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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on July 6, 2014
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Another reviewer mentioned, and I can confirm that YES, most of the material found in this book can be found free on public domains. Or if you are a university student (and likely you are), you can find some of the more obscure material in old anthologies or shelved independently at your library.
Be warned, though: your professor may want you to cite specific page numbers from this book/edition. If that is the case, you likely can't skip out on buying it. :<

Now, because most of the actual context can be accessed for free, the main advantage of buying an anthology would be for the introductory and supplementary material. I need to know background information to place a piece in context-- so yeah, I'd be willing to pay for that.
But I was severely disappointed in the supplementary material (as in, the introduction to the text, eras). The time period introductions were short and very generic. They did not even go into much detail about certain literary movements. Usually with the full length Norton Anthologies (and I have a lot of experience with them) I can use the supplementary material as a substantial source in writing essays-- but this is not the case for this volume.
Also, concerning the author introductions: the advantage is that it gives you a very condensed overview that doesn't take long to read at all, while the disadvantage is that you will likely have to consult multiple outside sources about the author if you want to write anything in detail about either the author or his/her specific piece.
So for those reasons, I have to say that I don't think the content justifies the price. Don't get me wrong, some of the Norton anthologies are amazing and worth every penny (shout-out to the full Norton Shakespeare anthology) -- just not this one.
*Current buyback value from my university bookstore (as of July 1st 2014) was a hearty $21.

TL;DR: Absolutely buy it used. Even if it will take a while to be shipped, don't worry-- it's very easy to find the works included online or elsewhere.
It's likely not worth keeping as a reference material, because the supplementary material is kind of sub-par.
Because of the latter, I don't believe it's worth investing in.
Overall it's not the greatest, but it serves its purpose.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on February 4, 2013
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This is a good book for those who need a short overview of later American lit. I would argue that more reading is required of the author's actual novels, which are not all present in this book. It is a good overview of short stories and poetry.
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4 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on October 2, 2013
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The only point of this book is used for citing in a research paper. All the poems can be found online so just find a friend and pair up when u have to cite something, sometimes your professor will even let you cite a reliable online source so you dont even NEED the book. Everything is online. Every. Single. Poem.
Only grab this book if you have no friends to look unto and your teacher REQUIRES the text. This book is a good citation tool and that's it. Waste of money in a time that I need it most, blood suckers
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on March 23, 2015
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I am so happy with the people who shipped this out! I received a hand written note with the book and I always think that leaves a nice touch. Definitely did for this book because it was pretty expensive if you ask me. But the book itself is actually amazing there are excerpts from American writers, famous or not.
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3 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on August 22, 2013
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Publisher, please take note (not the I expect you to pay any attention to me but just to relieve my frustration). I have no problem with the content of this book so far when I can read it. However, it is extremely not reader friendly. It is the width and height of a regular paperback but is overly thick and heavy even though the individual pages are very thin. The font is small and the leading lines are scrunched together. If your eyesight is 20/20 you may do okay, but if you have glasses be prepared to do a lot of squinting even with good light. I think you were trying to fit a semi-truck with its trailer into a residential two-car garage! It is difficult to hold your place or flip pages back and forth for skimming or searching and the book will not stay open. I need this book for a class, of course, and I may have to resort to slicing out the individual pages that I need in order to be able to read them. If you had made this book an over-sized paperback, or somewhat larger anyway, the font size and leading could be increased slightly and likely reduce the thickness. Who designed this thing anyway? A Kindle edition would be very very nice but for the content of the book it may require too much memory which I understand. Please though, for future editions, please redesign this behemoth so no one will injure themselves if they drop it on their toes!
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on August 8, 2014
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I didn't buy it because I wanted it, but because I had to have it for a class. I don't know how helpful the notes will be. Although there's a great variety of material, I'd rather have a few less articles and notes, and a slightly bigger font.
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on February 22, 2015
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Will have to wait until after the class is over to read the what the prof did not assign. A lot of literature here.
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on January 16, 2015
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the book will work, but it was in pretty ratty condition.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on December 29, 2013
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It's a textbook, so I can't say that I absolutely love it (that would go against college student solidarity). Regardless, it came in on time and was in good condition.
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on January 23, 2015
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Great condition!
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