). It's all in the details with these reprints.

Re the comment from Ruth French: thanks for pointing out the differences with Benediction Books. There ARE many ethical POD Publishers out there doing an excellent job of making older books available to the book buying public. I should add that my general rule of thumb for these Print on Demand publishers is to take a look at the cover - if it's a good quality illustration that reflects the content, there's a table of contents, and when you do the Look Inside thing there's no disclaimer saying you're looking at another book, and they've used facsimile reproduction technology (rather than OCR), it's usually a pretty safe bet. Conversely, if any of these are missing, you're taking a chance on the quality. I've bought more than a few based on my selection criteria above and they've been good quality. General Books LLC however, is a publisher to steer clear of at all costs.

And in general terms, I have to say I think PoD is a great new technology - in addition to helping authors self-publish, it also lets ethical publishers (such as Benediction) get older books reprinted which, because of the often very limited demand, might never have seen the light of day again. I must say, I find myself buying more of these lately, especially obscure historical books such as the The Murmansk Venture or the totally obscure ADVENTURES OF DUNSTERFORCE :)
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on January 14, 2011
All the words are there. Navigating is not so easy since there is no table of contents. I am bookmarking the title page of each story so when I come back to the book it will be easier to pick a story.
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on December 31, 2011
This is about the Kindle Fire version of this book. All the french words with accentuated characters are not displayed correctly. All those characters are just replaced by a question mark. For example, in "the murder in the rue morgue", we can read "Th??tre des Vari?t?s" instead of "Théâtre des Variétés"... And there are many words like that in this book.
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on January 26, 2012
There were a lot of formatting errors in it overall and some misspelled things here and there. Overall it didn't affect the overall point of the book, which is to simply read a story or two from Poe. It doesn't have any reference points that most paid books will have. That being said, it's free so take what you can get I guess. It's Poe at his best as usual.

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on January 14, 2016
It's Poe, who doesn't love that! I don't like to write too much in book reviews because I feel that in order to adequately write a review, I would have to give away information that would be key to plot. I don't like to be the person to give away spoilers. Therefore my book reviews are always very short and only say a few things in order to tell you, book reviews are much to subjective and I never read a book review before I read a book. I read a book based on what the book is about which I don't read a review to get. If you want more information, buy the book and read it. :)
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on March 25, 2014
After all the years of hearing about the genius of Poe this Volume 1 has taken all the wind out of that one. He may be smart, he may be about half genius. What he is mostly in this volume is a bloviating, multi-syllable word using bore. He spends pages and pages explaining things that are totally unnecessary. Now I know he comes from a different time and they talked and wrote differently then. Shew = show, just a minor example there. But this endless blathering about some words usage is ridiculous. If you can get past his pseudo-scientific wanna be examples then the stories themselves aren't that bad. According to Poe (in his limited scientific knowledge) you can gas up a balloon and go to the moon. In only a few days and with no space suit. He did have an idea that the air might be a bit thin but that was the extent of his space knowledge. Rue Morgue isn't bad, but a bit wordy. The follow on story with the same 'hero' know-it-all character started off well and then degenerated to more lunatic blather that amounted to nothing. In truth I got so bored at the endless nowhere dialogue that I gave up. I have no idea who killed the girl. And I don't really think he ever got around to saying who it was. Only spending pages and pages talking about who it could and could not have been. I'm expecting the rest of the volumes to be better than this. I hope I'm not going to be disappointed.
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on November 17, 2015
S\Variety of stories writhe a few hundred years ago or so. Some are excellent, especially the one about going to the moon in a balloon. The science is pretty good when allotting for the period when it was written
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on May 30, 2015
The reader must have the taste for Poe's weird style and thoughts.
I enjoyed one or two tales, but find the trend not to my taste.
Not me. But the Poe follower should find the book good.
It is well laid out.
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on January 9, 2012
This book was not indexed for Kindle use which was frustrating because it was a compilation of works. I could not skip story to story, with out paging through the whole thing.
Very disappointing.
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