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Faust Paperback – November 29, 2014
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Top Customer Reviews
Translating a German work is a challenge while maintaining the meter and rhyme. Not losing meaning derived the original German is a particular hurdle. in regards to the layout, I agree with some of the other reviews that the formatting is slightly cumbersome in that pages provide no break between the chapters.
The character were all well written and helped maintain engagement in the reading to the end
Some parts of the play (particularly in the early going) seem a bit obscure in the text, but the scene on Walpurgis Night (look it up on Wikipedia if you're unfamiliar with this celebration) is particularly memorable, as is the final scene, played out among Faust, his paramour, and Mephistopheles.
Sadly, the illustrations are not reproduced in the free Kindle version. The translator's Preface, which is not pedantic, adds to the reader's understanding of the play.
As far as the technical aspects go, Bayard Taylor does astounding work keeping everything in meter and in rhyme, without losing the meaning from the original German. The formatting for the book can be a bit annoying because the pages don't break between chapters, but hey, it saves on storage space on my Kindle, so I'm not complaining.
As for the story itself, it's good, but it could be better. It reminded me a lot of the lord of the rings, in that the main story will frequently stop so that characters can sing. But most of the songs were pretty good, so it wasn't so bad, except as a result Goethe would have a few sudden revelations that should have developed slower. But in the end, Faust, Gretchen (er, Margaret in this edition, because rhyme), and especially Mephistopheles were all good characters that kept the story interesting to the end.
If your into classic literature, this book is as good a place as any to start.